Introducing the Jim Farmer Small Hive Beetle Trap

Submitted by J. Morgan

During the winter workshops at Garry's over the 2011-12 season (that's right, the winter before this last winter) I attended a workshop that fellow SIBA member Jim Farmer was at. He was laboriously pounding away at the most peculiar thing. I asked what he was working on and he proudly showed me his idea for a small hive beetle trap.

At first glance, it was a bottom board. But this one was special. It is an entire bottom board with the trap built in. Jim's idea was simple, get the beetles as they come in to the hive. Jim Farmer has been keeping bees since the 70's. We consider him the senior beekeeper in our club. No conversation is complete without his input. I admire Jim immensely. He brings a wealth of knowledge to the table, yet is modest and humble in every way.

What took me by surprise, was after he finished putting all his thought and effort in to crafting this thing, he brought to it back to me and said "here, put this under your hive and let me know how it works."

I'm honored, to say the least. So, here it is, ready to go under my hive first opportunity. Let me describe it, and remember, you heard it here first 🙂 You can click the picture above and see a number of detailed pictures of the trap. Notice there is a tray that slides in through the side under the entrance. Oil is to be filled on either side, and right in the small area in the middle should be a honey/pollen mixture. This of course is the lure. Beetles are going to find their way in your hive regardless if they are nearby so we felt the honey/pollen lure at the entrance wasnt adding to the attractiveness of the hive for the beetle. Slide the tray in and set your hive on top.

Jim and I discussed how it should be painted. If you look close at the pictures, you will see it's white like most bee equipment, but around the entrance it's painted black... since hive beetles like to seek out the dark places to hide. There is a slightly raised panel as bees and beetles go into the entrance, just high enough for the bees to go over, but possibly lure the hive beetle under. If the beetle goes under, then in to the oil drink they go. If the beetles do make it over, then you might also notice two more additional slots cut in the floor. That's two more opportunities for the beetles to go down in to a dark area... that conveniently smells of honey and pollen!

Well, that's it for now. I'll get it set up and plan to provide a full report back on how it does. Small Hive Beetle was a big issue for me last year, so I suspect they'll be back, even despite my soil drenches I did beneath the hives. Stop back soon!


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