IPM Controls – Exclusion

As a professional “bee tech”  I am big on including Integrated Pest Management controls both in my beekeeping as well as in my bed removals.

One of the most effective and cost efficient strategies is exclusion.  That is, to prevent pest entry into the “protected” space we are working with.  There are several tactics we can implement to establish and maintain a preventative, exclusionary strategy

There are a variety of controls that are available to implement according to the different categories.

  1. Regulatory
    1. set rules about conduct and handling tools and equipment to prevent cross-contamination and spread of pests, diseases, environmental issues, etc…
  2. Environmental
    1. Introduce specific parasitic and predatory animals that control populations of pests that threaten bee hive’s.
      1. Bat houses.  Bats eat moths such as greater wax moths.
      2. Parasitic wasps.  Certain wasps can be introduced to kill pests such as Small Hive Beetle larvae that pupate in the ground around hives.
  3. Mechanical
    1. Screen mesh can block entrances yet allow ventilation.  Especially useful in preventing robbing during dearth and having to close hive entrances during transportation and seclusion during nearby pesticide applications.
  4. Chemical
    1. “Soft” chemical applications such as cedar oil in and around the hives can help as a repellent to hive pests and resist environmental conditions such as mold, mildew, etc…

These are just a few potential exclusionary tactics that can bee implemented to prevent and reduce pest populations in and around hives.  They can be implemented independently or in conjunction with others.

By working to exclude pest presence, we can reduce and perhaps eliminate the need for stronger and preventable control tactics down the line.

Author: Big Bear

Owner of BBE-Tech Apiary Services and professional apiarist. Beekeeping instructor at Metro Community College. Exec. Producer, Director and Host of Bee Smart beekeeping project podcast and videos.

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