Small Hive Beetles

Unfortunately we now have small hive beetles in our area.  On September 17th one of our fellow beekeepers called and informed me that they have “the beetle”. They brought a sample and showed me, we compared the beetle to the pictures on the web page, and it was indeed a small hive beetle.  This is a first for me to see beetles here in our area.  They are rather nasty insects and need to be treated right away to maintain control.  The apiary manager for the state of South Dakota was contacted and his advice is to:

  1. As soon as you see the beetles take off the honey supers.
  2. Extract the honey as soon as possible.
  3. Treat the hive with corrugated square w/check mite strip with one (1) strip per 5 frames.
  4. Remove the check mite strips after 42 – 45 days.
  5. Use a ground drench such as Gardstar*  around the hive approximately 24″ in front of hive every 2 – 4 months during warm weather.  Do not use Gardstar* in the hive.
  6. Most beetles will die off during cold weather but the beetle will over winter in the brood cluster.
  7. There are several beetle traps described in the article below, some can be purchased and some can be made by the beekeeper.  There are chemical solutions but there are also organic solutions that can be applied to maintain an acceptable level for beetle control.

A very informative article on small hive beetles can be found at:

ADR bees carry the above mentioned treatment products.

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