Success with bait hive

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I put up a bait hive in my garden about 6 days ago and had some bees around after a couple of days. I wasn't sure if they had moved in or were just robbing honey from a frame I had put in so I observed regularly. It now seems I have a swarm as they are coming and going regularly and are now taking in pollen.My plan was to block the entrance late one night and take the bees to my apiary over 3 miles away the following morning. So last night I went up at 11 pm to see if all was quiet only to find a group of bees about the size of the palm of my hand crowded around outside the entrance! Were there too many bees to get into the bait hive? (It's nuc size with a frame of stores and 4 frames of strip foundation).
Any advice please on how and when I can move them.
 

Wilco

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What did it look like inside the box? Might be a case of putting the whole thing into a pillowcase or duvet cover for transport and tying it shut.
 

pargyle

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I haven't looked inside, I didn't want to disturb them.
A quick look inside (in the daylight - don't try it at night !) is going to tell you if they were just having a party on the outside on a warm evening or whether the box is rammed ... You can then either transfer them to a bigger box or use the pillow case as suggested.
 
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I've posted about this a couple of times now, though I honestly don't know if my interpretation is correct. I checked my bait hives last weekend and found two occupied, but with a "clump" of bees outside the hive. Those inside clearly weren't interested in letting them in. I guessed that it might be a second swarm that was also trying to occupy the hive and (eventually, in one case) persuaded them into a second hive. I've not opened those second boxes yet to find out what is actually going on, but one I checked the following morning seemed to be happy.

I may have completely misinterpreted what was going on and even if I was right it may not be the same for you, but I think it's another possibility to consider. I guess by "a second swarm" it would be unwise to preclude the possibility of a single swarm arriving with multiple queens and one staying outside with a small number of "supporters" so perhaps a gentle poke about in the bees outside might be helpful. It doesn't sound like they'd be a viable colony if there is a second queen though.

James
 

emoclewbee

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I had a similar incident with my bait hive this year, a swarm around 19 days ago.
I was using a 6 frame, national poly nuc as a bait hive.
Came home to find a swarm had arrive, bees inside, covering all 6 frames, Cluster of bees clinging to the bottom of the box. I figured they hadn't all moved in yet.
Left them 2 days, still bees in the box, coming and going, bringing in pollen, Still half a soccerball sized cluster clinging underneath, not significantly smaller than the day they arrive.
I never considered it could be two swarms. I was wondering were they slow to go in as they didn't have enough space of the entrance was small.
Rightly or wrongly. I scooped up the cluster and shook them into the nuc.
2 weeks after the swarm arrived I saw eggs and some larvae, still haven't seen the queen. it has been 19 days since they arrived now and all seems normal. Maybe it was just one, or maybe it was two and the queens stored it out between themselves.
Not sure if this is helpful tbh, but just to let you know I shook them in and it worked okay.
 
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I put up a bait hive in my garden about 6 days ago and had some bees around after a couple of days. I wasn't sure if they had moved in or were just robbing honey from a frame I had put in so I observed regularly. It now seems I have a swarm as they are coming and going regularly and are now taking in pollen.My plan was to block the entrance late one night and take the bees to my apiary over 3 miles away the following morning. So last night I went up at 11 pm to see if all was quiet only to find a group of bees about the size of the palm of my hand crowded around outside the entrance! Were there too many bees to get into the bait hive? (It's nuc size with a frame of stores and 4 frames of strip foundation).
Any advice please on how and when I can move them.
In all likelihood they were just robbing, bait hives shouldn't have frames of honey in them. Bees sometimes stay the night in one place (bait hive) and then go back home in the morning. The only way you are going to know is if you take a peak in the evening by removing the roof, you won't disturb them much if it has a clear crownboard.
 

steve1958

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Our garden was visited my a swarm of bees this afternoon. They made straight for the bait hive, so must have checked it out earlier.
It is an 8 frame box with 7 frames of starter strips and 1 old brood frame.
All the bees made it inside, but it won't surprise me if there is some bearding on the outside later as it is so warm
 
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Well, I had a quick look into my bait hive and it was rammed with bees. I pulled one of the frames with a starter strip and saw that beautiful white comb had been drawn. Not so many bees around the entrance last night so a little smoke helped to get them inside so I could block the entrance and take them to my apiary. Thank you for your comments.
 

jenkinsbrynmair

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Not so many bees around the entrance last night so a little smoke helped to get them inside so I could block the entrance and take them to my apiary
A little trick for the future - a few squirts of a hand held water spray makes them think it's raining and they go in in double time.
 

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