The Beetles Kill Another Hive

The bottom board of Hive-D

“I don’t believe in Beatles, I just believe in me,” John Lennon… but then John never kept bees!

I was sure that all was well in my home apiary. I had strong (though queenless) hives and minimal comb. So you can imagine my surprise yesterday afternoon, when I went to check my hives and saw beetle maggots dripping out of the front of  Hive-VC.

I quickly went to the shop, donned my veil and lit my smoker. VC still had all the bees I left in it but they had given the frames over to the beetles. I had only put (3) frames in VC but they were destroyed.

I took the hive apart and put the beetle larva in the sun.

Close-up of Hive-D

I then checked Hive-A.1.VHS only to find that it was queenless. Luckily the hive didn’t have any signs of beetle damage.

Lastly I opened Hive-D and found that beetles had already begun to destroy seven frames. The hive had (20) frames in it but some of them were either empty comb or bare plastic. So I stripped the hive down to just four frames of honey and one frame of empty comb. I then added the bees from VC – Creating Hive-VD.

I also made a few of Don the Fat Bee Man’s sign traps. The ones I made before using Borax didn’t seem to work. This time I made them using straight Boric Acid that I bought off Amazon.com.

Don had remarked that the only reason these wouldn’t work is if they were filled too full. So I took one and cut it in half to check – it was correct. I then placed about (4) on each bottom board. I also set one Beetle Buster in Hive-A.1 and my home made Beetle Buster in Hive-VD.

I took a total of (10) frames and put them in the freezer. The other (2) didn’t seem to have any beetles on them but I left them in the sun just the same.

I harvested three frames of honey from Hive-A.1 and will continue to harvest through out this week until I get the hive down to just (10) frames.

Wednesday, I will go to Dr. D’s and bring home some VSH eggs to graft.

In all I have lost (5) hives to beetles this year – or to be more dramatic (33%) of my apiary has been lost to beetles.

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