• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Carla Burke
  • John F Dean
  • r ranson
  • Nancy Reading
  • Anne Miller
  • Jay Angler
  • paul wheaton
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Nicole Alderman
master gardeners:
  • Christopher Weeks
  • Timothy Norton
  • Matt McSpadden
  • Rachel Lindsay
  • Jeremy VanGelder

Non-Chemical Methods for Treating Problems in Bee Hives.

Posts: 104
Location: Rutledge, MO
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Greetings permies,

Doing a little research on pest/disease problems in bee hives, so I thought I'd post what I've got so far.


Varroa mites:

- Vaporized food grade mineral oil, applied once every three weeks, applied by puffing fog into hive entrance for 15 seconds
* Supposed to suffocate the mites by coating the bees and depriving them of air
- Powdered sugar, applied directly to backs of bees
* Encourages bees to groom
- Sugar/water/lemon juice solution
* Encourages bees to groom
- Avoid use of ready drawn comb
* Allows bees to restrict cell size and cut mite gestation cycle short
- Phil Chandler's design for a hive entry, (consists of entry holes at the top of a hive, with an entry box that forms a slow with a landing strip near the bottom of the hive, which seems to accomodate bee preferences)
* PC has a youtube video showcasing this design, and I know a keeper in Houston who claims to have had success with it

Small hive beetle:

- Credit card sized pieces of cardboard or plastic politician ad signs, (the point is to have numerous, small tube-like cells, too small for the bees to enter, coat one end of 'tunnels' with vegetable shortening, fill the interior cavity with a mixture of boric acid and powdered sugar, cap the other end with more shortening.
* The beetles will be attracted to the shortening, eat the contents of the tunnel and die, being herded inside the cavities by natural instincts of bees.
* I've seen instances where diotomaceous earth was used in place of the boric acid.
- Diotomaceous earth around base of hive
* Part of the beetle life cycle is time on the ground outside of the hive - when the attempt the crawl in the sharp crystals of the DE shred their exoskeletons
* (Stands risk of harming bees who end up on ground if the keeper is shaking frames for an artificial swarm, hive splits, or harvesting)

For tracheal mites:

- Essential oils of winter green or spear mint added to sugar solution, fed to the bees, (I'm not sure what the ratios are supposed to be - I've heard that a pint jar of the essential oil can treat 500 hives).

Fungal growth:

- Avoid disturbing the hive too often
* Maintains water tight propolis seals made by the bees
- (Seems to me that a big advantage of the KTB hive with a removable bottom board is that the keeper can lay down under the hive, as you would when working on a car, inspect comb formation/queen cell formation and bee activity, and close it up without breaking any propolis seals or risking rolling bees between combs.)

Wax moth:

- Let the bees build fresh comb each season / boil and purify wax if making own frame foundations
- Healthy hives will largely keep them in check

Invasive pirates, (rival bees, wasps, ants, etc)

- Use corks, whole or sliced in half, to restrict entrance space, adjusting as the bees seem to need more or less space for traffic in and out of the hive
- If feeding sugar solution, only use small quantities the bees will consume in a week or so
- Use the coke-bottle trap method to trap them, (cut plastic bottle in half, invert top inside of bottom, fill with an inch or two of cheap soda pop)
- Diotomaceous earth around base of hive to keep out ants and other terrestrial insects, including hive beetle


Any additions, substractions, caveats, testimonials?
When people don't understand what you are doing they call you crazy. But this tiny ad just doesn't care:
FREE Perma Veggies Book! - Learn how to grow the most delicious and nutritious food with the least amount of work.
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic