Hive Beetle infestation

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Andre Broquard

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Jul 22, 2016, 8:49:22 AM7/22/16
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First year beekeeper with two hives (now one). One of my hives was ravaged over the past two days by robbing bees. I attempted to stop the robbing with an entrance reducer and a wet bed sheet with no success. Last night the activity was very light and so I peeked into the hive and smelled fermented honey. There are hive beetle larvae throughout the hive and the honey is 95% fermented! What is the suggested protocol for cleaning this up? Let other bees rob the rest? Will I be able to use the comb again? Needless to say, I am very disappointed. I am not sure if the bees left on there own because of the beetles or if they were all killed in the robbing process.

Thanks

Dana a Mcdowell

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Jul 23, 2016, 2:33:50 PM7/23/16
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I will try to forward to you the article on hive beetles posted by the Benton County Beekeepers' group.  Looks like it "took".  Very good article!! 


On Friday, July 22, 2016 8:00 AM, Andre Broquard <abro...@gmail.com> wrote:


First year beekeeper with two hives (now one). One of my hives was ravaged over the past two days by robbing bees. I attempted to stop the robbing with an entrance reducer and a wet bed sheet with no success. Last night the activity was very light and so I peeked into the hive and smelled fermented honey. There are hive beetle larvae throughout the hive and the honey is 95% fermented! What is the suggested protocol for cleaning this up? Let other bees rob the rest? Will I be able to use the comb again? Needless to say, I am very disappointed. I am not sure if the bees left on there own because of the beetles or if they were all killed in the robbing process.

Thanks
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HIVE BEETLES.wps

Dennis Counts

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Jul 24, 2016, 10:16:36 PM7/24/16
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Once the hive beetle larvae have "slimed" the comb and honey, it is useless.  It is amazing how fast the larvae tunnel and destroy the comb as they eat.  You can take the frames out, lay it somewhere away from the remaining hive and let the bees rob any remaining honey if they want.    You can then scrape off all old comb from the frames and start over.  I had this happen once, after the beetle larvae infested the comb, the bees left.  This was a strong hive that I moved from a top bar hive into a framed hive.  The beetles can smell a distressed hive and can fly from quite a distance.  The best defense for hive beetles is a strong hive, you can also buy beetle traps.  I have also had hives robbed out, once it gets started it is almost impossible to stop it.  I keep the entrances on my hives reduced to about 3 or 4 inches all year, and once the spring flow slows down I reduce them even more.  I also  put robber screens on all of my hives and plan to leave them on all year.  This has worked so far this year.     
On Friday, July 22, 2016 at 7:49:22 AM UTC-5, Andre Broquard wrote:
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