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Feral bee interest in bait hive

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dickbowyer 

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I am new to Beekeeping and have set up a bait hive (with swarm lure and some trusted drawn comb) next to the feral bee colony in the wall of the barn in our garden. Over the last two days, a small number of bees have started to use hive and are filling some of the comb with what looks like nectar. Good sign that they are about to swarm and move to bait hive or TADTS?
 

Rosti 

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Dick it is a good sign. If they are going to go with it then you'll get a much larger party (50-100+ bees) going for an inspection. Resist the temptation to open the top and look in. The disturbance will be noted if they are scouting and you'll also dissipate the concentration of old comb smell / old pheromones and swarm lure - ultimately reducing your chances.

You may of course be suprised and discover that if you hook a swarm the source is completely different to your intended donors! Good luck

Edit add: just had a thought, generally a swarm will move away from the original colonies location, ultimately they are trying to reproduce and spread. If your bait hive is right next to the old colony then it may be too close to be of interest / considered. I am sure others will have wiser thoughts on that theory!
 
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dickbowyer 

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Thanks

Will resist temptation to look now. Would put bait hive down end of garden but SWMBO only wants the hive(s) in one area naturally, near feral colony which has been in the wall ever since we moved in 13 years ago and have flight path out over hedge. Should I move bait hive the 50 yards or so down end of garden and bring back if swarm goes to bait hive or just wait and see now? I have entrance block in place. Should I leave this or fully open entrance?
 
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Rosti 

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That would be my suggestion yes, give them transit space. Remember that the location of you bait hive does not have to be where you keep. You've got time to move them back, especially if it's during the first evening or two - the girls will not have imprinted location yet, they will be more concerned about drawing comb and defending their new home. If your bait hive is based on the brood box you will ultimately use the whole thing becomes even easier.
 

dickbowyer 

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Thanks for advice. They seem very busy going in and out now :biggrinjester: so will leave it for today and see what accrues...........
 

gavin 

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Bait hives are usually best some distance from the colony that might swarm. 800m is said to be optimum.

I have to say that I've never heard of honeybees provisioning comb in advance of taking up residence. That makes me wonder whether your visitors are honeybees at all.

G.
 

jezd 

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are you sure they are not robbing the old comb out?
 

MrB 

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They seem to be interested!
perhaps if you include carpets and curtains you will have a sale :D
 

MuswellMetro 

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They seem to be interested!
perhaps if you include carpets and curtains you will have a sale :D
if they are that close, idont think you are onto a winner, , ithink it is just lost bees, who have been ditracted by the lure, missed the correct hive entrance and filled it up the old comb with honey

bait hive are best over 100 yds away

i had hundreds crawling over my bait hive...only to suddenly stop....the swarm was caught by another beek on a fence 250 yds away....:rant:
 
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dickbowyer 

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MM I think you are right - although I did get comfort from the fact they had found the bait hive. Garden not that big so may put as far away as I can or may be just need to catch them when/if they swarm.
 

dickbowyer 

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Girls seemed less interested so moved bait hive down end of garden - fingers crossed now.
 

dickbowyer 

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No they are interested in bait hive down the garden :)
 

dickbowyer 

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Success at last -came home to find swarm in bait hive (back just below feral colony in wall) :hurray:, presumably swarmed from feral colony as same very black bees in hive as around feral entrance and not like the Italians in the other two hives :biggrinjester:. Aiming to leave entrance block in, feed on the third day (friday) with 1 gallon of 1:1 sugar syrup from Miller feeder and only refeed if weather turns bad (which seems unlikely at the moment) and remove entrance block once finished feeding. Does that sound about right?

Bait hive had foundation in brood box frames (with swarm lure for good measure) and drawn comb in super above. Do I just leave, take off this super of drawn comb for the moment or put a QE between them after making sure Q in brood box?
 
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dickbowyer 

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Having taken some close up pictures, the bees are much blacker than the feral colony so suspect swarm from elsewhere
 

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