Seems one of my best nucs (or former best nuc) has succumbed to the dreaded Small Hive Beetle (SHB). Not sure what exactly has happened since this was a booming nuc, one that I made 3 splits off this spring. It was a mess and sad at the same time to see this happen. I need to obviously check the nucs more frequently to make sure this doesn’t happen to the others. I’ll update this post with pics later so you can see the disaster up front and close.
I had another 3 deep hive 2 weeks ago (and I should have taken a picture) that I inspected and there were probably several hundred dead SHB in the inner cover. The hive is tilted forward a bit and there was a mound in the corner. This is the worst year for SHB that I have encountered. I’m into Integrated Pest Management, known as IPM, using screen bottom boards and beetle traps. The good thing is that this hive is booming with bees and they were able to keep the suckers in check. Still a little unnerving to say the least. I guess I need to use more traps or find some other method to deal with them.
Went out this am to check the bird baths to make sure there was ample water for the bees and I saw this:
Click to make larger.
And another view:
Not sure what to make of this… only 72°F this am. Could be that I added a super yesterday after harvesting the honey from another hive so they had lots of new food since the frames were dripping with honey. Maybe this is a celebration stance…
BTW, in the last two days (between thunderstorms) I harvested about 180 lbs of honey off 3 hives. One had 3 supers and the other two had 2 each. Basically the 1st super in each hive the queen had been laying so I didn’t harvest any of those frames. I guess my late spring management was alittle lacking and she needed more room. I’ll be making some splits soon out of these colonies so that should take care of that issue.
You can see that the hives are sitting on some Rohn 20G tower sections. Typically they are used to mount an antenna on (TV, Amateur Radio etc) but since I only use 25G I put them to good use!
Got 60 lbs from 3 supers…. actually it was more like 2 1/8th supers. Seems I was not doing very good hive management in one colony so the queen decided to lay in the super so I only got a couple of frames that I could extract from. For some known reason, some of the frames were partially started but the bees seemed to not like that frame and continued making foundation on the adjacent frames. Go figure… couldn’t extract from those either.
I have one hive left that I call my super hive that has 3 supers on top. So i’ll tackle that one this weekend. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to do one more extraction before fall.
There was quite a few open cells that were not capped one some of the frames so I have the 5 gallon bucket in a closed up room with a dehumidifier so make sure I get the extra moisture out.
Updated: Wanted to update with a pic of one of the frames. Notice how dark it is…