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Small Hive Beetle Management Strategies

I’ve just read something online about a SHB management strategy that includes ‘freezing and sealing techniques’ to eradicate hive beetles, within the context of general hive maintenance.

My imagination for what this may inexplicably mean struggles to go further than freezing frames before storing and restoring the hive boxes to fix any debris or holes the SHB might be taking advantage of (entering the hive and hiding under).

What else could ‘freezing and sealing techniques’ include for SHB management?

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Hi Bianca, I don’t understand that strategy at all. I understand freezing the larvae & beetles to kill them after a slime-out, but not freezing & sealing the frames as general hive maintenance.

My main strategy is to keep every brood frame with a very high percentage of worker comb, while making sure there are no large areas of drone comb anywhere in the brood box. The prime reason being that drones are not defenders, so therefore any concentrations of drones anywhere in the hive will be an invitation for beetles to lay eggs within the area of the drone concentration.

Other strategies include making sure that any frames containing brood or pollen have a good covering of bees on them, in order to make sure that the bees will prevent the beetles from laying eggs in either the brood or pollen. Also make sure that no bees get trapped between combs during an inspection. Avoid honey spills & damaging brood. Lastly make sure beetles can’t breed in anything left outside the hive. Oh & frequently check & empty flow trays & sliders.

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A couple of weeks ago I grabbed this screenshot of a small hive beetle larva from a lesson at https://beekeeper.org.

At the time I wanted to post it because it’s so outrageously cute, but someone was having a terrible experience with a slime out, so it wasn’t the right time to share it.

I think this would make a cute little pillow on my granddaughter’s bed, or a new “Hello Beetle” merchandising extravaganza with lunch boxes and backpacks! But the thing is, these little guys are so cute that when they grow older, they tickle the faces of their guard bee jailers to trick them into feeding them.

“Feed me Seymour!”

So today I saw a small hive beetle in my tray. I didn’t see any others, but I’m sure they’re in there. I was hoping that my hive somehow slipped under their radar.

I ordered some traps, and will see how that goes.

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Hehehe this is great. Thanks for the cuteness and positivity Claire. It’s a strange feeling, finding something I despise so much, cute.