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Small Hive Beetle

 
pollinator
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Small Hive beatle has been discovered in Italy
Good news the Italian Govt is on the case
........................................................................; Ok maybe not so good news . Frankly I suspect its too late the cat is out of the bag and there is no way of getting it back inside . I suspect its already into the wild population by now .
I wondered if anyone has any suggestions of improvement or methods of control either via design or practice I could impliment to reduce the effect of this pest .

David
 
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I've never had it in my hives, thankfully.

Part of the life cycle requires that they leave the hive, burrow in the soil (usually within a meter of the hive, and pupate. They they look for the hive, or another hive and start the cycle over again.

Some people, who I respect, recommend diatomaceous earth (comes from diatoms...), sprinkled liberally around the hive, and renewed periodically.

While not toxic at all, DE is very sharp on the microscopic level. Any insects that crawl through DE will get it in their joints and "damage the seals", so they dessicate and die.

Of course, bees are insects too, so you will lose a few bees. It's a balancing act.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cyjs0RRI3xc (the Fat Bee Man)


I would never try insecticides to control them--the bees have enough toxic gick to deal with already.


Here is a nice overview of the life cycle of the small hive beetle:

http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/bees/small_hive_beetle.htm

 
David Livingston
pollinator
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Thanks for that .
I am hoping that by going framless that the bees will find the beatles easier to control as there will be less places for them to hide.

David
 
steward
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I think the easiest part of the life cycle that Troy mentioned to interrupt is the finding of the hive. I also have never had to deal with small hive beetles, but it is my understanding that they locate beehives by following the bees alarm pheromone.

one of the easiest ways to get plenty of alarm pheromone in the air is to open the hive. a brief peek might not be enough to do it, but most conventional hive manipulations certainly would. so avoiding small hive beetles could be as easy as leaving hives all closed up.

I don't think foregoing frames would hurt your cause, either.
 
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Haven't tried this, but heard of it and would use it if I needed to. A free range flock of Banties in the apiary. The gentleman in Florida that uses them says the chickens are crazy for the beetle grubs in the sands around his hives. So much so that he has to regularly grade the sand back into the pits they make around the hives. I'm sure it's not a cure all, but any natural control is great and I like chickens.
 
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My brother and Dad ran a small commercial apiary in the coastal Alabama area. They tried everything, but, in my opinion, what seemed to help the most was always keeping a torch handy. The bees won't kill the beetles, but they will corral and trap them in propolis. Anytime you open a hive, you break the trap and hoards of beetles start scrambling. That's where the torch came in handy. We would singe as many beetles as possible before they reached the main cluster of bees. We would do this, progressing all the way to the bottom board. Nothing will eradicate SHB, but you just have to try your best to control them. As far as the hives they lost, most of the hives showed signs of other diseases such as foulbrood or mites. It seemed that the beetles would only kill a hive if it were weakened by something else. Basically, staying on top of beetles means staying on top of everything. Best of luck.
 
pollinator
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I'm only a novice beekeeper but I'm having success so far using three methods for controlling the SHB.

#1- select for bees that are good housekeepers. Some genetics are better than others for removing or corralling hive intruders. My original bees were not very good at dealing with SHB. So when I went to re-establish bees, I sought out better bees.
#2- check hive weekly and take action of SHB grubs are present. I will remove a frame that shows evidence of the grubs. By checking often I will find the problem usually on only one frame. If that frame has a lot of pollen or honey I don't want to lose, then I'll put the frame in the freezer until well frozen. With my freezer that means 24 hours. Then I return the frame to the hive for the bees to clean up. If the frame can be sacrificed, I'll just replace it with a new frame.
#3- use an oil tray at the bottom of the hive box. A mesh screen prevents the bees from contacting the oil. But the beetle can fall through into the oil and die. I check the oil tray 2-3 times a week to check for varroa mites and SHBs. I'll use a turkey baster to remove dead SHBs just so I can keep an accurate count of the beetles each week. If I see a sudden increase, then I know I need to kill any daily that I find hiding under the lid plus get into the hive to check for grubs. Sudden increases in hive beetle numbers is usually due to some commercial bee person shipping a bunch of hives into my area.

One other thing, by controlling varroa mites, the bees seem to be better able to kick the SHB out of their hive.
 
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Haven't tried this, but heard of it and would use it if I needed to. A free range flock of Banties in the apiary. The gentleman in Florida that uses them says the chickens are crazy for the beetle grubs in the sands around his hives. So much so that he has to regularly grade the sand back into the pits they make around the hives. I'm sure it's not a cure all, but any natural control is great and I like chickens.  



I recently heard the same thing from some old time hillbilly beekeepers. I intend to try it next spring. Also, they said black rocks or black soil underneath the hives helps kill them because they can't handle the heat.

Did you know those little beasties can fly??? Been chasing them for years with my hive tool for squishing purposes. Last month one particularly fast & determined to survive beetle flew away. That was a first.
 
pollinator
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Old thread but it may help the new comers.

