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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 17th year of beekeeping in April 2022. Now there are more than 1300 posts on this blog. Please use the search bar below to search the blog for other posts on a subject in which you are interested. You can also click on the "label" at the end of a post and all posts with that label will show up. At the very bottom of this page is a list of all the labels I've used.

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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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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Slimed! SHB kills Another of My Beehives

The damage from SHB is so slimy and so gross.  The queenless hive, left for a week while I went to a conference is in a state of complete demise.  SHB slime and larvae were everywhere.

We are in a dearth and bees were also everywhere - not living in the hive - but robbing out any and all nectar that they could find.  There were so many and they looked so organized that at first I thought a swarm might have moved in while I was gone, but watching closely it was clear that these bees were invaders.

In most robbing instances the bees are at battle - resident bees against the marauders.  In this hive, there were so few bees and they were so quickly defeated that the bees entering the hive to rob it, entered without the caution or hesitancy that robbers usually employ.

Below you can see the sheen of the slime.

Most gross are the slimy larvae of the small hive beetle.

Here's a huge pile of them.  I left the hive wide open to the sunlight to get rid of the larvae.  I said in an earlier post that I would be ordering nematodes but I didn't do it.  That's first on my list today.

I've now lost two hives to small hive beetles - first time in my beekeeping history.

On the good news side, I went to a talk by Cindy Bee at Young Harris on rendering wax.  She used the combs that had been slimed by SHB.  I ordered a burner (she uses a propane burner but I got an electric one) and will have an opportunity to melt down this gross wax using her methods.  Then I'll probably take the product and render it a second time in the solar wax melter.
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  1. Very sad, sorry Linda. What can be done to prevent these beetles, anything?

  2. Hey Linda,

    Great blog. What Nematodes are you buying and from whom? I have been considering the same tactic, but there are a million types of nematodes and I am not sure which to get.



  3. I'm sorry about your hives. I can't imagine opening it up and seeing all that lavae. Yucky and frustrating.

  4. Eeeww. So disheartening. I can imagine how gross and discouraging this is.

  5. So sorry about your hive, Linda. We put nematodes in the ground
    under our hives last year, and this year we have very few SHB. I got
    them from Arbico Organics. I am not promoting the company, just sharing information.

  6. SHB's are yuck. I lost a hive yesterday upon inspection with the culprit wax worms. I really dislike these critters.

  7. Sadly, what it really amounts to is that the hive was already weak so that the SHB (or the wax moth) could take over. In my strong hives, I see a few SHBs but not many and the bees keep them in check. If the hive is weak for some other reason, they are then easy prey for SHB and wax moth.

  8. Anonymous12:35 AM

    thank you for having your blog… it's a pretty interesting read. I'm not a beekeeper but I started reading about the bee colony collapse disorder which eventually led me to your site.

    I chose this post to respond to because those worms look exactly like mealy worms that are commonly used for fishing. I started reading Wikipedia about CCD and I also saw that both mealy worms and wax worms carry some type of disease I believe is called Nosea (I think that is how it is spelled). I couldn't help but wonder if there is any correlation between the increased usage of mealy worms and wax worms for fishing and hives dying off, especially since the fishing season and the beekeeping season seem to occur at the same time.

    anyhow, thank you for your blog and keeping people informed About beekeeping in general. your blog is highly informative and done in a practical manner… However, every field has acronyms that are used and it makes it difficult for a layperson to figure out exactly what is being discussed per article... perhaps you might start an article with the acronym spelled out so that people know what the acronym means .... SHB


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