Author Topic: Is this SHB (photo)?  (Read 7171 times)

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Offline SmokeyBee

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Is this SHB (photo)?
« on: July 08, 2017, 03:10:38 pm »
Saw 6-7 of theses little bugs on the underside of the inner cover on both hives. As I was attempting to squish them, one flew off. I don't know if hive beetles can fly or not.

I was able to catch and photograph this one, barely alive. Is this SHB? Looks like it could be to me but I'm not sure.

Thanks in advance - Smokey




Offline SmokeyBee

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Re: Is this SHB (photo)?
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2017, 03:17:14 pm »
Not sure why the second photo didn't work:




 :newhere:

Offline Perry

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Re: Is this SHB (photo)?
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2017, 03:57:38 pm »
 I'm not an expert on SHB, but first thing I noticed was the absence of the clubbed antennae. I vote no, they aren't SHB.
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Offline SmokeyBee

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Re: Is this SHB (photo)?
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2017, 04:01:14 pm »
I thought about that after looking it up on the bee health app.

Can they fly?

Offline Wandering Man

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Re: Is this SHB (photo)?
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2017, 04:16:31 pm »
My vote is Yes.

And yes, SHB can fly.  That's how they gain entrance to the hive.  The bees likely chased them up there, and they escaped their confinment when you opened the cover.  That seems to be standard operating procedure.  They bide their time until the beek comes along for an inspection.  Then they scurry out of their hidey places hoping to gain entrance to the hive while the beek frantically plays whack - a - mole with his or her hive tool.

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Offline Dunkel

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Re: Is this SHB (photo)?
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2017, 04:26:29 pm »
Lol, that sounds about how it goes here. And yes I am pretty sure that's one of these devils. They are just getting started in my area.  They haven't be an issue to much so far since I quit with the queens and the ones now are right.  But I did see some larva crawling in one hive. 
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Offline Lastfling

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Re: Is this SHB (photo)?
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2017, 05:06:17 pm »
I agree - looks like an SHB to me


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Offline Jen

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Re: Is this SHB (photo)?
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2017, 05:21:26 pm »
Good thread here  :nice: I've never seen a small hive beetle before
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Offline Riverrat

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Re: Is this SHB (photo)?
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2017, 08:25:50 pm »
Looks like a SHB however there is a smaller sap beetle that is just a hair smaller than the SHB that looks almost identical
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Offline brooksbeefarm

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Re: Is this SHB (photo)?
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2017, 12:47:25 am »
That's a SHB, Sorry your getting them. To me they are worse than the mite problem, when they take over a hive with larva crawling in and out of the combs leaving a slim every where  and thousands of larva piled up on the bottomboard and a hand full of bees trying to survive while the queen and workers have abscond. It's something you could ever think could happen, and will turn your stomach. Jack

Offline SmokeyBee

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Re: Is this SHB (photo)?
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2017, 08:59:51 am »
What form of treatment do you folks prefer? I know there are several options...

Thanks for all the replies

Offline Wandering Man

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Re: Is this SHB (photo)?
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2017, 09:23:00 am »
Primary defense is a strong hive.  The only time I had a hive overrun with SHB larvae was when I attempted a split and failed to put enough bees in the nuc.  I lost two frames in the hive to SHB, but discovered the problem before they completely took over.  I cleaned out the mess, added new frames and more bees, and the nuc went on to grow into my third hive.

My second defense has been the Freeman Bottom board.  It is a screened bottom board with a tray underneath that I keep either cooking oil or soapy water in.  The beetles (and mites) that fall or retreat down there die rather than climbing back out.  It requires management, especially if you are using soapy water, as the water will evaporate after two days.  I've recently purchased some beetle blocker shims, and will put one under a hive to see how well it works.

I have also used beetle blaster traps (with vegetable oil in the trap).  I see an occasional beetle in there, so I'm not sure how much that is working.  The same with a bit of a handy wipe (lots of folks are using swifter material these days).  It may be that I just don't have many SHB.  Or my other methods are working.

Sometimes I will pull the Freeman bottom board three days after cleaning it and putting in fresh water to do a mite count.  I'll usually find a few beetles in there as well as an occasional wax moth or beetle larvae.  One of the things the board does is prevent larvae of any pest from crawling out the front entrance and dropping to the ground to mature.
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Is this SHB (photo)?
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2017, 09:44:09 am »
Agree with Wandering Man.  A strong colony is your best line of defense.  The workers will keep them in check.  There are beetle traps, and cloth style squares that you lay on top of the top brood box frames.  Something I am trying this year is applying nematodes to the soil around the colonies but adding a second line of defense with the traps and cloths. There is also an insecticide product called Gardstar that you apply to the soil around the colonies.  I haven't used the under hive oil traps.  Perhaps not desperate enough yet.
SHB can fly for miles.  They also like soft soil, like a compost pile or garden. 
As brooksbeefarm says, the slime will turn your stomach.

Offline Lburou

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Re: Is this SHB (photo)?
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2017, 11:09:51 am »
That IS a small hive beetle (SHB).  The appendages are movable, so their appearance can change - Perry, I hope you never have to see these in your hives. 

In addition to keeping a strong hive, you want a clean hive.  Debris on the bottom board can accumulate and give both wax moths and SHB a place to grow or hide.  I clean bottom boards at least twice a year now. 

