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Small Hive Beetle Traps and Therapies


If you’re a beekeeper within the Southern area of the US, you might be more than likely acquainted with Small Hive Beetles (additionally known as SHB). This honey bee pest poses some severe dangers to our colonies. Hive Beetle management generally is a tough activity. Small Hive Beetle traps and good colony administration are the primary traces of protection utilized by most beekeepers.

Tips on how to Get Rid of Small Hive Beetles

Small hive beetle trap in use in a beehive image.

For many people, who reside within the hotter areas of the US, Small Hive Beetles are one thing we can’t ignore. Most colonies will find yourself with some beetles ultimately.

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This generally is a massive drawback. In my space, beekeepers lose colonies every year attributable to hive beetle infestations. Does this imply it’s best to “freak out” if you see one or two of them?

No, a Small Hive Beetle inhabitants saved beneath management is just not a loss of life sentence. However, it’s best to at all times be on guard and monitor the situation of your colonies. Performing common hive inspections, particularly within the heat months, is essential.

Grownup Beetles Do No Harm

You possibly can think about the challenges of attempting to maintain a tiny flying beetle out of a beehive – whereas permitting the honey bees to come back and go.

Although some of us are engaged on this concept. I’ve not seen an entrance reducers that works rather well with out severe drawbacks. Perhaps sometime.

Apparently, the grownup beetles do no injury to the colony. They fly into the hive searching for a spot to put eggs on the wax comb.

SHB love cracks and crevices. If the bee colony doesn’t have sufficient staff to patrol all of the comb inside, eggs laid by grownup SHB will hatch.

Beetle Larva Chargeable for Harm within the Hive

It’s the larval section of the Small Hive Beetle that causes injury. The larvae are small white grubs. New beekeepers might mistake them for bee brood or larva at first.

Additionally, they’re comparable in look to the larvae of the Wax Moth. However hive beetle larva have spines alongside the size of the physique and three pair of distinct legs on the anterior finish.

Small hive beetle larva showing legs on anterior end this is different than wax moth larva image.

Beetle larvae eat honey, pollen and younger creating bees abandoning feces that causes honey to ferment.  Typically, the scenario will get so unhealthy that fermented honey will run out of the entrance of the hive.

The frames of comb inside develop into lined with a transparent slime. A big inhabitants of beetle larvae can take down a beehive in only a few days. Sure – days!

If situations get actually unhealthy, your complete colony of bees might determine to abscond or depart the hive.  

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As soon as beetle larvae attain a sure measurement, they are going to crawl outdoors and burrow into the soil close to the hive to pupate. Ultimately, grownup beetles emerge and the cycle begins once more.

Hive Beetle larva in slimed honey comb.

How Small Hive Beetle Traps Assist

Prevention is the very best methodology of Small Hive Beetle Management. Stopping adults from laying eggs within the hive ends in no creating beetle larvae.

That is the place our arsenal of hive beetle traps and remedy methods come into play. We wish to stop the grownup Small Hive Beetles from laying eggs within the first place.

We could also be unable to maintain the adults out. However, trapping a few of them rapidly, helps your colony management the quantity inside.

These of us in areas the place this pest is widespread, typically hold a number of beetle traps within the hive in the course of the Summer season. In truth, it’s not a nasty thought to put a pair of their as soon as the climate begins to heat. Be proactive.

Standard Small Hive Beetle Traps

There are many several types of small hive beetle traps, rims and shims available on the market. Most of them have a number of compartments. The concept is to lure the grownup hive beetle contained in the lure – the place they won’t be able to get out.

Attractants or numerous forms of beetle bait are sometimes positioned contained in the lure. And, the usage of mineral oil to lure and suffocate beetles is widespread as properly.  Let’s take a look at a number of well-liked fashions.

  • beetle jail
  • beetle blaster
  • sonny-mel beetle lure
  • oil trays
  • Swiffer pads

The Beetle Jail – Reusable Beetle Lure

The Beetle Jail – is at present my favourite hive beetle lure. It’s re-usable – although kinda gnarly to scrub out. However, I do like the actual fact I can use it repeatedly – much less waste or discarded plastic within the landfill!

A new small hive beetle trap called a beetle jail image.

Beetle jails are designed to hold between the frames contained in the hive. It’s common to make use of two within the brood field – close to the sides. They’re a sturdy lure that sits recessed between the highest bars.

