In the struggle to increase and strengthen our pollinator population, the Small Hive Beetle (Aethina tumida) has proven to be a most despicable foe. This pest has been rapidly decimating hives in North America, Hawaii and Australia. In response to this danger, Jerry Freeman of Hamburg, Arkansas created the Freeman Beetle Trap for use in Langstroth Hives. Following extensive testing in universities, including Mississippi State and Clemson, this trap was introduced to the public and immediately proved successful.
The simple Freeman Beetle Trap consists of two parts: a coated galvanized steel mesh piece and a plastic tray that slides beneath it. The steel mesh component slides into the hive to create a false bottom of sorts. The plastic tray is filled with cooking oil and slid underneath the mesh. As the beetles invade the hive, the guard bees will pursue them down and through the mesh. With no ledges to hide on and unable to remain on the mesh, the small hive beetles will fall through into the oil where they will quickly suffocate and die.
The mesh will not harm the bees and the unique design of this trap will keep them out of the oil tray.
Other liquids (such as water with a little soap) may be used in the plastic tray, but cooking oil is highly recommended as it has been proven to be highly effective and inexpensive. Used cooking oil obtained from fast food restaurants works well and most places will give it away for free. You will only need one pint of oil per half gallon of plain water. There is an opening in the back for easy access to this tray for servicing.
Made sturdily from rot and insect resistant Cypress wood, your Freeman Beetle Trap is designed to last through many seasons. The plastic traps may begin to show signs of wear before the rest of your trap; if they do you can order affordable replacements.
The Freeman Beetle Trap comes in two convenient sizes: an 8 frame and a 10 frame in both the standard and ventilated models. The ventilated Freeman Beetle Trap is ideal for hot climates and allows for additional air flow.
For additional control against Small Hive Beetles, we also recommend treating the ground outside the hive (where they come from initially) with the beneficial nematode, Heterorhabditis indica.
Additional information about beekeeping can be found at PerfectBee. Check out their Learning Beekeeping article!
This Product Controls These Pests or Diseases: Small Hive Beetle (Aethina tumida)
Clean the bottom of your hive. Remove the plastic tray from the trap. Slide the trap into the bottom of your hive. Fill the plastic tray with oil and slide it inside the tray frame. Close your hive. When the plastic tray is full of dead beetles or needs more liquid, simply slide it out and take care of it.
Watch the video below for more detail on how to install the Freeman Beetle Trap:
- If you notice that some of the hive beetles are not making it through the mesh into the trap, do not worry. Generally this is due to the bees not being aggressive enough in chasing the beetles out of the hive. In these cases, sugar dusting the hive is the best way to keep the bees energetic and active. Some Freeman Beetle Trap users have done this for up to six consecutive days until the number of trapped beetles subsides.
- To reduce the chance of Varroa Mite and Wax Moth infestations, remove and clean the Freeman Trap frequently.
Orders can take up to 5 days to process depending on volume received.
8 Frame - 23"W x 17"H x 12"D
10 Frame - 23"W x 17"H x 12"D
Replacement Tray - 21.5" x 15.5" x 1"
#8 mesh is used to ensure that bees do not get trapped accidentally. While some hive beetles may be larger, they will turn sideways and fall through. Sugar dusting hives will stimulate bees to become more aggressive in chasing beetle down and out of the hive.