Normally, small hive beetles are not a problem for a strong hive, but left untreated, the adult beetles will lay eggs in the comb, burrow through the wax, larvae, and honey, then drop onto the ground to pupate under the soil so they can attack the hives again next spring.
One of the best defenses is to prevent them from entering your hives in the first place. There are several ways to do that:
- Purchase Better Beetle Traps and place them at opposite corners of the brood box.
- Use a plastic picnic table cloth, fuzzy side up, taped to the bottom board.
- Use CD Jewel cases and make your own beetle trap.
- Make a “beetle trap” similar to a fly trap to draw the bees away from the bee yard.
- Spread Diatomaceous Earth on the ground around your hive pedestals.
There are a number of really good alternatives for handling these pests, and if you have a few minutes, this video, created by Jason Chrisman in Indiana, is very informative about different methods to control SHB.