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Bait Hive Construction -- Help Please!
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orchard
Nurse Bee


Joined: 28 Apr 2015
Posts: 30
Location: Abergavenny

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 3:27 pm    Post subject: Bait Hive Construction -- Help Please! Reply with quote

Hello!

I'd like to make a bait hive, or two, and get them out whilst I build my hTBH using the plans that Phil's kindly provided online, and i'd appreciate any advice at all please.



So far, as I understand it, they need to be:

Physical--

1. Volume: Circa 40 litres


2. Entrance: 3.2cm diameter, bird protected

Where's the best place to situate the entrance ? Is it flush with the bottom, or higher ? Which side is it best to have it on in relation to the bars/ future comb ?

3. Length : 17 inches, as dictated by the top bars in Phil's TBH to ensure compatability.

Does anyone know of any plans that I could use please ?

Also, i'm assuming that the width of the top bars should be the non-shimmed 38mm for brood, is that right please?
I haven't been able to source any old comb Sad(, however I ordered some deep wireless beeswax foundation from Thornes to get me/the bees (hopefully) started, what's the best way to prime the bars with some of this if I was to also use dowells on the bars please ?


Other Criteria--

4. Situation:
Site: 6-10ft off the ground; Edge of a wood near water; ideally a lone tree that's stand-out, as they always use them for navigation purposes and a dominant one would be preferable. No, or little afternoon sun, good sun first thing, good visibility from hive.

5. Bait: Lemon grass oil on cotton in an almost closed zip-lock, or rubbed on inside of roof, refresh by adding a drop or two on the outside every week when one checks

Is this even remotely accurate ? Any advice or help is much appreciate, and please don't hold yourselves back from calling me a whopper if you feel it's the case Wink

Many thanks

Nick
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AugustC
Silver Bee


Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 613
Location: Malton, North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did something for this a few posts back on my blog so to save me re typing Smile

www.augustcottageapiary.wordpress.com

anything else please ask

edit
think this is the one. Sorry, posting from phone.

https://augustcottageapiary.wordpress.com/2015/03/26/freebees/[/url]
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orchard
Nurse Bee


Joined: 28 Apr 2015
Posts: 30
Location: Abergavenny

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AugustC wrote:
I did something for this a few posts back on my blog so to save me re typing Smile

www.augustcottageapiary.wordpress.com

anything else please ask

edit
think this is the one. Sorry, posting from phone.

https://augustcottageapiary.wordpress.com/2015/03/26/freebees/[/url]


Thanks August, that's ace, i'll check it out asap ! Smile
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orchard
Nurse Bee


Joined: 28 Apr 2015
Posts: 30
Location: Abergavenny

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hahaha, what a happy sight on the video Smile
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ingo50
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Joined: 30 May 2014
Posts: 311
Location: Newport, Gwent, Wales, UK

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you read the bulletin on bait hives by Prof Thomas Seeley? There is a lot more info in his paper and all based on field research. A good read. Free to download from Cornell University, just Google him. I have built 3 bait hives to his specifications and hope to catch some swarms. Best of luck.
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andy pearce
Silver Bee


Joined: 30 Aug 2009
Posts: 663
Location: UK, East Sussex, Brighton

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have done your research! Great.

I use two old national supers with top bars in the top one and a screened floor for travelling (ventilation) which give me near to 40 litres.. And a roof of course. I have had good luck baiting swarms and also use them for catching swarms I get called out to. They can then be transferred into whatever you want.

The only other thing I do is put them on crossing magic lines I find with my dowsing rods. I have three baits on my oil tank in May and June...they only ever go for the one on the crossing. This whole subject has been discussed to death on this site so I will not go on about it any more in case it stirs up a another whole hornets nest of wrath an scepticism. We want non of that!

Smile
Best of luck
A
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orchard
Nurse Bee


Joined: 28 Apr 2015
Posts: 30
Location: Abergavenny

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ingo50 wrote:
Have you read the bulletin on bait hives by Prof Thomas Seeley? There is a lot more info in his paper and all based on field research. A good read. Free to download from Cornell University, just Google him. I have built 3 bait hives to his specifications and hope to catch some swarms. Best of luck.


