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This is how to make my small hive beetle trap.

The aim of this trap is to be super effective, super cheap, non time-consuming, and super easy. I think I have cone up with a reasonable solution......

A picture says a thousand words, so here is it is.....
Scroll down it is a long page.




This is just a $3 tray from Kmart (Australia) I am waiting for them to get some more in stock. The girl on the check out must think I am into some serious baking! My trusty GMC drop saw with a standard wood/plastic/aluminum blade
Remember that the teeth are off set to the left and the right so the cut will be larger than the teeth.
Don't forger your safety boots when working with power tools :) It is Queensland after all!
Make sure that the slots are no larger than this...
If  a few bees get through, you have made the slots to large.
I tried a stack of  sizes. The best size is one that the bees can only just not fit through. If the bees can half stick there heads though, you have the perfect size for your bees.
That way the small hive beetle can not just hide in the slot.
This is how I attached the trap. It is just two pieces of wood with slots cut in them. Make the slots deep enough so you can slide the tray. See how it can slide out . This means you don't have to open your hive to check the trap. Neat


Here is one of my hives. See how the trap fits.


This is a joy to see. Hundreds of small hive beetle. The trap has been on this hive for just one week!!! I had no idea that there were this many SHB around.
When I inspected my hives, I would see four or five. Nothing like this!!
They must be flying in from some where.

This hive is only two months old. It is a swarm that I caught with Graham. It is doing very well, and looks very healthy. It has just filled a super in 2 weeks. It could be the smell of honey flow that is attracting them. I am not sure




The theory behind the trap......

If you look at you hive and you are in an area that has SHB, then you will see a few small hive beetle. If  you watch you will see your bees attacking them  - well chasing them, as the attacks don't seem to work. As they chase them all around the frames, the beetle seem to be a little clumsy, and some times they falls off the frames. When they are on the bottom board, the bees chase them around until they find a corner to hide in. Using this behavior, I have designed my trap. It is a bottom board trap. This is for a number of reasons.

*First. Every time a new beetle enters your hive, it must crawl over the bottom board near the entrance. It will be chased by bee as it does. If is is caught by a trap there, well you have a solution.

*Second if  a beetle makes it to your frames, it will be chased by you bees. Every so often, it will fall off the frames, where it may be caught by the trap again..

*Third beetle seem to have an affinity for cracks and corners. By cutting out the bottom board, you have made a corner for the beetle to run in. Make sure that when to cut you bottom board out, use a large drill bit on each of the four corners, so that there is no sharp corner for the beetle to hide in. That way the small hive beetle will run around and around, until they dive down the slot in your trap.

*Fourth  I think I am just like everyone else. I don't like extra thing added to my work load. I wanted a trap that took a minimum of time to inspect and service. That is why the trap is external from the hive, and it has oil -just plain old cooking oil, not a powder like lime etc.

*Fifth When a beetle falls, it takes a second or two for it to right itself and start to fly. That is why it is important to have the oil reasonably close to the slots. -Use a shallow baking tray, they work better than loaf trays. 

*Last The beetle are in you hive for one reason. To lay larvae. This larvae has to get out of your hive and into the ground to pupate. I think that if a hive has any beetle at all, the the chances are that there are a few larvae working around you hive. The bees should be ok if the numbers are small. Having a bottom board trap means that if there is any larvae in your hive, the on the way out to pupate, there is a very good chance that they will also be caught in your trap.

 I live in Queensland, and it seems SHB is more prevalent in humid areas. Powders like lime go hard in a month in areas of high humidity, so a liquid is the go. I am thinking of putting a hole in the tray - just near the top, so that in the highly unlikely event of the trap filling with water- (thought the hive door) then the tray would fill, the cooking oil would rise until it got to the hole and could not go into the hive.

This is the theory behind my trap, and in my opinion why it works so well. I  have top traps - AJ traps in my hives also. At present my bottom  board traps are catching about 20 times as many beetle as the traps in the top.

I  have stolen points from many other designs - including Lawrence's trap. Read all that I can, and watched the bees and the beetles to come up with my design. Be aware however that I wish my trap to be publicly available, and the design free for all to use. There is no perfect solution, but at this time this trap is working really well for me. Give it a try. Should improvements on the design be made, well lets share them with everyone else. Email me your ideas, so I  can put them up here and  we can all benefit.  
 


Mike


If you want any more information or comments feedback, just send me an email

 
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