For the past month or so, I’ve noticed a couple of hive beetles inside the feeder box for my two hives.
I’m using screen bottom boards with trays and cooking oil as one approach to combat the small hive beetle. When I cleaned out the trays last weekend I discovered living hive beetle larvae in one of the trays and lots of dead small hive beetles in both.
Alarm bells went off.
I’d already been researching other sustainable approaches to managing small hive beetles and other pests. In the process, I’d noticed an ad for beneficial nematodes in the sidebar of a discussion forum. But I couldn’t remember the name of the supplier.
When I got back home, I did a search on Google for beneficial nematodes and small hive beetles. Found one extension report that said the researchers didn’t find much evidence of support that beneficial nematodes would help.
But I figured using beneficial nematodes won’t HURT. Found a supplier in Georgia: Southeastern Insectaries.
Even though it was after 5 p.m., I called the 800 # because the site didn’t have an online ordering system. The owner answered the phone and answered my questions. He was very helpful, explaining that the small package would be sufficient for a beeyard of up to 10 beehives.
I decided to go for it and placed the order for a package of beneficial nematodes with 2-day delivery. They are shipped in a refrigerated package. Since the temps are hovering around 90º F here, that’s the top-end of safe to make sure the nematodes would be viable upon delivery, but I decided to take a chance and not pay the substantial difference for overnight delivery.
I’ll report back later on how this experiment in integrated pest management works out.