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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Marysville, WA
    Posts
    473

    Default Top Bar bait hives

    My top bar hives are built using Phil Chandlers (barefoot beekeeper) plans. Last year I built a smaller 10 bar version for a nuc hive. I would like to build some more of the same size to use as bait hives but was wondering if this is too big, too small or a good size for this. I understand it would probably work fine but I am interested in what you all would consider the optimum size.
    Thanks for any input.

    Mike

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,793

    Default Re: Top Bar bait hives

    I have caught small baits in large boxes, large baits in small boxes, and huge baits in huge boxes.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    5,702

    Default Re: Top Bar bait hives

    I'd go with large. When I'm supplying swarms to top bar guys I only give them the small swarms now.

    When I used to give them big swarms it would almost invariably move on within a few days, my feeling is they consider the TBH too small, or it may be the shape I don't know. A small swarm though will stay put.

    Going with a "mini" TBH would exacerbate this problem.

    My humble opinion only!
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Marysville, WA
    Posts
    473

    Default Re: Top Bar bait hives

    Hey oldtimer,
    When you say "large" or "small", how would this compare to package sizes. Would large be comparable to a 4 lb package? Bigger? Just trying to wrap my brain around it and as we all know some peoples large isn't the same as others. I'm not a swarm catcher.....yet.
    Thanks,
    Mike

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,702

    Default Re: Top Bar bait hives

    The large swarms would be say, 6 lbs plus. But now I give the top bars the very small ones, say under 2 lbs at the absolute most. They still do quite well in a top bar and I think a very small swarm does better initially in a top bar than it would in a lang.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Marysville, WA
    Posts
    473

    Default Re: Top Bar bait hives

    Wow, 6 lbs. That's alot of bees. I wouldn't try to "shove" that many bees into a mini hive. If I was hiving a swarm I would put them in a full size (4 ft long) TBH.

    My initial question was for a "bait" hive. I may be misunderstanding things but my understanding is certain volume attract swarms better than others.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Lumberton, NC USA!
    Posts
    94

    Default Re: Top Bar bait hives

    Folks,
    Which direction should the bait hive be pointed towards? North, South, East, or West?
    "Death smiles at everyone. Marines smile back!"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Bergen, Norway
    Posts
    248

    Default Re: Top Bar bait hives

    According to Outofabluesky, the bait-hive should be about 40L.

    I would face the opening south/southwest if possible.

    Almost forgot - I think it's best to make a really short TBH instead of one that is smaller in all directions. That way the bars can be moved right into another TBH after you'we catched a swarm.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Pinellass County, Florida
    Posts
    1,104

    Default Re: Top Bar bait hives

    Hives should face east south east IMHO
    What I base this on my reading Lang's ,as I write I question myself as these are not Lang's
    Theory is the morning sun hits the hive and burns off the Dew
    Wakes them, gets life going again
    I would guess If you had a land layout where another direction would give them more Sun or less wind Blowing into the entrance then that would be a reason to move from an east so.east to due east or due south
    or Dead North per se' If you had the hive facing a fence and the fence was on the north side or the land
    As anything bee this could change in a day you could have a top entrance and with that.I don't know if theory will hold true to that
    I also wonder if Thomas (moderator) with his heat factor besides shade trees
    If he uses just the opposite direction

    Tommyt
    Last edited by tommyt; 01-04-2011 at 06:41 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Newark Valley,ny USA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Top Bar bait hives

    I have a ten bar tbh that I think will work good. Did a lot of reading and that is what I came up with. Made everything but the lenght the same size so everthing is interchangeable. Pull the bars and put them right into a regular tbh. I will also face southeast with entrance.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Honduras
    Posts
    228

    Default Re: Top Bar bait hives

    Quote Originally Posted by tommyt View Post
    I also wonder if Thomas (moderator) with his heat factor besides shade trees
    If he uses just the opposite direction

    Tommyt
    Howdy everyone,

    Since I normally hang my trap hives in trees, they generally always have some shade. On those occasions where the trap does get a bit more sun, I haven´t seen heat as a problem. There is a coconut tree in my backyard that I generally use for hanging a trap. The traps there usually got quite a bit of sun during certain parts of the day. I´ve caught four or five swarms in that spot however without having any problems due to heat.

    I don´t face my entrances in any particular direction. The direction of the entrance ultimately depends on the branches in the tree and the best way to hang it and keep it stable. My traps do have two entrances, however—one on either side. The entrance the swarm usually uses is the one that gives them the easiest access—I haven’t noticed direction playing a part in it.

    ----------
    Tom

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Lakeland, FL USA
    Posts
    777

    Default Re: Top Bar bait hives

    I'm glad I found this thread. I'm sick of running ads in craigslist to go get swarms and/or cut-outs.

    Fruitless.

    OVER IT !!!!!!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,428

    Default Re: Top Bar bait hives

    Quote Originally Posted by Duboisi View Post
    According to Outofabluesky, the bait-hive should be about 40L.
    40 liters just seems way to big for a TBH bait hive. I did a volume test and I believe that would be 18 bars for me (1x12 sides, 1x8 bottom, and bars that are 19 inches). That would mean the bait hives would need to be 2 feet long to be 40 liters. McCartney is quoting the often quoted research by Tom Seeley. I would love to see Seeley's study redone with bait hives that are 20, 30 and 40 liters in size to see what is the most prefered size (he had 10, 40 and 100 liters, I think I lived in a studio when I was young that was about 100 liters).

    I went with some that are 8 and some that are 12 bars. Haven't gotten any takers yet, but it has been a slow spring around here for swarms. I also have some conventional traps out as well. But I do have a TBH nuc (2 foot) setup as a bait hive as well, just in case!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon USA
    Posts
    323

    Default Re: Top Bar bait hives

    Just curious, for comparison what is the volume of a standard 5 frame Lang nuc? That seems to be what most people are using for swarm traps...

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Lakeland, FL USA
    Posts
    777

    Default Re: Top Bar bait hives

    I'm about to build a 20-inch long version of Phil Chandler's top bar design for a top bar bait hive. Of course there will be some alterations to the normal roof design, but that's basically what I have in mind. I've already built a full-size version of Chandler's hive.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: Top Bar bait hives

    Nice looking trap PatBeek. I like the size. I made two, one 8 bar and the other 10 but no takers yet. I gave up on the 8 bar and put a split in it. Seems a bit small now that it has 5 bars of comb and a few shakes of bees. Your 15 bar is probably a better size.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Lakeland, FL USA
    Posts
    777

    Default Re: Top Bar bait hives

    Quote Originally Posted by Colleen O. View Post
    Nice looking trap PatBeek. I like the size. I made two, one 8 bar and the other 10 but no takers yet. I gave up on the 8 bar and put a split in it. Seems a bit small now that it has 5 bars of comb and a few shakes of bees. Your 15 bar is probably a better size.
    Thanks, Colleen O.

    Can you send me a split?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: Top Bar bait hives

    This is my first so I don't know yet how successful it will be. Do you have any bees yet or are you waiting on the luck of the swarm?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon USA
    Posts
    323

    Default Re: Top Bar bait hives

    I like it! I just built my first one yesterday--I made it 10 bars. Seeing as it hasn't caught a swarm yet, it's a total failure.......

    I was curious about the entrance to your trap--it looks like an 1 1/2 hole with screws in it? Won't it be hard to seal the entrance with a cork for transport? Maybe I'm missing something?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,428

    Default Re: Top Bar bait hives

    You may want to consider side entrances. They naturally keep the rain out.

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