Pest tray contents

Hi everyone. I’ve been using about 5mm of vegetable oil in the pest tray with very good results in controlling small hive beetles. They end up in the oil and can’t get out. I’ve seen so many more drowned than I had any idea were in the hive.

However, given Melbourne’s cold weather the oil has thickened up and some of the bee garbage is staying on the surface instead of sinking completely.

Has anyone tried plain water or even vinegar instead of oil? I thought vinegar would be great and would seal off or prevent any mould on bee rubbish… but vinegar has a strong smell and I’d hate to bother the hive



Dear Ally,

I have had native bees for 13 years and never a problem with SHB. I now have a european flow hive and came back from holidays to find my hive infested with SHB. I put diatomaceous earth in my trap as I thought oil was too messy and it has been working well. Also someone suggested that even using a wad of chux cloth worked quite well as the hive beetles legs get stuck in the material. Not sure how it works yet - just giving it a try to see. Today, there was no sign of HB through window or on pull out tray. However, I am a newbie for Europeans, only since last October, so ready to be corrected.

As @Robbie has suggested diatomaceous earth is an option to oil and results with SHB seem effective and about equal with both. Expect a boost with SHB as Spring comes in as they seem to not breed as much in Winter according to the Dept of Ag…
Water will evaporate to fast to be an option. Vinegar, I haven’t heard of it being used and it might not be because of the smell effecting the colony and it evaporates as well.
I have heard about using chux cloths as well as two layers thick, but I haven’t tried it. I have used the SHB trap that sits between the outer two brood frames on each side with oil in the trap when I have done a split to help the bees in managing them. When you take the roof off you might find some in there so have your hive tool ready to squash them and clean any dead bees out that you might have killed on you last inspection as dead bees are a great place for SHB to lay eggs.
Welcome to the forum @Robbie you will find lots of great folk here for advice and heaps of reading too.

Hi Ally I just use garden lime. Lasts for months. If it gets hard just break it up or replace its very cheap.