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Bait hives

Posted: Wed May 10, 2017 4:06 pm
by GregV
I figure why not share how people implement bait hive ideas.
A picture is worth a thousand words.
Have these 40 liter generic nuc hives used for everything (trapping, nucs, swarm containers).
Also both of my hex-log hives have been deployed.

I am ready to learn from any suggestions/critique regarding my setups.
Every little helps. I really need to score some free bees this season!

Post your own rigs/setups (especially those that score swarms!).

Re: Bait hives

Posted: Wed May 10, 2017 4:07 pm
by GregV

Re: Bait hives

Posted: Sun May 14, 2017 3:04 am
by GregV
Cardboard traps.

Re: Bait hives

Posted: Sun May 14, 2017 3:08 am
by GregV
Top bars (Northern Edition).

Re: Bait hives

Posted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 6:50 pm
by GregV
If I recall, Jeff was wondering how these "sticks and staples" work to guide the combs.
So I now have a good evidence of how well the "sticks and staple" guides work.
No need to over-engineer these things because bees don't care about professional-grade human wood work.
Pick a up stick; staple it; done.

Pictured are
1)top bar "northern style" with picture perfect comb (this is one of those blank TBs posted just above with a "stick and staples")
2)two pictures of a triangular filler that bees used as intended and followed the "stick and staple" guide; you can tell how I stapled the sticks too closely; they used one correctly; then used it as a guide for the second, smaller comb; this was my bad - stapled too closely.

Re: Bait hives

Posted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:21 am
by Nordak
Thanks Greg. Seems like a cheap and easy solution. Great pics.

Re: Bait hives

Posted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 2:43 am
by GregV
Got another swarm!
This time they hit my 40 liter trap/nuc strapped just 3 feet/1 meter high from the ground.
I kept this one on my active out-yard thinking that the live bees hives nearby are the best lure you can have.
It worked!
20170702_174847.jpg (508.71 KiB) Viewed 979 times

BTW, 3 out of the six frames inside are those top bars pictures above.
They work out great and bees follow the stick-and-staple really well.
The swarm took to them right away (probably moved in 2-3 days ago).
The other three frames where the old black cut-out combs.

Interesting - I have this old, well used, square Lang (4 mediums) sitting in my backyard (picked up by the road for free).
The volume would be 120 liters (30 liters x 4).
The scouts where really busy around it for the last few days - but nothing.
I suspect this is the same swarm that chose my 40 liter trap/nuc instead (less than 1 km away).

Re: Bait hives

Posted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 2:46 pm
by Nordak
Nice! What does that bring the total to for the year?

Re: Bait hives

Posted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 3:25 pm
by GregV
Nordak wrote:Nice! What does that bring the total to for the year?

I have 8 colonies running at the moment (4 nucs + 4 stronger hives)!
This is starting with just ONE nuc that over-wintered for me.
I really like this line so far and have three daughters stand-alone now from that Mother.

I got all the nucs started from my overwintered "mother hive" nuc - pretty bullish on my part.
So have four colonies running my own survivor line.

Have two clearly Italian swarms (the swarm trap hits). May requeen to my own survivors. May keep as-is. Unsure yet.

Have maybe a Carni-line (the collected swarm). Will keep as-is.

And I also have a nuc with that test queen (you know about this one well... ;) ).
Keeping as-is through and through as a test line.

So unsure yet if I will combine some of these OR will keep the entire fleet as-is and see how it plays out.
I am flip-flopping back and forth on this idea - just let them ALL stand-alone and let the winter weed out the weaklings.

3 caught swarms so far this season (2 trap hits + 1 true catch project from a tree).

Pretty eventful season so far and only starting into July.
I am excited.

Will hate going away for two week vacation with all the action here.
But the vacation will be in August and so is somewhat tolerable ... hehe... (a slow time here, as long as my nucs are well screened before leaving them behind to the robbers).

Re: Bait hives

Posted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 3:35 pm
by GregV
Oh - yeas. I am very low on equipment now.
Really need to build at least a couple of larger, winter-grade horizontal hives to re-hive my larger swarms.
Getting really tight.

