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Small hive beetle - honey destroyed??

 
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Astrid
House Bee


Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Posts: 15
Location: Oslo, Norway

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 7:30 pm    Post subject: Small hive beetle - honey destroyed?? Reply with quote

I am quite sure I have Small Hive Beetles in my first tbh, built this spring. I do have 5-6 combs with 2/3 capped honey that I probably should harvest as soon as possible (tomorrow!) - also to make the hive volum smaller and easier for the bees to defend. Should I freeze the combs for a fem days before i crush and drain to kill possible eggs and/or larvae? Or is the honey destroyed and should not be eaten? Can I melt and use the wax later on? Both old and fresh comb is chewed on in the hive. The colony is realt surprisingly strong, anyway, with little warroa. Can they cope with this? All advice is desperately needed, as this seems to be a little known problem here in Norway. Wow, i am quite depressed. Hope to hear from you fabolous people! Hugs!
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1564
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Astrid

Do you know for sure that small hive beetle has reached Norway, because here in the UK we don't have it and I assumed that it wasn't in Europe yet.
If small hive beetle is not recognised in Norway yet then it may be best to get in touch with whatever government organisation covers bees and beekeeping to have it checked out.

Is the comb badly infested with larvae?

I'm afraid I have no real advice if it is small hive beetle as I have no experience of it, but maybe one of our American members will be able to offer some advice soon.

How many combs do the bees have in total and can they afford you harvesting that much at this time of year?

Sorry, l haven't been much help but didn't want you to think that no one was going to reply.

Hope you get some good advice soon.

Barbara
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biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1051
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am pretty sure there is no SHB in Europe - we would have heard. Are you sure it is not wax moth? Can you take a photo?
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Astrid
House Bee


Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Posts: 15
Location: Oslo, Norway

PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This modning I saw an old biologist friend whom is working with insects in wooden materials. Turned out he used to have bees! Through hvis microscope we could see that my one beetle is not a Small Hive Beetle, but it resembles in size and colour. I do have small, hungry larvaes for sure. He adviced to investigate a little further and look for more beetles, as there then world be a more likely connection between the larvae and the beetle and just not a coincidence. He provided me with some insect traps. Last night I made my own too; 3 aluminum trays on a row on a plank, strapped underneat my screen bottom board, filled with rasp oil. I also plugged my 3 extra entrance holes at the top of the hive, leaving them online with the bottom ones. They have been using the entrances at both places so far, and have seemed to like it, also for ventilation as it has been very hot this summer. After work today I will harvest honey and with that reduce the space. I will catch what I can of any intruders, and follow up closely. My friend was said to eat the honey world be ok, as we are not talking anything poison here after all. I will be putting it straight in the freezer anyway. I will keep you posted! Thanks!
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Astrid
House Bee


Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Posts: 15
Location: Oslo, Norway

PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barbara, you ask:
How many combs do the bees have in total and can they afford you harvesting that much at this time of year?
Quote:


I have 21 combs. I am planning to leave aprox 10 kg of honey, having heard that 3 dm2 equals 1 kg, if both sides of the comb are filled. I have done some rough measurments, and think I can take 5-6 combs. I have not harvested earlier. Your opinion on this is very welcome!
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Astrid
House Bee


Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Posts: 15
Location: Oslo, Norway

PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, messed up with the quote. Will try to get it right next time..
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1564
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi again Astrid..... I prepared this response moments before the site went down, so I appreciate that it may now be out of date, but thought I would post it now anyway in case some of it is still relevant:-

I was loath to suggest, as Phil did, that it might be wax moth because obviously beetles and moths are very different indeed, but if you only saw one beetle and there are lots of quite active(they can move pretty quick for maggots!) white larvae in the honey comb, then my feeling is that it is wax moth. Adult wax moths are only about 5-8mm long and silver grey, so they don't exactly stand out and they hide once they are exposed to daylight, so, you may not see or notice them.
Having top and bottom entrances.... do you have 3 top and 3 bottom? is too many in my opinion and you will create a chimney effect which will draw heat and nest scent out of the hive and also make it much more difficult for the bees to defend. You have probably been lucky that it is only wax moth and not wasps that have got in.

I am loath to comment on whether top or bottom entrances are better for your climate but definitely choose one or the other and not both. The only exception might be to go for bottom entrance in a vertical hive and place a matchstick between upper boxes to allow a tiny bit of air flow that the bees can regulate by propolising, but not allow access to bees or wasps. This would still allow wax moth entry though, so it is a risk if the colony is not really strong.

I would imagine that in Norway, you have long cold winters and although that means the cluster is tighter, they also have to make do on whatever stores they have for longer. Dark bees would probably over winter fine on 10kg of honey, but Italian's and probably buckfasts might struggle. The problem is that if they run out in the depths of winter, it is not easy to open them up and give them more, particularly in your climate, so to my mind it is better to err on the side of caution and leave them more than 10kg. That said, if it is infested with wax moth it is probably better removed and harvested, then replaced with syrup if necessary to top them up.

Must say, I'm relieved that you haven't got small hive beetle. I suppose it is inevitable that it will arrive in Europe sooner or later, but later is definitely better in my view.

Good luck with them and hope you enjoy your honey. I personally wouldn't bother freezing it as it may cause the honey to crystallise and that will make crush and strain more difficult. You are not going to be putting the combs back in the hive (since you are doing crush and strain, so there is no benefit in killing the wax moth eggs and larvae and the eggs will not develop in the honey once you have it extracted. The wax can then be frozen to kill the eggs/larvae that have been strained out.

Good luck with it and hope you enjoy your honey.

Best wishes

Barbara
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Astrid
House Bee


Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Posts: 15
Location: Oslo, Norway

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you very much! It does not look too bad in the hive. I do hope the bees have control over whatever nibbles on some wax. Nothing much to report on in my traps either. Checking again in a fem days.
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imkeer
Foraging Bee


Joined: 03 Oct 2011
Posts: 203
Location: Belgium, Antwerpen, Schilde

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Small hive beatle is in Portugal and Italy !
I think we urgently need strong restrictions in bee imports/exports. Everywhere!

Luc P. (BE)
(https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hapicultuur/246934258717439)
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the small hive beetle was found in Italy. And there are a lot of swarms imported from Italy each year. Plus a lot of beekeepers from Germany winter their bees in Italy. It is just a matter of time, I reckon.
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