What am I seeing? Need help with SHB

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Tia, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. Tia

    Tia New Member

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    Must admit, I don't know much about SHB, so I'm looking for help/info. As you know, I took the West traps off yesterday. Beetles and larva in all of them. . .not too many, but enough. What bothers me is a couple of the hives had this stuff that almost looked like Cream of Wheat! Little, tiny white dots all glued together by the oil. I'm old and can't see too good, but I'm thinking they may be infinitesimal SHB larva, like before they start growing and getting fat. Is that what you think I'm seeing? I had the traps on for 10 days and Jennifer Keller from the NC State University Bee Lab suggested I take them off for a while (although I don't know what defines "a while"). If this is an infestation, when do you think I should put them back on?
     
  2. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    The larvae will look like quite small almost needle like white worms. If they are on your bottom boards, I'd take the supers off and clean the bottom boards. Dump them in front of some of your chickens and see if they will eat them. If not, dump them in a bucket w/ some gas or kerosene. That'll kill 'em.

    I don't know anything about the use of traps. I defer to iddee and those who do.

    Good luck and I'm glad you are back asking questions. I felt bad about how you were treated, especially on beesource and have felt somewhat responsible. Please forgive me.
     

  3. Tia

    Tia New Member

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    sqkcrk, Thanks for the sensitive last paragraph of your note. I never felt I was mistreated here on this forum. But I have not returned to beesource and will not. I still view the forum because I think Michael Bush is a geniuis (like Iddee), but I'm making no further comments. I think the folks there have power issues. I never professed to be smart just because I have a MB cert. The point I was trying to make is that no matter how much you learn, you never know it all! You will note, too, that the folks at beesource didn't make even one constructive criticism and I got all my information on how to handle the situation here at beekeeping forums!

    Anyway, about the larva. I can see the larva and I know they're shb because they're hard, not squishy like wax worms. But these things I'm talking about are like the head of a pin. Upon closer inspection, they are curled like young larva, and I'm pretty sure they must be the youngest form of SHB larva but want an expert's confirmation of that fact. I have screened bottom boards, and these critters have fallen through the screen, then through the top screen on the West trap and drowned in oil in the pan below. Because of the oil, I can't give them to my chickens, so I just put them in a plastic bag in the garbage and took them to the dump. When I don't have the traps on, everything just falls through the sbb and onto the ground. The chickens do a lot of scratching under the hives and I'm sure they eat a lot of these guys.
     
  4. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    Oh, I didn't understand that that was the way it is. Sounds to me like you are doing the right thing. i guess one of your questions was, "how soon to put the traps back on?" Is that right? What was the point of taking them off? I missed that part.
     
  5. Tia

    Tia New Member

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    You're not supposed to leave the traps on all the time. Jennifer Keller said ten days was more than enough, and I've heard that from others as well. So I took them off, but don't know if or when I'm supposed to put them back on!
     
  6. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    Are the traps supposed to be for collecting adult SHBs? (that sounds kinda funny, adult small hive beetles)

    Maybe after a week or two there would be more to collect.

    Check out the life cycle of the SHB. Maybe that would give you a clue. Or what about where you got the trap from. Didn't it come w/ directions and suggested usage?
     
  7. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I'm not familiar with that trap, but it sounds like newly hatched SHB larva. What kind of oil are you using? I would use cooking oil and go ahead and feed them to the chickens.
     
  8. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    W/ a little saute'd garlic perhaps? mmm
     
  9. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    Tia:
    the primary thing with shb is first don't throw them on the ground. if you see them is large enough numbers as larvae then you have very significant kind of problem. my second line of defense is a large pot and some kind of burnable fluid... everything that hits the bottom board gets burned and not tossed <tossing on the ground likely increases the severity of the problem. my first line of defense is my honey house freezer. any frames that have significant problem get frozen for a minimum of 24 hours.

    almost always the frames that create the largest problem for me have significant quantities of pollen which seems to set the reproductive capacity of the shb into super drive.

    some hive with significant shb problems I add a frame of sealed brood to boast numbers and I typically always feed a dribble of syrup just to get them growing once again.
     
  10. Tia

    Tia New Member

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    Iddee, it is cooking oil in some and others have fgmo, which I'm sure is okay, too. It's just that I was afraid all that oil would give my chickens diarrhea!
    Tecumseh, I figured the problem might be a big one. It's in 2 of my 6 hives. Do you feel I should put the traps back on right away? Jennifer seemed to think they should come off for a week or two and then repeat. Rest assured, I never throw any detritis from the hive onto the ground. . .unless the chickens are right there to eat it up! In this instance, I just sent the bag of oil/detritis to the dump. Is that a problem? I do know about freezing frames as I've done that in the past.
    So far as adding a frame, from all appearances from the outside (it's been so hot, I haven't been able to muster the courage to go in) both these hives are just busting with bees. Do you still feel I should add a frame of sealed brood?
    Thanks, you guys, for all this good information. I need to learn a lot when it comes to SHB.
     
  11. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper New Member

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    Read a letter to the editor in a resent (June 2010) bee culture mag. It was all about SHB not liking light so the author (Stephen Homewood) used a white opaque lexan cover on his hives to drive the bettles out.

    :mrgreen: Al
     
  12. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    oil won't hurt your chickens, ours really enjoy it and it makes their feathers just gleam!
     
  13. Tia

    Tia New Member

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    Al, our club president told us about that article. Sounds like a good plan, no? so where does one get lexan covers?
    Mama, thanks for the info. Perhaps next time my chicks will feast!
     
  14. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    Tia:
    I am not certain I understand the idea of removing the traps. Perhaps you could inquire as to why the person in question thinks this is important??? Could be something there and it would be an interesting angle to explore.

    I would fear a lexan cover would create a hot house in my hives.. the idea sounds a bit far fetched to me.

    at anytime that I notice highly infested frames I would freeze and then reinsert. once the plague is halted the bees do a wonderful job of cleaning up the mess themselves. If the hive seem to be low in population I would boost with a frame of sealed brood. If the hive was not growing I would add a small amount of feed to try to encourage the hive to continue to grow.

    At the end of the day some of my bees do not tolerate the shb at all. The hives I notice that propolize the heaviest seem to not tolerate the shb at all.
     
  15. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper New Member

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    You can get lexan form Lowe's and Home Depot. I don't know about over heating as the fellow who wrote the letter was in Flordia.
    I would also think with the cover being white it would reflect and with screen bottom boards the girls could fan air thru the colony.
    But who am I to know up here in santa cluse land. I just read things and pass intresting things along.

    :mrgreen: Al