Small Hive Beetle infestation

Hi, I’ve just got to harvest some honey this morning and noticed some thin yellow liquid in the bottom of one of the flow super frames. When I opened the cap it poured out and with what looked like two or three SHB larvae.

All the other frames look fine. I’m going to inspect properly tomorrow. I’m wondering if it is just one affected frame, can I just remove that one and sterilise it, or do I have to remove the whole super?

Really appreciate any advice.

Hello and welcome!

It does feel gross but chances are the rest of the cells in the frames are ok. I think this has been discussed before… can’t remember the consensus last time. I think small larvae could probably access that space via the leak back opening.

I’d recommend making sure your backward tilt is good (sounds like it is if the liquid poured out) opening the other caps, inserting the tubes and rinsing the collection trough with clean water. If there is debris in there you can use a bottle brush to clean it or a thin towel (I think @Dawn_SD suggested a “tea towel” but that might be a British thing :rofl:) inserted using the frame key or another long metal bar and then re-rinsing. Make sure you don’t lose a grip on the end of the towel. Then replace the caps and give it time to leak back (a day should be fine).

You might consider straining the honey if you’re worried about larvae or debris.

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Hi, thank you very much for the reply. That’s great news that it might not be a total lost cause.

So you mean I should just empty the remaining honey out of the frame, remove the frame and give it a good clean? Or just to wipe it out while it’s still in the super?

Sorry, hope that makes sense.

I was suggesting that you do it in place before harvesting.

Ah, I’m with you. Thank you, I’ll give it a try.

The only beekeeping thing that I use a tea towel for is covering the frames that I am not inspecting. It seems to keep the bees calmer if the whole of the top of the hive is not exposed to light. Tea towels have the advantage of being non-fluffy.

I actually use a long handled test tube brush, tied tightly to a garden stake (for extra length):

I think Flow suggests “chux”, firmly attached to and wrapped around the flow key, dampened with water if needed. That will give you the reach needed to get to the end of the channel. The US equivalent I think would be these:

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