Mashing SHB works for me.  In a small or weak hive, I spend the time to mash everyone I can find.  In strong and weak hives, I like the Beetle Be Gone (BBG) towels.  I'm trying other swiffer-type cloths that may work at a lower cost and with local availability.  The small oil-filled traps and crisco lures with boric acid have not worked for me.  Below is a picture of a BBG towel that was about 5x7" when installed in the hive.  These bees wadded the towel up and put it out the front entrance full of SHB.  While you are looking at the picture, notice the color variation in these SHB.




As for tools to mash the SHB, a hive tool works on flat surfaces or reaching into cracks on the inner cover.  Sometimes I use a small screwdriver with the head cut off that fits into the cells without damaging the wall of the cell.  This tool gets them at the bottom of the cell and makes them flat (accompanied by a sense of satisfaction).  Friends use small pointed pliers, but that slows me down compared to the hive tool or cut off screw driver.  This would be a good time to point out that SHB lay eggs in any crack or crevice they can find (even under the caps of capped honey).  They hide in the cracks that give them cover to elude house bees that herd them into beetle jails made of propolis.  These jails are frequently in the top super and in the space between the top frames and the inner cover.  This is why you see SHB on the underside of the inner cover so often.  Have your hive tool ready when open the inner cover.  Check the bottom of the inner cover for SHB, you want to check it anyway in case the queen is strolling up there, (it does happen, and you don't want to inadvertently remove her from the hive).

In spring, you rarely see SHB.  In early to mid summer you see a few, and by fall they can have a huge population.  So, you can feed pollen substitute in spring without much problem.  When their population gets up, they will lay eggs on the patties and go to town...this gives them a leg up on taking over and slimming honey in the hive.  Feed small pieces of pollen sub from mid to late summer if you have smaller hives.  This year has very little honey here locally & we don't see SHB in hives without honey because their food source for the larva is the honey itself. (On a side note, wax moths will attack empty honeycomb because they eat the wax, cocoons and pollen remnants in empty honeycombs.) 

Three final thoughts:  1)  Be aware that in sub-saharan Africa where the SHB originated, they use rotting vegetation (melons and such) to raise their young.  You will see more SHB around rotting vegetation, so be a clean gardener. 2)  Hives in full sun seem to have fewer SHB. 3)  I read that a SHB is capable of smelling a bee hive ten miles away & fly there.

HTH   :)
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Offline SmokeyBee

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Re: Is this SHB (photo)?
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2017, 02:14:00 pm »
Wow, tons of good information here.

One of the things I've read (and has been reiterated above) is that the go after weak hives or hives that have been "over-supered". I'm new, but my opinion is that this is a very strong hive...bees are just stuffed in there. I have a deep with three mediums above it. Locals say we're in a dearth, but they managed to draw comb on the last medium in about 6 weeks. My theory is that they were getting pollen from one of the mega farms near me.

Anyway, I'll be going to my beekeeping supply guy on Monday to see about beetle traps and so on. I may have to stack another medium on there since they've filled everything up.

Thanks for all the great info!

Smokey

Offline Jen

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Re: Is this SHB (photo)?
« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2017, 02:23:39 pm »
"Wow, tons of good information here."

Hey Smokey, it's always like that here. This forum has been my #1 mentor for 6 years now... or maybe more, I forget  :D
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Offline Wandering Man

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Re: Is this SHB (photo)?
« Reply #16 on: July 09, 2017, 03:03:22 pm »
By the way, Smokey,

Jen has already outlined her plan for us if she should ever get SHB.

She plans to just vomit on them.

I don't think she's tried this approach to SHB management.  I'm not convinced it will work. 

I'm waiting for the day she has the opportunity to implement her plan so we will all know if it works.   :t3816:
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Offline SmokeyBee

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Re: Is this SHB (photo)?
« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2017, 03:42:18 pm »
Lburou (or anyone else)-

Do you typically treat the soil under the hive with anything?

Offline Wandering Man

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Re: Is this SHB (photo)?
« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2017, 04:36:34 pm »
I had forgotten that, like Bakers, I have sprayed nematodes under the hives.

I've also used Diatomaceous Earth, but mostly for keeping ants away from the hive.

Then, I'd heard of one beekeeper who allows ants to live near his hives.  While he treats the legs of his hive stands to keep the ants out of the hives, he feels that the ants are good at eating any larvae that jump out of the hive in search of incubation.

I've heard of people who will put down carpeting, or put their hives on a concrete slab so the larvae won't have anyplace to burrow.  But I'd read in American Bee Journal of a researcher who arrived at his office one day to find the SHB larvae had crawled down a flight of stairs and made it to the door.  Those little guys are survivors. 

The one time I had to clean up a hive, I had moved them onto the concrete floor of my workshop.  The larvae moved away from the central mess quickly.  And they were hard to kill. Sweeping them up did nothing to stop them.  They were pretty rubbery feeling, and you had to be pretty deliberate to smush them.
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Offline Jen

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Re: Is this SHB (photo)?
« Reply #19 on: July 09, 2017, 05:41:55 pm »
"The one time I had to clean up a hive, I had moved them onto the concrete floor of my workshop.  The larvae moved away from the central mess quickly.  And they were hard to kill. Sweeping them up did nothing to stop them.  They were pretty rubbery feeling, and you had to be pretty deliberate to smush them."

Uuuugh I'm already green.... Now why is it I can kill, gut, and skin a deer.... but I couldn't handle SHB slime....seriously I would have to throw in the towel.


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