Small Hive Beetle Control


    Small Hive Beetle Control with Heterorhabditis Indica Beneficial Nematodes

    • Tests by Southeastern Insectaries, Inc. determined that H.i. is highly effective in controlling Small Hive Beetle populations.  
    • H. Indica quickly kills Small Hive Beetle larvae, pupae, and adults in the soil around hives.  
    • Each Small Hive Beetle larvae killed by H.indica can cause reproduction of up to 20,000 more nematodes in the soil. 
    • Reproduction on killed hosts is paramount to good biological control.
    • Some nematode species will not reproduce on Small Hive Beetles and should not be used. 
    • In 2005, the original research on the use of beneficial nematodes against Small Hive Beetles was conducted by Southeastern Insectaries, Inc. and the University of Georgia.  
    • Controlled field studies in 2005 indicated that the mortality rate of Small Hive Beetles was 88 – 94% after one application of nematodes.

      Small Hive Beetle Information

      • Most beekeepers know that Small Hive Beetles originated in Africa and were first found in the USA in St. Lucie County, FL in 1998.
      • In 1999, Small Hive Beetle were found in Georgia and South Carolina and has been expanding into surrounding areas ever since. 
      • Few hives in Georgia are not infested today.
      • SHB survive in greater numbers around beehives located in forested areas than in open fields.
      • They are more successful in sandy soils than in heavier soils.  
      • For survival, it is important that they enter the soil quickly after leaving the hive.  
      • Quick entry into the soil reduces the chances of their being preyed upon by ants, birds, and other predators.
      • Thus, their quickness into soils results in their close proximity to the hive.
      • Studies of SHB larvae leaving hives indicated that about 82% are within 24” of the hive and nearly 100% are within 36”.  
      • About 75% of these beetles were found in soil no more than 4” deep and 95% were no more than 6” deep.
      • Such behavior makes them ideal candidates for control with nematodes.
      • Female hive beetles may lay up to 1,000 eggs.
      • Eggs are laid in cracks and crevices inside the hive.
      • Eggs hatch in about 3 days (range 3 – 6 days).
      • Larvae feed on pollen, honey, and brood inside of hive for 13.3 days.
      • Larvae leave the hive and enter soil around the hive from 7:00 to 10:00 PM (peak at 9:00 PM).
      • SHB remain as larvae in soil for 3 – 5 days.
      • Mature larvae are about 1/4  to  3/8 inch in length.
      • About 83% of larvae enter soil within 12 inches of the hive.
      • About 80% burrow into soil to a depth of 1 – 4 inches.
      • Hive Beetle larvae pupate after being larvae for 16 – 19 days.
      • Pupal stage lasts about 8 days.
      • New adult Hive Beetles emerge from the soil several days after becoming adults.
      • New Hive Beetle adults cease development by November 1st in Georgia.
      • Dry soils are more favorable for adult development.
      • Life cycle of Small Hive Beetle averages 27 – 30 days.
      • Adult Small Hive Beetles are known to live 188 days.
      • Adults Hive Beetles hide during winter inside honey bee colonies and probably in honey houses.


      Application Rates


      *5 million Heterorhabditis Indica Beneficial Nematodes will treat 10 bee hives*


      Area (sq. ft.)             # of nematodes required

      1......................................................................23,000

      100..............................................................2,300,000

      500.............................................................11,500,000

      1,000..........................................................23,000,000

      43,560 (1 Acre)....................................1,000,000,000


      Please call for orders larger than 50 million



      Beneficial Nematodes to Control The Small Hive Beetle (PayPal link below)



      Heterorhabditis Indica Beneficial Nematodes


      H. Indica


      Quantities of 2.5 and 5 million Beneficial Nematodes available.

      Small Hive Beetle Control with Beneficial Nematodes Informational Videos


      Beneficial Nematode Hive Application Video




      Information on Beneficial Nematode Application

      • Southeastern Insectaries recommends that nematodes be used as soon as possible and within a one-week period.
      • A single package of H.I. contains a minimum of 5 million nematodes and is enough to treat around 10 hives 
      • When a package of 5 million nematodes is mixed with a quantity of water (we recommend 10 gallons) the mix is then equally divided among 10 hives.  
      • Each package is a 7” x 8” re-sealable slider zip plastic bag containing a special gel which acts as a wet substrate for the nematodes.
      • Nematodes do not enter the gel crystals.
      • Nematodes should be rinsed with water from the gel by passing them through a tea strainer.  
      • Nematodes applied to damp soil surfaces around a hive will quickly enter the soil and attack the SHB. The best equipment for application of 1 gallon quantities around each hive is a common sprinkler type watering can.
      • Studies have shown that about 82% of Small Hive Beetle larvae leaving hives are within 24” of the hive and nearly 100% are within 36”.
      • Apply beneficial nematodes around and under the hive. This application area should extend to approximately 36".
      • For best results, apply in the early morning or the late evening. It is also important to irrigate the area before and after beneficial nematode application.
      • Nematodes suspended in watering cans or holding containers should be stirred or agitated frequently to prevent their setting and uneven distribution.
      • Nematodes should be applied in early morning, late afternoon, or during overcast conditions. 
      • The soil around hives or garden plants should be wetted before and after nematode applications.
      • Nematodes in packages or other containers should never be left in the sun because ultra-violet light will quickly kill the contents.