In the beginning of spring, put a chux cloth inside the hive at the entrance. The idea is they will tangle in the fibers and bees catch and infuse them there.

More about it can be found here

chux.jpg
[Thumbnail for chux.jpg]
Chux cloth
untitled.png
[Thumbnail for untitled.png]
A small view of beetles trapped on a microfiber cloth.
 
Mike Barkley
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Interesting method. Seems like it would work but as the article mentioned ... where to put it since it will catch bees too. Will investigate them more. Beetles usually are not a big problem in most of my hives but every so often I'll see one that has more than a small amount. I use the oil traps which work well.
 
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Daughter who works for an apiary suggested lining the hive boxes with cedar. Captain Obvious has an A&B.
A. Would make inside of hives smaller.
B. Would have to build super boxes to accommodate a thint layer of aromatic cedar, 1/4".

Looking at B. Been bout 55 years since helped grandpa with his bees. Have a couple at church (Kathy teaches classes) that has enthused my wife to try them and since I have a few woodbutcher skills...
And noticed that the plans available and part manufacturered to fit do not match their "new and improved downsizing". Grrr.

Well onward after this informative side trip. Not finding a search thingy to jump to asparagus beetles, (OH Noooooo).
 
Tim Lutz
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Can it bee?
A cure for SHB?

A transparent, red piece of acrylic shaped like a lid. It fits over a honey bee box hive, known professionally as a Langstroth hive, which almost looks like a small set of drawers. As sunlight shines through the acrylic, it creates red light inside the hive that disturbs small hive beetles and deters them away. He calls the product the Beetle Banisher.
Https://www.beeculture.com/catch-the-buzz-new-cover-lets-in-only-red-light-and-keeps-small-hive-beetles-out/
 
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Following this thread with interest. I’m a hopeful future bee keeper (to the point that I’m a member of my local beekeepers org, have my own suit and tools and have done inspections but do not own or never have owned a hive🤪) but like I said, hopefully one day. To that end, I’ve been doing a lot of research on bees and that’s how I came across Jeff Willard on YouTube. He has a pretty innovative method of controlling shb that I thought you all might want to check out.

https://youtu.be/6VMZSZszcMY
 
steward & bricolagier
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Tim Lutz wrote:Can it bee?
A cure for SHB?

A transparent, red piece of acrylic shaped like a lid. It fits over a honey bee box hive, known professionally as a Langstroth hive, which almost looks like a small set of drawers. As sunlight shines through the acrylic, it creates red light inside the hive that disturbs small hive beetles and deters them away. He calls the product the Beetle Banisher.
Https://www.beeculture.com/catch-the-buzz-new-cover-lets-in-only-red-light-and-keeps-small-hive-beetles-out/


I think those would be even more effective on a top bar hive. And red acrylic is not expensive, and could be set as a panel in a basic lid, doesn't have to be custom built for 65.00.
Interesting! Thank you!!
:D
 
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Couple methods being utilized around here:
1) Swiffer pads-- unscented- laid across top of frames. The hive beetles get hung up in the fibers. Change as needed.
2) Applying nemotodes to the soil under and around the hives to disrupt the life cycle.

Love my bees!
 
Vanessa Alarcon
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Tim Lutz wrote:Can it bee?
A cure for SHB?

A transparent, red piece of acrylic shaped like a lid. It fits over a honey bee box hive, known professionally as a Langstroth hive, which almost looks like a small set of drawers. As sunlight shines through the acrylic, it creates red light inside the hive that disturbs small hive beetles and deters them away. He calls the product the Beetle Banisher.
Https://www.beeculture.com/catch-the-buzz-new-cover-lets-in-only-red-light-and-keeps-small-hive-beetles-out/



I keep thinking about this. Would the plastic cover allow for temp to go higher than with a wood cover? And in sunny areas (where incidentally SHB is more prevalent) plastic doesn’t fare too well due to uvb degradation. Maybe a better alternative would be red leds powered by batteries?
 
pollinator
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Long term, any "solution" to SHB is going to depend on bees evolving resistance traits to them. This is already being seen in parts of the world where SHB is prevalent. Hives are still lost, but many colonies are able to suppress their numbers and prevent them becoming a problem.

Typical traits include aggressively harassing the beetles so that they can't rest/mate etc... Also, they have been seen entombing beetles in propolis - they harass them into a corner, then seal them in.
 
tel jetson
steward
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Michael Cox wrote:Long term, any "solution" to SHB is going to depend on bees evolving resistance traits to them.



that's one half of co-evolution. the other half is small hive beetles adapting to be less detrimental to bees. if they aren't causing serious problems, they'll be left alone. they may even become one more part of a thriving hive ecosystem. reducing species diversity (eradicating a pest) often isn't the best long term solution, in beehives or elsewhere.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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