Small hive beetle update September

Waaaalllll . . . I’ve been out of contact for a bit.  Still have my last hive but it’s got very few bees.  I got my Freeman Beetle trap, and in these few months have changed it out several times, recycling the oil after straining out the bits.  The hive collected hundreds of beetles that flew back to lay eggs.

Freeman beetle trap, hive beetle, small hive beetle, oil trap, bee pests

Small hive beetles initially trapped by the Freeman trap

This is what it looked like once a week for several times.  These were NOT beetles that were in the hive, but those that entered after I sanitized it and reduced its size.

Small hive beetles collected from Freeman trap

Small hive beetles strained from oil for a head count

I now open the hive periodically and dust with powdered sugar to roust the bees into chasing beetles, which consequently drop off into the oil trying to get away from them.

And, after feeding the bees on the front of the hive, which instigated robbing from (I don’t know where they came from, since I only have one hive), I put a spacer on the top, and fed them from zip lock bags with holes in them.  This, and reducing the front entrance down to two bees width, solved the robbing, and, I suspect being able to defend against more beetles!

BIG NOTE HERE, and the main reason I am reposting is that I found out, through feeding squeezed out wax remains, and from examining the oil dead beetles something very interesting.  LOOK HERE

Small hive beetle size comparison

The SMALLER of the three dead beetles is a BABY

When I compared what was in the oil, I found that many of the beetles were smaller, lighter, and would be impossible to even see if you were looking for a regular sized hive beetle.  The same goes for the larvae.  The larvae vary in size just as much, and can hide in cracks you could stick a razor blade into.  So y’all keep an eye out and bring your magnifier to the hives, because you wouldn’t even see these babies!  I know I didn’t, and it made me regret that I left two of the original frames in the last hive.

ON A GOOD NOTE  I think my remaining bees have made about three queen cells.  But the remaining bees would only fill one honey super, period.  I don’t think they will survive the winter if not fed religiously.  I definitely am going to have to order a couple of packages of bees in a month or so for next years starting over . . .  Just call my last hive an experiment, because that’s what it’s been.

ANOTHER NOTE  They say that small hive beetle can’t survive a cold winter without the bees to keep them warm, as they live within the bee cluster.  So if my last hive dies, maybe the beetles will die too?

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The smaller of those three beetles isn’t a baby, it’s a varroa mite.

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    • Waaal, the picture was rather out of focus/blurry, and actually was a crop from a bigger picture. It didn’t show the details well. But there were a lot of those in my huge bowl of beetles, and they all had shells and legs just like the adults. But you might be right, so I’ll check again and see if I have any better pics of them. Thanks for drawing my attention to that. I’d never had many varroa, so I’ll keep an eye out. I’ll check that right now in fact. You got me curious!

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  2. I think it’s in the U.S., Australia, Canada, and some others. Let me get back with you on that one, because it may have changed since I researched it. I know that it’s on the Hawaiian Islands also. There is also a website with a map that shows the spread of it across the U.S. and in the rest of the world, which I will find and post for everyone. I do know that “they” whomever they are, are worried that it might affect wild populations of bees also.

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  3. Is the beetle only present in the continent of north America?

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