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Author Topic: Small Hive Beetle  (Read 1237 times)

Offline Rick O.

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Small Hive Beetle
« on: September 29, 2015, 02:43:02 pm »
I popped the lid on one of my hives yesterday and found something I've never encountered before - SHB.  There were only about five of them but it was enough to send a red flag up in my mind.  The hive seems strong; great brood pattern and a great deal of honey stores (most of which they're in the process of capping).  My hives smell pungent, but nothing out of the ordinary given that we're in a honey flow (goldenrod).

I've been keeping bees now for the better part of seven years and this is my first encounter with SHB.  Should I be concerned at this point?  I am absolutely against putting anything foreign into my hives (i.e. no chemicals).  Is there a natural way of dealing with this?

Offline texanbelchers

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Re: Small Hive Beetle
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2015, 03:08:25 pm »
There are several trap methods.  I have found the bottom oil trays to be the most effective.  Is it foreign?  Well, yes.  Is it in the hive?  technically it is under a screened bottom board.  I have also read that screened inner covers and effective use of the hive tool remove many also.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Small Hive Beetle
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2015, 03:13:39 pm »
I've you've been in hives in areas that have significant small hive beetle populations you'll see hundreds of small hive beetles and the bees are handling it fine.  Five is nothing.
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Offline cao

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Re: Small Hive Beetle
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2015, 09:20:53 pm »
I'm in year three and have been dealing with them since day one.  Like Michael said five is nothing.  That's one of the many uses of your hive tool.  As long as the hive is strong they can handle many more than five.  I have screen bottom boards with oil pans.  They help.  I typically see some almost  every time I open my hives.  As long as your hive is strong, the bees will corral them in the corner and keep them in check.  I did have a weak nuc get overrun by them this year.  It wasn't a pretty sight.  Just keep your hives strong.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Small Hive Beetle
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2015, 11:08:05 pm »
Like everyone is saying, 5 is nothing. I checked my oil trays this evening. Some hives had none, some had few, one had about 300. I am not using oil this year. I use a 4" wide plastic scraper and kill them by flattening them by dragging it over them. I also killed a lot of carpenter ants and their eggs. They like the screen top boards. The 4" scraper also works best to take them out.
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Offline Foxhound

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Re: Small Hive Beetle
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2015, 09:25:17 pm »
I have heard good results from oil trays as well. I tend to depend on crushing with a hive tool as well. When you lift up the inner cover for the 1st time or lift off a box, you will often see them in groups between the ear of the frame and the rabbet of the box. That's a great place to crush a lot quickly, but you need to be fast.

Offline Joe D

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Re: Small Hive Beetle
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2015, 12:27:22 am »
I used to used oil trays, they would get to smelling and You would have to dump the oil and clean the pan and refill.  I started using a cheap dish washing liquid in some water.  If the SHB gets in it, it will kill him also.  It is a lots easier to clean too.  In the summer I check the level of the water and add some along, evaporation will lower the water level.  Several years ago I got SHB pretty good, I did use a ring Fipronil in a DVD case with a teaspoon of butter flavored Crisco in the middle.  That and the screens got my numbers down greatly.  When I quit seeing many, I quit using the Fipronil.  This past summer half my hives I saw none the others you would see 3 to 5.

Good luck with your bees

Joe D