Small Hive Beetle or Random Beetle?

I live in Rochester, NY and saw some beetles on my brand (perfectly clean) new hives. The prior night, we had some heavy rains and afterward storms like this, its not uncommon to see these same tiny beetles on my car, my grill, on any random items in the yard. My hives sit under an old willow and even in the summer, when I cut the grass and brush against the willow branches, I’ll find a few of these guys on me. Are these small hive beetles or just random yard beetles?

I’ve attached a picture of my hives…Can anyone shed some advice?

Hi Rebecca, any chance you can get a closer and clearer picture. Small Hive Beetle will shy away from the sun and go like mad to get into your hive late afternoon. Can you open the hive in the afternoon to see if the same beetles are present inside and on the frames? There are lots of measures you can do to combat them.

Hi Rodderick,
I am in a class most of tomorrow, but will try to get a picture of them early evening or in the morning the next day. I don’t think they are the small hive beetles as I’ve seen them on the property for years and years, but I still don’t like these guys hanging out on my hives! Arrrgh, I am not going to be sleeping tonight thinking about it. I’ll post a pic asap.

Ok, sounds good. If its beetle, then you need to act quickly as they can slime a hive and the bees abscond in less than a week if action isn’t taken. But if you have seen these beetles around before you had hives, then you could be OK.

Do you have any mite or beetle mods on your hives to keep these pests under control. I cannot speak for mites as we do not have them here, but beetles are a real problem. I have managed to keep my hives clean by using an entrance trap, a slotted bottom board, trap in between the frames and Apithor (concealed beetle trap that sits on the floor of the hive). Still get the odd beetle inside the hive however the beetle larvae cannot leave to pupate as they also get caught by the entrance trap (

Hi Rodderick,
I was not able to check inside the hive today, but snapped a few closer pics of the beetles. I noticed a cluster on a fence next to the hives. The fence had some yellow residue on it and when I smeared the yellow stuff, it was sort of wet. I bet those were little eggs. I don’t have those beetle traps, but I know I’ll be buying them right after I’m done writing this.
I did send an inquiry to Dr. Jamie Ellis, Department of Entomology and Nematology of the University of Florida’s Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory to see what he says. He asked for clearer pictures (like you did), but thinks these are not small hive beetles from what he can see. I still don’t like the idea of them being on my hives though… :grimacing:

I had a close look at them, they look like hive beetle but do not behave like hive beetle, also hive beetle are not shiny like these. And if those are eggs then these are not hive beetles as they only lay them inside the hive otherwise the beetle larvae will starve. Did you notice if any of them were trying to get into the hive?

I didn’t see any at the entrance of the hive. They just seem to be hanging out on the sides and top. I also saw an inchworm walking around the base, but he was cute, so I gave him a pass.

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In that case you may be in the clear…

Geez, I hope so. I will look inside tomorrow. I did notice bee activity was low with both hives, but I attribute that to the slightly cooler weather. Hopefully Dr. Ellis with be able to identify this beetle tomorrow. Truth be told, I was actually relieved when I saw the yellow slime (eggs?) on the fence, so my fingers are crossed. With that said, I checked out the beetle traps on the site you sent me too and I’ll have to decide which one is best to order. Right now, I’m leaning towards the one that sits at the entrance of the hive.

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I am pretty happy with the entrance trap, it works a treat. Good investment. Just a little mucking around to fit on the hive with bees already in them. I chose a cold wet day to fit them, the bees still got cranky with me but it was worth it.

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Lovely set up! What is behind the netted area? Chickens?

By the way, I have just updated the Diseases and Pests Quick Reference Guide => Bee Diseases and Pests – A summary

Yep, chickens, the pen is undergoing a bit of renovation.

Delightful…nothing like looking at ugly pests before bedtime. I know what my dreams will be like tonight! :stuck_out_tongue:

sorry about that… :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

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I like it!. It looks like you have some sort of mister on top to keep the girls cool. Very nice! Watch the neighborhood dogs. My neighbor’s two dogs killed my flock of 6 hens in one visit…it broke my heart.

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I heard back from Dr. Ellis. He said those are not hive beetles…I am relieved to hear this! I’m still going to get the beetle traps though. I really like this idea.

Thank you for your guidance and the discussion Rodderick. I appreciate your experience in these matters.

No problem, just glad it all worked out.