My brainstorm on SHB

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by brooksbeefarm, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Last year was the first time i seen any in my yards (2 out of 6) and they say you can never get rid of them :cry: . A speaker at our bee club said when they lay eggs in the hive and hatch into larva they have to crawl and burrow into the ground to become an adult beetle. My brainstorm, with the SBB the larva would fall to the ground or crawl to the ground, well if a person would treat the ground around and under the hive with cool or hot lye wouldn't that kill the larva and keep the shb population down? Just a thought. Jack
     
  2. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    The year that we had the worst bout with them we finally (after getting some good advice) put ashes under the hives and all around them. The next year we had far fewer, but still had some. We moved the hives to a different spot later on that year and forgot the ashes and have had nothing but shb headaches ever since. Once it's finished snowing and all I think I'll have the kids put the ashes under the hives again.
     

  3. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    the ashes will also help to contro ants getting ito the hives, not much but enough to make a difference. Put them around the post, cinder blocks or what ever you have your hives sitting on.

    G3
     
  4. wfuavenger

    wfuavenger New Member

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    you can always try a ground drench called guardstar or nematodes...
     
  5. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    Please explain nematodes? They sound really hard to catch.
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    well they are mama beek since they are so small you need a microscope to detect the little buggers. they are quite a bit like microscopic earth worms. long ago I work in the Nematology lab at the University of Florida (one of two jobs I held down during my undergraduate days).

    I have though of something along the same line Jack. Although I think I first thought that a goodly does of ammonia nitrate to burn everything would be the route I would try. I think anything you can do to eliminate or reduce vegetation or organic matter around the base of the hive (I don't think the little larvae can crawl so well) would limit numbers.

    ps... when you find an infected hive burn everything on the bottom board.
     
  7. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    Thanks for explaining nematodes! I would never have guessed by the name that they are a microscopic anything though. Are they very effective? I uploaded the pic of what I saw in my minds eye...nematode, that's just a doozy of a name ain't it.
     

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  8. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Mama Beek, the wood ashes would be about the same as using lye. I'm old enough to remember grandma's V shaped ash dump that she would pour water in and have a pan under it to catch the water when it ran through the ashes. She took that liquid and made lye soap. Jack
     
  9. labeekeeper

    labeekeeper New Member

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    Please don't think me completley ignorant, but what about clear plastic under the hive ?? :frustrated:
     
  10. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    labeekeeper, it might work, but to me, i think the plastic would draw to much heat from the sun and the larva could just crawl off of it on to the ground? My thought on using lye, is that i thimk the lye would kill the larva as soon as it made contact with it, but i don't know how long it would stay in the ground or how often to apply it. Jack
     
  11. wfuavenger

    wfuavenger New Member

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    nematodes are being tested right now as a IPM way of killing SHB. They are VERY tiny and worm like. As the SHB larvae come down into the ground to pupate, the nematodes attack and eat the developing SHB and any other larvae in the ground. They leave the bees in the hive alone.
     
  12. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    And there are no negatives to the use of nematodes? How does a person get them? How expensive are they? How often do they need to be reapplied, or re-populated, or whatever the correct word is?

    I would never have thought about clear plastic! Would there be any other benefit to using it? What are the costs and drawbacks to such a plan? How often would it have to be replaced and what kind of maintenance would it require?

    Hmmm. I don't know. For us, the ashes made a significant difference in the number of beetles that we saw, didn't cost a dime, and easily obtained in abundance, harm absolutely nothing, and are very easy to apply and maintain. I'm just curious about the nematodes because I've not heard of them and like to learn I guess. I'm all for better ways of doing things, I just have a hard time finding them sometimes.
     
  13. labeekeeper

    labeekeeper New Member

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    Mama Beek
    Hmmm. I don't know. For us, the ashes made a significant difference in the number of beetles that we saw, didn't cost a dime, and easily obtained in abundance, harm absolutely nothing, and are very easy to apply and maintain

    Any certain type of ashes & how often do you apply them and how ?
     
