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Small Hive Beetle - SHB Aethina Tumida


@dangerous Thanks I read that. I think my Solihull branch must be on the list. Hence the traps. They are in the 10 Mile radius region to the airport.

Our Group is dedicate to Celia Davis - who is one of the main beeks. She said if we ever have a suspect problem (we were looking at Hive diseases last night), Nosema etc we can bring her a sample and she can test it. She has the facilities


My wild caught swarm I just moved in with foundation frames on the weekend abandoned the box and left me with what I presume are SHB. Would they have flown off because of the threat and knowing they weren’t a stronger enough hive to keep them under wrap?


Yep, absconded… I can see from your photo that you have a major infestation there. Best option would be to freeze all the comb to prevent the SHB from hatching and pupating, then spreading to more hives in your area.


OK, I think this is a SHB.

OK I know this is going to sound totally stupid and crazy, But I was laying down underneath the hive looking up at the bottom board and all of a sudden I saw this crawling across the edge of the wood board underneath. is it a SHB


Hope you squashed it!.. in all seriousness these little guys can destroy an entire hive in 5-7 days. When 1 appears, many more will follow if left. They are capable of laying a few eggs in each cell and are known to chew the capping of brood and then lay inside the cells. 2 weeks ago I removed a lovely small colony from a wall cavity, lots of beetle. I place the comb nicely into a brand new hive squashing every beetle I found, it all went so well. 5 days later the hive was completely slimed out, thousands of beetle larva and the bees had absconded. It was a right mess.


Yes Marty, that certainly looks like one.


It doesn’t sound stupid and crazy. It sounds like you are a beekeeper! Those antennae are totally SHB - time to get aggressive with them! :wink:


I have a SHB trip I will put in the hive on Saturday. Planning on putting olive oil in the trap, I have 2 planning on putting one in the bottom box and one in the top box

or should I put it in tomorrow afternoon?


Your hive looked strong from what I remember. I think they will be fine until Saturday. :blush:


I think it strong, but I am certainly a new beekeeper, so knowledge is still being built and I’m sure it will continue until I’m 90 :slight_smile: in a peak under the hive and from the upper lid I can tell that the added 8 foundation less frames are virtually all drawn out and there are a lot of beads on everything. Again I am doing my darndest not to open up the hive so that’s why I’m peeking from underneath :slight_smile:

I have 2 beetle traps I certainly will install Saturday as soon as sun hits the hive.

My mentor, which lives about an hour east of me has hive beetles as well and when we came across one or 2 in his hives, he simply pointed at them never killing it indicating you always have these and there just a nuisance as long as you have a strong hive.

Everything I read on this particular blog as well as other additional things last night as a reminder of how they can multiply has just got me concern. I’m sure just like a new parent every time your child calls you think the world is coming to an end. I’ve done enough reading and gone to of classes that I at least know what to look for but it still doesn’t deter my panicking and concerned.

Thanks to everyone for weighing in I’ll keep everyone posted as soon as I open up the hive on Saturday.


Both instructors in my bee classes indicated that they always have hive beetles and that they keep their numbers low.

When I hived my nuc I saw about 6 or 7 beetles and I wasn’t looking very hard. My flow hive has an oil tray in the bottom board. On day 3 the oil try had killed about 10 beetles. Since day 3 about 3 or 4 more beetles have been killed by the trap. I have not seen any beetles during the last 2 inspections. I think the bottom board oil trap works very well. Although, it fills up with water when it rains.


Very good to know, and yes likely I think the Beatles came from my NUC. Cannot wait to get rid of the foundation frames that came with my NUC. Would love to know I could eradicate the hive beetle from my hive


I might recommend mineral oil instead. Any natural, plant or nut oil will go rancid fairly quickly outside. Since it’s not going to be eaten I suppose that wouldn’t be a huge concern, but mineral oil is a lot cheaper then olive oil to boot.


Someone else mentioned diatomaceous earth. Do you think that would work? My hope would be that if rain got into the tray, the water would eventually evaporate and leave behind the diatomaceous earth. Right now, I am having to dump out my oil tray after each major rain. I need to do something different. I thought about adding flashing to keep the water out, but, then I won’t be able to remove the tray without some trouble.


The thing with DE is that it is dangerous for bees as well. So you would have to keep it very well segregated or risk losing bees. But I don’t really know how effective it is ie how fast it kills the buggers


It should work, but I agree with Adam’s caution about problems for bees too if they get into it. You need to buy the correct grade of DE too, not all sizes are effective insecticides.


OK so this is what I saw about 7:15pm, it is about 70° outside and overcast about 2 hours before sunset. I am in Dallas TX US and it is the start of spring

I was standing a few feet from the hive and I saw a black bug flying and landed on the back side of the hive. I went over and yes it was a SHB :confounded: killed it.

could they be flying in to the hive or are they being kicked out of the hive by the bees and then flying around? The past few times in the hive I did not see any. Hive is very strong. I do plan on opening the hive up tomorrow and looking just for SHB’s and also looking at the new frames and how well they are build out in just 7 days. My guess is that all 8 new foundationless frames are close to fully built out. I also will be putting beetle traps in.


The answer to both questions is “yes”. I wish I could break this to you gently, but I am afraid that you will never be SHB-free, sorry, but this a fact of bee-life in TX. Just keep your hives strong, don’t neglect them and they will be fine. If you have anxiety attacks about the SHBs, use beetle traps - they will help the bees a bit, but you will never get rid of them completely. It is like growing roses… You will ALWAYS have aphids, no matter how you try to manage them, they will come… Sorry… :sweat:


Well your response in itself definitely helps in any anxiety :slight_smile: that I may have yes I have Roses and yes I will always have aphids it’s just knowing how to manage them thank you for the insight :grin:


Hi Marty, this video shows my vinyl mat strategy. The vinyl mat was originally designed to stop the bees building comb from the top bars to the underside of the lid.

I find that the mat offers a good hiding place for the beetle. Once the beetle hide there, the bees propolize them in.
I did some inspections this morning. In a couple of hives, there must have been a hundred or more beetles hiding under the mats. In some hives, there was none at all.
I don’t use any traps of any description. I certainly squash every beetle I can. I just keep my hives strong & I make sure there is no comb with brood or pollen that is unprotected by worker bees in the weaker hives.