Wednesday, October 28, 2009

small hive beetle sizes

AJ Beetle Eaters contents are logged for several weeks in side-by-side hives.   After emptying the AJ Beetle Eaters on to white paper, a log is kept of 1) the number of adult beetles and 2) length of each adult beetle (nearest millimeter). Sounds easy, eh?  It's messy, oily, and the clubbed beetle antennae can complicate the length measurement.

Do the adult small hive beetle populations change over time?
  • Probably in response to cooler fall weather, less adult small hive beetles are captured over time
  • I'm surprised--the hives maintain their unique small hive beetle size profile over time
How do the hives differ?
  • Hive A is weaker (less flight activity) than hive B
  • Hive A is younger (swarm capture) and hive B is older (early spring nucleus hive)
  • Hive A has larger beetles than hive B.   Perhaps weaker (less flight activity) hives offer more small hive beetle treats (nutrition).
Unanswered questions:
When does the small hive beetle population peak?  Had I started the log sooner, then I could have captured the small hive beetle population peak.  Oh well, something for next year.  I'll wait for a further decline of the small hive beetle numbers before offering tasty (to small hive beetles) dry MegaBee pollen substitute to the bees.

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