Natural hive duplication
Natural hive duplication is a nice way of slowly getting native bees to move into a box. While this method has been around for a long time (probably originating in brazil), it is not commonly used. I thought I would give this a go and share how I did it.
I have a very old log that was from the base of a large tree. When the tree fell down it landed with the base facing upwards. The bees turned their nest upside down and made a new entrance up the top. I decided to do a natural hive duplication from this log and the first step was to build a box. I had some nice timber laying around so I decided to use this. I made a full height box and then cut the entire box in half to create a box that could be split. I used form ply as the base.
Because the native bee entrance was about middle of the log I decided that connecting the box through the base would work fine. Before I did this I used a piece of 16mm black plastic water pipe to poke into their entrance hole. After that I used some native bees wax to seal around the pipe to hold it in place. I then drilled an appropriate size hole in the base of the box and sat the box on top of the log (there’s a ledge that is unclear in the photo’s). I put more wax around the pipe inside the box. It’s a bad picture but you can see the bees circling this new door. It is important to get the bees to walk through your new box to leave and return only by your box.
I then left this box with no lid for a couple of day till I could see they were using this new entrance. In reality I should have covered the log under the box with a towel. With natural hive duplication you need to hide the old entrance very well because the bees will naturally want to return to it.With the box in place the natural hive duplication process is almost ready. My old pal Dean came to visit and showed me an awesome trick for helping the bees take to the new box. I watched as he made small wax cones between his finger tips and pressed them to the base and the sides of the box all over the place. I took a photo of this at night about 3 days later.
or visit my updated tutorial for better results Hive duplication 2
or Wild things and their videos
part 1 here
Part 2 here
part 3 here
A special thanks to Tom Carter and John Klummp for paving the way with natural hive duplication also known as. eduction.