Saturday, June 27, 2009

Trying beneficial Nematodes on my bee hives to combat the Small Hive Beetle

I've read about the small hive beetle and their devastating effects on honey bee hives, but always assumed they were limited to the south. A few weeks ago I spotted a few in one of my new hives. I didn't see any of the larva, but the beetles scurried around until I smashed them with my hive tool. After researching my options, some of which included vegetable oil filled trays to trap them I found out that there are specific nematodes that attack the SHB.

This morning I applied Heterorhabditis indica nematodes purchased from Southeastern Insectaries in a watering can around my hives. It'll be interesting to see if they combat the SHB life cycle.

FYI -

The actual nematodes come shipped in a Styrofoam cooler and they are suspended with that gel you put in flower pots to provide moisture storage. In the bag below there are about 5 million of the nematodes that specifically attack the SHB. I had some difficulty in actually counting them to make sure I wasn't ripped off.
Heterorhabditis indica nematodes for small hive beetle

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