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Nematode a to control hive beetles

 
John Redman
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Location: Perkinston Mississippi zone 9a
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Only a week after getting my bees set up, I noticed a small hive beetle crawling into the entrance. My first google search "what eats hive beetles" yielded an article about nematodes. http://www.beehacker.com/wp/?p=131 After contacting southeastern insectaries, they sent out a bag of 5 million nematodes which I quickly watered in under and around the hive. I haven't noticed any more beetles around the entrance, guess ill see if it worked when I go though the hive for the first time. Here's a picture of one of the nematodes @ 200x. Anyone had experience with natural control of the beetles? In an attempt, i've also planted several thyme plants around the hive, apparently the beetles don't enjoy this herb.
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Miles Flansburg
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Hey Paul, for us folks who are still learning, could you tell us more about hive beetles and what they do?
 
tel jetson
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not a treatment, but an idea that might help with prevention:

small hive beetles are sensitive to and attracted to honeybee alarm pheromone. honeybees secrete alarm pheromone when something alarming happens. that includes opening a hive. in practice, this means that checking a hive for small hive beetles can cause an infestation of small hive beetles.

my own solution to small hive beetles: let the bees handle it.
 
John Redman
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Miles, I'm new to beekeeping so don't have a great grasp on the bees or pest yet. This is a worst case, http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=AgxuQu9lm1A&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DAgxuQu9lm1A

Tel, I like that ideal. I hadn't thought of a do nothing type approach. it makes sense, when you can see the hive is thriving, leave it alone.
 
tel jetson
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Paul Redmond wrote:I hadn't thought of a do nothing type approach. it makes sense, when you can see the hive is thriving, leave it alone.


I personally take it a bit further: even if a hive is not thriving, I leave it alone. that can mean that hives dwindle and die. hasn't happened to me so far, but it's a risk. for somebody with only one or two hives, that possibility might be unacceptable.

my rationale: if the bees can't hack it on their own, I'm not interested in their genetics continuing in the local bee population. I want bees that are adapted to local conditions. I also believe that leaving a hive alone better maintains the integrity of the nest atmosphere, which is manipulated at substantial metabolic cost by the bees. depending on colony strength, season, hive style, et cetera, it can take up to several days for that hive atmosphere to return to normal after a hive is opened.

I've found that even colonies that appear to be struggling, say with varroa, are capable of some amount of adaptation and rebound if left to their own devices. so while I am prepared to lose individual colonies, I haven't actually lost any yet. (turns out Jean-Baptiste Lamarck wasn't all wrong.)

on the other hand, other non-intervention beeks I'm aware of regularly suffer over 50% losses annually, so there's no guarantee that letting them alone will work as well as it has for me. there are a lot of factors at play that will influence our results, many of them outside our immediate control.
 
John Redman
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Location: Perkinston Mississippi zone 9a
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tel jetson wrote:
Paul Redmond wrote:I hadn't thought of a do nothing type approach. it makes sense, when you can see the hive is thriving, leave it alone.


I personally take it a bit further: even if a hive is not thriving, I leave it alone. that can mean that hives dwindle and die. hasn't happened to me so far, but it's a risk. for somebody with only one or two hives, that possibility might be unacceptable.

my rationale: if the bees can't hack it on their own, I'm not interested in their genetics continuing in the local bee population. I want bees that are adapted to local conditions. I also believe that leaving a hive alone better maintains the integrity of the nest atmosphere, which is manipulated at substantial metabolic cost by the bees. depending on colony strength, season, hive style, et cetera, it can take up to several days for that hive atmosphere to return to normal after a hive is opened.

I've found that even colonies that appear to be struggling, say with varroa, are capable of some amount of adaptation and rebound if left to their own devices. so while I am prepared to lose individual colonies, I haven't actually lost any yet. (turns out Jean-Baptiste Lamarck wasn't all wrong.)

on the other hand, other non-intervention beeks I'm aware of regularly suffer over 50% losses annually, so there's no guarantee that letting them alone will work as well as it has for me. there are a lot of factors at play that will influence our results, many of them outside our immediate control.


Yeah, it would be difficult to watch the bees decline. I see your point, if I'm not willing to chemically treat the bees there is no reason to open the hive. lots of great info thank you.

I had never heard of Lamarck, was an interesting read.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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