Since SHB larvae pupate in the soil within 900mm from the hive, I wonder if placing the hive on concrete pads or a thick layer of gravel, for example, would help with SHB numbers and if anyone on the forum has tried this and noticed a difference.
In Australia the SHB is in full swing and I’m hearing all sorts of reports such as record number of slime outs and SHB numbers in the Newcastle and Hunter Valley regions. Perhaps they’re also experiencing more than ever humid conditions.
The larvae can crawl 20m to find soil. Maybe having the hive in the middle of a parking lot or on a rooftop would help. Or maybe on a hard pad with a surrounding moat.
The adults are strong fliers and probably don’t consider the soil surface under the hive when deciding where to lay eggs. The larvae in the hive would still wreak havoc before they drop out to pupate.
All great points, Alok, thank you.
20m, that’s huge for one little maggot.
I imagine there would be a pattern found for SHB numbers between urban and suburban/bushy landscapes, but you’re right, the damage is done well before the larvae pupate in the soil.
Perhaps these points are worthy of consideration for those experiencing strong SHB pressure at the moment though.
A beek friend of mine who lives in Maryland said he has seen dramatic reduction of SHB after putting down scrap pieces of vinyl flooring under his hives. Maybe worth trying as a cheaper and less involved barrier method?
My hives are on a patio. Stone tiles. I still get SHB…
My friend didn’t say ‘elimination’