May 2017

NWA Beekeepers Meeting Minutes for May 08, 2017

Prepper Bees Supply:  Call if you want supplies and he (Patrick Edwards 479 616-4345)  will bring the supplies to the bee club meeting for you.

Brad Keck opened the meeting.

Combs and Rogers brought drinks and food.  Many Thanks!

Topic:  Small Hive Beatles (SHB):  How to initiate egg-laying

Dr. Yong I. Park from University of Arkansas Pine Bluff

SHB are opportunistic scavengers from South Africa.

Dr. Park shared his experiments and investigations into SHB and their growth.  As a beekeeper these are the main things to remember:

  • Cooler temperatures slow the development of SHB and warmer temperature speeds up development.  That is why you don’t see so many SHB in the winter and spring.
  • SHB thrive when the temperature goes above 85 degrees and their egg production increases tremendously.
  • Bees have developed a strategy for dealing with SHB. They section them off in the honey-super with propolis and feed them honey (no pollen).  Full SHB do not mate very aggressively.
  • SHB favor honey and pollen.  When you take the inner cover off of the hive you will break the propolis chamber the bees have formed to keep the SHB contained and the SHB will immediately go for the honey / pollen mixture lower in the hive.  
  • IF you enter the hive when it is above 85degrees you should be prepared to harvest honey immediately.  If you wait a few days the SHB will slime the honey.
  • Male SHB will eat SHB eggs because they are high in protein.  Frozen SHBs actually make very good chicken feed.  Live SHB will run away from the chickens before they can be eaten.
  • Iodized salt will retard SHB but also damage the plant matter around a hive.
  • Diatomaceous earth clogs up the SHB’s lungs.  The diatomaceous earth works well in beetle traps.
  • Clean your bottom boards periodically so debris doesn’t pile up on them.  SHB like to lay eggs in the debris.
  • When you remove the top and inner cover make sure that you remove the old propolis so that honey bees are able to re-build SHB jail structures properly.
  • Nimentos are good for dealing with the SHB, but they cannot over winter.