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Small Hive Beetles & protein patties

Two weeks ago, we got our nucs. When we installed them into the hives, we added syrup and protein patties. The bees have consumed a lot of syrup. However, when checking last week, it seems they had barely touched the protein patties. Over the next few days following installation, we found small hive beetles in the bottom trays. At first, several, and now it seems the VSH bees have thinned them out.
Today, we did inspections. It seems that protein patties are a great place for larvae (aka maggots) to thrive. There were maggots crawling all thru the patties. It appeared that the bees had chewed on the patties some. I think only in pursuit of maggots. Of course, I removed the patties from the hives.
I am thinking the maggots are SHB larvae.
What do you think ? Pics attached.


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Hi Sam, I’m almost certain they are hive beetle larvae. I can’t zoom in on them because you have two photos. I can zoom in with one photo, but not two. As soon as I click on the photo for the second time, the second photo shows up & so on. I would definitely leave them out of the hive.

cheers

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I have found that it is important not to put too big of a patty in the hive. Often I will only put in half or a quarter. I have also had a disgusting wriggling mass of SHB larvae in the past, but not for quite a few years, since I learned my lesson… :dizzy_face:

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Likewise to Jeff & Dawn. I cut pollen patties into 4” squares or so before freezing them. Adding one at first and gauging how fast or slowly it’s being eaten helps me pace further additions with what the bees need without leaving too much for pests.

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@JeffH @Dawn_SD @Eva
Thanks for the replies - I figured that was what I was dealing with. I will re-load the pics one at a time.

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Hi Sam & thanks. A single photo works best for me with my limited ability with my laptop. @Dawn_SD & @Eva confirmed it. I was going to suggest using a small portion. You might be able to cut the affected area off the patties before freezing them, then give the bees smaller portions after they’ve been frozen long enough to kill any tiny larvae that may still be present.

cheers

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@JeffH
We just fed it to the chickens - :rofl:
We have a case of it it the freezer. We can add more later if it seems necessary. For the time being, I think leave it out and let the bees clean up without a nest for larvae. I don’t really think the bees need it right now anyway. They hadn’t touched it for nearly two weeks. It seems they only chewed away at it to chase the larvae.

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Well done Sam, in my little piece of paradise I don’t feed any supplements, however I see big bags of it available for purchase at my local beekeeping supplier.

If you can get away without feeding it to the bees, that’d be great. Only feed if you have to.

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@JeffH
My intent is to do as little as needed. When installing the nucs into the hives, I put syrup and protein patties in to be sure they had what they needed to build up until I knew they were doing well on their own. They began bringing in pollen the next day and since. I guess, the only way to KNOW that they are getting nectar, is to quit feeding syrup. Everything I have read or watched says they won’t take the syrup if they are getting enough nectar. I think they may be getting the nectar and maybe still taking the syrup for drawing comb. I may take a pause on the syrup when this round empties out and see how they are doing without it .So far, for the 2 weeks we’ve had them, they have been consuming about a gallon of syrup (each per two hives) in about 2-3 days. Although the last few days seemed to be about a 10-15% reduction.

@Dawn_SD @Eva
I think I just learned my lesson too ! :flushed::rofl:
Advice well noted.

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