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Tom Bick 

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Has anyone thought of this befor or is it a mad idea

Its accrued to me that everyone is concerned with the plight of the honey bee mainly the wild honey bee hived bees being pampered looked after and as I can see are thriving especially with the explosion in new beekeepers over the next few years.

So as a help to the wild populations in the same way we have owel boxes bird and bat boxes is it possible to have off the ground say 15 feet+ fixed to dead trees or edges woodland or even specially erected poles such as telegraph poles a construction that is a good habitat for the honey bee perhaps baited with sum old cone that might attract a swarm of bees they can be in nature reserves or common land even farmland.

The boxes boxes being at a height off the ground will hopefully mean that the bees wont be a nuisance to people? and people wont hopefully disturb the bees they will be left to do their natural thing in the way they know best

Obviously Varroa will take its toll but with as I predict the increase of swarms from 2011 the boxes may become re occupied and perhaps nature may fined the answer in time

So is it a mad idea??
 

Heather 

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I like the idea- but equipment is expensive for the bees we have, and sadly any oiks walking near the baited empty box will see a good opportunity to vandalise. Oh why do they never kick a vile colony :rofl:

Bees will find their own habitat in the wild- don't worry- they have managed for thousands of years.
 
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Tom Bick 

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Good point Heather but I am not considering a hive fixed high but a simple box as long as it is dry it only has to be a cavity and can be camouflaged vandals will only do it once if it is occupied
 

RoofTops 

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It's an interesting idea and seems to fall in line with the concept of letting the bees sort out their issues with varroa through natural selection. My worry would be these wild or feral colonies if unmonitored would also become potential sources of things like AFB and EFB.

I fear with the increase of new beekeepers there will be plenty of swarms setting up homes next year without the need to provide them with artificial hives, though I suppose knowing where they are might be useful to local beekeepers.

However, the real issue is the honey bee does not need this sort of help. There were plenty of wild colonies before varroa and if things ever return to "normal" they will return.
 

Widdershins 

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Bees will find their own habitat in the wild- don't worry- they have managed for thousands of years.


....but their natural habitat is disappearing at a rate of knots to build new housing estates etc. so surely a helping hand is a move in the right direction?

Nice thought Tom, perhaps it could be fine-tuned before putting into place...;)
 

JCBrum 

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I can just about afford (;)) to keep bees .......... I don't think I could stretch to Pandas.

I wonder what they taste like ? maybe that might save them ?

JC. :)
 

JCBrum 

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Don't you start, I've had enough trouble with beesrob and o90o 'winding me up' ....

...... the harbinger of a facetious remark ......... and all that .....

I'm trying to be a good boy ! ...... I'm easily led you know. ;)

J
 

mikethebee 

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When e.a.s.y-bee gave up queen rearing 5 years ago we tried advertising the 500 queen rearing boxes for sale, We received stupid offers and promises of payment for all the expensive queen rearing kit we had. Someo got burnt.

The young lad working for us then suggested we should use the good timber boxes and frames as bait hives.
We have about 300 bait hives dotted through out the apiaries full of overwintered bees that we rob of queens when short. We never treat for varroia or feed they are left to there own.
 
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Tom Bick 

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It's an interesting idea and seems to fall in line with the concept of letting the bees sort out their issues with varroa through natural selection. My worry would be these wild or feral colonies if unmonitored would also become potential sources of things like AFB and EFB.

I fear with the increase of new beekeepers there will be plenty of swarms setting up homes next year without the need to provide them with artificial hives, though I suppose knowing where they are might be useful to local beekeepers.

However, the real issue is the honey bee does not need this sort of help. There were plenty of wild colonies before varroa and if things ever return to "normal" they will return.
Its more to do with giving them more choice and a helping hand so they may not chose the air brick at the back of the house next to the kitchen door
 

victor meldrew 

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Has anyone thought of this befor or is it a mad idea

Its accrued to me that everyone is concerned with the plight of the honey bee mainly the wild honey bee hived bees being pampered looked after and as I can see are thriving especially with the explosion in new beekeepers over the next few years.

So as a help to the wild populations in the same way we have owel boxes bird and bat boxes is it possible to have off the ground say 15 feet+ fixed to dead trees or edges woodland or even specially erected poles such as telegraph poles a construction that is a good habitat for the honey bee perhaps baited with sum old cone that might attract a swarm of bees they can be in nature reserves or common land even farmland.

The boxes boxes being at a height off the ground will hopefully mean that the bees wont be a nuisance to people? and people wont hopefully disturb the bees they will be left to do their natural thing in the way they know best

Obviously Varroa will take its toll but with as I predict the increase of swarms from 2011 the boxes may become re occupied and perhaps nature may fined the answer in time

So is it a mad idea??
Hi Tom,
I have had a wbc hive in my garden for 15 years, never in all this time has any bee, honey.or bumble shown the slightest interest in it!
Yes it's at ground level but over the years, swarms have entered previously occupied hives on a regular basis :).
The point I'm making is that these "bait hives" would need to be baited in order to accomplish the increase in wild bee population ??
A phenomenal task on a UK based scale ?.
Another point is ,whole sale wild colonies would compromise the work of the inspectorate as inspection would be virtually impossible.

John Wilkinson

John Wilkinson
 
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Tom Bick 

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Thanks VM
yes to all that but the wild populations are still around and hopefully always will I am hoping to see one this weekend having being given approx location not going to interfere just observe for a while in sum quarters it is suggested that we have contributed to disease by not moving the bees onto new cone in the brood chamber yearly or every two years in the wiled as I understand the bees leave parts of the hive to the wax moth so removing old cone and reducing the spread of disease
We dont really fully understand the honey bee yet or nature as a whole
 

Hivemaker. 

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Blocked up every known hole in every tree,and other places known to have escaped bee's around this area several years ago,no doubt missed some,but the expanding foam has worked well on the one's treated..Sad to have to kill them,but was for the greater good of the managed bee's.
 
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peteinwilts 

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Some tests were performed by the university of Florida regarding baiting box for swarms.

Many were made of different shapes and sizes and sited into trees at different levels.

The most 'popular' bait box chosen by bees were a box of 40 litres, cube shaped, attached 4 metres up a tree, visible (rather than hidden), southerly facing out of direct sunlight.

Not sure about about baiting boxes for Pandas though. My elelphant repelant works well though..
 
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Tom Bick 

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Interesting that petinwilts glad to see that I am not going completly mad then
 

Frisbee 

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The most 'popular' bait box chosen by bees were a box of 40 litres, cube shaped, attached 4 metres up a tree, visible (rather than hidden), southerly facing out of direct sunlight.
Finman posted the link to this research earlier in the year.

I read it and inwardly digested, then set about making the most popular sized box..............only to discover when finished I couldn't fit a frame of manky old drawn foundation in it apart from diagonally............:toetap05: I never caught anything in it :) It has spent most of the year nailed up a tree trying to entice the tree bees.

Frisbee
 
T

Tom Bick 

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Its not an exact science by any means they chose a number of potential sites befor deciding amongst them selves which is the best one for them.
Perhaps better look next season
 

JCBrum 

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....../ set about making the most popular sized box..............only to discover when finished I couldn't fit a frame of manky old drawn foundation in it /../ I never caught anything in it /../ It has spent most of the year nailed up a tree trying to entice the tree bees

Old Chinese proverb : if at first no succeedee catchee fishee with worm and hookee .........


Use Dynamite ! (or a whopping big chainsaw) and a shovel :)




..
 

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