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Hive Beetle Trap Options

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    Brie Walter

    Hi, I noticed a couple of hive beetles in my last hive check. Only saw two, but am looking into options if I need to do something to maintain. Has anyone tried baiting the beetles? I saw this youtube video:


    susan rudnicki

    HI, Brie—this has been a discussion topic fairly often, but here are some things to keep track of—hives in shade, on moist ground and struggling in vigor can have problems with SHB. A strong hive can have a few easily, but they will keep the beetles corralled up under the top board, often with “fences” of propolis. SHB is often a signal of a underlying problem, in other words. Two is no big deal.

    Ruth Askren

    I do get plagued with a fair amount of shb uprisings from time to time and I use as many tools against them as I can muster. If there’s any way to control the dampness factor that is a major cause of shb infestations… but in some yards you don’t get choices of where to put a hive. So you try to stand them down.

    In some locations there will always be one or two beetles in the hive. Don’t worry about that. It’s when you see 1 or 2 dozen of them running around on the top board, then you know you have a very big problem and you must take action. And make no mistake, beetles CAN take down a hive.

    It’s of primary importance when dealing with shb’s that you maintain a high ratio of bees per frame in the hive. If there’s a whole empty box worth of frames, take them off. Consolidate and compress. If it’s in 10 frame boxes consider moving it into 8-frame, in order to better consolidate and remove a few barely-used frames.

    This sounds brutal but you MUST kill every hive beetle you see. Each one of those little skunks (female) can produce hundreds if not thousands of eggs. KILL! 🙁

    Even if the area around the hive is dappled sunlight or has an automatic drip system nearby, putting the hive up on cinderblocks or pavers will mitigate the ease with which beetles can fly in to the hive. Since they pupate in the soil, a solid, sweepable ground cover also means they can’t pupate right under your beehive, the easier to push themselves in at maturity.

    The “beetle blaster” trap (Larry carries them at LA Honey) I found to be totally ineffectual when I tried it last year, but I only used oil in them and I’m told if you put vinegar in as well it really does work. But it puts drippy crap in the hive that spills on the comb, is hard to handle and the bees would never want it inside their quarters.

    So I have come down to relying completely on the Freeman Beetle Board ( which also comes in a style with ventilation. They are pricey but I have have seen them provide almost total conquest, where 90% of the problem goes away. Also, it doesn’t add anything biological or chemical to the hive interior, since the oil tray remains separated from the bees by screen.

    Now if I could just get Irv to come up with a simpler and cheaper design…

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