Superior Hives is a small research apiary located in the Ozark Mountains near Springfield, Missouri.
Myself, Michael Richardson, and my business partner Joseph Bennett run the apiary. We strongly believe in the KISS philosophy. We love nothing better than finding simple solutions to sometimes complicated beekeeping challenges.
Our apiary was established in the spring of 2016 and our search for a solution to Small Hive Beetles was almost immediately initiated.
We tested many of the Small Hive Beetles control devices on the market. We implemented nearly every preventative measure advocated and monitored the results. We read every university report on Small Hive Beetles that we could find. We spent countless hours in beekeeping forums looking for tips on SHB control. We listened intently at bee club meetings to see what was and wasn’t working for our fellow beekeepers.
By fall of 2016 we could only conclude that a well-executed integrated Small Hive Beetles management plan could, at best, keep the beetle population at a level the bees could cope with. Such a management plan would require a never-ending input of both time and money while never completely solving the beetle problem. What’s more such plans are too labor intensive for large commercial apiaries with thousands of hives.
So long as Small Hive Beetles exist in the hive there is always the threat they might gain the upper hand and destroy the colony. Even when their numbers remain manageable the hive’s production suffers because worker bees are forced to spend time corralling the beetles. SHB can also be carriers of diseases and viruses such as deformed wing virus so even a small number of beetles can lead to huge problems. For us, this was simply unacceptable.
That fall we started brainstorming and reviewing what we’d learned. We were determined to come up with a way to rid hives of Small Hive Beetles. By winter we had a couple of solid theories but no access to beetles with which to test them. One of the theories was a device we decided to call a Beetle Banisher. Confident that the theory was sound we proceeded to produce a few Beetle Banisher prototypes. Eager to test them we sent a few to Florida where the beetles are a year-round concern. We were quite pleased when the results came back. Every test hive was 100% beetle free in less than two weeks.
Later, with bee and beetle activity in full swing across the nation, we were getting the same response from beekeepers coast to coast.
After acquiring the patent and proof of concept we embarked on the challenge of determining the best design, materials and manufacturing process to get a product with the required impact resistance, UV stability and affordable price.
We’re not fans of built-in obsolescence. We grew up at a time when everything wasn’t designed to be disposable. We’ve designed our hive covers to stand the test of time.