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Update: Easy feeder/pest control system

 
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JGW07
Scout Bee


Joined: 06 Apr 2010
Posts: 270
Location: USA, GA, Hephzibah

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:43 pm    Post subject: Update: Easy feeder/pest control system Reply with quote

I've added three photos to my album on my easy feeder/pest control design. Small hive beetles are beginning to reproduce again and one jar trap by an entrance has captured at least a dozen adults and one larva. The traps have comb with pollen and honey. I drizzle a bit of honey on the funnels to entice them in, and once they enter, the funnel won't let them climb back into the hive. I had to feed the bees this winter due to low stores, and this system made it very, very easy. No removing roofs or top bars to place a feeder inside. Just unscrew one of the jars and screw in a jar of syrup in its place. I did find some beetles at the bottom of one empty feeder jar, so I dumped the contents onto a cinder block and crushed them with a brick. That was in a weaker hive. In a stronger hive, I found no beetles in the feeder jar, only in a trap. Hopefully, as the colonies grow in strength, they'll all chase the beetles into the traps. http://imgur.com/a/3YTzK
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WileyHunter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 13 Jan 2014
Posts: 125
Location: Batesville, IN USA

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bookmarked that page! Thanks for sharing.

I'm hoping to have our first TBH completed this week and this will likely come into play. While I'd rather not 'have' to feed the gals, I know reality is that (at least with winters like this we will likely need to), I like that this is a solution that allows you to do so without disturbing the hive.
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JGW07
Scout Bee


Joined: 06 Apr 2010
Posts: 270
Location: USA, GA, Hephzibah

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just don't get any syrup onto the lip of the jars or the rings because when it dries it can be hard to unscrew. That only happened once, but it was a lesson learned! The thing I like about it is it's simple to add onto the hive and very cost effective. Whether you want to just add one hole for a feeder, or go all the way like I did and add holes for traps, it can be done very inexpensively with canning supplies.

I have to feed one hive after dark because it tends to get robbed. It's nice not having to open the hive up and move top bars. There's no disturbance of the hive at all. I went out this afternoon after putting a couple more traps in place earlier in the day and found that small hive beetles had already been lured inside. I'm experimenting with where to place the holes for the traps. So far one that is right below an entrance has caught the most, probably ones entering the hive.
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JGW07
Scout Bee


Joined: 06 Apr 2010
Posts: 270
Location: USA, GA, Hephzibah

PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2014 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm now seeing wax moth larvae in the traps. Webs and cocoons are being spun in the funnels and the jars. To make sure none escape, since a web hanging down from a funnel would offer a route out, I trade out the trap for a new one and put a solid lid on and place it in the hot sun to give those pasty pests a tan. http://imgur.com/a/3YTzK Laughing
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JGW07
Scout Bee


Joined: 06 Apr 2010
Posts: 270
Location: USA, GA, Hephzibah

PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In case some some of you are trying this method, here is another update. We are out of the pest season and into the feeding season. As I already mentioned, the traps caught a lot of pests. I found only a handful of beetles and no larvae over the course of the spring/summer. But food stores is a different problem. One hive was on the verge of starvation I discovered. It's been raining for two days but the system allows me to screw in quart jars of syrup without opening the hive (with four stations, I could give them a gallon at one time). When I checked earlier today, the bees had emptied most of one jar, which was directly below the cluster. I added a picture showing the bees inside the feeder jar. http://imgur.com/a/3YTzK
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JGW07
Scout Bee


Joined: 06 Apr 2010
Posts: 270
Location: USA, GA, Hephzibah

PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It being a dearth season, robbers were inevitably drawn to the syrup even though access required them to navigate a small entrance and work their way to the back half of the hive. I closed up the hive and added a screened ventilation top bar. It's simply a top bar with 3/4" holes drilled along its length and screen stapled to one side. The robbers will eventually leave in frustration and the returning foragers will simply congregate at the ventilation holes seeking a way in. I'll remove it at dusk and let the foragers in and then open the entrance. I'll check it in the morning, and if I see continued robbing, I'll close up the hive and put the ventilation bar back in place. I added a picture of it, but with the screen on the under surface all you can see are the holes.
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andy pearce
Silver Bee


