Advice on bait hive needed

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clare 

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Hi, I hope to set up a bait hive next year. I have read the thread recording successes and failures but still have a couple of questions.

1. Most of the successful bait hives seem to be well 'lived in', would a new poly hive be unlikely to be successful?

2. Is it best to position it near other hives or elsewhere?

3. How likely are you to attract your own swarm?

Thanks C
 

MuswellMetro 

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Hi, I hope to set up a bait hive next year. I have read the thread recording successes and failures but still have a couple of questions.

1. Most of the successful bait hives seem to be well 'lived in', would a new poly hive be unlikely to be successful?

2. Is it best to position it near other hives or elsewhere?

3. How likely are you to attract your own swarm?

Thanks C
catching a swarm is like witchcraft, some have the power, most don't

1. old smelly hives work best but you can just use a cardboard or correx hive size box, i use 9mm ply box plus wooden bars to rest frames on but also use the oldest smelly black comb you have, plus one or two lemon grass oil in the hive and on tops of fences, branches around , or swarm lure in the hive

2. other hives seem to attract swarms, i put two at edge of apairy and two 200 yards away ( to catch swarms from my hives)

3. 10% chance


did i catch one this year, yes, was it in a bait hive no, it was in a stack of brand new supers and foundation next to an existing hive moved to an OSR field, and it was the most varroa ridden aggresive canrie bees i have seen, they are still a hospital case but:Angel_anim: free
 
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Poly Hive 

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A poly is s good as anything. Dose it with Lemon Grass oil. Worked for me this year, though they were seriously nasty characters when they got their strength back.

PH
 

oliver90owner 

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Hi, I make it three!

1. Most of the successful bait hives seem to be well 'lived in', would a new poly hive be unlikely to be successful?

All bait hives are likely failures. The hive should contain some used comb and, preferably, a lure of some description (lemon grass seems effective and is cheap). Old manky comb is touted as good, but I tend to prefer something a little more healthy!

2. Is it best to position it near other hives or elsewhere?

Elsewhere is best; As MM, a couple hundred metres or more. Bee colonies reproducing do not want the new colony to directly compete with the parent colony. Not good for survival, or to achieve the colonisation wider areas - spreading.

3. How likely are you to attract your own swarm?

Not very likely if you operate your hives correctly! Artificial swarming is the much preferred method. Under your control, for a start! Don't rely on catching your own; more likely the bait hive half a mile or more may be more attactive. There could be a lot of choices of a new home for the swarm.

Regards, RAB
 

hedgerow pete 

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the general rules are,

box size 25 litres in volume or bigger

must smell of bees, leamon grass oil, buy a small block of bees wax furniture polish and rub the insides,

small opening 50 mm by 12mm

install in the heighest spot you can , 6 foot up is good but someone always catchs a swarm at ground level

any container will do at any height as the bees go where ever they want,

pot luck with what does arrive, nasty /angles, clean/ dirty
unknown history??
 

the naked beekeeper 

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I have never failed to catch at least 1 swarm a year in a bait hive.
10% chance...I'd say well over 50%, regardless of location.

This year I had only just emptied a national hive one day when I chucked a couple of blocks of old comb from a wild colony I had secured and within 16 hours a swarm had arrived.

No lemon grass, no frames, nothing ponsy, no reliance on location, or angle of the sun, or day of the year, no small opening, it was a bog standard entrance not reduced. Just chucked it on a milk crate and stuck it at the back of the garden with two bits of palm sized old comb from a colony.:cheers2:
 
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MuswellMetro 

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I have never failed to catch at least 1 swarm a year in a bait hive.
10% chance...I'd say well over 50%, regardless of location.

This year I had only just emptied a national hive one day when I chucked a couple of blocks of old comb from a wild colony I had secured and within 16 hours a swarm had arrived.

No lemon grass, no frames, nothing ponsy, no reliance on location, or angle of the sun, or day of the year, no small opening, it was a bog standard entrance not reduced. Just chucked it on a milk crate and stuck it at the back of the garden with two bits of palm sized old comb from a colony.:cheers2:
you must have a lot of top bar hives near you :)
 

oliver90owner 

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You do all those things to maximise the home you are offering. Sensible unless you are not too worried whether you get a swarm or not.

RAB
 

the naked beekeeper 

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Imo,
So long as the box smells bee-ey, has some old brood comb in, is in a quietish place and offers a dark solitude, then you have every possible chance.
 

Dishmop 

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Imo,
So long as the box smells bee-ey, has some old brood comb in, is in a quietish place and offers a dark solitude, then you have every possible chance.
Dont forget to leave some housing benefit claims forms as well.
 

hedgerow pete 

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clare, the naked beekeepers comments about any thing will do , is the exception rather than the rule to many.

standard for me is 6 to 10 bait hives out depending on my mentoring students, each one normaly get the chance to use three boxs each, out of the ten out we would be lucky if we get one or two swarms max.

other points to note,
i live in a very urban area so the wild bee colonys are not that great, i am more likly to collect a bee keepers swarm.

what does arrive is some times not wanted for one reason or another.

we do every thing we can to make the bees interested in our boxs, rather than the naked beekeepers leaving it to chance meathod
 

oliver90owner 

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then you have every possible chance.

