Woodlice Living in Beehives

I often find earwigs and woodlice in my beehives, especially when it’s cold. Here’s a photo of tiny baby woodlice (often referred to as carpenters in Newfoundland) underneath the top cover of one of my hives:

I don’t know much about woodlice or earwigs. I only know from experience that they don’t not much or any damage to my hives. I do find earwigs in the cells of comb from time to time. Are they laying eggs or eating honey, or both? I don’t know, but again I’ve never found any creepy crawly things in my honey. I’ve never seen any kind of damage to the brood nest or the comb from anything other than shrews and mice.

Are earwigs and woodlice harmless? I think so.

6 thoughts on “Woodlice Living in Beehives

  1. Welcome back! I frequently have earwigs living in my hives in Colorado. In my topbar hives they are usually in the back where there is no comb, in my Langs, they are living on the top of the inner cover. As long as the colony is strong, I don’t worry about them. But I’ve often wondered why they find the hive a pleasing place to live. I have one top bar with an ecofloor and I’ve been assuming they hang out there to eat the mites that drop into it.

  2. Thanks, Don.

    I still tend to flick the earwigs away when I see them, because who isn’t a little creeped out by them? But yeah, I don’t worry about them.

    SLUGS, on the other hand, might be a different story. I might post something about that sometime. In Newfoundland we get monstrous slugs that slime all over the insides of our hives at times. I’m not sure if they do any damage. Though I do know I don’t like slug slime coating my honey combs.

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