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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Nevada City, Ca
    Posts
    1

    Wink If I build it, will they come? Oh, plus: screened hive bottom?

    Total novice at beekeeping, but have lived with and loved bees for a long time, including a hive in a tree just outside my front door.

    I bought a hive kit just after the season to buy nucs in April (because THAT'S HOW I ROLL. . .), and just assembled it last week. I put it out on a picnic table in the shade and sprinkled the area with flowers they frequent (onion flowers, lamb's ears). I tend to take goofy approaches like this that involve a lot of magical thinking.

    My question: since I've offered such a nice home and have many, varied, organic sources of pollen in my yard, is it likely that some lucky bee will discover it and bring his/her friends, and raise a queen? Am I insane? (Rhetorical question; real question: has anybody ever done this, and did it work?)

    Aside from being, you know, lazy, it seems to me that locally-adapted bees ready to swarm would be healthier. I also cut most of the plastic base away, having read that giant book about natural beekeeping that says letting them pick the size of their comb and therefore their body size (what a concept!) makes for healthier bees and less Varoa.

    Oh, plus: where do people stand on screened base, vs. solid? I left out a couple boards from the kit and stapled window screen over it, because what I read seemed like the ventilation is better for their health.

    Thanks for this site! B girl (I can't believe nobody's used that name. Remember? Bar girls, hired by bars to encourage customers to spend more money? I actually thought it was an actress in a "B" movie, but I looked it up.)
    Last edited by B girl; 06-21-2013 at 12:13 AM. Reason: correct definition of B girl. This is important.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    792

    Default Re: If I build it, will they come? Oh, plus: screened hive bottom?

    Quote Originally Posted by B girl View Post
    My question: since I've offered such a nice home and have many, varied, organic sources of pollen in my yard, is it likely that some lucky bee will discover it and bring his/her friends, and raise a queen? Am I insane? (Rhetorical question; real question: has anybody ever done this, and did it work?)

    Aside from being, you know, lazy, it seems to me that locally-adapted bees ready to swarm would be healthier. I also cut most of the plastic base away, having read that giant book about natural beekeeping that says letting them pick the size of their comb and therefore their body size (what a concept!) makes for healthier bees and less Varoa.

    Oh, plus: where do people stand on screened base, vs. solid? I left out a couple boards from the kit and stapled window screen over it, because what I read seemed like the ventilation is better for their health.
    1. It is possible a swarm will occupy your box. As far as likely, someone from your area would better be able to answer that. Also, a few drops of lemon grass oil would probably be better than the cut flowers at attracting a swarm.

    2. If you want natural cell, why not just go foundationless?

    3. As for solid vs screened bottom boards, I prefer the solids. We have cold wet winters, someone from your area would probably give better advice on the bottom boards.

    HTH,

    Shane

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,431

    Default Re: If I build it, will they come? Oh, plus: screened hive bottom?

    What you are talking about is called swarm trapping - yes it does happen that bees choose beekeeper equipment to move into. Is it likely? That is the million dollar question! People trap swarms all the time (during swarm season) so I think we can say certain times of the year (like right now where I'm at in Maine) are better than others. There are more things you can do to help a swarm find your equipment - the Lemon Grass Oil is a good suggestion. My suggestion is to read up on swarm trapping!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,592

    Default Re: If I build it, will they come? Oh, plus: screened hive bottom?

    Welcome to the forum!

    I think you will have fun here, some "magical thinking" will add to the conversation...
    Last edited by BeeCurious; 06-21-2013 at 05:35 AM.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

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