Joined: 30 Aug 2009
Posts: 663
Location: UK, East Sussex, Brighton

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We do not have the beetles yet (they are on their way!) but I like the multipurpose-ness of your idea....I have this bookmarked.
Thanks for sharing
A
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JGW07
Scout Bee


Joined: 06 Apr 2010
Posts: 270
Location: USA, GA, Hephzibah

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're welcome. It's very easy to use and simple, as well as inexpensive, to make, especially for the backyard beekeeper like me with only a few hives.
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JGW07
Scout Bee


Joined: 06 Apr 2010
Posts: 270
Location: USA, GA, Hephzibah

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't posted in a while (although I often visit just to see what's going on here). I continue to experiment with my system. I decided to go with only three holes for the next two hives, but have concluded that four is better. Three is too spread out. I live in an area where small hive beetles thrive. Augusta, GA is famous for the Masters Tournament and pollen, and as soon as stuff starts blooming here, the beetles start reproducing. The traps are catching a lot of larvae, but on inspecting one of my hives, I found some larvae crawling on the floor between the traps. I just brushed them into the holes and down the funnels and that was it. I haven't seen any more since, although I have seen two adults on a comb; one I crushed, the other I couldn't get to. I caught a swarm and split another hive, so I've been feeding through the bottom board as well. It's been convenient to place the feeder jar close to the cluster without having to open the hive up. http://imgur.com/a/3YTzK
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JGW07
Scout Bee


Joined: 06 Apr 2010
Posts: 270
Location: USA, GA, Hephzibah

PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, everybody!

Here's my yearly update for those of you dealing with small hive beetles. I made a big change in my lids and I've updated my album http://imgur.com/a/3YTzK . I no longer use screened lids because the screens were breaking down, some faster than others (some screens went two years, others a year), and bees were getting into the traps (I probably lost a couple dozen). Plus, they were the most complicated part of the system to make. I discovered that making gaps with a chisel created perfect slots, big enough for beetles and plump wax moth larvae but too small for bees, and I could make them very fast, unlike the screened ones. After testing them to make doubly sure no bees could get through them, I put them in place of all the screened lids.

Honestly, I love this system. Small hive beetles have completely ceased to be an issue in my hives these last three years. Previously, I tried passive trapping with tubs of mineral oil or diatomaceous earth under screens, but active trapping with bait works much better. Initially, the beetles may be ending up in the traps by being chased and looking for a hiding place, but once a female lays eggs in the bait and they hatch, the feeding larvae seem to draw more adult beetles into the the traps as I find many more adults in traps with larvae than in those without. It makes sense that in a dark hive the beetles would rely on scent much like bees do.

I make sure when I build my hives that there is absolutely no place for SHB's to hide--no cracks, splits, or crevices of any kind. Their nature is to find dark, tight places to get away from the bees. The traps become the "perfect" place, especially now with the slotted lids in place of the screens. Besides beetles, the traps catch wax moths, ants, and sometimes small cockroaches.

I also added a few pictures showing what I use to close a hive and the method behind it, as well as how my follower boards can be used for paper combines.

If anyone else on this forum is using this system, I'd love to hear from you.

Jon
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1581
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just wanted to say many thanks for sharing your ingenuity with us. I think your ideas are incredibly clever and the simplicity of them, using mostly everyday items with only a very basic DIY skill level/tools, means that anyone can make them. Love it!

Thankfully we don't have small hive beetle here in the UK yet, but your system will be my go to option, as and when we do.

Really appreciate you taking the time to document it so clearly.

Cheers

Barbara
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JGW07
Scout Bee


Joined: 06 Apr 2010
Posts: 270
Location: USA, GA, Hephzibah

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Barbara! From the beginning of this project, I had in mind that it had to be cheap, easy to make, and effective. The lids were the only sticking point on that, and now I think that's solved. I hope the beetles never make it to your side of the pond, but know that if they do, this will take care of them. For me, the beetles have gone from a major concern to none at all, and I'm glad to be able to share this with anyone who can use it.

Jon
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