Have you ever seen a beehive? Have you ever wondered how these fascinating creatures live? What process do they go through for making the nutritious honey? How come these tiny bees are capable of producing such a significant amount of beeswax and honey? Have you ever just sat and wondered about bees?
Bees fulfill a major portion of human needs for food. Without honey, most of our dishes would have been tasteless. Bees are a source of earning for millions of families around the world. Beekeepers use various techniques for catching bees. One of such techniques is bait hive. But what is a bait hive? The following paragraph will provide the answer to your question.
What is a Bait Hive?
A bait hive is a “special” type of hive. It contains few drawn combs. It has been set up for attracting swarms during the swarming season. During the spring, most bees start inspecting various empty hives to find the perfect location. The majority of beekeepers have also experienced this phenomenon.
During the inspection, first, either one or two bees come in search of a good location, and afterward, other bees or even the whole swarm head in the direction to find their new home. The beekeepers start collecting the swarm after it has settled down.
How to Prepare a Bait Hive?
No matter if you are an expert beekeeper or a beginner, you can always prepare yourself to own a bait hive. Building your bait hive is not something expensive. Bait hives are easily available in the market. You can search for the one that matches your desired size and price. Additionally, you can also make a bait hive for yourself too. However, you will need few essential items for this purpose.
Crown Board and Brood Box
Crown board and the brood are essential items required for preparing a bait hive. Before you start setting up a bait hive, make sure you find an uncleaned crown board and brood box. When uncleaned, both the box and brood will have propolis and wax that works like a miracle for attracting the bees and, ultimately, the whole swarm.
You might be wondering why we need an old comb for setting up a hive, but a comb is an essential component of a bait hive. If you are preparing the hive at home, then one old comb will work well. However, for beekeepers preparing the hive outside, then a full box of combs will be required.
Preparing a Bait Hive
When you get all your items together, then you should create a small entrance either at the side of the end of a matchbox. However, do not make the entrance too big otherwise, you will decrease the chances of attracting the swarms. Moreover, the perfect location for setting up the hive is in the shade. So, make sure you get it done accordingly. Set up the bait hive together, place it in the desired location, and wait for the swarms to come in.
How to Lure Bees into the Bait Hive?
Now you have set up the bait hive and got everything done perfectly, but is your bait attracting the bees? Is it fulfilling the purpose it was made for in the first place? If not, then you should be applying few techniques for luring the bees into the bait hive. Some of these tactics are discussed in the coming paragraphs.
Know the Suitable Timing
Most of the beekeepers fail to attract bees into the bait hives because they do not recognize the right time for setting up their bait hives. Like almost all other activities worldwide, timing also plays a vital role in this matter. As a beekeeper, you should always know the right time, and by the right time here, we mean the swarming season. In most areas, this happens during spring. However, based on your location, it may also vary.
You should know that bees don’t have calendars to see the date and begin swarming, unlike humans. Bees make their decisions by determining the weather conditions. So, you should always analyze their behavior and the swarming season before making your move.
Scouting the Bees
Scouting the bees has proved to be a helpful technique to lure bees into the bait hive. Scouting the bees is important before their departure. Bees waste a lot of energy while finding their desired location for swarming. Misguide them. Show them a good place by preparing to spot yourself. The hunting bees spend around half an hour while evaluating a single site. If you experience such things, then you should cue the scout bees.
Form a Trap
Hunters often form traps for catching various kinds of animals and birds etc. The same technique of trap formation works well for bees too. The swarms always get attracted to some specific types of cavities. They have a preference for a specific volume of the cavity. Analyze that and set the trap accordingly. The final step is to use a lure, use a product like Swarm Commander Swarm Lure inside and at the entrance of the bait hive. The lure is formulated to mimic the “Nasanov” pheromone which is used by workers forming a swarm cluster. The bees will automatically lure you towards your bait hive.
Bait Hive Location
Location always plays a vital role. If you have perfectly set up the bait hive and have done everything right, you will still end up attracting no bees if you don’t have the right location. But what is the best location for setting up a bait hive? How to know which location will be effective?
The beekeepers often ask these questions when they hear about the importance of a perfect location for setting up a bait hive. In the following paragraphs, we have provided detailed answers to these questions.
Knowing the Right Distance
While attracting the bees through a bait hive, finding the right location has always been a challenge. It is suggested for the beekeepers to set up the bait hive at least 100 yards away from the actual beehives. Beekeepers often mistake setting it up near their existing hives; that’s why they often fail to attract more bees.
Choosing the Right Location
While determining the location, it is important to choose a spot in a remote location. The area with a higher number of old trees is always the best option for this purpose. Moreover, the selected area should be at least two miles away from where the colonies are managed.
Additionally¸, while setting up the box, set it at least around 15 feet above the ground. The higher you set up the bait hive, the more chances of the bees to get attracted, which ultimately means successful bee catching.
Using the right expertise, right tools, and the right location, you will surely attract bees into your bait hive. All of these components play vital roles in setting up the bait hives and attracting more bee swarms.
Bees sometimes easily fall into traps. That’s why using some hacks is also important for increasing the chances of you getting success. And if you want to get things done easily, you should know some simple techniques like those mentioned above. Unless you know the right timing and other methods defined above, you will not get the desired outcome.
Next season, when you plan to set up a bait hive, you should go prepared and enjoy your catching season.