I ordered a couple of Beetle Busters the week they became commercially available in the US. I was also asked to try one of the Cool Aussie Tops. As soon as they arrived we put both on Hive #1. Within 3 hours several hive beetles were writhing in the diatomaceous earth in the trap. After a week we had caught several dozen. We continue to see the occasional hive beetle inside the hive at the top of the upper honey super but I am confident that we have reduced the number significantly just in the first month of use. We now have Beetle Busters and C.A.T.s installed on both of our hives. The combination is effective at limiting the access the beetles have to entering the hive.
We have also heat treated twice now for Varora mites using the Bee Hive Thermal Industries Mighty Mite Killer. The unit works exactly as promised. Dead mites drop off the bees and appear on the hot plate immediately. The most miraculous part though is watching the bees haul
out the infested brood over the three or 4 days after the treatment. The bees clean out only the cells where the bees sniff out dead mites killed by the heat treatment. Amazing to watch.
Both our hives are stronger in number and working much harder than during the spring honey flow before we implemented the new equipment and regimen. I can only attribute this to the use of this combination of these three inventions.
I feel optimistic and confident about the survival of our bees this winter and that our urban apiary will be home to healthier, thriving organically managed honey bee colonies. I know that next year’s honey production will far surpass this year’s. Many thanks to Bruce Wallace for engineering this organic, safe method to help control those pesky, destructive small hive beetles. And, kudos to Lynn Williams for working out the details to create an easy and fool proof way to use temperature to hopefully reduce, if not totally eliminate, the threat posed by Varora mites. A big thank you to Terry Allen who spent an hour on the phone with me one Friday explaining the virtues of the C.A.T. and convincing me how it would increase the success of the other two pieces. Bee keeping CAN be successfully done organically!