Morning Ingo, thanks, but no, I haven't read it yet, but I downloaded it due to it being used as a reference during previous discussions on here -- I just assumed it was a more general treatise and filed it for further reading -- I know better now, thank you Smile

Thanks, i'm not sure whether capturing swarms near a recent confirmed case of AFB is the best idea for a novice yet, but thankfully there's a timely Gwent Beek's meeting Sunday that may shed some more light on the local situation.

Good luck and happy hunting yourself ! Smile
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orchard
Nurse Bee


Joined: 28 Apr 2015
Posts: 30
Location: Abergavenny

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

andy pearce wrote:
You have done your research! Great.

I use two old national supers with top bars in the top one and a screened floor for travelling (ventilation) which give me near to 40 litres.. And a roof of course. I have had good luck baiting swarms and also use them for catching swarms I get called out to. They can then be transferred into whatever you want.

The only other thing I do is put them on crossing magic lines I find with my dowsing rods. I have three baits on my oil tank in May and June...they only ever go for the one on the crossing. This whole subject has been discussed to death on this site so I will not go on about it any more in case it stirs up a another whole hornets nest of wrath an scepticism. We want non of that!

Smile
Best of luck
A


Hahaha Andy, obviously I am keen to both align the hives correctly and situate them on magical lines, additionally, I have purchased some special crystals from a druid in Glastonbury that I intend to place above the TB's which are guaranteed to attract the bees with the funkiest waggle in the Northern hemisphere. Win-Win Wink
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AugustC
Silver Bee


Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 613
Location: Malton, North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I myself have caught a swarm in every location I have placed a bait hive. Mind you I do only put them places that the fairies tell me they should go *nods sincerely*
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orchard
Nurse Bee


Joined: 28 Apr 2015
Posts: 30
Location: Abergavenny

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AugustC wrote:
I myself have caught a swarm in every location I have placed a bait hive. Mind you I do only put them places that the fairies tell me they should go *nods sincerely*

Do you charge much to mediate with the Fairies?






*sarcasm font noted Wink
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greengage
Guard Bee


Joined: 26 Jan 2015
Posts: 62
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there not some danger you should watch out for setting bait hives.
you should isolate the bees from your own stock, do not feed for a couple of days maybe send some off for testing. i know someone who ended up with AFM from a swarm, which meant they had to notify the dept of Agriculture and then burn all their hives. Its not all bees for free its usually the things you get for nothing that end up costing you the most.
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1581
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would be interested to know how they proved the AFB came with a swarm because it is after all a brood disease. I would imagine a swarm, even if it carries some foul brood spores on the bees. will shed most of them whilst on the wing. You are as likely to get foul brood from a bought colony or nuc or more likely a contaminated food source, than from a swarm itself.

It is in the interests of the establishment to cast aspersions and doubt about the health and safety of swarms as there is no money to be made from them. Call me cynical but.... well.... just call me cynical!

Also, I think it unlikely that a hive suffering from foul brood will swarm. I have no personal experience of the disease though.... thankfully.

I am very happy to continue collecting swarms though. There are risks in everything we do in life. I am comfortable taking this one though.
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AugustC
Silver Bee


Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 613
Location: Malton, North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Using bait hives gives a much better opportunity to "get a look at the goods" than swarm collection. It has the added benefit of not having drop everything and run out the door.
Foul brood diseases are at least a likely to be transferred through robbing etc as they are through swarm capture so I don't see how it increases your risk.
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orchard
Nurse Bee


Joined: 28 Apr 2015
Posts: 30
Location: Abergavenny

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

greengage wrote:
Is there not some danger you should watch out for setting bait hives.
you should isolate the bees from your own stock, do not feed for a couple of days maybe send some off for testing. i know someone who ended up with AFM from a swarm, which meant they had to notify the dept of Agriculture and then burn all their hives. Its not all bees for free its usually the things you get for nothing that end up costing you the most.


Thanks for your concern greengage. In the Introduction section, Lacewing brought it to my attention that there was a singular case of AFB locally last year, which has brought my endeavours to a standstill for now, until I get a chance to discuss the situation and my plans with the local inspector and Beek's.

