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Encouraging and Obtaining Book Scorpions

 
D. Logan
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Location: Soutwest Ohio
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In two of the posts I have been following, the same little predator has come up regarding a natural system for raising bees and dealing with mites; Book Scorpions. There doesn't seem to be much in the way of sources for getting them aside from pure luck though. They are apparently pretty rare these days thanks to modern practices. About all I have found on encouraging them is to aim for wild hives and make sure the bottom of a hive has places for them to happily hide (they apparently love corrugation) and defend territory.

I am wondering if there might be some way to increase your odds of getting them in your own hive. How common are they in the litter at the bottom of a wild hive? I am thinking that if one could locate a wild hive that very recently vacated, might it not be possible to collect some of their existing litter and obtain a number of symbiotic life forms including potentially the scorpions? Does anyone happen to know more or have direct experience? The places even researching them are pretty limited, so I am not holding any real hope that someone is breeding them for any sort of distribution, even research.
 
Penny Dumelie
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I had never heard of these critters until your post.

I came across this page on them (google to the rescue).

The one paragraph says

Properly known as pseudoscorpions, these tiny, tiny creatures have a fondness for old books, because old books also happen to contain delicious booklice and dust mites. And they’re really not book scorpions… at all because they can’t hurt us, and they’ve basically been performing a free pest control service since humans started stacking excessive numbers of dusty, bound-together piles of paper along our walls and nightstands. This arrangement works because old book-makers used to bind books using a starch-based glue that booklice and dust mites love, so without a healthy population of book scorpions patrolling your collection, those gross parasites are probably having a horrible, silent field-day chewing them all apart.


So I'm thinking, look around in used bookstores for old, worthless books? Or maybe your local library might have some oldies you can buy. Possibly you can attract some that way, or maybe the books will have them already.
 
Marty Mitchell
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Location: Chesapeake, Virginia
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That would be awesome if you could just add some dingy old books to the bottom of a deep litter box. lol
 
Ernie Schmidt
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Location: Olympia, Washington
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There is actually an outfit attempting to produce these little critters.
http://www.beenature-project.com/shop/page/4?sessid=EzaNUdHZDcVB
 
Marty Mitchell
Posts: 312
Location: Chesapeake, Virginia
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@ Ernie


Just watched a video in the link that you provided. It had a little porn music... while the Verroa were being taken out and juiced by the psuedo scorpion.

A single scorpion took out 3 mites. 2 of them while it was still in the middle of eating the first one that was attached to the scorpion's face.

The video says the scorpions are adapted to see in the dark... can eat up to 9 Verroa a day each... and always used to live with honey bees back in the day.

Just think...
9 mites a day x 10 scorpions per hive = 90 Verroa a day. How many is that in a season?

They were documented de-miting bees and eating bee moths back in the 1950s.


EDIT: I went ahead and did the math. Answer is ...

17,640 verroa mites and hive beetles over 7 months!

Since the verroa population drastically decreases during cold months when they cannot reproduce. The scorpions would nip them in the bud I bet! Of course you would have to keep the hive warm enough for them to remain active. Increasing honey consuption.

Either way... during the active season that is a massive difference.
 
Ernie Schmidt
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Location: Olympia, Washington
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I actually saw one of these guys on one of my sliding bottom boards a few years back before I knew what they were. I don't use sticky boards just plain white boards. When I pulled one out from under a Warre to inspect for mites, there it was wrestling with a mite. I watched it for a few minutes and then did what I always had done- brushed everything off the board on to the ground and slid it back in. My bad, I just didn't know what it was at that time. But- here's the thing. That Warre was on a stand 18" off the ground, so these guys can climb. I really think that with "sump" bottom board boxes that collect colony debris that falls down, a colony of these creatures can develope.
 
Marty Mitchell
Posts: 312
Location: Chesapeake, Virginia
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That is good that they can climb. Maybe the colony will climb on up from the bottom of the hive to go on the hunt every night when things settle down.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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