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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How important is it to have all the gaps sealed up in the top of the bait hive? When I built my bait hives i used that foam weather stripping around the edges and then screwed plywood down on top of that. Is that really necessary? To me it seems like a small gap or two is not going to stop or detour a swarm from moving in. In fact I would think they might even like it better. What is everyones opinion on this? I working on some bait hives right now and Im really wanting to just forget the weather stripping idea and get on with progress.
 

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I use old beat up nucleus's with gaps and holes. If you are concerned about moving it, just get a mesh laundry bag and slip over it. Put the drawstring end towards the back of the box and give it a couple of wraps. I moved a nucleus 2 hours drive last weekend this way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I use old beat up nucleus's with gaps and holes. If you are concerned about moving it, just get a mesh laundry bag and slip over it. Put the drawstring end towards the back of the box and give it a couple of wraps. I moved a nucleus 2 hours drive last weekend this way.
I was just wanting to know if a bait hive will stll work well with small holes and cracks here and there? Im not too concerned about moving them around after catching them, but the laudry bag is a good idea though. Ive read where others have caught lots of swarms in boxes with holes and one guy was even making vetilation holes around the top and covering them with screen and catching swarms. I was just wanting to hear other folks input on if bait hives are better with no cracks at all or just as good with a few gaps here and there.
 

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None of my swarm traps are beetight, and I caught 13 swarms last year. The wood just moves and shifts with time, wind, and rain. Most feral colony homes have many gaps.

But I do cover the top with plastic cardboard - recycled political campaign signs - to prevent rain from running down into the box. I think that might be the biggest turnoff for a swarm - a leaky roof.

But then again there was a huge hive in an open 10" pipe with the opening straight up in the air at an old oil well site. Had been there for years, with comb attached to the pipe walls and water ran down the pipe when it rained. I caught a castoff swarm from them last spring. But a new oil company bought the oil lease and promptly killed the colony this winter, ostensibly to remove the old separator and other metal for scrap. They still haven't removed the pipe this many months later, but thank God the bees are all dead! What stupidity and waste. The beehive was worth more than all the scrap metal put together.
 

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iivydriff: I would say it probably has absolutely no bearing on whether a swarm pics your trap or not. As stated in other responses most feral hives I find have multiple entrances. If you don't mind moving em with no way to shut them in you are ready to roll. I read a lot about what people "THINK" makes a swarm pick a location. One of the things I read long ago was that swarms like to only have one entrance. I don't think bees are reading that book though.......
I put ventilation holes in my traps because it is almost always very hot and humid when I catch swarms here. I don't know if the ventilation is needed for when I move them, but it's there just in case.

I say forget the stripping and get those traps up. You can always cover cracks with tape if you change your mind later this season. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the info. Mine just have a crack or two under the lid they are made out of old deeps. The cracks are not even big enough for bees to get out of. I had read a few years ago when I built my Bait hives out of old deeps that it was best to have the top of the box airtight no gaps at all. Because it would let too much light in and the bees wouldnt like the trap. I always thought mine were too air tight and probably needed some cracks or ventilation.
 
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