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Small Hive Beetle - chickens to break the life cycle?

 
Michael Cox
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Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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We don't have SHB here in the UK yet, but with all bee diseases it just seems to be a matter of time.

I have read that the larval stage of SHB requires some time in the soil to pupate, and that the larvae crawl out of the hive to burrow in the soil beneath. Could we break this aspect of the life cycle by integrating hens to our apiaries? I'm thinking that we could use elevated stands so that hens have enough room to forage and scratch underneath.

Top bar hives would be ideal for this as they already have decent stands and access for hens underneath.

Anyone tried integrating hens and bees in this way?
 
tel jetson
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Location: woodland, washington
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a previous thread mentioned the idea. seems promising, though maybe not a magic bullet.
 
Rob Browne
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Location: Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
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Could work but the best "cure" for the beetle that I have found is a strong hive that is in a box that is in good condition with as few hiding holes for the beetles as possible.
 
David Livingston
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Location: Anjou ,France
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Its spread to Italy I have no confidence in the Italian minestry of Ag to do anything about it

David
 
Michael Cox
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Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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Rob - do you have them in Australia? I was under the impression your bees had avoided varroa and SHB?

Regarding Italy - no country has yet managed to prevent their spread once they have arrived. I suspect it will become another management problem while the bees get accustomed to them.
 
Rob Browne
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Location: Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
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We certainly have the beetle Michael. So far we have been lucky on the varrora front though but its only a matter of time.
 
David Livingston
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I am told Portugal had an infection years ago and managed by taking early action to prevent the spread

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

David
 
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