FWIW though, I don't consider it bees for free, personally, there's a fair amount of time, effort, and kit involved in the process from what I gather, and although i'm not in a position to buy a colony at the moment, I believe, as a novice, that there are some virtues to locally sourced and adapted colonies as opposed to those that have been reared for sale, which have their genetic strengths in other areas perhaps.


Barbara wrote:
I would be interested to know how they proved the AFB came with a swarm because it is after all a brood disease. I would imagine a swarm, even if it carries some foul brood spores on the bees. will shed most of them whilst on the wing. You are as likely to get foul brood from a bought colony or nuc or more likely a contaminated food source, than from a swarm itself.

It is in the interests of the establishment to cast aspersions and doubt about the health and safety of swarms as there is no money to be made from them. Call me cynical but.... well.... just call me cynical!

Also, I think it unlikely that a hive suffering from foul brood will swarm. I have no personal experience of the disease though.... thankfully.

I am very happy to continue collecting swarms though. There are risks in everything we do in life. I am comfortable taking this one though.


I was wondering about this myself, but as i'm inexperienced there's a lot I don't know in this field ! At, first glance, I would have thought EFB would be more of a risk as it's not as devastating to the colony. I suppose the persistence of AFB may come to play in a way i'm unable to comprehend as yet.

My main weakness is my ability to confidently recognise a disease and deal with it...
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orchard
Nurse Bee


Joined: 28 Apr 2015
Posts: 30
Location: Abergavenny

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AugustC wrote:
Using bait hives gives a much better opportunity to "get a look at the goods" than swarm collection. It has the added benefit of not having drop everything and run out the door.
Foul brood diseases are at least a likely to be transferred through robbing etc as they are through swarm capture so I don't see how it increases your risk.


Good points, thanks Smile
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andy pearce
Silver Bee


Joined: 30 Aug 2009
Posts: 663
Location: UK, East Sussex, Brighton

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As above....I caught the worst tempered bees in a bait hive and had to put them in a wood. Disease is not the only issue. These were very prolific but dangerous and as the wood was not mine and the land owner was unaware I had to requeen it and get it out some months later. Best to be cautious.
A
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orchard
Nurse Bee


Joined: 28 Apr 2015
Posts: 30
Location: Abergavenny

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

andy pearce wrote:
As above....I caught the worst tempered bees in a bait hive and had to put them in a wood. Disease is not the only issue. These were very prolific but dangerous and as the wood was not mine and the land owner was unaware I had to requeen it and get it out some months later. Best to be cautious.
A


That sounds like quite a character-building experience Andy ! Surprised

What sort of incidence are we looking at for angry bees caught in a bait hive ? Anyone know please ?
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trekmate
Golden Bee


Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 1125
Location: UK, North Yorkshire, Bentham

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've baited nothing but gentle bees, but I've lost horrors in swarms that someone else may have caught! Shocked
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Lacewing
Guard Bee


Joined: 08 Sep 2012
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Location: Powys, Mid Wales

PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My suggestion about swarms in an area which had had known AFB last year was not that I wouldn't hope for a swarm, but that I would test any which arrived, for AFB. No point in starting out in a new venture with diseased stock! And you wouldn't want your brand new hive etc. contaminated either, just for want of being cautious.
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orchard
Nurse Bee


Joined: 28 Apr 2015
Posts: 30
Location: Abergavenny

PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

trekmate wrote:
I've baited nothing but gentle bees, but I've lost horrors in swarms that someone else may have caught! Shocked


Hahaha!

Lacewing wrote:
My suggestion about swarms in an area which had had known AFB last year was not that I wouldn't hope for a swarm, but that I would test any which arrived, for AFB. No point in starting out in a new venture with diseased stock! And you wouldn't want your brand new hive etc. contaminated either, just for want of being cautious.


Thanks Lacewing, that's how i'm thinking at the moment -- a disposable bait-trap, and possibly leaving at original site long enough for the brood to develop sufficiently for inspection purposes -- does this sound reasonable ?
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AugustC
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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The average distance a prime swarm travels is I think 800yds. So if you're worried have bait hives set within 1 mile of your apiary to catch any of your colonies that swarm. Any other swarms you might catch have as much chance of infecting your colonies by co-exhisting in the same area. Then set other bait hives at >3 miles away to catch other peoples swarms. Leave them in place until they have brood and check them before moving back to your apiary. Because of the distance you won't have to worry about those ones reorientating either. When checking the brood larvae should be pearly white. Any off-white or yellow is a potential problem. Capped brood should be digestive biscuit coloured and slightly domed. If there are any that are sunken or have hole in the centre look hook out the contents with a matchstick. If the contents is sticky, liquid, or foul smelling them you've got a problem.

