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Thread: Bait hive?

  1. #1
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    Sep 2002
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    johnstown N.Y.
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    I have seen the phrase bait hive in this forum several times. What is it? How can I make one? How dose it work
    Thanks Dan

  2. #2
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    Dousman,Wi.U.S.A.
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    Bait hive can be an empty hive set up to attract swarms looking to settle in. You can set up a bottom board, 1 deep,inner cover and telescoping cover . Helps to stock with drawn frames. There are phereomes(?)that can be purchased to help bring the bees in. Best to get the trap up off the ground. Mine is usually about 4 to 6 feet off the ground. Also some traps available on the market which do not hold frames and would be difficult to move bees in. I use the box as described w/ frames each year. Have caught several hives a year this way.

  3. #3
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    If you have old equipment around I'd do as Karl says. If you don't, you can buy wax coated cardboard MDA splitter boxes from Dadant or plastic ones from MDA and they hold five frames. I am doing this the first time this year and have read a bit on it. I would use the pheromone. The Peromone is available from Dadant, Brushy Mt. Mann Lake etc. Seems like most bee suppliers now stock it. It's usually under the name "Swarm Lure".

  4. #4
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    Jan 2003
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    oneonta al.
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    Smile

    on the subject of bait hives, just built one going over to Ms this afternoon & set some tomorrow.I built one 15 x 28,just to try. over there the bees build in Duck box's so i'm going to try it with pheromone for the 1st time. also going to take out 2 swarm's that already in duck box's. wish me luck,(ha ha), mark

  5. #5
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    Hi Mark: Let us know how you do. I was offered a swarm several years ago that was found in a wood duck house. The down side was that it was late fall so we decided to leave them alone till spring. Checked in spring and they had died out over winter. Good luck. Always fun to collect swarms!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
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    Commercial swarm lure recipe:

    To buy from pharm:

    Citral, geraniol and nerolic acid 1:1:1 mix Citrals--Sigma chemical co. st. louis mo.

    geraniol---Aldrich chemical co. milwaukee wi

    nerolic + geranic acids Bedoukian research Danbury ct.


    To make old fashioned beekeeper type:

    Simply take either virgin queens or old queens you are replacing and drop into alcohol and let set for 6 mos to 1 year. Then pour into extra virgin olive oil with a little lemon extract. Paint into bait hives.

    Both the above cost only pennies compared to current costs of reatail for you bigger beekeepers.

    The first formula is from a commercial swarm trapper doing several hundred swarms a year with hanging baskets.

    Regards,

    Dee A. Lusby

  7. #7
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    I'm not sure what a "duck box" is, but if you already have them in a box and have to get them out, I've done similar things many times. If you are setting swarm traps without frames then you'll have to check them often or be in the same predicament again.

    If you can remove the bottom from the box and flip it upside down, you can cut a piece of cardboard or wood that is large enough to cover the bottom of both the duck box and the hive box. Cut a hole in the middle of this small enough to fit both boxes. Set the hive box on top and use smoke and drumming to run most of the bees up into the hive box. Then insert a queen excluder between the two and wait for the brood in the bottom box to emerge. The bees won't store anything in the duck box because the combs are upside down, but the sealed and emerging brood will still do all right.

    The other method is to cut out all the combs and tie the brood into frames with string or rubber bands and put it in the new box.

  8. #8
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    Jan 2003
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    thank's for the tip Michael,Luckly the duck box's I'm getting the bees out of has hinge's on one side, they put them on so they can clean them out.the trap I made is about the size of them.I also fixed it where I can open it.I'm going to place 1 with drawn comb & 1 close to it without & install foudation& pheromne inside just to test, mark

  9. #9
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    Sep 2001
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    Neodesha, Ks
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    On the subject of catching swarms. I am new at this so I have a few questions. Say I am succesful and catch a swarm. From what I have read you should requeen the hive as the old queen is what you caught. Give me your thoughts. Just trying to learn from my mistakes. Dale

  10. #10
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    It is probable that the queen you have is a year old or more. Most hives if they are sucessful swarm every year, so if it's a feral colony there's a chance the queen is only a year old. Then again, maybe she swarmed last year and again this year and she's two. Afterswarms have virgin queens who will mate after the swarm is settled. My main reason for catching swarms is I hope to get survivor bees. If I requeen I've defeated that purpose. If I wait until she's laying and analyze the situation, I could leave her if she seems very fertile and successful, and supercede her or raise some queens from her if I think she needs replacing. I want some queens anyway, so I will probably raise a batch of queens from her, if I think she's feral, and then requeen.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    Northern Michigan
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    John Vivian's book Keeping Bees chapter 8 starting on page 170. Said a spare works as a bait hive, but went on to say that a 14" x14" box with a slanted roof hung 15' to 20' in a tree a short distance but with in sight so scout bees can find it.
    I'm going to try that once I get the ones from the tree I cut down fixed up in a new home.
    Al

  12. #12
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    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    I personally put the bait hive as high as I can get it with minimal effort. Especially since it will need checking and or cleaning out.
    Do not let spiders, wasps, etc. to take up residence.

    Bees are attracted and I have had great results with the commercial lures. I also have had great success with an old hive box. Bees love old swarm sites that have been previously used. If you put frames/comb into the bait box, use old comb. New comb will attract moths faster and why waste good comb.


  13. #13
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    Jan 2003
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    oneonta al.
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    Cool

    I'm reporting back on the pheromone lure,that stuff does work.I've caught 4 swarm's with it around here,(ala)& some in Ms.,but here is a good one that's hard to believe but true,I put out some in a empty hive at one of my bee yard fri-went over there sun afternoon with a friend ,& a swarm had took up in it,I took the lure out & added frames,put the lure in another box & moved it over about 20 foot,me &him walked around looking at some other hives,about 15-20 min. later & seen another swarm going it that box,just got back & both hives is doing fine,

  14. #14
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    BTW Lemon Grass essential oil contains both Citral and Geraniol. It also smells just like the commercially available swarm lure.

  15. #15
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    Oct 2003
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    Victoria BC Canada
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    Michael; Would you please tell me what the " BTW means when you make reference to Lemon Grass Essential oil> Thanks, Keith

    ------------------

  16. #16
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    Sorry. By The Way (BTW)

  17. #17
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    I set a lot of bait hives this year and only got one swarm. I will set one in that location again next year. I will probably not use any of the other locations again, but I might look for some new ones.

  18. #18
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    Leonardtown, Md, USA
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    I am assuming the bait hives aren't used close to your bee yards. Whats the acceptable distance. It kinda sounds like enticing your own hives to swarm?

  19. #19
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    I had some in my yard, but didn't catch any. A bait hive will NOT entice a hive to swarm. But if one of your hives is thinking about it, it may entice them to move in there instead of heading for the wild blue yonder.

    The one place I got them isn't near anyones hives that I know of. My guess is they were a feral swarm, but I haven't had time to measure cell size etc. yet and may not get the chance until spring now.


  20. #20
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    Aug 2003
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    Leonardtown, Md, USA
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    Can you use a medium super for this or does it have to be deep?

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