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SHB Jeff Willard Neverwet Flange Solution


#1

We had a SHB problem this past summer/fall and I followed the excellent advice from the flow hive video about using picnic table cloth. It worked great at reducing SHBs in the hive. But, I may have stumbled onto a better solution. There are several videos on Youtube by Jeff Willard about using aluminum strips painted with Neverwet around the bottom board of the hive. I haven’t seen any discussion about this on the forum. So, I thought I’d post this. I am new to beekeeping, but his idea seems sound. As long as the hive is sealed up, the only place those beetles can get in is through the entrance. If the entrance is lined with something they can’t grip, they can’t get in.
Here are some of his videos:




I went ahead and modified a bottom board with these flanges for my hive. Any thoughts?


Small Hive Beetle - SHB Aethina Tumida
#2

As he correctly states, “beetles fly”, so while they may not walk up the never wet flange they can fly up to the frames instead inside the hive. Same goes for the entrance, and if the beetles can’t get a grip then the bees won’t be able to get a grip. Its an interesting concept, keen to hear how it goes for you.


#3

I know there is a lot to watch in those videos and he doesn’t cover all aspects in each video. Though, in one of the videos he states that hive beetles do not fly inside the hive and bees do. So, seems it should work.


Local Flows in southern Mississippi or Louisiana?
#4

I told a mentee to take a vacation from worrying about beetles after repeatedly telling him to stop worrying about them. He eventually took my advice & stopped worrying about them & like me, he doesn’t use any traps. The trick is to keep the worker population strong & eliminate any large areas of drone comb out of the brood. It is that simple.


#5

That may be good advice if you have a strong hive. But, we got tracheal mites in I believe it was October. I treated for them, but our hive population was teetering. So, as you can imagine the hive beetle population started to rise in the hive and we had to do something. That’s when we added the table cloth to the bottom board, which worked great as I stated above. However, if we would have had the Neverwet strips along the bottom board we may not have had to worry about the hive beetles at all and the bees wouldn’t have gone through all the stress of dealing with them in addition to the mites. Thankfully it was a mild winter and with our help the hive seems to be thriving.
I really think that using these strips should be considered as part of an integrated pest management system. I am really surprised and disappointed at how little regard this guy is getting about what I consider a pretty good idea. Think about it this way, not everyone has had bees or owns an apiary and may not be attuned to when a hive is in trouble. My wife has had a hive since I met her 9 years ago. We live in a rural area and finding “expert” help is hard. We have lost the hive 3 times. Some of that may have been due to a weak hive and the hive beetles may have been what pushed them over the edge. To me, it just seems like good insurance to do some small things to improve the chances for your hives. Especially when it only costs a little labor and less than 1 dollar per hive.


#6

Jeff is a member of the bee group I am in, and his solution works well. Even if it were questionable, I can’t find any flaws in sealing hives up better.