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Hive beetles in the honey super


Hello again. Will hive beetles go up into the honey super??


Yes. They go everywhere in the hive. They prefer to lay eggs in the brood areas, but they will run any place that the bees chase them.


Hi Chris, I find lots of beetles in the honey supers. The bees will chase them until they find somewhere to hide, then they will propolize them in. As long as you keep the worker population strong & the make sure you don’t have any large areas of drone comb in the brood, you’ll be free of trouble. I don’t use any traps whatsoever.


Well, just added the honey super and here is a nosey hive beetle with a bee chasing it.


Today, I confirmed that Dawn_SD is in fact, correct:

While uncapping a frame for extraction, a hive beetle worm crawled out. I fed him to the chickens :slight_smile:


Hi Ed, are you sure it’s a hive beetle larvae & not a wax moth larvae. Normally if there is beetle larvae anywhere in the comb, it will be accompanied with slimy honey covering the capped honey. The beetles have a knack of walking in honey & spreading it everywhere & turning it rancid.

You will sometimes find wax moth larvae living inside frames of honey. Sometimes you’ll see the track they leave while holding a frame up to the light. It’s never anything to worry about, at least I don’t worry about it.

PS. Hi @Dawn_SD I saw an interesting talk on SHB at a Texas beekeeping conference. Apparently the optimum brood temperature is a little bit hotter than what beetles tolerate. They will hang around the fringes of the brood where it’s a couple of degrees cooler. Having said that, as you can imagine, a fully operating hive where the brood temp is correct will have enough workers to chase the beetles away anyway.

Now, as you can imagine, once the worker population decreases, there wont be enough bees to maintain the optimum brood temp. Therefore the brood temp will fall to the comfortable temp for the beetles, thus allowing them to enter the brood area. The lack of worker population that was unable to maintain the brood temperature will be flat out stopping them from laying eggs in the brood.

It’s an interesting talk. Another thing that was discussed was the size of the beetles. Apparently beetles under a certain size are unable to reproduce. It’s interesting that the small ones come about because the food runs out, not allowing them to reach full size grubs. However they are still able to turn into beetles. So I guess where beetles are concerned, size DOES matter:)

WOW, it only occurred to me while proof reading this. All this time (since joining the forum) I’ve been talking about drone comb. It just occurred to me that the recently hatched drones that cover a large area of drone comb would not only do nothing to defend against the beetles, they would also do nothing to maintain the hive temp in that area.

PS @Dawn_SD, I found the video. A lot of it went over my head on account of the accent, but I got the general idea. It’s really worth watching I think.



Thanks Jeff,

I’m really not sure and I didn’t fret over it. There was only one, but by seeing that one it put me on high alert to inspect each frame carefully as I uncapped.


Well done Ed, you’re welcome. It sounds like a wax moth grub to me.


What do you think Jeff? I just harvested another 120 lbs and found one more. I fed him to the bearded dragon lol


They are great photos Ed. It looks like wax moth larvae. If you hold the frame up into the light, before extracting the honey, you’ll be able to see the track they leave in the honey. The SHB larvae is more white & you can’t see their intestines through the skin, like you can with the wax moth larvae. They look more like a long grain of rice.

I’m sure that you wont find any shb larvae without the accompanying damage to the comb as well as the slimy honey covering a lot of the comb.

The SHB wont lay their eggs on the outside of the comb. They will chew through the comb & lay their eggs at the base of the brood. Then the larvae eat the brood from the inside first. That’s why you’ll see multiple larvae in each cell with an infestation.

In that video I posted, the scientist doing the talk spoke a great deal about nurse bees & cleaning. That’s why the beetles lay their eggs at the base of the brood.


Yes…that is a wax moth larvae…not a beetle larvae.



Glad I was checking under the cappings :nauseated_face:


I so dont like either. They killed my young hive.


I’ve come across this Youtube about a way discovered to keep hive beetles from your hives. I’ve watched all of Jeff Willard’s videos on this and I’m going to use his method in all my hives: