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Small hive beetle in winter

New beekeeper here - got my hive mid March :slight_smile:

I noted some small hive beetle in my hive a couple of months ago and implemented the vinyl table cloth method at the time to catch some beetles and didn’t notice any major issues when I did my inspections.

I had another look today (didn’t do a full inspection of the hive, I only had a look at the corflute slider with the vinyl cloth) and only saw 1 or 2 beetles, but quite a few maggots. I also have an oil trap inside the hive. I feel like I want to open the hive to take a better look, but a bit worried that it may be too cold and breezy at the moment. We are located in the Scenic Rim, QLD, Australia. Day temperatures are around 18 - 20 degrees Celsius at the moment.

My questions 1) do I need to be worried about SMB at this stage, especially given it is a fairly new hive?
2) did I do something wrong with the tablecloth method if I can only see 1 or 2 beetles, but a lot more maggots?
And 3) should I open the hive to take a look or just let it be for now?

It’d be good see some photos of those maggots, because they could be wax moth larvae. However “quite a few maggots” is something to be concerned about, even if it is winter, especially if they are hive beetle maggots because they could be dropping down from the brood to the coreflute slider.

Hive beetles do slow down in winter, however given the opportunity to mate & multiply, they’ll take it if it’s available.

Answer #1 Yes, always be concerned about hive beetles, regardless of the age of the hive.
#2 No you did nothing wrong with the tablecloth.
#3 Definitely take a look inside. Pick the warmest part of the day & try to keep the brood out of the cold breeze.

PS. The answer to #3 would apply if the maggots on the slider are identified as hive beetle maggots.

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