My small nucs are getting ready to graduate out of cardboard boxes to something bigger.
I can only offer bigger cardboard boxes for the time. Everything has been deployed.

Re: Bait hives

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:37 pm
by GregV
The trap hive #1 has been a popular with me lately.
I pulled the #1 back into the stand-by rotation by dumping the swarm into ad-hoc deep 12-framer (from old Lang supers + 3/4'' plywood).
Imagine a square Dadant flipped 90 degrees and standing side-ways.. That's what it is (pic in the next post).

Well, as of this morning, the #1 is home to yet another swarm..
A smallish swarm, but I will keep them.

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Re: Bait hives

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:39 pm
by GregV
This is the ad-hoc replacement for the #1 - pretty good 80 liter summer hive.
Cost - under $2-3 (just for the screws).

You can see how I dumped the bees in front of the hive; they just crawled in on their own.
Did not want to shake the stragglers directly into the hive (the trap was full of trash).

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Re: Bait hives

Posted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:02 pm
by GregV
My second "log" hive also scored a swarm.
Going now to re- hive it.
20170722_190359_Small.jpg (402.21 KiB) Viewed 888 times

So now both "log" hives scored a swarm.
These particular traps worked at 100% and I like them a lot due to the easy installation (on the ground).

(maybe, however, the fact of previous occupancy is the main factor, not exactly the design or the placement;
I have found a video where the author claims to deliberately keep his splits in the traps-to-be hives;
he primes the traps before use that way and claims to have near 100% success rate with this approach)

Brrr... Ready to stop this trapping operation - can not keep up, with all the splits too.
I now suspect I may have lost a swarm too (either that, OR I have a skunk problem).
(meanwhile summer vacation is in less than one week and I will be out of state for 10 days.)

Re: Bait hives

Posted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:59 pm
by GregV
Late last night I was correcting the mess they created on foundation-less "northern style" top bars that I use widely.
Along the way documented how well the stick-and-staple guides work. See attached.

I am pleased with this very low tech way while reviewing all the things people are doing. :D
Unfortunately, the guiding force of it only goes so far down before they start improvisations.
Foundation-less in deep hives is a hard way for sure.

Re: Bait hives

Posted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:22 am
by GregV
So now the trapping season is over, a quick resume.

"Log" traps (about 50 liters):
Both my "log" traps worked the best - both scored a swarm.
Easy setup on ground - so much for all the talks of climbing the trees.
A good trap does not require tree climbing - as simple at that.
I ended up doing cut-outs in both traps because they established brooded 4-5 combs before I got to them.
Now they have been "re-primed" by the swarms, even better.

Cardboard traps (about 30-40 liters):
While I confirm that cardboard works great despite of what people say (they will withstand any old storm and more, if done well), they scored no swarms.
I kept nucs in cardboard boxes this through the summer (again, despite of what people have said).
Bees do not chew through the cardboard as long as the colony is small relative to the the box volume.
So now I have "primed" cardboard traps if I have to use them as last resort.

Multipurpose hives (about 40-50 liters).
Got 1 out of 8 hits for these.
Unfortunately, none of these hives had bees in them before.
All my attempts to use black combs and "slumgum" did not help much.
I know for a fact that at least three of these traps have been checked by bees and yet not taken.
I have been "priming" these hives through the summer by keeping nucs in them and so hope is they will score swarms much better in the future.

All in all, lemon grass oil/SC attractants may get you the scouts, but that is not the whole story yet.
You still want the bees to want to live in your trap after they find it.
That is a part of the project to consider too.

Re: Bait hives

Posted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:33 am
by GregV
This kind of free combs bees built in a vertical log trap.
This is just using a stick guide on a top bar and short end bars to prevent wall attachments.
The comb is now transferred into my more permanent hive, being fully compatible by dimensions.

This example also shows that given a chance, they would rather build vertically extended, deep combs.
In both cases of my vertical log traps, they chose to build 4-5 really long vertical combs (vs. 6-8 shallow combs) - they could do it either way due to the space available and top bars available.
They chose to go narrow and deep vs. to go wide and shallow.
Something to think about.

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