Hive beetle help

Hello all. I have my first flow hive up and running. Harvested my first honey last week. I have noticed i have a little black beetle. Hive beetle I assume. Is there a good trap or remedy. Would appreciate some help. Thanks Michael.

Hi and welcome to the forum! Congrats on your harvest! I recategorized your post to Pests & Diseases - I recommend reading more on that thread about traps etc, and to go ahead and squash the small dark colored beetles you see in your hive as they are indeed most likely to be small hive beetle :point_down::wink:

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Hi Michael. I agree with @Eva , especially welcome to the forum.

I’m not far from you in Buderim. It would help others if you gave more info on your profile. For example: Qld. Australia. This is assuming that I’ve got the right Doonan.

My hive beetle strategy is to keep the worker population high, while not allowing a large drone population by keeping all of the brood frames at a high percentage of worker comb.

Drones do no defending in the hive, while workers will chase beetles incessantly, until they find somewhere to hide, which prevents them from laying eggs in brood or pollen. Beetles will also lay eggs in dead & trapped bees. Significant honey spills onto the bees & brood can also lead to beetle problems. I hope this all helps. cheers


HI Michael

As @JeffH said the Worker bees will chase the beetles. I found that Vegetable Oil in the bottom tray, If you have a Flow Hive 2 or 2+, will trap/kill the bettles that fall through.
I just change mine each week.


I am in Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa. I have 1 Flow hive, was very excited to start. When I found little black beetles I added oil in tray and a little dish with apple cider vinegar that is helping a lot but the past 2 weeks that I cleaned the tray, I found a lot of young bees drowned in the oil as well. I don,t know what to do.

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Hello and welcome to the Flow forum!

Bees are obviously finding their way to the tray. Do you have a Flow hive 2? If so, they may have chewed the wood around the edge of the metal floor, enough to make a hole that they can squeeze through. This has happened to other forum members, including @Bianca, I believe. You need to take the brood box off the hive and check the floor around the edges. If you see signs of chewing, squash some burr comb from the hive into the gap. That should fix it.

The other thing you could consider is some in-hive beetle traps like this one:

They work very well for me, and bees don’t drown in them.

Please post again if you have any further questions. :blush:

Thank you! How many of these blasters would be needed in my 1 hive?

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One or two, depending on how many brood boxes you have. Not many. I bought a box of 20 and I still have loads after a couple of years. :wink:

Thx, I’ve got 1 Flow hive 2. (1 brood box) I found a shop in Johannesburg(SA) with beetle traps, not sure how many in 1 parcel. That is why I ask. But I will call them in the morning. I think I would like to add 2 in my brood box, will that be OK?

That sounds perfect. If I only have a few beetles, I just put one in, but if there is any doubt, and I have seen 5 or more under the lid, I put 2 in. I fill the traps half full with mineral oil (also known as liquid paraffin - the stuff that is used to treat constipation). I use pharmaceutical grade, because it is safe for human consumption if any should spill. Unlike vegetable oil, it doesn’t go rancid. I check the traps every couple of weeks and discard them when they have 20 or 30 beetles in them. You can try to empty and re-use them, but that is messy and time-consuming. I usually just throw them out and put fresh ones in.

Great, thank you for all the tips.

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Make sure that you remember they’re in there when you are taking the box off to do an inspection or you will tilt the box too much and spill the oil and kill some bees…

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I inspect my boxes one frame at a time, moving the inspected frames to a holding box on one side. But you are entirely correct, not everybody does it the same way. I can’t lift 50lb without visiting a physical therapist afterwards etc, so I always move everything in 7lb increments (= 1 deep frame max)


Inspecting more than one frame at a time is not a good idea :slight_smile:

This is true (found bees in the pest tray). I found that they had chewed a hole in the timber between the base and metal grate which enabled lots of bees access to the tray where they drowned in the oil. Very sad. I figured this out by putting my head (awkwardly) under the hive with the tray out and I sealed it with wax (by memory).

I find that bees also access the tray and oil when the tray has been removed during an inspection. During an inspection when there are lots of bees at the front of the hive and the tray is out, the bees are drawn to the smell and warmth of the brood box through the metal grate. When the tray is returned, the bees are trapped.


This is concerning to read, if you have a Flow Hive 2 it sounds like the metal screen might not be on correctly. Definitely send a picture to so the team can ensure there isnt a repeat of this.

I find its the worst when the bees wax them in place, you have to be really careful to remove them evenly avoiding them getting stuck again.