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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 19th year of beekeeping in April 2024. 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.Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

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Friday, July 02, 2010

Nematodes Arrive - Five Million of Them!

Today the nematodes that I ordered from the Southeastern Insectaries arrived.  They came in a "coldpack" by US Postal Service.  The package had 5 million nematodes in a plastic bag with gel.  They are too small to see.
I put them in my office refrigerator.  When next I went to our kitchen, I found a note on our bulletin board:
"Who put worms in our refrigerator?"

Julia, Noah and I got together at the end of the day to apply the nematodes.  Step one was to dissolve the nematodes/gel in a cup of water.  We did that, laughing the while, because we couldn't see the 5 million.  A friend suggested that we call Mr. Tedders at SI and tell him, "Thank you for the nematodes but our order was short by 50!"

It was like the Emperor's New Clothes.  We are stirring these invisible critters into five gallons of what looks like clear water.  The instructions said to stir them up a lot because they would clump at the bottom.  We, of course, couldn't see the clumps, but stirred like mad!

Here are our pictures.  We stirred the invisible nematodes into the water and took it to Blue Heron.  There we poured them on the ground around our three hives.  Noah went to the very nearby creek (remember the flood?) and filled the watering can with water to wet the ground down even more.

We then went to Julia's house and repeated the process.  I took the last third of the invisible nematodes to my house and poured them around the Don nuc and in the soil under my deck.

I hope they will have a beneficial effect and get rid of our small hive beetle.


  1. I hope they work too. A natural method is far more preferable to a chemical one.

  2. This worked for us! It is a leap of faith since you can't see them. :)
    Happy Fourth!

  3. Wow, that's a new concept! Hope it works for you. At least that is one thing we don't have to worry about (yet) in California. Very interesting.

  4. Anonymous8:26 PM

    Please tell me this helped. 8 hives have been devastated by hive beetles.

  5. Anonymous3:32 PM

    Did this help? I'm curious to know. We just started beekeeping and were considering nematodes as a preventative measure.

  6. It's been a few years since this post. How did the nematodes work for the SHB's? I'm thinking of ordering some for my hives.

  7. They appear to work - well they don't appear - but their little invisible selves appear to have impact on the number of SHBs. Research shows it and we are using them again this year.

  8. I put nematodes in my yard to kill the grubs. We had a few rainy days, and now that the sun is out there are bees swarming all over the area. I have been trying to find out why. They look like honey bees, but I an not an expert. It seems like the nematodes will not hurt the bees from what I have read, but it is just really strange. Does anyone know why they would be doing this?


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