I came across this link on another site and saw it in a bee equipment supplier last week. It is made by a guy on the Sunshine Coast here in Queensland, Australia and exported to the U.S. so it might be of interest if SHB is an out of control problem.
I don’t know of anyone who has one and given his price I wouldn’t be buying one, let alone one for each hive. But it might be worth tinkering with the idea in my spare time. So I just thought it might be interesting as another tool for SHB.
Thanks for the link Peter. This is just the sort of thing I’ve been looking for. I’ve ordered one to start with for a weak hive that’s not likely to strengthen much now that its winter and it’s battling with the beetle. I’m glad to not have to resort to chemical options with the added bonus of supporting a local Aussie having a go. Hopefully it’s effective.
Hi Pete, I checked my one & only transparent hive mat at my main site yesterday. I was able to squash a couple of large clusters of beetles before they scurried. I’m happy with the results. I bought some thick clear plastic table cloth from Bunnings the other day. The ideal size was sold out. They would work out at just over $2 each. I got the roll end for nothing, which I got 4 mats out of. The thicker size works out at just over $3 each. I got a meter, which gave me 10 mats.
Actually, thinking back: I put the clear plastic down over the bees before putting the normal hive mat down. While I was grabbing the normal mat, I heard a loud buzzing noise. I wondered what it was. It turned out to be a bee trapped between the clear mat & a top bar. I was able to release the pressure to allow the bee to get free. That’s another plus. We can put the mat down without squashing bees.
I like the clear mat idea.
The beetle buster board didn’t work for me. The screened bottom board is much better. The bbb is now in a corner in my beelab.
Interesting that you did not have much success with the Beetle Buster @Webclan, I use the screened bottom boards and Bluebees, the screened BB have limited success and the Bluebees are OK, nothing to write home about. The best part of the Screened BB’s is that I can insert a tray with diathomaceous earth to get the beetles as they scurry through but I still find them in clusters in the roof area no matter what.
Hi Rod, most of my hives have screened bottoms, I’m happy with that. SHB is quite manageable here, never had a big problem like people in town.
With the beetle buster board not working for me, that may have been a freak event. Had 5 nucs of equal strength (I thought) made up, put one on the bbb and 4 on screened bottoms. The SHB were able to breed in the bbb nuc and the maggots couldn’t get through the little holes in the bbb bottom.
No idea why it didn’t happen in the other 4 nucs. The queen cells didn’t make it in the beetle buster nuc and I had to buy a queen. They are ok and on a screened bottom now.
Maybe it’s more moist on the beetle buster board? I’m reluctant to put it to use again and just keep it as a backup. And the landing board developed a crack.
Even though I always support Australian made, this one is overrated and after sale support unpleasant.
That’s an unfortunate experience, I had wondered about the effectiveness of those little holes. There has been a big facebook push for the beetlebuster but from what I could see it wasn’t that much different from the bluebees, but now I see that at least the grubs fall through the board.
My landing boards only ever last a few years before I need to swap them out and give them a refresher sanding and painting. Seems to be a common thread with Australian business, lots of hype with no support… Flow being the exception.
Found a sheet of clear plastic about 1mm thick at the men’s shed today and got 3 mats from it so I will give it a try. I’m not finding a lot of SHB at the moment.
Remember the ‘mountain goat’ hive, I decided today to have a look at it and ran a tape over it, it measured 75mm taller than a Langstroth box, both the brood box and the super, no wonder I had to use a shovel to get the roof off and lever it apart. I remember a 10 litre bucket of comb, honey and bees from a single brood and single super… I remember it took me 2 days to get to do an inspection of the hive. That was one very angry hive but since we did the split and put them into the right sized boxes they are so gentle I use just a few puffs of smoke. I guess the hive was a hot one simply because it was over crowded and the bees had run out of storage space, your thoughts about it?
You could be right Pete, because they weren’t all that bad for us. Pretty good, in fact.
I worked on a colony a bit too much the other day. The bees were getting a bit cranky towards the end.