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Small hive beetles already


I have not even had my hive for a week and I’ve already seen 5 or 6 black small hive beetles, how is this possible? What should I be doing about this at this time?


They are fast, and they target weak hives.

Squash any beetles you see.
Consider beetle traps.
Keep the hive strong.
Don’t expand their space too fast.
Try not to squish bees - if you do, remove the bodies.
Don’t flick wax, honey or dead bees onto the ground (collect in a bucket and discard).
Ask @JeffH for all of his secrets. :smile:


They came with the packages/nucs…free of charge!


Thank you folks, I appreciate it.


I got some free beetles too! I made a trap out of corrugated plastic and put boric acid in it capped with Crisco. However, I’m not sure I put them in the correct place. I stick my traps on top of the flow hive corrugated board right beneath the screen bottom board. It bows my board a bit. Good, bad or ugly? :grinning:


Sorry to hear this Chris but welcome to the new world of beekeeping. Beetles, parasites, predators and disease. Beetles can smell a hive from miles away, they have been known to travel up to 15km (9-10 miles) to the nearest hive and can also live on nectar in flowers and breed in compost heaps.
What traps or precautions do you have in your hive? We can offer you a few simple tricks to keep the numbers down. Dawn has already suggested a few. A sprinkle of diathomaceous earth on the corflute tray under the mesh helps (needs to be cleaned & refreshed weekly of after rain), silver bullets, apithor traps and felt or table cloth pieces on top of the super also helps to tangle their legs.


Thanks Roderick. I will start some of those things. I wish the bees could just kill those things.


Hi & thank you Dawn. I don’t have any secrets. I think I’ve just about exhausted all of my SHB strategies (secrets) into the forum:) Probably more than once.

Flicking dead bees onto the ground probably isn’t a problem with beetles because ants would deal with them. Also expanding the space too quick wouldn’t be a problem either.

Keep the hive strong is the main thing to do, however a weak colony can also deal with beetles as long as we remove any frames containing brood or pollen that doesn’t have a good covering of worker bees on them. Replace those frames with empty drawn comb or even frames containing some honey is fine. Beetles wont lay eggs in empty comb or comb containing honey.