First Split of 2018 & Big Bryan’s Beetle Box

“Necessity if the mother of invention.” – Plato

I am an inventor at heart and given my beetle problems last year, I have been trying to build a better mousetrap (beetle trap). Beetle Busters are great but they can get expensive. Fat Bee Man’s political sign traps seem reasonable but I still have beetles when I use them. Of course dryer sheets work really well but they seem to kill one bee for every two beetles.

So here is my latest invention. Big Bryan’s Beetle Box.

It is a simple and cheap beetle solution. It’s a 3/8″ thick #8 hardware cloth box with a dryer sheet inside. This way the beetles can get to the dyer sheet but the bees can’t.

I put my first prototypes in the hives yesterday. There were not a lot beetles since all of my hives are so strong but there were still a few. I placed 7 traps in seven hives – 3 of them I poured Apple Cider Vinegar on. I’ll let you know how they work next week.

“He also divided the two fish among them all.” – Mark 6:41 

I split (divided) the six hives at Dr. D’s place into twelve. Of course this isn’t the first time I made splits but this is the first time I did it with complete confidence.

If you’ve been following my blog, then you know that last year I made a lot of splits that ultimately failed. But in the words of Thomas Edison, “I haven’t failed. I just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

So here is what we did yesterday.

First, we cleaned the apiary up and leveled our concrete blocks.

The next step was to decide on the location of each split. We did our best to put the split as far from the original location as possible – though this is really not that important since the nurse bees will stay with the move and all the workers will go back to the original location.

With the locations decided we began the process. We started with “F” and worked backwards to “A” since “A” had been our most cantankerous hive last year. “F” was also the only hive with only one super.

I moved the whole hive to location “F1” and then placed an empty supper on the site of “F”. I placed 2 frames of eggs, larva, and nurse bees on the “F” site. Then I added a frame of honey and pollen. The rest of the frames were empty waxed frames. I added some empty frames to the “F1” site and closed them up.

Now I never found a single queen in any of the hives yesterday but I made sure to leave eggs in both hives just in case the queen ended up on the original location.

We repeated the steps for each hive. Since it was very cloudy, it took a long time to confirm eggs were in each frame. The whole process took us 3.5 hours.

Despite the clouds, the bees were fairly docile. Noah got stung 5 or 6 times and I got stung about 7 or more but that isn’t really too bad considering the weather.

I will check the splits next Saturday and make sure there are queen cells in all of them.

Now I know you shouldn’t count your bees before they hatch but I’m going to.
New Hive Count: 13 Hives

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