Bee-made beetle jails

Discussion in 'Pests and Diseases' started by Bigwig, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. Bigwig

    Bigwig New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I have a hive that has been slow with their comb building for the last few weeks. Nectar flow is good, weather is hot but not much rain. They have been slow to fully build out comb in frames with starter strips. A few frames were only about 70% perhaps. By comparison my other hive is rockin' it with both brood chambers fully drawn and full of nectar or capped honey, etc.

    When I was pulling frames with the first hive the other day, I discovered that the bees had built beetle jails between the tops of the bottom frames and the bottoms of the upper frames. They did this on at least two frames. They had used propolis down the length of the frame.

    As soon as I had broken the seals (unaware of what was about to happen) a fair number of beetles scattered to the winds and ran for cover throughout the hive, with a few bees in hot pursuit.

    I'm concerned that this hive is spending too much time battling the beetles, and therefore is behind in comb and honey production for the winter (1st year colony). I don't think this colony has reached a level of strength to be able to hold the beetle numbers at bay. While I don't want to set the beetles free every time I'm pulling frames, I also need to pull them to check on the progress of the colony. What to do?

    PS I do have a SBB as well as beetle traps within the hive, although I'm thinking I might need a second trap.
     
  2. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    Were both hives started the same time? Are you using foundationless frames? My 2 new hives (started from packages this spring) are the same way, 1 fast-the other slow. From reading other posts in this forum-I understand this is normal. No 2 are alike. I've not experienced SHB like you have, but I think you should try another trap, or 2, or 3. Elsewhere in the forum you can find an interesting idea for using CD cases as beetle traps. Good luck.
    Rodger
     

  3. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    using foundation is a great help to the bees as they need only draw out the cell walls rather then the much thicker and more resource consuming foundation. If I remember correctly it takes something like 6 lb of nectar to make one lb of honey, and 6 lb of honey to manufacture 1 lb of wax if those numbers are even close, then extrapolate out what it takes to make the 50 lbs of wax in a large hive, and the 100 of honey with nectar being collected one drop at a time.
    Barry