Small Hive Beetle Lesson Learnt

I made in interesting observation yesterday. I carelessly neglected to inspect a nuc colony making a new queen, which from memory, I thought it had a new queen. It was completely my fault that this colony got slimed out, possibly causing the remainder of the colony to abscond, or get killed while getting robbed of honey. I simply brought the hive home to deal with.

It had 7 frames in a 10 frame super. I have 2 small entrances, one each side with one blocked.

Upon inspecting the first frame, I was puzzled to find it still contained a lot of untouched honey, however very watery, which ran out as I removed it. The second frame, the same, as was 6 & 7. HOWEVER frames 3,4 & 5 had been robbed out, obviously by robber bees.

Why did robber bees rob frames 3,4 & 5, while ignoring 1,2,6 & 7?. The only explanation I can think of, is the exiting of beetle larvae through that one small entrance. It must have started during the night, leaving the slime, which is a bee repellant at the entrance, causing the bees to no longer want to rob the remaining frames of honey.

Something caused that honey to be very wet. Whether it was something the beetles did or the high humidity we’re experiencing at the moment, I don’t know.

It’s so annoying to find a slime out. I remember putting a nuc at a friends place not far from your place Jeff. He wanted a hive for his extensive fruit and vegie gardens. Unbeknown to me he picked up the hive off my stand and moved it (about 50 mtrs) to the middle of his garden, on the ground! The resident Blue Tongue lizard parked Itself at the entrance and proceeded to get very fat.
So very few bees=small hive beetle slime out. I only found out when he told me there were no bees coming out of the nuc.
Lesson learnt.
I’m off to Japan snowboarding tomorrow (14th feb) so I’ve set up some beetle traps with yeast, sugar, honey, and water. A proven attractant apparently. Catching Small Hive Beetle: How to prepare and deploy lantern traps – illawarra beekeepers