Beetles – My Arch-nemisis

I’m still struggling with the Mating Nuc Concepts. The idea to leave one of the nucs closed up with tape worked out pretty well. Except for the one that I didn’t keep closed  absconded.

Abscond is a beekeeping term that gets used to say the bees left. However if you look it up in Merriam’s Dictionary it says:

past tense: absconded; past participle: absconded
  1. leave hurriedly and secretly, typically to avoid detection of or arrest for an unlawful action such as theft.


    • (of someone on bail) fail to surrender oneself for custody at the appointed time.
    • (of a person kept in detention or under supervision) escape.

      “176 detainees absconded”


    • (of a colony of honeybees, especially Africanized ones) entirely abandon a hive or nest.

Great word but anyway… The bees left the opened hive.

You can see the beetle larvae on
the drone brood.

Noah and I inspected them on Saturday only to find that the bees in out first nuc (M1) were thriving, our previously closed nuc (M2) were doing fair, and the third nuc (M3) was empty except for a shit load of those damned beetles (insert fist shaken to the heavens).

I took the infected – is it affected or infected? Beetles are a F***ing curse so lets go with afflicted! I took the afflicted frame out and placed it in a gallon size Ziploc freezer bag (perfect fit) and put it in the freezer to kill everything in it. I’ll place it in M1 later this week – no reason to waste the comb.

After that, Noah and I checkerboarded Hive-D.3, making it two boxes deep. I say boxes because there seems to be a lot of different words for the same terms. The bottom boxes are brood chambers and the top boxes are honey supers but all my boxes are the same size, so screw it, I’m saying boxes to keep down confusion.

Checkerboarding is another term that has different meanings. Here in the south it means that you placed a new frame between each drawn out frame in a box. I saw a YouTube video with a guy in Canada who had been chastised for using it in this manner but here in the south, that’s what it means.

Again… ANYWAY… now that the hive has two boxes (or brood chambers) it should be ready to graft from in about two weeks. The box already had three good frames of brood and was packed with bees. I only wore a veil, gloves and an untucked shirt, so I got stung about 5 times.

Lastly we poisoned all the poison ivy in the yard (it was everywhere) and, as we did a, a rogue bee accosted us. First it bumped Noah’s head, then it buzzed mine, and before we could do anything, it skewered my little buddy right in the face… that’s when we called it a day.

Hive Count: 9 hives and 2 Mini Mating Nucs

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