  14. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    We heat with a fireplace insert, so whatever ashes come out of there are what we use. Usually mostly oak, a little hickory and occasional maple are the woods we burn. They are just poured under the hives to cover the ground fairly generously. Since we always have plenty of ashes we are sure to be looking for a place to spread more and just add to the place under the hives whenever it starts looking like it's getting thin. Super easy.

    We do also burn any debris that comes off the bottom boards too. For a time we were placing corrugated cardboard in the hive bottoms and burning that the next day, but stopped after we forgot to change it out a couple of times. The shb traps in Fatbeeman's videos are easy to make and put in the hives too.

    The first season we had the bees we seemed to be in a constant battle with those beetles. Toward the end of that summer we tried the ashes for the first time. We had no more trouble with the beetles until after we moved the hives and forgot the ashes underneath.....ended up losing a hive before we realized that was what we had done. Now all of the hives are in full sun with ashes underneath :) Two of the hives have the traps I mentioned in them as well since they are the ones that sat in the spot without ashes.
     
  15. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    I ordered nematodes from a gardening supply company to help with my Japanese beetle infestation. My main issues with them are that they basically require you to take a leap of faith. They are not cheap, and then I got in the mail a plastic bag of unidentifiable brown powder. You can't actually see the things! I applied as directed, but saw no noticeable difference last year. Maybe it takes longer. But then I wonder if I am seeing an effect of the nematodes, or just the natural strong/weak cycle of the pest.

    I guess I don't regret buying nematodes, but I'm still not entirely sure that I didn't get taken for a ride.
     
  16. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Hobie, you sound like me from the show me state, if i can't see it it's hard for me to to believe. I've never heard of nematodes, but then i'm just an old sprout cutter. :confused:My Dad told me of a cousin who sent off (cost a dollar) for a sure way to get rid of the cucumber beetle, he read this in a mag. (This was back when they made ten cents an hour) hardly anything will kill them. When he got his letter back it said, place beetle between thumb and forefinger and squeeze :mrgreen: . So if i got a sack of brown powder for my money? maybe someone out there can explain this more clearly. I hope it works for you Hobie. Jack
     
  17. rast

    rast New Member

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    All that will work very well for the ones in the immediate vicinity of the hive. The problem seems to be the ones that will fly for a mile or more to re infest the hive. Also studies at the UF have shown that they do not have to go to ground to mature. They can mature in the hive, especially with a "dirty" bottom board. You can dispute me if you like, but I know this is right from personal experience. I left a slide in a screen bottom board of a split last summer and the larva were maturing quite nicely in the junk on it when I did pull it.
     
  18. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    rast,i'm in no position to dispute anyone. Last year was the first time i'd ever seen a SHB, and only know what i've read about them on bee fourms. You hear and read so much about what to do and not what to do, that you don't know what to do? My 85 yr old beekeeping buddy had them (and stll has some) and got rid of most of them with a full SBB with a pan of cooking oil under it. Doing this, along with keeping a strong colony in full sun is the best way to fight them (he says) and it has been working. But you know what they say about asking 10 beekeepers. Hope someone comes up with something simple. Jack
     
  19. rast

    rast New Member

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    Didn't mean to sound "strong" with the dispute part, but I have read some that will swear they have to go to ground to mature. I "think" your 85 yr. old buddy is currently right, especially about the full sun. I think it was year before last I had a single hive in a location that had them bad. Shaded til about 2 PM. I tried the boric acid in the corrugated plastic. It worked as long as it was left in there. When I removed it they were back within a month. Tried it twice. Moved the hive to full sun. The SHB dwindled to very few. I saw none "about" a month ago. One of two things, either I moved the hive away from a strong beetle infestation area, or the full sun. Maybe both, but it was only a 1/4 mile from my other hives originally and that is close enough for them to have problems if it is in a strong infestation area. All my individual bottom boards have a provision for the oil pans. I haven't yet had to resort to trying that. Another time and monetary expense. Especially the leveling part. I have found the shade to be more for my comfort than the bees even though a feral/swarm seems to like to build in the shade. My thoughts, FWIW, is that their genetics are still pre-SHB. Oh, by the way, that nuc I had them in is in the shade, gets only the morning sun. That's because I like to set in my lawn chair in the shade and just watch them.
     
  20. wfuavenger

    wfuavenger New Member

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