Honeyflow.com | FAQ's | Community |

Diatomaceous earth


Now I know bees fall into the bug category and diatomaceous earth would kill bees, but I have a thought and want to know what other more experienced beekeepers have to say about it.
Because I don’t see the bees crawling in front of their hive on the ground really ever wouldn’t putting a ring of diatomaceous earth be beneficial for keeping other pests out of the hive ie. Mites, ants and maybe the hive beetle. Or under the pallet that I have them on,


It would probably be fairly safe if you put it on the ground around the hives. I have seen my bees land on the ground around the hive but only very few of them.

It probably wouldn’t be all that effective against mites or hive beetles though IMO. Hive beetles fly in so they would be landing on your hive, or landing board. And mites mainly reproduce in the hive from mites your bees already have on them. If new mites get introduced it is usually from transmission from other bees in the area not from walking into the hive.


I regularly use DE in a beetle trap (Beetltra) which sits under the hive and another (silver bullet) in between frames, they are both very effective. Have never used it around the hive and I think its effectiveness would be negligible, to treat the ground for pupating beetle larva I use nematodes in the summer, they can be bought from specialist breeders. Another reason I don’t like to treat around the base of the hive is that I see young bees crawling sometimes and the odd forager who missed the entrance, bounced and fell on the ground.


Could you please send me a link to what your using here. Just want to read and understand a bit more


Hi Marty,
I use a nematode thats available on order here in Australia from www.ecogrow.com.au , I am sure it could also be ordered in the states too. The nematode strain (Heterorhabditis bacteriophora) has been found to be the most effective in killing beetle in the larva and pupating stages. I water the nematode solution in to the ground around the hives with a watering can. They need damp soil and warm conditions for effectiveness and the treatment should last several weeks and then you re-apply. Attaching a link to a paper which tested their effectiveness specifically on SHB.


This place is out of Tucson and I have used their other nematodes in the past to control ticks and fleas.


How often is it recommend to change out the dim earth in your trap/bottom board?


I change mine when the old stuff is looking a bit crusty… depends on the weather and humidity


Just noticed they sell it at local CRT about $15 for 500grams . Haven’t bought any yet so yeah was wondering how long it lasts & is that a good price?


Of course, us newbie beeks also occasionally have a “spill” of bees. Like when I did sugar rolling a couple of weeks ago. Hoo Boy. Too many bees on the ground. They eventually made their way back to the hive, but spent a good amount of time wandering around down there!


When treating with DE around and under the hive, it is suggested you mix it thoroughly with water and poured into the ground.

This way it will not get on the bees. It only gets to the insects and that might be laying eggs in the dirt or ground underneath., This is only from my understanding. I had been concerned about the same thing hurting and killing the bees. This was what I had learned


Interesting. I thought DE lost most of its effectiveness when wet. Maybe
it soaks into the ground and dries out again?



I will see if i can find what I read and what I based my response on.

Edited posted here it is

look all the way to the bottom of this post



I just read the link that Marty supplied. Interesting application method - some DE in water, in a spray bottle. I may try that with the mite problem I am having in my chicken coop - dumping “large” amounts inside just seems wrong, and inefficient. If I could use less, but get more effective coverage, especially on the ground, and limit drift from the coop, this might work.