Step By Step Instructions

Below is sort of an "Instructable"- step by step directions- made in particular for people that don't do a lot of woodworking.

Some folks need instructions, some don't. At the right is a very basic single sheet plan without any instructions- which is probably good enough for woodworkers. There's also a more detailed one with more information that might be of help.

You will need to saw some stuff to length, and ideally be able to have access to a table saw, or a power saw that can rip a few boards to width. You could hand saw them- not that many to do- or, alternatively, purchase 1x material where you only have to cut to length. You can use nails, screws, or pneumatic staples to put it together (I show screws but staples are way easier).

STEP 1: Cut Pieces To Size

Cut List for Wood Pieces if using 5/8" x 6" cedar fence boards (see drawings for one way to do this):

  • (2) Full width x 12"  [Sides]
  • (1) Full width x 16 1/4"[Top front]
  • (1) 1 1/2" x 16 1/4" [Top back]
  • (1) 2 1/2" x 15 1/4"  [Lower rail]
  • (2) 2 1/2" x 4" [Lower rail cleats]
  • (2) 3 1/2" x 10" [Cage sides]
  • (1) 2 1/2" x 16 1/4" [Cage bottom]

If you are using 1x lumber, cut these to length:
  • (2) 1 x 6 at  12"  [Sides]
  • (1) 1x 6  x 16 1/4"[Top front]
  • (1) 1 x 2 x 16 1/4" [Top back]
  • (1) 1x 2 x 15 1/4"  [Lower rail]
  • (2) 1 x 2" x 4" [Lower rail cleats]
  • (2) 1 x 4" x 10" [Cage sides]
  • (1) 1 x 4" x 16 1/4" [Cage bottom]
Cut the cage bottom as show in the drawings- notched or with holes.

Cut the mesh pieces to size.

Pre-paint pieces, if you want to (might make it last longer).

STEP 2: Make The Trap body

1.)  Set the sides up on their edge about 16 1/4" apart, and attach the thinner top piece down, flush with the end

2.) Attach the wider piece on top 3 1/2" back from the front edge

3.) Attach the short cleats at the side, flush to the top and front

4.) Attach the bottom rail to the bottom of the cleat (and can be attached through the sides as well)

5.) Staple the "skylight" mesh on the interior of the skylight so it covers it fully

6.) Staple the front screen on. The drawing above shows an "ell" at top to make the top edge more rigid. This will need to be cut with snips for the trap, holes, or just bent over flat before installing. It could also just be cut off.

STEP 2: Make The Cage body

1.) Set the cage sides (orange) on side of the trap body, flush to the front,.

2.) Set the bottom of the cage (yellow) on top of the body and between the cage sides, pushed tight to the top piece of the body. It should be flush with the front. Attach the sides to the bottom of the trap. 

3.) Attach the sides with screws- just a few- to the Trap Body- to allow the cage to be removed. One screw on a side is probably OK- just so the cage can't be knocked off.

3.) Set the mesh traps (instructions for making these are at the right) and staple them down, with the front overhanging down the front of the bottom piece.

4,) Install the cage mesh. It wants to hang down at the front below the bottom piece about 1/2", so it overlaps the mesh on the body (to ensure there is no gap there). Bend it up and over with a neat pair of bends, and down to the back.

5.) Staple it at the top and back- but attach the front with small screws and washers, so you can remove them and open the cage if you need to clean it, or to adjust the traps.

STEP 2: Attach to a Hive

1.) After the bees are in bed, install the trap so they will wake up. It might take a few days to get used to.

2.) It should be attached so it's tight to the front of your hive. It's designed so it will be below the handle hole on a deep- but if it's not, you'll want to screen the hole. You want the bees to exit through the trap front.

3.) The bottom of the trap can sit right on your landing board. It might need to be notched if your bottom boards has spacers extending in front. Best is not to let the bees go out from the sides- if they learn that route, hornets will possibly use the same.

4.) Attach the hive with the wood cleats. The cedar version is light- just a screw on each side will be fine. The 1x is heavier and might need more. You can also use metal straps, or "ell"s on top- whatever works is fine.

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