Its no surprise to most people that bees are dying, and some of the reasons behind it is starting to be better understood. Believe me, I am NO expert, and am just starting with my bees. I do know that small hive beetles are a large part of the problem.
I bought some hive beetle traps to put in my hives. However, I want to start out with several options. My goal is to prevent the beetles getting a foothold in my hives. I spent a significant amount of money on my hives. (comparable to a stock DPMS AR-15 or a nice country living grain mill) So I don’t want to see my work wasted because of an insect.
After seeing the commercial traps I realized that it was very simple to make my own DIY hive beetle traps.
The Best Use of a Political Sign
Basically, the trap is a short strip of corrugated plastic (think roadside political sign). This sign is sealed with a vegetable shortening and contains boric acid. The way it works is that the beetles are attracted to the trap both because of the shortening and to get away from the bees that want to kill them as the intruders they are.
The beetles burrow into the channels in the plastic and are then killed by the boric acid. Its safe for the bees, as the channels are too small for them to get into.
The traps get stapled to the tops of a couple frames per hive body, and a few more get scattered around the top cover and the bottom board.
I made several more than I needed so that when I work the hive I have some with me so I can immediately replace any full traps. This makes my life simpler as well as reducing stress on my bees by repeated opening and closing of my hive.
Like I said before, I am no beekeeping expert. I am sure there are guys out there with much prettier ways of doing things, and I welcome any constructive ideas they may have.