Small Hive Beetles

I can’t say enough about small hive beetles (SHB) because they’re the pests that wiped out my two hives. The loss comes down to good housekeeping. I failed miserably.

I believe one of my hives absconded because of the larvae were eating the honey stores and virtually taking over the hives. Who knows what happened to the other one; it was a new nuc that I had recently purchased. They died out or left.

I’ve never seen so many larvae. This was an expensive lesson — in many, many ways.

The sites below are the ones I turned to when I needed to know how to kill these bugs and clean up my hives.

As for as cleaning the frames, I followed a fellow beek’s advice, Mark Smith of Flatwoods Bee Farm, I put the frames in with my chickens, sat back and watched the show. The chickens pecked everyone of those little larvae out of the frames.

I put the frames on large, flat cardboard boxes, after being in the sun for several hours, the remaining larvae would hide from the sun by crawling down. They were on the cardboard — easy pickings for chickens. I turned the frames over two or three times then let the chickens clean them up.

I also put the brood boxes in with the chickens. If there were any bugs, the birds got them.

Since then I’ve learned of many traps available for SHB. Next spring when I get more bees, every one of my hives will have more than one SHB trap, I don’t care what the experts say. I’m gonna use traps. Please do your research and decide which trap is best for you. You have several types to choose from.