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About Small Hive Beetles

Small Hive Beetle – Small hive beetle (SBH) or also known as the Aethina tumida is a well-known harmful pest that damages the honey bee hives and the honeycomb, the honey, and the pollen. Infestation of small hive beetles may force the bees to resort in abandoning their hive. The small hive beetle attacks or causes damage only to hives that are already stressed or weak caused by other factors. In healthy hives, worker bees will defend the hive from the small hive beetles, however, once the bees get outnumbered by SHB, the hive will get destroyed quickly.

How Small Hive Beetles cause damage:

As long as the bee population is higher or sufficient enough while the small hive beetle population is small, the hive should be okay. Otherwise, the SHB can really negatively impact the hive. Unfortunately, the small hive beetle in both larval & adult stages prey on honeybee eggs and brood.

The feeding habits of SHB larvae can cause visual damage to bee colonies. Small hive beetle larvae go through the honeycomb, producing slime in the combs causing destruction to the honey, however, they don’t always damage the honeycombs.Small_hive_beetle

The adult SHB ruins the honey by defecating in it. In result, it ferments the honey and will no longer be fit for consumption for the bees. The fermentation of honey produces a bad odor which the honeybees do not like.

How to detect Small Hive Beetles

Adult SHBs can be easily seen during inspections found running underside the cover and on the top bar of the frames. Larvae SHBs are in clusters in the corners of the hive or the frames. Larva that are not in clusters & not scattered are Wax moth larvae, not small hive beetle larvae. Older SHB larvae move near light sources and one way to remove them is placing a light source underneath the hive. It allows them to move closer to the exit and making them fall on the ground the closer they get to the light source.

Sweep the small hive beetles and drown them in soapy water.

How to Control and Prevent SHB

Small_hive_beetleThe best and most important thing to do is keeping the apiary clean. Other ideas to reduce SHB:

– Place the hives wherein they can receive direct sunlight since SHB prefers the shade.

-Make sure the hives and frames are always in top condition. Rotten or holey ones attract SHB.

-The bottom boards need to be cleaned regularly or make use of screen bottom boards to avoid the buildup of debris which would provide the SBH habitat.

Any insecticide might be able to remove the small hive beetles, but it would also affect the bees. The best way so far is to regularly check the hives and keep everything clean and in great condition.

Good luck and Happy Beekeeping!

About Small Hive Beetles

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A Guide to Capturing a Bee Swarm

Capturing a Bee Swarm – No matter how much you take care of your bees, they will always end up leaving the hive together with their queen in order to create a new, independent hive. During this time, before your bee population gets smaller and smaller, you would need to find a new swarm of bees to replace the old one.

Steps to Take When Capturing a Bee Swarm

When you notice that your bees have started to become lesser and lesser, it’s an indication that you have to capture a new hive. Say that you saw a swarm somewhere near your house and you want Capturing a Bee Swarmto capture it with to replenish your beehive, here are the steps you can take:

Assess the Situation

Before you start cutting off the swarm, it’s important that you assess the situation first before taking action. If it’s just within an arm’s reach, don’t hesitate. However, if it’s up above a tree branch where you’d need a ladder to capture it and whether or not it’s dangerous or if it’s worth the risk or not.

When planning on capturing a bee swarm, you would need to do it fast since swarms usually don’t settle around one location for long. You also have to make sure that you’ll be capturing a genuine swarm and not an established hive already since it can be more difficult to relocate.

Prepare Your Tools

Wearing the right kind of protection is vital when you’re capturing bees. Although they can be submissive, it’s still important to keep yourself protected should the situation turn for the worst. The most important gears to wear are bee suit, gloves, and a veil to protect your face and head.

When you’re ready to capture the swarm, you would also need a box to keep the bees in to get them ready to be transported to their new home.  For instance, a breathable cardboard box will do.

Secure the Queen Bee

Capturing_a_Bee_SwarmA colony of bees won’t survive without their queen. One of the goals of capturing a bee swarm is to get the majority of it and the only way you can do this is if you catch the queen with them as well. The honeybees need their queen to successfully establish the hives.

In capturing the bees, if you see the bees hanging in a low branch, you can easily place a box underneath the branch and cut it off using a pair of clippers. However, if it’s in a larger branch, you can start shaking the branch slowly while holding the box underneath it. If you can’t get the majority of them using the previous steps, go in and transfer the bees to the box by your hands.

Take Them Home

Once you’re satisfied with the amount you’ve captures, it’s time to get the in their new homes. After transferring them to their new hive, you have to give them at least a week to regroup and acclimatize to the new environment. It’s also the time where the bees start creating a new comb without disruptions.

Good luck and Happy Beekeeping!

A Guide to Capturing a Bee Swarm

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All About Capturing a Bee Swarm

All About Capturing a Bee SwarmNo matter how much you take care of your bees, they will always end up leaving the hive together with their queen in order to create a new, independent hive. During this time, before your bee population gets smaller and smaller, you would need to find a new swarm of bees to replace the old one.

Steps to Take When Capturing a Bee Swarm

When you notice that your bees have started to become lesser and lesser, it’s an indication that you have to capture a new hive. Say that you saw a swarm somewhere near your house and you want to capture it with to replenish your beehive, here are the steps you can take:

1. Assess the Situationcapture bee swarm

Before you start cutting off the swarm, it’s important that you assess the situation first before taking action. If it’s just within an arm’s reach, don’t hesitate. However, if it’s up above a tree branch where you’d need a ladder to capture it and whether or not it’s dangerous or if it’s worth the risk or not.

When planning on capturing a bee swarm, you would need to do it fast since swarms usually don’t settle around one location for long. You also have to make sure that you’ll be capturing a genuine swarm and not an established hive already since it can be more difficult to relocate.

2. Prepare Your Tools

Wearing the right kind of protection is vital when you’re capturing bees. Although they can be submissive, it’s still important to keep yourself protected should the situation turn for the worst. The most important gears to wear are bee suit, gloves, and a veil to protect your face and head.

bee swarmWhen you’re ready to capture the swarm, you would also need a box to keep the bees in to get them ready to be transported to their new home.  For instance, a breathable cardboard box will do.

3. Secure the Queen Bee

A colony of bees won’t survive without their queen. One of the goals of capturing a bee swarm is to get the majority of it and the only way you can do this is if you catch the queen with them as well. The honeybees need their queen to successfully establish the hives.

In capturing the bees, if you see the bees hanging in a low branch, you can easily place a box underneath the branch and cut it off using a pair of clippers. However, if it’s in a larger branch, you can start shaking the branch slowly while holding the box underneath it. If you can’t get the majority of them using the previous steps, go in and transfer the bees to the box by your hands.

4. Take Them Home

Once you’re satisfied with the amount you’ve captures, it’s time to get the in their new homes. After transferring them to their new hive, you have to give them at least a week to regroup and acclimatize to the new environment. It’s also the time where the bees start creating a new comb without disruptions.

All About Capturing a Bee Swarm

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