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corrado608 

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I have had a bait hive place on top of my wood shed for the past month or so.It contains a broad box containing a mixture of new foundation and some older drawn frames.

This weekend following advice on this forum I place a small bottle of lemongrass oil inside. On returning home from work today I was met by about 100 plus bees at the entrance to the hive and bees happily coming and going on looking inside approx one frame of bees.

Is this a swarm,or are they robber bees taking the final remains of any stores on the older frames. if this is a swarm how do I go about building it up and how do I move it to my apiary which is about 1/2 mile away, with out them trying to return to my garden. I should have thought about this before placing the bait hive, but did not expect any intrest !!! Thanksbee-smilliebee-smillie
 

margob99 

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I'm just guessing, but perhaps they're scout bees for a swarm soon-to-arrive!
 

admin 

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Another question for the more experienced beekeepers:

Do robber bees dart in front of the hive entrance if the hive is empty like they do when robbing a hive with bees ?
 

corrado608 

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I hope so !! if so how long after would a full swarm arrive, would it be hours or even a couple of days ?
 

rae 

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See if they are there late in the evening (you'll hear them if you can press an ear to the side of the box). If they're there at night, then you've got a cast. If they've all cleared off, then you've been robbed!

When our bait hive was up, we had a few scouts, but nowhere near a frame of bees - 30 at most. Never got a swarm in it, until we pulled one out of hedge!
 

m100 

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Another question for the more experienced beekeepers:

Do robber bees dart in front of the hive entrance if the hive is empty like they do when robbing a hive with bees ?
Not that experienced (anyone who has kept bees for less than 50 years is inexperienced!)

To some extent yes they do act like conventional robbers, maybe not as much darting as if the colony was occupied. I've seen what are presumably bees from competing colonies fighting to the death in front of a bait hive that had a very small area of stores in it. I broke up a few fights with a bit of nylon parcel strapping.
 

MuswellMetro 

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Not that experienced (anyone who has kept bees for less than 50 years is inexperienced!)

To some extent yes they do act like conventional robbers, maybe not as much darting as if the colony was occupied. I've seen what are presumably bees from competing colonies fighting to the death in front of a bait hive that had a very small area of stores in it. I broke up a few fights with a bit of nylon parcel strapping.
yes they zig xag , i bought just a part drawn brood home as the frame had twisted. placed itin a nuc box to stops a bit of honey messing up the car....with in the hour when i put the nuc in the garden..zig zag bees...even attacking emerging bees


Move your bait hive at night now, they are not so imprinted to location if they are a swarm, usual plank or branch infront just to stop them dashing out...if you wish an old plant pot or carboard box with slit will capture those returning to the shed roof on the first night after moving
 
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corrado608 

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Unfortunatly it appears that they are robber bees, disappeared last night but came back today in even greater numbers coming and going in great numbers all day only to disapear again. Is there any chance that they may descide to stay, or will they just disapear when they find a different sourse of feed :(. Is there anything that I can do to encourage them to stay ?

bee-smillie
 

plumberman 

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Unfortunatly it appears that they are robber bees, disappeared last night but came back today in even greater numbers coming and going in great numbers all day only to disapear again. Is there any chance that they may descide to stay, or will they just disapear when they find a different sourse of feed :(. Is there anything that I can do to encourage them to stay ?

bee-smillie
I'm afraid that even if the robbers stayed, without a queen there would be no colony. Once the stores have gone the robber bees will disappear: any bees left might well be scout bees, and you still could get lucky.
 

oliver90owner 

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Leaving stores in a bait hive is poor practice. A vector for disease spread if robbed out by several colonIes.

Remember, scout bees are more likely to be healthy as the swarm is usually from a single strong hive (at any one time); robbers are just opportunistic and could be from several sources and have just jumped on the bandwagon because of the smell and easy pickings.

Regards, RAB
 

Rosti 

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I hope so !! if so how long after would a full swarm arrive, would it be hours or even a couple of days ?
It can vary (obviously) but my experience over the last 2 years is.....
I have set and been successful with 4 bait hives this year (just 1 last year), thats (100%) observation of the build up to a swarm taking up residence showed increasing scout activity from 3 or so up to 100+ over a 48 hr period and then a swarm taking up residence within 48 hours of that activity peaking (the scout activity continued over that interviening period) Can't say whether all of the scouting was from the same 'mother' hive of course. In a couple of instances where weather became adverse scouts over nighted in the bait hive, returing home the next morning (observed last w/e) - that hive hooked a swarm this Monday having been set the previous Thursday.

Quickest take was 3 days from setting (and 3 hours from high scout activity being seen), longest take was 9 days from setting with 48 hours from high scout activity.
 

corrado608 

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They have arrived !!! Hear:willy_nilly:d them coming first got here about 2.00pm today, all now housed in hive
 

AMAE 

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Wow....looks like a big one you lucky thing.

Let us know how many frames it covers when you get a chance, just to make sure we're all turning a nice shade of green!:party-smiley-050:

AMAE

ps. interesting it's two days from the start of Scout activity......
 

taff.. 

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I'd just got home from work this evening when I heard the unmistakeable humm of a swarm flying past my back door.....


for a village where NOTHING goes un-noticed, no bugger even saw the swarm never mind which way they went :mad:
 

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