A question regarding bees that do not respect bee space.

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by Terri, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Because I live in town, I am restricted to having 2 hives. So, I had a big, strong hive that does no respect brood space and one that struggled. The struggling hive came up queenless late this spring, so I gave them brood from my strong hive and they made another queen that laid an excellent brood pattern. The hive was still small but promising. Then 2 days ago I gave that hive to a neighbor who wants bees.

    That takes us to my big, strong hive that never respects bee space. I have combs that are too close together at the top and there are sort of bridges between most of the honey combs. They have always been this way, and I just figured "bees will be bees".

    But.

    Today I got into my big, strong hive and I saw some beetles, not too many, so I got out the last 2 of my Swiffer sheets because they make pretty good beetle traps. But, then I came across a frame with some sealed brood on it and it was SOLID beetles! I hastily removed it and tossed it across the yard. And, the rest of the frames had some beetles- not as many as you would think- but I think I can take care of them with more Swiffer sheets. I will buy more and use lots of them.

    I went back and ran my hands across the infested frame in an attempt to squash the beetles but those hutchers are hard to kill mostly they ran off into the grass. So, I reduced the opening on my strong hive to make it harder for them to get back in.

    There was no way I was going to put that frame back into the strong hive as it might have beetle eggs in it, so instead I set it in a hive box with the lost field bees from the hive I gave away. I do not expect them to do anything with it, not really, but this having one beetle-infested frame business is a new one for me, and I wanted to think on things for a bit.

    Question: I think that the Swiffer sheets will take care of the remaining beetles, but can anything be done about the poor bee space? Every time I get into that hive the bridges of comb tear apart, which does not bother me, but I suspect the poor bee space is giving the beetles hiding places.

    Is there anything I can do to the ground beneath the hive, to kill the beetles larvae? It is VERY dry under there, and I do not know if that will inhibit beetle larvae or not.

    Lastly, the once beetle- infested frame with the sealed brood and the lost worker bees: any hope for that becoming a hive? I once killed moth eggs in honey comb by freezing the comb and giving it back to the bees to clean up: should I freeze this frame also or would that have no effect? If I need to leave it out in the sun for a while to get rid of any eggs, about how long should I leave it out?
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
  2. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

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    I suspect your talking small hive beetles? I have no experience with them yet but have read a bit on them. Squares of card board is used by many to get rid of them. they hide in the corrugation part, then you throw them in a pail of water to kill the beetles. Also check mate strips are supposed to kill them.
    Yes there is a spray for under the hives to kill the larva.
    Star guard,
    https://carolinahoneybees.com/best-hive-beetle-treatment/

    As far as bee space the bees will keep building burr comb and hooking frames together. I always squeeze my frames together as tight as I can get them from both sides and leave a bit bigger gap along the out side edges. I carry a long chiefs knife I bout at good will to cut along The edges when removing frames. Of course I run 8 and a few 9 frame honey supers as I like to cut the caps off and I do sell the wax for a tidy sum too.


    :D Al
     

  3. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Sounds good: I will shop for a soil treatment tomorrow
     
  4. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

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  5. siberian

    siberian Well-Known Member

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    Have tried sprinkling powder sugar over the bees?
     
  6. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

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    What is the power sugar going to do?
    She isn't dealing with Mites, she has a small hive beetle problem.

    :D Al
     
  7. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I will have to send away for the chemicals. In the mean time I used bug killer for the garden under the hives.

    I put the frame with bugs and sealed brood in it where the last field bees could get at it, and the lost bees that did not enter my remaining hive are sleeping on it. There are plenty of beetle larvae in the hive box though I have tried to clean it up, and I am freezing a frame of honey that had a lot of larvae on it. I might end up giving those bees a frame with eggs in it so they can make a queen, but not unless I can get the beetles half way cleaned up. It is too easy for beetles and larvae to hide in a full hive: unless I get some good work done with cleaning up those beetles it is better I keep just one or two frames in that box.
     
  8. siberian

    siberian Well-Known Member

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    The powder sugar makes the bees to slippery for the mites to hold on to. After you sprinkle them you may have some dead bees, but they were probably week anyway. If you have a screened bottom they will hit the ground and they die
     
  9. siberian

    siberian Well-Known Member

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    Wasn't thinking, thinking
     
  10. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

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