Bait hives

Bait hive on the roof of an old pig sty

Bait hive at Moelyci…with bees!








Swarms of honeybees will be out looking for a home from late April to early June.  It could be in a chimney or the roof of a house, or it could be in your bait hive. Try a bait hive in each apiary, or near a feral colony, with permission from the landowner.
You will need…
Solid wood hive floor, or mesh floor with catch tray fitted.
Brood box with one or two used brood frames/combs, from a healthy colony, at the back of the box. Fill the box with frames of foundation.
Crown board and roof.
Stone on the roof

Swarms are said to prefer a location well off the ground.  See pictures.
When (or if) your bait hive has been occupied by bees, try to move the hive of bees to a suitable long-term location, before the bees learn to fly back to the bait hive.  Set up another bait hive on the site.
You can treat the broodless bees with oxalic acid, to knock out phoretic varroa mites.
The bees will quickly draw out foundation, if the sycamore is providing a honey flow.
Check that the queen is laying healthy brood.

Further information
Dave Cushman’s website
The Apiarist blog

We’d welcome any comments.
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