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Discussion Starter #1
I know I may step on some toes with this but when I get my bees I am going to try to let the bees do their own thing, stay away from poisons and treat matters with natural things as much as possible. Clean with tea tree oil etc. We have become so dependant on medicines and chemicals that it is out of hand. It is killing our bees, our wildlife and is killing us slowly.

I think if we keep our bees healthy as possible we wouldn't need that harsh stuff. Before man stepped in, they collected their honey and did fine. (Of course I don't know the first thing about bees but the more natural something is the better it is too.) How can you go wrong with that?
 

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My husband and I are new beekeepers (spring of 08), and we are going as natural as we can. I am putting absolutely nothing toxic in the hive. I just noticed we have hive beetles, and I read that some control can be had with "roach motels" which I think I am going to put on the bricks below the hive. I do know that things are different now than in years past. The mites and beetles and other pests are new to the US. We just spent a day at a bee workshop and heard a very inspiring speaker who pointed out that the only thing we do when we poison the hive is to selectively breed pests that can withstand the poisons -- not to mention the damage that it can do to the bees AND the honey, which we eat! I would welcome any and all suggestions on keeping bees chemical free.
 

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A few hive beetles in a strong hive isn't a big deal - a lot of hive beetles in a weak hive is a big deal.

I noticed that the hives in direct sunlight have few problems with hive beetles so I moved all my hives into direct sunlight a few years ago and it made a big improvement. Hard on the beekeeper but better on the bees.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
CFF,

Where do you live? I thought constant sunlight would be too much for the bees?? Here in NC last year we had a lot of days in the 90's and several in the 100's. Wouldn't that be too hard on the bees? Could cover the hive I guess for some shade.

By the way what kind of bees do you have and why that kind? I'm trying to decide what kind I want to buy and would love others in put.
 

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I have had luck using beetle traps baited with cooking oil. You place them in the hive and check them now and then and you will keep the beetles under control. There are a couple of tricks. First use twist ties to attach the top ladder to the bottom. This helps when you try to remove the trap after the bees have waxed it in. Second fill the trap with oil after you place it between the frames. You can get a small syringe that is used to give small children meds. at the drug store to do this. I don't remember the name of the trap but it comes in two parts that snap together. One part looks like a ladder and the other part is a 4 inch long tray that you fill with cooking oil.
I have one in each hive and the work great. I also keep the hives in the sun and have not had a problem even on 100 degree days. The bees will beard on the outside if it really gets hot. I have screened bottom boards in the hives. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi Kman;

Where did you get these beetle traps? They seem like a neat thing for the hive. How often do you change them? Is that what they are called? Thanks.
 

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Busybee:
I looked around a bit to find the name because I picked mine up at a beekeeping show. The name of the trap is AJ's Beetle Eater and you can get them from Dadant, Cataloge # M01541 at a cost of $5 or $4 if you order 5. I have one in each hive and check them when I inspect the hive. The first week I had a dozen dead bugs and I seem to get a couple to a few every time I check. Be sure to use twist ties so you can get it out without much problem. Also be sure to place them in the hive and then fill them. I have used olive oil and canola oil and they both work. Good luck, they work great for me.
 

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The concept of people stepping in and over-managing the ways of nature , are summed up in one line of a song;
"And the hand of man creeps across the face of the world"
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hey Kman,

This may be just what a lot of folks will eliminate one more problem of their bee keeping. Thanks! Have you ever tried setting them outside the box so they wouldn't even have to enter?
 

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Busybee:
I haven't tried that. I like going in to see what is going on to much. I check the hives every 2 or 3 weeks and just add checking the traps to my things to do list. It will only add a few mins to check and refill the traps. I should also tell you to bring a couple of paper towels with you to empty the traps into and count the beetles. I only want to get rid of the bugs that get into the hives anyway.
 
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