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Night Time Defense


After locking up the chooks I went and had a look at the hive.
The bees were jammed packed in the entrance and I guess this normal defences at night.


hi @busso
Yup this is normal :slight_smile:
Just some bees guarding their hive, some beekeepers also said this is one of their behavior to keep the temperature of the hive.



Not guarding …it’s called bearding. Sometimes you get an awful lot more hanging out. I bet the hive sounded like an air conditioner :slightly_smiling:


Was actually quite cool (17 -18 deg C). They seemed to be wanting to get in than out. No noise.
I dare say we will get some bearding this week as the temperatures are about to soar to the mid to high 30’s C for 7 days with night time temps in the mid 20’s C


Hi Busso, I’d be inclined to open up that entrance a bit more, at least double what you have there. Or even the whole width of the hive.
You’ll get plenty of bees hanging outside the hive during the warm nights.


Thanks Jeff,
I was thinking on that, watching the activity. I did take a video this morning with them in full swing but it 67Mb and not having fast BB it would take a couple of hours to download and a lot of my download budget.
I read somewhere where you said you had hives with narrow entrances and they fared as well as the open ones. My entrance is 70mm wide so out to 100-120 would you think?. I will make my entrance screen adaptable to different widths to account for the climate changes ie wide in high blossom narrow in not so much blossom and Winter.


Hi Busso, my narrow entrances would be around the 120 mark. Also a little deeper.
I wasn’t considering that you also have the sbb for added ventilation.


Small Hive Beetle in Sydney has forced me to close my entrances down, however I have a ventilated bottom board to help with keeping the hive cool and reducing humidity. Still early days as to whether it will be effective.


Hi Rod, those mongrel beetles. A bloke I’ve been kind of mentoring decided to use those apithor traps. He asked me to check on his hives the other day. There was just as many beetles in his top boxes as my top boxes with me not using any traps.

I have an interesting story, a bloke who has been observing his bees coming & going was looking just before dark one day, just as the beetles were apparently turning up. He noticed a gecko eating them as they arrived. He noticed the bees were too big for the geckos, but the beetles were “just right”. We have lots of geckos up here. Do you have them down there?


Hey Jeff, we do indeed have the odd Gecko. Lovely little creatures they are too. I find them regularly on the outside wall of the house, not so much on the hives… might have to leash one up to the landing board and see what happens… :smile_cat:
I do have an idea for a new beetle trap, the idea is to keep them from entering the hive in the first place. I have built a simple prototype for a new entrance and plan to put it in a hive this week after losing a recent cutout to beetle up the road.


Is that your son with a gecko? it’s a beauty.

I just walked inside after a bit of a hive check. I had plenty of beetles to squash. The trick is to make sure you have enough workers to guard any frames containing pollen or brood. It’s that simple. I’m able to condense my strategy down to just a few words now.

The thing we have to ask ourselves every time we do something with our hives, before we close them up is: “will beetles get a chance to lay any eggs”. The answer always has to be “no”.


Hi Rod, without me trying to sound like I’m preaching to you, if you look back on what you did with the cutout & ask yourself if there’s something you could have done differently that would prevent it from happening if a similar occasion ever arises again.

Remember there’s 3 things they lay eggs in, brood, dead bees & pollen.

Sometimes with a cutout, it’s just as easy to use a frame of brood from another hive rather than try to save every bit of brood & comb from the cutout. That’s where I can see a potential problem, based on my own experience.


Thanks for the advice Jeff, in hindsight I should have removed all the comb and just kept the bees. Didn’t realise that the SHB was so bad.


Your welcome Rodd, I think it’s ok to save any worthwhile brood if it can be attached to empty frames nice & square & then placed in boxes without touching each other or the sides of the box & without having any dead bees under the frames, between frames or between the frames & the sides of the box.


The homeowner was pretty upset at losing the bees so I am building a new colony for her and will make sure we keep the beetles at bay. I have only a short time before winter hits here but it should be just long enough to get a small hive up and running. fingers-crossed this time.


@Rodderick that’s a monster gecko! I have noticed one under the roof of my flow hive but one of those smaller Asian type ones. Came across this thread as searching if anyone else has them. Hoping he has an appetite for SHB.


I think the gecko’s down here in Sydney are a little slower than the Queensland variety, mine seems to feed on spiders from under and around the house, and not at all interested in bees… well not yet anyway. If your gecko is on the hive, then chances are he is getting a snack or two from time to time on bees, no harm done. It would take a large number of them to make a dent on the population. cheers