If you PM me your address I will send you some old brood comb (disease-free I promise Smile ). This massively increases your chances of catching a swarm. If you break it up and melt it in with some vegetable oil and a little lemon grass oil it is an excellent lure. You just rub a small amount on the inside of the hive and some around the entrance and lasts a lot longer.
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AugustC
Silver Bee


Joined: 08 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

orchard wrote:
What sort of incidence are we looking at for angry bees caught in a bait hive ? Anyone know please ?


All of the swarms I have caught have been perfectly well behaved, well.... appart from one and that was probably my fault Smile https://augustcottageapiary.wordpress.com/2014/06/10/worse-beekeeper-ever/
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orchard
Nurse Bee


Joined: 28 Apr 2015
Posts: 30
Location: Abergavenny

PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AugustC wrote:
orchard wrote:
What sort of incidence are we looking at for angry bees caught in a bait hive ? Anyone know please ?


All of the swarms I have caught have been perfectly well behaved, well.... appart from one and that was probably my fault Smile https://augustcottageapiary.wordpress.com/2014/06/10/worse-beekeeper-ever/


Haha, I enjoyed that thanks, it was a good read Smile
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orchard
Nurse Bee


Joined: 28 Apr 2015
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Location: Abergavenny

PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AugustC wrote:
The average distance a prime swarm travels is I think 800yds. So if you're worried have bait hives set within 1 mile of your apiary to catch any of your colonies that swarm. Any other swarms you might catch have as much chance of infecting your colonies by co-exhisting in the same area. Then set other bait hives at >3 miles away to catch other peoples swarms. Leave them in place until they have brood and check them before moving back to your apiary. Because of the distance you won't have to worry about those ones reorientating either. When checking the brood larvae should be pearly white. Any off-white or yellow is a potential problem. Capped brood should be digestive biscuit coloured and slightly domed. If there are any that are sunken or have hole in the centre look hook out the contents with a matchstick. If the contents is sticky, liquid, or foul smelling them you've got a problem.

If you PM me your address I will send you some old brood comb (disease-free I promise Smile ). This massively increases your chances of catching a swarm. If you break it up and melt it in with some vegetable oil and a little lemon grass oil it is an excellent lure. You just rub a small amount on the inside of the hive and some around the entrance and lasts a lot longer.


Thanks August, that sounds ace, i'll pm you now Smile
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andy pearce
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Joined: 30 Aug 2009
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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have caught swarms from my own bees in my garden in my bait hive on my oil tank....out of one box directly into another within 10 metres.

There maybe a reason for this...when the bees emerge from the hive they go to a suitable place within a few metres (the faeries show them where to go) where they cluster and start sending out scouts to find a new home in the usual way. I reckon that if the bait hive is within that initial cluster distance and in the right place the bees will go straight to it. I think someone else said it happened to them in the last couple of years....in my head it was Madasafish but I may be wrong.

It has happened to me lots of times with the hives at one end of the garden but the ones at the other head for a particular branch on a big hawthorn first and then it is out with the ladder...I have yet to see if they go from the hawthorn to the oil tank bait hive...not been around to see.

I have some pictures somewhere...I use one as my screen saver! If I can remember my password for my picture host I will pop one up.
A
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orchard
Nurse Bee


Joined: 28 Apr 2015
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Location: Abergavenny

PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2015 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

andy pearce wrote:
I have caught swarms from my own bees in my garden in my bait hive on my oil tank....out of one box directly into another within 10 metres.

There maybe a reason for this...when the bees emerge from the hive they go to a suitable place within a few metres (the faeries show them where to go) where they cluster and start sending out scouts to find a new home in the usual way. I reckon that if the bait hive is within that initial cluster distance and in the right place the bees will go straight to it. I think someone else said it happened to them in the last couple of years....in my head it was Madasafish but I may be wrong.

