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Small Hive Beetle - SHB Aethina Tumida


It’s definitely enough SHB to cause concern. How long as the cloth and Apithor been in there? It sounds like you may have a pretty decent infestation, hoping you got in early enough with the trap.

What is the general hive health like? It sounds like the colony is heaving trouble managing the SHB.

If you hold the Apithor up to the light, can you see any SHB in the ‘tunnels’?


The cloth has been there for 11 hours and the apithor 24 hours the hive is strong went in on the weekend and it looked good put a oil trap between the top brood box and the flow super as well just couldnt believe the amount i killed by squashing last night at dusk and how many were flying around


That is exactly how @JeffH manages SHB, plus being super cautious about not leaving dead bees around the hive.


Hi Dawn, thank you:) Just to be precise about the dead bees. It’s the dead bees that the workers can’t easily remove that can cause problems. Such as bees wedged between the combs or between combs & the side of the hive when replacing frames. I’m always careful to cut any bur comb off frames before replacing them so that I don’t wedge any bees between them. Another issue is the bottom bar of my honey frames. I always clean the bur comb off those during the honey extraction. I’m always trying not to trap bees between the bottom bar & QX when returning frames.


Hi dawn when i went in on the weekend i did squash some bees accidently. Are dead bees an attractant to SHB cause i did leave them there


Yes they are, but as @JeffH says, it is the ones which the colony can’t remove which cause the problems. If they are squished between boxes, that is bad. If they are loose that is less of a problem, as the undertaker bees will soon take care of them.


Ok went into the hive this afternoon after finding 2 beetle grubs on the bottom board
The hive looked really healthy i think i saw 1 other grub but there was heaps of brood and quite a few queen cups and drones. So i will wait 10 days before another inspection as it looks as if the bees are kicking out the beetle larvae and there was no where near as many beetles today


Hi Shane, I saw you mention “quite a few drones”. Quite a few drones in a hive is not good if you have problems with SHB. The drones wont do any defending & could get in the way of the workers trying to stop the beetles from laying eggs. If you have any shb damage, you should get into your brood & cut any drone comb out, as well as any worker comb with shb damage. Carefully replace the frames so you don’t kill any bees.

SHB is one of the reasons why I prefer wax foundation as opposed to starter strips or foundationless frames, to keep the drone comb in the hive to a lower %.


Understand SHB can travel a distance to a hive and all but was interested to hear if I have made a more comfortable place for their larva with the addition of old carpet around my hive stand. I’ve laid it out to suppress weeds,grass ect. Thoughts?


mmmm…sounds lovely :wink:


Hi everyone,

A couple of weeks I introduced my flow super and with the warmer weather the hive is working at full speed ahead. I had a peek in the window this morning and noticed a few SHB had been chased into some of the flow cells. Is this a problem and if it is, how do I go about rectifying it?
Thanks in advance for your help.



The first and most obvious would be to set up SHB traps in the hive. Do you have any traps in the hive currently? If so, which type?


Hi Lucas, the fact that worker bees are chasing the beetle till they find somewhere to hide is good. That is my shb strategy, to have lots of workers in the hive so that the workers will chase the beetles till they find somewhere to hide. I don’t use any traps & I believe that shb are as bad here as anywhere else. I do squash them every chance I get, but I don’t lose any sleep over them.


I currently have a fluffy bottom board to trap the SHB but nothing up top. If left there are they likely to contaminate the honey or will the bees automatically avoid that cell?


I can’t see any problems with the beetles contaminating the honey, once the bees are ready to use those cells, they’ll chase them out until they find somewhere else to hide. Then the bees will clean the cell out before depositing any honey into it. That’s my guess.

I see lots of beetles hiding between the perspex & the wooden frame of my observation hive. The bees chase them there & put propolis in place to lock them in.

It’s when your worker population drastically drops that you run into trouble. When that happen, no number of beetle traps will save a hive. All you need is one mated female beetle that didn’t get trapped to start the damage.


apparently- and I am certainly no expert- if you don’t have any upper ventilation and you insulate the roof- even if your screened bottom is completely uncovered it will not cause the brood to get chilled- even in snow country. The theory is that the warm air in the hive creates a kind of blanket or halocline within the hive. The warm moist air will not condense on the inside roof of the hive but will be drawn down the colder walls and be replaced by cool dry air at the bottom.

there is a details explanation here:


My bee-mentor showed me these traps the other day, they are like a fluffy backed vinyl (a bit like the vinyl tablecloths) and they hang like curtains on both sides of the box between the box and first and last frame.


Oddly enough while I always find SHB in my hives, the bees seem to keep them under control without my doing much of anything. Overall, my bees pretty much seem to be able to take care of themselves without me. Anyone else have the same experience?


Hi are you saying place a layer of diatomaceous earth on the screened bottom board or have the layer of earth under the hive? I have the flow hive which has a removable piece of waxed white cardboard, or similar, but I’m not quite getting the idea of how I should use it with the vegetable oil/earth setup. Incidently I just slid it out a few cm and there was a beetle .


I’m sorry, I don’t know anything about beetles as we don’t have them but diatomaceous earth kills bees