Mark,

Hive beetles can be 70-410 a real pain. Keeping strong hives is priority # 1. Removing hiding places like frame spaces/holders. Not leaving top feeders on for long periods.  Old equipment with cracks and holes should be replaced. I buy the Kelly bottom board that has the slide in screen and the slide in tray/board. From about December to 1st of March I put the board in place. I take a paint brush and paint some inexpensive vegetable oil on the board and slide it into place. This does two things. First it provides better insulation from the winter and it provides a trap for the beetles. About every 2 or 3 weeks I take a 4 inch putty knife and scrape the board off. I first look the board over for mite loads and any other stress signs. The bees will run the beetles through the screen and they fall onto the oil. In my part of Texas we get some warm days so I can easily pull the boards off and give them some fresh air flow.

All naturally mated queens will come into contact with bee lines that are not desirable. There is no way to avoid that with this type of mating system. The queen breeder will try to flood the mating area with the drone race of their choice. Most of the queens mate with the preferred drones. Requeen the small number of aggressive ones.

I usually decide if I want to make a split or not around the 1st of April in my area. By then I can tell if a hive is going to be strong enough later to swarm by looking at the brood pattern of the queen. If I think the hive will swarm then I will plan on spliting it soon. Sometimes if I have alot of hives that will probably swarm, then I take brood from these hives and make up more hives that way. For me, I prefer to have strong hives for the main honey flow. By MB2-703  removing brood from several hives you will limit bee numbers enough to end up with a strong hive at the right time for the flow without a swarm. Better to have fewer strong hives than alot of weaker hives at flow time. My main split time is not long after the main flow. That way I can cash in on the honey flow and and give my splits enough time to build up for winter.

I hope that this information helps you and again I want to thank you for supporting the club. Pass our club info around. I am only an email away. Thanks, Dennis

 

Dennis,

 

 

Thank you for forming such a worthy organization.

 

I have been beekeeping since about 1980, but with some breaks here and there.  I currently have 25 hives and hope to build up to about 100 hives. I have just converted to screened bottom boards for all hives and at this point I do not have any mite infestations. I have done no chemical treatments for mites -- just the screened bottom boards and the powder sugar treatment from time to time. I also use a hive stand that elevates the hives about 14 inches off the ground.

 

The main 200-120  problem that I am having is with hive beetles -- lost several hives to them last year before I knew what hit me. I now understand that they generally will not decimate a strong hive, and the ones I lost last year were weakened by the drought and heat. I also use an antibiotic for foulbrood, though I haven't seen any foulbrood in at least 20 years.

 

Here are a couple of questions:

 

How do queen breeders keep the africanized bee genetics out of their queens?  Any non-chemical methods for keeping out hive beetles?

When do you like to split your hives?

Thanks again. I look forward to participating in your organization.

 

Mark


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