Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Biological and Cultural Pest Controls
Here are some Integrated Pest Management techniques that may be considered as biological and cultural controls: Frames of drone brood may be removed and frozen to kill Varroa mites developing in the brood. Place hives in full sun; damp soil in the shade supports Small Hive Beetles. Take measures to reduce drift and robbing. Both spread diseases. Limit the use of common feeding, another source of disease spread. Exploit weaknesses in pest life cycles. For example, Small Hive Beetles must leave the hive to pupate in the soil. Beneficial nematodes kill Small Hive Beetle pupae in the soil. Allow beneficial insects and other animals to do their part. Ants eat Varroa mites that fall through screened bottom boards. Bats eat wax moths at night when they are most active. Replace old, dark comb; because it can hold chemicals and spores of American foul brood and Nosema. Dust bees with powdered sugar to reduce Varroa mites. To further reduce mites, use naturally-based alternatives to chemicals, such as thymol-based essential oil products or organic acids. Don’t use the “hard” chemicals except as a last resort, applying according to labeled instructions to reduce mite resistance. Provide vegetable oil and sugar patties for tracheal mites. Don’t spill Small Hive Beetle larvae on the ground; bag slimed frames. Today’s photo: biological control of mice at Peace Bee Farm, a screech owl.