I think that is a very smug attitude to take. This would not be your bait hive(s). You know nothing of the circumstances of the poster - whether there is no beekeeper, within 3 miles, or thirty of them, dotted around doing all their proper artificial swarming, all with their most attractive bait hives located at their best positions available.

No, you may be lucky. Some may put out a bait hive and never attract a swarm. Especially if it is simply treated like a discarded cardboard box with no thought of sensibly choosing the optimum location. I sincerely hope the poster ignores your haphazard (but in your case, successful) efforts. Your method simply does not offer the best chance of attracting a swarm for most new beeks, and as such, it is most certainly wrong to claim that it does, in the circumstances, of which you do not have a clue.

You say 'every chance'. I for one would disagree; 'a chance' would be more appropriate and 'a small chance' may be much nearer the truth.

RAB
 

clare 

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Thanks everyone! I will try a couple of hives, make them as attractive as possible lemon grass oil, comb, in the best spots I can and then keep my expectations low. Though being a bit over enthusiastic I suspect I shall be watching them intently. Thanks again C
 

BlidworthBees 

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catching a swarm is like witchcraft, some have the power, most don't
Not a bad comparison. Some beekeepers used to "talk" the bees in. A few still do.

Much underated practice but not one in this day and age that it is recommended you admit to unless you want those who do not believe to make fun of you.
 

Somerford 

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I'd wing a message to Peteinwilts - he made a couple of bait boxes this year and I lost count of the number of swarms he captured - at least 4 from memory. All about location, location, location, size of box and height off the ground....I'm sure he'll help you

regards

Somerford
 

the naked beekeeper 

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then you have every possible chance.

I think that is a very smug attitude to take. This would not be your bait hive(s). You know nothing of the circumstances of the poster - whether there is no beekeeper, within 3 miles, or thirty of them, dotted around doing all their proper artificial swarming, all with their most attractive bait hives located at their best positions available.

No, you may be lucky. Some may put out a bait hive and never attract a swarm. Especially if it is simply treated like a discarded cardboard box with no thought of sensibly choosing the optimum location. I sincerely hope the poster ignores your haphazard (but in your case, successful) efforts. Your method simply does not offer the best chance of attracting a swarm for most new beeks, and as such, it is most certainly wrong to claim that it does, in the circumstances, of which you do not have a clue.

You say 'every chance'. I for one would disagree; 'a chance' would be more appropriate and 'a small chance' may be much nearer the truth.

RAB
I do believe you could write in a much nicer tone and manner.
For all the good advice you so often give, many a time, there is an indignant tone in your replies, when you disagree with something.

No I don't know of the location.
Of course every situation, in every single poster's question is different, everytime.
I thought that premise underlined every response.

I added my experience. The bees just come to me.

With so many bees about the place, all over the country now and with so many new beekeepers, I believe the chances are higher than they have ever been.

I just added from my experience what I believe could happen.
The poster is quite welcome to discard or take what I write.

I never intended to be 'smug'.
Just for me, it has been very simple.
Every year.
And all I can do is speak for myself.
I thought every reply was indicative of that.
I never intended to 'mislead' anybody.

Edit - Indeed in my response to another thread later on, I made explicit mention of the need to account for location and circumstance in any situation, see: http://www.beekeepingforum.co.uk/showpost.php?p=89746&postcount=75:p
 
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the naked beekeeper 

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Not a bad comparison. Some beekeepers used to "talk" the bees in. A few still do.

Much underated practice but not one in this day and age that it is recommended you admit to unless you want those who do not believe to make fun of you.
:iagree:;)
The bees know...
 

oliver90owner 

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Yep, I might get a bit too direct, but telling a new bee of 'every possible chance' by just doing what you were lucky enough to find success with is simply not on.

Every indicates totally, completeness, all possible - probables and maybes included. I think I put the record straight for a lot of those out there reading your post and thinking throwing a box in a quiet corner is more than enough and that nothing else would help.

By all means quote your experience but don't make out it is the most perfect way of going about it, which you were most definitely indicating.

While we at it try this presumptive statement by you:

I thought that premise underlined every response.

The use of the words 'I thought' and 'every' make it appear that much less thought of the situation for even some the responses, let alone all of them. Of the new beeks reading it, I am sure they would not all expect a reply which was assuming everything that was was included might not apply to them - as many new beeks don't even think of describing their particular sitation because the don't understand the width and breadth of the possible factors, which may be very important for a comprehensive and pertinent repsponse.

RAB
 
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Vergilius 

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We tried putting a nuc on a ladder to imitate a nice nesting place in the trees as a swarm bait.

Unfortunately it epically failed.

Ben P
 

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