Bait hive – success and query


Bees have landed in good numbers in two of my bait hives. This is a thrill and brilliant that it has worked! The bees are coming and going / milling about in and outside the hives in large numbers but not yet looking very settled (as in bringing in pollen). Would it be sensible to leave the hives where they are for a few days before moving them to their new position – where they’ll stay in the bait boxes with additional warre boxes underneath. Guidance on this and how to move bees in general much appreciated. Thanks in advance Catharine (bee-keeping in warre hives Wiltshire/Gloucestershire border)

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4 Responses to Bait hive – success and query

  1. simplebees says:

    What good luck!

    First leave the bait hive in position until you are sure a swarm has moved in and settled and that you are not just seeing scout bees checking it out (which can number in the tens).

    The hive can then be moved to its permanent position in one of three ways:

    1) A foot or two at at time (moving every 3rd day)

    2) Moved over 3 miles, left for a week and moved back to the new position

    3) Moved directly to the new position and the entrance of the hive covered with leaves to distract the bees as they leave – causing them (hopefully) to notice their new location. A box at the old location will collect the bees that return there (which could be quite a few). This will need to be emptied in front of the hive each evening until the bees learn their new location (which could be a while).

    As they say, the choice is yours!


  2. grahambrookbanks says:

    I’m interested in this too, because I have nearly finished building a Warre hive and I was thinking of mounting two boxes as high up as I could on the west-facing wall of my house. Did you use any bait in the hive? I’ve got a couple of phials of synthetic Nasanov in the freezer which I bought from Wynnes , but Gareth suggested using Lemon Grass oil..

    Anyway, if I am fortunate enough to lure a swarm into my bait hive, options 1 & 2 from Gareth are out of the question for me. I read elsewhere that you can seal the hive before you move it to a new location and leave it sealed for 24hrs before letting the bees out, and when the emerge, they will re-orientate themselves to the new location. I haven’t tried this myself, but i would be interested in any comments on this method.

    Graham Brookbanks – Chandlers Ford, Hampshire

  3. simplebees says:

    Closing the hive for any length of time during warm (dare I say hot?) weather risks severe overheating as the bees struggle to find an exit. So adequate ventilation would be essential. And ventilation means letting the light in. And letting the light in means the bees know where they are. You can see where I am going with this.

    There is a form of the method described, where the bees are closed in, given ventilation and put in a cool dark location such as a cellar for at least 48 hours. This is what I would do if I were going to try this approach. Of course, not everyone has access to such a spot.

    Gareth, Cotswolds

  4. churford says:

    For bait – lemon grass oil and a bit of natural comb so it smelt the part. Seely’s Honeybee Democracy – which is referenced in David Heaf’s – has all you ever wanted to know on bait hives! Mine look settled. I plan to move one of them using method 3 at the weekend. Catharine, NWilts-Glos

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