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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a Master Beekeeper! Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.


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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Major (but easily fixed) problem with the Freeman SHB

A few days ago, I removed the Freeman trap on my Bermuda hive to allow the bees to have more ventilation. I'm not seeing any SHBs in any of my hives right now so using the trap didn't seem necessary for the moment.

To my horror, I pulled the trap out and there were hundreds of dead bees in the trap. I was so upset that I pulled the trap out and dumped the contents in a cookie sheet before I remembered to take a picture.

The picture below shows about 1/3 of the bees that were dead. My hands were shaky - they are all the time but the camera wasn't adjusting for it for some reason, although it has that capability. Anyway you can at least see the bodies.


This morning I could see many bees exiting the hive from the back. Bermuda is a huge hive - seven boxes - so I didn't want bees in my face and just held the camera down and took a picture without looking myself. You can see in the picture that the screen part of the screened bottom board is just hanging down about 1/2 inch - allowing the bees easy exit from the hive.

They were even using the back entrance they created to removed a rubber band from a frame. However, I guess that when the trap was in place, bees who entered or left that way also often fell into the vat of oil below the screen and they drowned.



I knew even with the honey flow in full force, I would have to take the hive apart and address this problem today.

I opened up the hive and took off all the boxes and stacked them. When I got to the trap, I took it off of the hive and turned it over.

As you can see the screen isn't attached to the frame. That was true all the way across the frame. The screen wire in the front entry was stapled with a staple gun to the wood beneath so this problem does not occur in the front. I got out my trusty staple gun and attached the screen to the wood frame, turned it over and began to restack the hive boxes.

I do hope I didn't injure the queen or kill too many bees in the process. The hive is boiling over with bees and honey.

The beetle trap is very effective on beetles although it was hard to see the SHB bodies for looking at the dead bee bodies. I don't see SHB in this hive and in between the dead bees were lots of dead SHBs.

I do think this is a major problem in the use of this trap and caught me by surprise. Although the trap works for the SHB, it should also be bee-friendly.

Jerry should not send out the traps without both screened edges being affixed to the wood. Perhaps in his eagerness to send me mine as a tester, he neglected this one thing and other traps he has sent out have both edges stapled.

As I did on all my hives today, I did take the opportunity to give a powdered sugar shake to the brood boxes for this hive.
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1 comment:

  1. Despite the problem with the trap it sounds like the hive is really healthy and busy.

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