Brisbane Local Food

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I keep European honey bees in a Langstroth hive. I got my nucleus hive from friends in Beaudesert, four frames with a new queen, and In no time at all, I now have a triple decker hive. I kept bees for a long time when my parents were alive as Mum and I had an interest in them. Overseas travel later saw me leave the hives at my brothers place and on return there were no bees left. I had an abortive attempt at starting a nucleus hive from Guilfoyles, where the bees left the hive in the extremely hot conditions of the summer of 14/15 ( I had them in full sun as I always did), I decided to try again, this time I have them underneath a large Acerola Cherry tree in the shade.

I have never before had any beetles in a hive. The friends have devised a method of dealing with them, which while it keeps the numbers under control, does not entirely rid the hive of the pest. The method uses an old CD or DVD plastic case which has a smallish hole (10 - 25 mm Dia.) drilled in the bottom. Inside the case is placed a few spots of cockroach bait (small tube of paste) from bunnings) which attracts the beetles (and the bees) and kills them. Underneath the plastic case are placed some small feet which allows the beetles to go underneath and up through the hole, but not the bees. I used four spots of silicon squeezed and solidified underneath the case. A piece of tape / plastic binder is attached to the case to allow you to push / pull the case into the hive at the hive bee entrance (you leave the tape/plastic sticking out for access. I replace the case every week or so depending on the amount of beetles in the trap.  Apparently the beetles can get to plague proportions in the hive if not kept under control.

I robbed the hive of four frames recently, from the top box. I didn't take too much honey in case the bees needed it for overwintering, but in the last two weeks there has been a good flow of honey, so I may rob again if the bees are filling all the frames.

I will include a couple of photos of the trap, but at the moment it is raining too hard to get a snap.

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Replies to This Discussion

The ANBee list (Australian Native Bees on Yahoo) has had a lot of posts on this beetle and other bee pests. Some people have made traps. With the native bees being so much smaller, nearer the size of the SHB, making a trap for one which doesn't catch the other is quite a challenge.

Not having bees I've not taken a lot of notice of the solutions. Snag with the email list is accessing past posts - it's tedious at best so whatever solutions they've come up with are not readily available even if you did join the list.

There are several ANBee websites maintained by list members. They will probably have posts on SNB and the other pests. If you've the time perhaps perusing those sites might offer some useful suggestions. Eg:

I have two langstroth hives in my backyard and use chux as a beetle trap.

I have used a hanging metal trap which I filled with diatamacious earth but it was on loan and I having found the chux works so I didn't get any myself.

When I first got my hive I was really worried with all the talk about small hive beetle so asked at the 'bee keeping shop' and came away with an apithor trap which I put in my first hive. I haven't continued using them as I'd prefer to have my hive as poison free as possible and I have found the small hive beetle manageable with the chux.

I recently purchased 2 ventilated bottom boards with the optional tray under that can be filled with oil for a beetle trap and on Thursday a beekeeping club mate came over to help and we exchanged the old bottom board for these new ones. I haven't filled them with oil yet as I've been busy extracting.

If I had to use a chemical trap I would use a legal one...

I would Never put a jury rigged trap containing contact pesticide anywhere near my bees or food, putting it in the hive is putting it in the pantry cupboard, not for me.

I have an oil trap at the bottom of my top bar hive. I have to keep the slits leading to it open with a knife every now and then. My bees have always been aggressive and don't like it when I do this so I have to pick my times carefully. I don't get a lot of the SHB in my hive.

Here are the photos. 1- shows the hole in the bottom that the beetles get into the cassette cover. 2- shows a couple of dead beetles. 3= shows how the trap is positioned in the hive. You don't have to open the hive to change the trap. I've never seen a dead bee anywhere near the trap, as they can't get in they ignore it. 


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