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Author Topic: Preventing SHB from entering hives  (Read 5625 times)

Offline Dora

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Preventing SHB from entering hives
« on: December 21, 2023, 01:16:40 am »
I appreciate the information re oil trays under a SBB used as a beetle trap. To me, that makes more sense than small beetle traps at the top of a hive.

But I've been doing a bit of research on how to prevent SHB from entering hives in the first place. I read that they cannot hover, while bees can hover. e.g. "SHB fly like airplanes, with a straight trajectory and no capability of being able to hover. Bees, on the other hand, fly like helicopters, they can hover in any direction."
On that basis, a number of different entries have been devised to keep the SHB from entering hives. I wonder whether any members here have any experience in this area.

This video claims that a "Guardian Entrance" prevents SHB from entering:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PON8J9Mt9NM
I see comments under this video saying that SHB are very good at hovering, and someone noted that they can crawl upside down, contrary to the original poster.  :oops:

Another video claiming that beetles don't get in an entrance underneath the hive:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUmc-l0AyK8 A number of corroborating comments, with others questioning.
This information is pretty old, thus possibly outdated. I note that Michael Bush seems to indicate that SHB can get in through a 1/8" SBB. 😢

Another video on Guardian Entrance:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToxzhNmv_bM Comment indicate less than 100% effectiveness but a deterrent effect.

Apparently Guardian entrance causes bees to lose some pollen when they enter under the main entrance:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlEhaw85mbI Excellent close-up video from 2022!!
In a later video the "Bug Farmer" said it didn't really work for him. But this guy is a riot! See his video on "Eliminate ALL Hive Beetles the Easy Way: "In today's video we will introduce the BS-5K or the Beetle Sucker 5000.  I will effectively remove every single hive beetle in the Apiary in a single afternoon"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlEhaw85mbI Excellent close-up video from 2022!!
Beats smashing beetles! 🤣 Faster & less labor intensive.

Would appreciate any thoughts on how to keep SHB from entering hives in the first place. Even a deterrent that is not 100% fool-proof would be helpful. I read that SHB can fly 7 miles or so to find another hive to infest. So, although I didn't see any European honey bees in my garden this past year, there's no guarantee that the SHB won't find a new apiary. 😢

Is the bottom oil pan the best SHB solution you have found?
(If the SBB helps control varroa, the oil pan under a screen should do as well. I did like seeing the patterns on the white board under the screen showing me a bit of what was going on in the frames above without opening the hive.)

« Last Edit: December 21, 2023, 09:27:48 pm by Dora »
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Online Ben Framed

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Re: Preventing SHB from entering hives
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2023, 07:02:33 am »
Dora here is a little more information from on the hands experimentation attempts by some of us here at Beemaster concerning this subject.

https://beemaster.com/forum/index.php?topic=53444.msg482100#msg482100
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Offline Dora

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Re: Preventing SHB from entering hives
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2023, 10:37:48 pm »
Thanks for the link. I see some of you tried the same methods.

Unfortunately this thread was begun, but no follow-ups posted. 😢
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Online Ben Framed

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Re: Preventing SHB from entering hives
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2023, 11:05:15 pm »
It was about the time of the last post in that link that covid set in and my attention was diverted away from experimentation. I had forgotten about the topic until your post resparked my recollection. I do not know what happened in Mr Vans experiment.

Phillip
« Last Edit: December 21, 2023, 11:23:34 pm by Ben Framed »
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Dora

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Re: Preventing SHB from entering hives
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2023, 03:56:02 pm »
It was about the time of the last post in that link that covid set in and my attention was diverted away from experimentation. I had forgotten about the topic until your post resparked my recollection. I do not know what happened in Mr Vans experiment.

Phillip
Thanks for the explanation, Phillip. If there were a way to prevent the beetles from entering in the first place, it sure would be helpful.

I'm thinking of putting a permanent "robbing screen" over my entrances. I've seen several versions:
1) A screen over the whole entrance, with a bee-width gap at the top for bees to enter (rather than directly in at the bottom. Bees would have to land on the vertical hive wall, then crawl down. The main problem I see with this is that they would also have to haul debris and dead bees up and out.
2) A screen over the whole entrance with openings at both sides, rather than at the top.

It seems the screen needs to be finer than 1/8" mesh, since SHB could crawl through that. If the SHB are no smarter than robbing bees that should at least keep them out of the entrance.

Thoughts, anybody?
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Online The15thMember

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Re: Preventing SHB from entering hives
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2023, 05:17:44 pm »
I doubt a robbing screen would keep the SHB out.  They are used to having to sneak into the hives, so I'd imagine they'd be able to figure out any screen.  I often have robbing screens on my weaker colonies in the fall, and I've never noticed any reduction in SHB in those colonies.  Actually, the weaker colonies usually have more, because they are weaker.   
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Offline animal

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Re: Preventing SHB from entering hives
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2024, 02:31:54 am »
just .02 ... I put on a simple robbing screen (6" tall flat screen all the way across, spaced 3/4" from the front, open at the top) after an oil tray was in place for awhile. By the time the screen went up, the influx of beetles had tapered to just a few a week.... No noticeable difference in the number per week found in the pan.

fwiw ... When the beetles were coming in strong, they would fly in and land wherever on the hive  (usually on the front)...  and make a run to the entry. Their action was consistent with the idea that they fly in the general direction of the scent of the hive, land, get more specific bearings, and crawl FAST towards it. ... but I never attempted a Vulcan mind-meld with the little SOBs to make sure.

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Offline Dora

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Re: Preventing SHB from entering hives
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2024, 05:07:48 pm »
I doubt a robbing screen would keep the SHB out.  They are used to having to sneak into the hives, so I'd imagine they'd be able to figure out any screen.  I often have robbing screens on my weaker colonies in the fall, and I've never noticed any reduction in SHB in those colonies.  Actually, the weaker colonies usually have more, because they are weaker.

Confirmed by Philip:
just .02 ... I put on a simple robbing screen (6" tall flat screen all the way across, spaced 3/4" from the front, open at the top) after an oil tray was in place for awhile. By the time the screen went up, the influx of beetles had tapered to just a few a week.... No noticeable difference in the number per week found in the pan.

fwiw ... When the beetles were coming in strong, they would fly in and land wherever on the hive  (usually on the front)...  and make a run to the entry. Their action was consistent with the idea that they fly in the general direction of the scent of the hive, land, get more specific bearings, and crawl FAST towards it. ... but I never attempted a Vulcan mind-meld with the little SOBs to make sure.

Well, so much for that idea, then! 😒 I was thinking of a screen arrangement exactly like you describe, Philip.

 
Starting beekeeping again in Texas Hill Country.
Aiming for natural beekeeping with
anti-biotic and chemical-free bees.