Hive Beetles, a Late Swarm and a Cut Out

Our hive has struggled all summer it has seemed. First, they were queenless and we had a laying worker. Eli and I got some brood from a fellow beekeeper and gave it to them so they could raise their own queen.

When we checked to see if they had a queen, we found that, yes they had, but we also saw one small black beetle. That’s odd, we hadn’t seen that before, but I had read about small hive beetles so I was sure that’s what we had. So Eli and I started learning more about small hive beetles.


Then the fight for our hive began. The small hive beetles have been exploding in numbers while the hive continues to struggle. We’ve put Swiffer pads in for traps. We’ve spread Diatomaceous Earth on the ground around the hive. We’ve been taking frames out and freezing them and yet I’m still not sure we are going to win this war.

I have to wonder if we introduced the small hive beetles to the hive in the brood we got from our friend. Maybe not but it makes me wonder…

Earlier in the summer a swarm moved into an old house. Because of the location of where they went in, I’ve been slow to go get them. To reach them from the outside, which was my preference, I had to be on unlevel ground with a very tall ladder. Not my ideal situation.

We decided that we should go get some brood from this cut-out to try to help the struggling hive. Well as it turns out the swarm has done quite well over the summer. In fact, I couldn’t come close to doing the cut out from the outside. They are between two floors, so I cut back the sheet rock to get to them. They have 6′ of comb between the two floor joists. Six Foot! I had no idea they would have built up this much in the past few months.

bee cutout in ceiling


We borrowed a bee vac from a friend and went to work getting the bees and comb from this cut out. This was quite the undertaking! We’ve moved them into a box at our house; hopefully, they will continue to be a strong, healthy hive.


We also caught a nice size swarm last week. I know that it is terribly late but we figure we don’t have anything to lose by putting them in a box. We are feeding them so that they have the best chance of making it. Only time will tell how it works out.




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4 Responses to Hive Beetles, a Late Swarm and a Cut Out

  1. Larry Pollard says:

    Wow. Great work and a great project — especially for Eli.

  2. Dash says:

    I had a terrible beetle problem. I got a beetle blaster trap and filled it with hydrated lime.
    I worked wonders. The bees ran the beetles into the trap. I also moved my bees to a smaller box to give them less space to defend. They are doing great now and not a beetle in sight. check out the post with video I did about it where I show the trap. Hope this helps!

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