There are 3 compartments and a pair of of them have a small slit within the prime. As bees chase the grownup beetles- the beetles hopefully scurry contained in the slit.

Fill the two bigger compartments about 1/3 – 1/2 filled with mineral oil, vegetable oil or beetle oil. This isn’t bait – it’s imply to lure the adults. Take care when putting in and eradicating – you don’t want to spill oil within the hive.

Some beekeepers report success in utilizing DE or Diatomaceous Earth within the bigger compartments as an alternative of oil. For those who do that, watch out – DE additionally kills bees.

The smaller center compartment can be utilized for bait – although I usually don’t hassle. You possibly can add a little bit of pollen, or some apple cider vinegar for beetle bait.

The Beetle Blaster -A Disposable Beetle Lure

This disposable beetle lure, often known as the Beetle Blaster, was designed by an American Firm. Mr. Laurence Cutts is a lifetime beekeeper and retired Florida State apiary inspector.

He’s additionally a heck of a pleasant man (whom I had the pleasure to satisfy one time) and he is aware of greater than I might ever hope to about Small Hive Beetles.

Beetle Blaster disposable small hive beetle trap in hive between frames image.

This lure hangs between the frames very like the Beetle Jail. It must also be partially crammed with oil however has no compartment for bait.

It’s essential to fastidiously pour a small quantity of oil in by the slots within the prime. Have a paper towel or much like clear the oil off the highest earlier than inserting within the hive.

Not as sturdy or reusable because the beetle jail, this lure is inexpensive and designed to throw away. They’re a good selection attributable to the truth that they’re inexpensive.

Nevertheless, it takes a little bit care to push them down between the frames. Be mild however agency. They have to sit down in between the highest bars to work.

Even then – some beetles will disguise beneath the rim between the wood prime bar and the plastic lure prime. Run your hive software alongside the highest to squish anybody hiding there when doing inspections.

Sonny-Mel Beetle Lure – Home made Possibility

This do-it-yourself beetle lure has been profitable in some areas. Use a small plastic sandwich container and drill small 1/8″ holes across the sides – not fairly on the backside.

Add a layer of mineral oil contained in the field. Additionally, glued contained in the field is one other small container (typically a bottle cap). Contained in the bottle cap a liquid beetle bait is positioned.

Beetle bait recipe:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • peel of 1 ripe banana- chopped into small items

Permit the beetle bait recipe to ferment for a few days earlier than including to the lure. The sandwich lure is positioned on the highest bars contained in the hive.

After all, this make it crucial to put a shim (wood body) or further tremendous on the hive to create space.

Oil Tray Traps

Some beekeepers expertise success with oil traps positioned beneath the hive. These trays (with oil inside and even DE) are positioned beneath a screened backside board.

Some kinds fully substitute the underside board. Their trays are located in a manner that forestalls the bees from including propolis and making them non-removeable.

Notable fashions are the West Lure and the Freeman Beetle Lure. Each match beneath the hive and include a tray to carry the oil.

The concept is that beetle larva (and possibly some varroa) will fall into the lure and be unable to depart. I don’t favor this kind of lure as a result of expense and mess however it’s possible you’ll like to provide it a strive.

Swiffer Pads for Beetle Management

A newcomer in Small Hive Beetle traps is the usage of pads. These pads are positioned on the highest bars contained in the hive.

As, the bees attempt to take away them from the hive it causes the pad to develop into very fuzzy – and grabby. Grownup beetles develop into trapped within the fuzz -but most bees escape.

Some beekeepers expertise success with the usage of unscented dryer sheets or unscented Swiffer Pads as hive beetle traps.

These will be efficient, I’ve tried the Swiffer pads and the business bee pads and located each to work. My concern with them is that they do catch and kill some bees.

And for myself, they made the already caught collectively bins tougher to separate. Needless to say we have no idea the impact on the bees from any chemical substances within the sheets not labeled for bee use.

Different Small Hive Beetle Therapies

When Hive Beetle larvae are able to pupate and develop into adults they have to depart the hive and burrow into the soil.

It is a delicate time after we might be able to cease their improvement. If these larvae by no means attain maturity, beetle populations don’t improve as rapidly in your apiary.

GardStar Floor Drench

GardStar® 40% EC is utilized as a soil drench that forestalls beetle larva from creating into adults. Software might final 30 days relying on soil sort, ph. and rain. It’s not efficient in areas with a number of rainfall.

Care should be taken to not enable any drift onto the doorway of the hive as bee deaths might outcome.


