Just a quick share on some mods to my flowhive post beetle attack.Sealed front entrance by replacing bottom of hive and installed smaller entrance in front and back of hive giving less surface area for them to guard and still providing ease of access for bees.Rotating seal attatched to both entrances for transport and temp control.Handles attatched for lifting purposes.All work well thanks to steve/bee mentor
I have come back into beekeeping after 45 years and found the modifications done to the Flow hives fascinating. A question to your mod on closing the box opening. What size hole and what type of climate do you have? I live in subtropical Queensland Australia and I am not sure on the balance between climate and hive beetle for the hive opening.
Greetings from Buderim Greg. I don’t think we’ll be able to provide an entrance small enough to keep beetles out. Just provide the size entrance that you feel comfortable with. All they need during summer is an entrance about 4-6 inches wide, by about 1/2 an inch deep. I have recently gone down the route of having an entrance reducer in the middle. That gives 2 small entrances, one each side. The theory being that it helps the bees with air flow.
Beetles are a fact of life. It’s easy to deal with them, it’s quite simple really. There’s no need to outlay any money for traps, poisons or anything whatsoever.
Jeff would be very helpful for me being new to bee keeping for you to explain some of those ways of dealing with that?
G’day Mark, you wont have to worry about them in the U.K., however for anyone needing to know: Keep the colony strong with workers & don’t have any frames in the hive that contain brood or pollen that doesn’t have a good covering of worker bees on them. Keep honey spills to a minimum & don’t leave any dead bees between combs etc. It’s that easy.
Thanks Jeff that’s helpfull
This hive beetle is new to me. The wax moth was the big problem all those years ago. I closed my entrance in to the dimensions you suggest. I am reassured in your comments about a strong hive can overcome the hive beetle. I have made my own couple of mods. I got the screen mesh out of a microwave door to close in the back of the screened bottom board. This allows air,but the beetle, wax moth and not much else can get in. I placed a microfibre cloth on the corflute slide and closed in the base as well. If anything wants to get in they must go in the front door!
You’re welcome Greg. They’ll still get through the front door. I’ve been dealing with them since the year 2000 when at the time after sighting my first beetle, me thinking my beekeeping days were over. That was because we heard about how many thousands of hives got wiped out in Florida by them.
It didn’t take long to figure out how to deal & live with them without using any traps.
I’ve certainly had some slime-outs. In each case I worked out how to avoid it next time.
It would be fair to say that everything I do with my bees is done with the beetles in mind.
Thanks for the advice. The cheap micro fibre trap will be something to catch some of them and give me an idea on my problem. Like you said, don’t spend a fortune on the prevention, live with them!
I’m at Coolum Beach and like everyone I have the odd hive beetle. Jeff is so right, the best way of handling the SHB is a strong colony, the bees will control the problems as much or even better than the traps and other gizmos.
It is a case of living with them, when you see one squash it. Kill off grass close to the hive with a cup of vinegar, a cup of salt to 10 litres of water and spray the weeds, it will kill the weeds and stop the SHB breeding under the hive too.