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Small Hive Beatle

 
David Livingston
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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
 
Troy Rhodes
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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
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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
 
tel jetson
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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.
 
Ernie Schmidt
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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.
 
Lane Crownover
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Location: Central Mississippi
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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.
 
Su Ba
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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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