No one wants to find beetles in their home, including your honey bees. A hive beetle infestation can prove disastrous for your colony. It’s important to keep your colony strong so they can ward off these and other pests or diseases that threaten the hive. There are also several treatment methods you can use to prevent or exterminate hive beetles. Help your honey bees fend off this threat with our guide on how to get rid of hive beetles in your apiary.
WHAT ARE HIVE BEETLES?
Despite their small size, hive beetles can quickly bring a colony to its knees if you don’t deal with them. Adult hive beetles lay their eggs within the hive. When these eggs hatch, the larvae begin feasting on the hive’s resources. Beetle larvae will also eat the honey bee brood and eggs, dealing a serious blow to the colony’s population. This destruction puts your honey bees under a lot of stress and can lead to lower populations and resources for your colony.
PRACTICE PROPER HIVE MAINTENANCE
As with many honey bee pests and diseases, prevention is the best treatment for hive beetles. A strong colony with a thriving population will have an easier time chasing out hive beetles and preventing an infestation. You can help your colony succeed by keeping an eye out for signs of pests and diseases, practicing good colony hygiene, and ensuring your honey bees have plenty of resources to fend for themselves.
REMOVE UNNECESSARY HONEY SUPERS
When hive beetles invade a colony, the adult honey bees will do their best to chase them out. Give your honey bees a hand by removing unnecessary honey supers. This will reduce the amount of territory your honey bees need to cover and make it easier for them to catch and drive out the hive beetles. If you have to remove a super that isn’t ready to harvest, you can place it with a stronger colony. Just be careful of transferring hive beetles from one colony to another. If the super has an infestation, freezing it will kill any hive beetles, eggs, or larvae that remain before you transfer it to a new colony.
MAKE THE HIVE LESS INVITING
Another way to prevent a hive beetle infestation in the first place is to make your hives inhospitable for the beetles. Hive beetles don’t like sunlight, so try placing your beehives somewhere that receives full sunlight for at least part of the day. Maintain your hives well, and get rid of any cracked or rotten frames or boxes, as these create good hiding places for hive beetles. You can find other hive beetle traps and repellants at Mann Lake to keep these pests away from your honey bees.
When you know how to get rid of hive beetles, you can protect your colony from disaster. Stop by Mann Lake to purchase high-quality treatments, hive frames, and other equipment that will allow you to set your honey bees up for a healthy, successful season.