The Battle Continues

I began writing this post towards the end of July 2011 when at the time only a few bees including the queen were huddled on the left hand corner of the frame. This is the  hive I started  from 3lbs of packaged bees. The hive seemed to be doing well during the first three to four weeks but quickly began its decline trying to ward off the small hive beetles (SHB). Unfortunately, the first week of August 2011, they finally succumbed to the small hive beetles. It was truly a tough fight.  I did my best as a beginner but with limited experience my best was not good enough.  I tried making my own SHB traps out of tupperware that I punctured with holes and then added  old banana peels and apple cider; based on some  of my research, I thought that this might control them, but it didn’t.  I also tried SHB beetle jails that I purchased–that didn’t work either.  I finally tried the Fat Man Beetle trap after learning about it from my internet research, and it worked for a little while but ultimately was no match for the persistent efforts put forth by the small hive beetles. While the battle with this hive was lost, the hive I started from a nuc continues to win . This particular colony is strong and  it is controlling the SHB. I am now truly glad I started two hives instead of one.  I know now that in my heavily wooded area where the hive beetles are seemingly in abundance that a nuc of bees has a better chance of surviving than a package of bees.  Stay tuned for updates as my beekeeping journey moves forward.

One Response to “The Battle Continues”
  1. jewelant says:

    I realize that some remedies are not expedient for commercial beekeepers due to the expense and logistics. I’m a backyard beekeeper, so am working at this from a different situation so bear with me.

    I lost four hives last week and it TOOK a week to clean up the mess with a power washer and bleach. My one remaining hive has a queen, a new hive and frames, and is starting over in JULY for goodness sake. Recently they discovered the small hive beetle on yet another Hawaiian island. BUT people are working on solutions and inventions to contain the problem. I ordered some predatory nematodes for the soil under my hive area, and dusted with the varroa mite remedy powdered sugar, which angers the bees to chase beetles also. Some of my other solutions, born of observation of what was left:

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