Helpful predatory nematodes (Heterorhabditis Indica ) are commercially out there so as to add to your soil. If beetles are a major problem in your space, that is one thought to think about.

This methodology has not labored properly in my arduous clay soil however you’ll have higher outcomes the place you reside. You can’t use simply any type of nematodes – some varieties do a greater job of grub management however are usually not fitted to Hive Beetle larva.

Chemical Management

For beekeepers attempting to eliminate Small Hive Beetles, there are usually not many chemical choices. In truth, just one is authorised to be used in beehives right now. That is the chemical “coumaphos” – typically offered beneath the identify – Checkmite+.

Checkmite+ for Hive Beetle Management

Checkmite+ (coumaphos) chemical strips are positioned inside small bins with slits. Beetles go into the bins to hid and are uncovered to the coumaphos.

Thought-about a “arduous” chemical, I don’t know any beekeepers who use it. I’d not use this in my hives. However, if you’re concerned in a serious beetle battle this could be the one possibility.

You should definitely put on protecting chemical resistant gloves (not your bee gloves) and comply with the directions from the producer.

Different Strategies of Controlling Beetles in Hives

There are some beekeeper choices that will assist our honey bee colonies cope with beetle infestations.

  • observe clear beekeeping
  • place hives in full solar
  • don’t use heavy mulch – keep away from moist floor
  • keep away from giving bees an excessive amount of house
  • scale back entrance measurement

Whereas working within the bee yard, don’t throw down bits of wax and different hive particles. This observe appeal to beetles, skunks and different predators. And the aroma, encourages grownup hive beetles.

Grownup Small Hive Beetles favor hives in shady areas. Subsequently, inserting hives within the solar could also be of some profit.

Hold the bottom close to your hives clear. Utilizing a hive stand is a good suggestion for a number of causes. It’s simpler in your again whereas managing your hive. And, it’s simpler to maintain the world across the base of the beehive clear.

For those who select to put one thing beneath your hives – don’t use heavy mulch or enable thick grass to develop.

Hives with a number of bee bins will need to have a big sufficient inhabitants to patrol all the comb floor. Solely add one other tremendous when the bees want it.

If you’re experiencing a extreme drawback with beetles, decreasing the doorway of your hive might assist. Guard bees will try to chase grownup beetles out.

They don’t seem to be usually profitable however it’s at all times a good suggestion to cut back the hive entrance throughout instances of stress for the colony.

Inspecting honeycomb of beehive looking for signs of beetle infestation image.

Why Can’t the Bees Get Rid of Beetles?

As soon as the beetle infestation grows uncontrolled, no quantity of Small Hive Beetle Traps will be capable to make a distinction.

Honey bees can sting mammals and different bees. Nevertheless, the bee stinger can’t penetrate the arduous shell of the beetles.

The most effective our bees can do is to corral the beetles into corners. Right here, the employee stands guard and prevents the beetles’ escape.

There’s no excellent method to eliminate Small Hive Beetles. Our purpose is to restrict the grownup beetles contained in the hive. Thus limiting the variety of beetle larvae current to do injury.

The beekeeper should try to maintain wholesome robust colonies, make good choices on hive placement and work to maintain beetle numbers beneath management.

When attainable attempt to keep away from utilizing poisons or pesticides contained in the hive or the place bees can entry them.

FAQs About Controlling Small Hive Beetles

Why don’t bees chase grownup beetles out?

Honey bees can’t throw all of the beetles out of the hive. SHB can “hunker down” and tuck of their head and legs.

What do you set in hive beetle traps?

Most traps have a number of compartments. The bigger areas are designed for the trapping oil. Frequent oils are : vegetable oil, mineral oil or a particular beetle oil that’s imagined to function an attractant.

A number of traps have a particular bait compartment. It’s not a requirement to make use of bait in a lure. As they scurry across the hive attempting to flee the bees, some beetles will go into the lure – and hopefully not make it again out.

What are Small Hive Beetles most interested in?

Adults are interested in the odors of honey, pollen and even employee bees.

The place to Small Hive Beetles come from?

SHB (Aethina tumida) are native to sub-saharan Africa however they’ve unfold to different elements of the globe.

The place are hive beetle eggs laid?

Along with laying eggs in and on the comb, Hive Beetles additionally place clusters of eggs in cracks and crevasses contained in the hive. Their eggs are about half the scale of a bee egg and really tough to see.


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