It has happened to me lots of times with the hives at one end of the garden but the ones at the other head for a particular branch on a big hawthorn first and then it is out with the ladder...I have yet to see if they go from the hawthorn to the oil tank bait hive...not been around to see.

I have some pictures somewhere...I use one as my screen saver! If I can remember my password for my picture host I will pop one up.
A


Yes please Andy, try to jog that memory and post some images please! Smile
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orchard
Nurse Bee


Joined: 28 Apr 2015
Posts: 30
Location: Abergavenny

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 7:18 am    Post subject: Update Reply with quote

Well, I made two bait hives,


primed with some old comb mixed with a little 'new' wax and Lemon Grass oil, and popped them out temporarily where they could be watched just before I headed up to the Lakes for five days -- one struck gold in under a week Smile



I let them settle for a total of two weeks, during which time they were very active, and moved them Saturday night to their new home, on an organic farm, and they were extremely calm about the move. Checked them last night to see how they were settling in and they were foraging with abandon, which I thought was swifter than I had imagined.




I'll be transferring them to the hive i'm constructing Tuesday, amd the local Inspector has kindly volunteered to lend a hand as well as check for disease and AFB especially Smile

Many thanks for all your help, especially AugustC who went out of his way to provide old comb and gave loads of help and support via PM.
Thanks loads everyone Smile
Nick
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Barbara
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
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Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great to read of forum members helping each other behind the scenes so to speak and delighted that your bait hive was successful so quickly.

I hope the bee inspector is familiar with top bar comb handling and you find the experience of inspecting your bees with him, as useful and informative as I have over the years. Do make sure he is aware of how to handle top bar comb before you do the inspection. Bee inspectors are mostly used to dealing with framed comb which is much more stable. The way they do an inspection is to lift a frame out of the hive, inspect it with the bees insitu and then give it a sharp shake to drop the bees off into the hive so that they can see the brood clearly without the bees covering it. Your comb will be extremely fragile at the moment and has no frame to support it, so he will need to be very careful not to cause it to detach from the top bars.
Hopefully he will have experience of handling top bars and the procedure will go smoothly.
Please update us with a report of the experience. I've always gained a huge amount from seasonal bee inspector visits so I'm quite keen to encourage others to register but I haven't been inspected since I got top bar hives, and I know some people with top bars have had problems.

Good luck

Barbara
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orchard
Nurse Bee


Joined: 28 Apr 2015
Posts: 30
Location: Abergavenny

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barbara wrote:
Great to read of forum members helping each other behind the scenes so to speak and delighted that your bait hive was successful so quickly.


Thanks Barbara, yes it's great isn't it ?! I thought providing a bit of feedback was the least I could do, and hopefully help others. I'll upload the lay-line overlay and strategy later Wink

Barbara wrote:
I hope the bee inspector is familiar with top bar comb handling and you find the experience of inspecting your bees with him, as useful and informative as I have over the years. Do make sure he is aware of how to handle top bar comb before you do the inspection. Bee inspectors are mostly used to dealing with framed comb which is much more stable. The way they do an inspection is to lift a frame out of the hive, inspect it with the bees insitu and then give it a sharp shake to drop the bees off into the hive so that they can see the brood clearly without the bees covering it. Your comb will be extremely fragile at the moment and has no frame to support it, so he will need to be very careful not to cause it to detach from the top bars.
Hopefully he will have experience of handling top bars and the procedure will go smoothly.


I think he's had some experience, but not loads, but remarked that he's keen to note the difference in the bees between TBH's and other hives, as in his experience, it's quite distinct. We'll be careful thanks Smile


Barbara wrote:
Please update us with a report of the experience. I've always gained a huge amount from seasonal bee inspector visits so I'm quite keen to encourage others to register but I haven't been inspected since I got top bar hives, and I know some people with top bars have had problems.
Good luck
Barbara


Oh, are you able to relate these problems please ? I will provide feedback as soon as I can, thanks again,

Nick
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catchercradle
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Joined: 31 May 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have so far collected about 40 swarms. I have yet to get a stroppy one though more than a few have absconded deciding the accommodation was not up to standard or perhaps it was something to do with the neighbours? I am only running 6-8 hives at a time so most have gone to others.
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