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SHB blue chux traps

Hi Folks.

I have SHB in my hive. They came free with the nuc I purchased, yay.

Following the advice of the people I bought it from, I have added blue (must be blue) non scented chux cloth over both sides of the hive and over the top of the frames. 3 whole sheets. I pulled at the sheets to fluff it up with small holes that the beetles can try and get through as the bees chase them around the hive. The beetles are getting trapped in the chux fibres (given they are spiky) and they die there. I’m not sure if this is already well known but it’s a cheap and effective method to catch some of the little buggers.

Make sure to tuck the chux under between the lid, box and base so the bees cannot try to remove the chux and potentially block the entrance of the hive which could cause them to overheat amongst other issues.

I also filled the bottom tray with used chip oil and that has 10 dead SHB’s in there after 1 week.

I was also able to find and squash a few when I opened the hive.

Best of luck with your hives :+1:

Hi Sean,

Yes Chux and chip oil are both good solutions.

Another thing to be aware of is that SHB are highly opportunistic and will tend to target a weak colony, so it would be a good idea to be extra vigilant in your next couple of inspections (and particularly if the SHB numbers increase rapidly) in case of any other issues (nectar dearth, disease, etc.)

Hope you get on top of them quickly and that your bees are otherwise healthy.

Please let us know if you have any further concerns, or want to share feed back on the success of your chosen methods with the forum community for all of our benefit.

All the best.

I plan on inspecting again in a few days to see how things look. There was no slime or staining last weekend and I killed the three SHB I found. I’ve just realised transferred my 5 frames from my nuc into my flow hive so there was plenty of room to move frames around and search.
I will report back.
Thanks :+1:

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Nice one Sean, looking forward to hearing how they’re going on next check in and whether the Chux and oil sorted them out for you.

Interesting. I saw three beetles, two I squashed and one was stuck in the chux. Did you pull the chux apart slightly to make holes for the battles to try to get through? A few days later there were 10 drowned in the oil.

That’s quite an infestation in the photo. If my hive gets to full size I’m sure it will stay strong. Obviously being a new nuc it’s not strong yet

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Ah I see. Thanks for that info. The 5 frames I transferred had lots of bees on them, though I have no experience to be certain of the strength of the colony. There is a lot of bees coming and going constantly and there is an abundance of pollen and nectar on the permaculture farm as well as many flowering eucalyptus given the great season we are having in terms of rain. We have lots of medicinal herbs growing and hundreds of different species of plants. I’ve never seen so many of the trees and plants in flower. I added 5 empty frames with no foundation. I think I’ve given them the best chance I could so far.

I’ve also screwed 4 6mm x 50mm bolts into the bottom of the stand and have the bolts sitting in cups of oil which supposedly stops the critters crawling onto the hive. I did read SHB will fly though so that may or may not help.

Right. I’m not sure how many frames had honey and how many had brood. I didn’t do a good inspection when I transferred them and didn’t even look for the queen although I’m confident she didn’t drop off as I had plastic under to catch her if she did fall. The frames I quickly inspected had fairly scattered brood. I might brush the bees off next inspection and take some pics to get some advice on how they are doing. Thanks

I agree that it’s not unusual to see a few SHB and the colony can usually manage these. However, an infestation can be cause for concern as the colony would need to be particularly strong to stay on top of the SHB beetle problem, making them vulnerable to other external factors such as a nectar dearth. I had some success with reducing SHB numbers with Chux and Apithor traps. Others here use oil in the tray (if you have a Classic, a shallow baking tray can be inserted in place of the coreflute if you wish, this will function in a similar way to the Flow Hive 2 pest management tray). It’s a bit of a balancing act as too many inspections can create extra work for the colony and therefore reduce their capacity to manage the SHB, on the other hand keeping beetle numbers down as a preventative measure can be preferable to waiting until they get out of control or other factors come in to play. I’d love to hear the opinions of the forum community as to what they see as a healthy balance between inspecting and managing SHB vs giving the colony space to do their thing, as I know opinions on this vary.

Hey FreeBee.

I’m also concerned about opening the hive too often and particularly smoking the bees so they gorge their honey supply. I wonder if the bees just put the honey back after gorging it?

I forgot to mention my hive came with a corflute trap containing cockroach bait. It doesn’t sound very organic so I will be researching organic alternatives when Telstra fixes my internet. I was reading about an essential oil that can do the same thing.

Good news is there is plenty of corflute littering the sides of the road with politicians faces on them at the moment :wink:

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As a more natural alternative, aside from vege oil, diatomaceous earth is another option - it’s important to place it where the bees can’t access it though, as DTE is a hazard for bees too. Let us know about the essential oil too, I’d be interest to hear about other natural alternatives :slight_smile:

I have a whole bin of diotomaceous earth that I use for my chooks. I had read about that but forgot. Ill take a few cups and spread it aro 7 nd the hive today.

I just did a quick Google search.
Wintergreen is the essential oil. EBay has 100ml for under $20. That amount should last for years. It would need to be made into a paste to stay in the corflute trap of course. It states it is used in grease patties against tracheal mites on bees but is also helpful against SHB.

When I purchased my hive I bought a beetle excluder for the super. It has holes just big enough for the bees to pass through that will knock off any hive beetles that may be hitching a ride.

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The hive beetles don’t cling to the bees and are much smaller… what does this beetle excluder look like?

Well then, I’m glad they didn’t offer to sell me some magic beans or I probably would have bought them too haha.

Perhaps they said it keeps the full grown larvae out of the super. I can’t remember. I was deadly tired that day and had just driven 4 hours to get the nuc. Info was probably going in one ear and out the other.

The device is made of clear red plastic and has 5mm or so holes all over it. There are two parts but as I haven’t put my super on yet I haven’t installed it yet either so I’m not too sure how it goes on the hive.

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I use DE on my tray - it’s much cleaner than oil, although more costly. I change it every week or so and if it’s humid, more often (as they seem to be able to climb out & not get trapped in it if it’s not fine and powdery).

I’ve tried oil and traps within the tray and they didn’t work as well for me.

They’re annoying little buggers. Apparently they fly about at 5pm. I’ve often stood next to the entrance of my hive at that time of day and killed 10 or more trying to fly in.

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Hey JJJ.

Where are you getting your DE? I picked up a 20kg bag from Norco if my memory serves me. I don’t think it was too expensive although used chip oil is free.

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It was the cheapest I could find online… 10kg for $70 delivered from memory. I can’t remember the store. But for me, it’s worth it (& we use it on our pets and garden too.

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Is it food grade? You pay a hefty premium for that stuff. Try your local farm store for non food grade. Maybe they can order it in if they dont stock it. I don’t bother using it in the garden anymore because it just washes away when it rains but I do use it on the chooks when they get mites.

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I have the non food grade for use in the chook’s mud baths as well (plus about 30 kg of pricey food grade stuff that I bought before I realised there were alternatives) - the non food grade is cheap and would be fine for the bottom tray out of reach of the bees :slight_smile:

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Hey folks. I was up at my hive late this afternoon and noticed at least a dozen SHB’s flying around the hive. I killed half a dozen after watching them for a while. None made it into the hive entrance, which I reduced to just over a third length when I set it up. It seems the bees are defending that entrance well.

I checked the tray below the hive and there are now at least 30 SHB’s dead in the oil so it’s safe to say that was a good move. The bees must be driving them away from the frames and into the tray.

I covered the air vents on the back of the hive with fly screen in case the beetles were sneaking in through there.

I opened the hive to see what was going on in there, worried there might have been a serious infestation. I’m happy to say there were only 2 free SHB I could find after removing 2 frames and moving and lifting the rest to inspect and I squashed them. There were about 20 stuck in the blue chux that was draped over the top of the frames, none on the side pieces. Some were dead looking and the rest I squashed so again, very effective. There were some bee casualties, about 10-15 that were stuck in the chux. The bees had started to rip it apart, presumably to try and remove it from the hive. I replaced the chux with a new one but I could not free the bees, the two I tried to help stung my gloves and will therefore die.

On the plus side I spotted my queen for the first time (Didn’t look for her when I transferred from the nuc as it was my first time handling bees on frames). There were lots of bees covering the 5 frames that came from the nuc so i’d say the colony is strong. I expected they would be given the amount of forage they have access to on the permaculture farm and the fact that the bloodwood trees are flowering (not to mention dozens of other species on our 100ha flora and fauna conservation property).

I’m still concerned about larvae in the frames and would love some feedback on how my frames look. Photos below.

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That all sounds pretty good to me Sean, aside from the loss of a few of your bees which is a shame. But sounds like your inspection went well. Thanks for the update.

The photo you’ve included doesn’t tell us much about the larvae, and the image was a bit pixelated when we tried to zoom in, but all looks basically ok here. Feel free to send some close ups of the other frames for further assessment if you wish. And of course, others on the forum may have some further comments for you on this one too.