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Bait hive matching TBH?

 
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tai haku
Nurse Bee


Joined: 16 Sep 2015
Posts: 35
Location: guernsey

PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 11:33 am    Post subject: Bait hive matching TBH? Reply with quote

Hi all,
I'm planning to build a top bar hive and a few bait hives this weekend (and over the next month or so with my usual slow diy progress); there are a couple of apiaries not too too far from my land so I'm hoping I may bag a swarm for free and see no reason not to at least give it a go.

My design plan was to prep follower boards and jigs as per Phil's book and then build a long top bar hive and a set of bait hives all with a matching profile. My thinking being:
a) this would allow me to leave a swarm in situ for a while to settle in and then on recovering a bait hive simply move all the bars over to the main hive with initial comb.
b) I may be able to use the bait hive for other things that require me to move/house combs built in the full size hive (eg a nuc for a split, or using old comb from the main hive as a swarm lure in later seasons)
c) why not?

On the assumption that the end profile matches that in the building a TBH book how long would people recommend I make the bait hives?
Secondly I have a load of exterior ply. I'm planning to use actual wood for the main hive but is there any reason not to use this for the bait hives? I assume not given Phil recommends ply for the followers but thought I'd check.
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biobee
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Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1055
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I make my bait hives 18" (460mm) long, to take 12 x 1 1/2" bars (12 x 38mm) and they are reliable swarm attractors. They are also easy to lift and transport and big enough to leave a colony of native/near native black bees in over winter, with fondant feeder above.

Plywood, sealed with shellac, is ideal for followers as it is dimensionally stable and does not jam or warp, as solid boards are prone to do.
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Barbara
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1574
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi

Yes, it's well worth while making the bait hives the same profile as the main hive. If the plywood has been sitting around for a while and isn't new, then it should be fine... bees are not keen on the smell of new wood. I would seal the surfaces inside with a coating of bees wax or shellac. I have made hives out of all sorts of reclaimed materials. I find MDF works well for follower boards as it doesn't warp, but again you need to seal it with beeswax to prevent moisture absorption and also possible off gassing from the adhesive.

As regards the length of the bait hive, anywhere about 10 top bars is good, so about 15-16inches long. If you are planning to leave it is situ for a while, a follower board and blank bar behind is useful, or not using glue in the construction so that one end can be unscrewed and removed and any side attachments of the comb to the box can be cut. Otherwise you might end up lifting up top bars and leaving the combs in the box.
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tai haku
Nurse Bee


Joined: 16 Sep 2015
Posts: 35
Location: guernsey

PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="biobee"]I make my bait hives 18" (460mm) long, to take 12 x 1 1/2" bars (12 x 38mm) and they are reliable swarm attractors. [quote]

Thank you -I'll ask a stupid newb question just to make sure I am reading this correctly; the "12 X" in "12 X 1 1/2" there is the number of bars as opposed to any suggestion of using a shorter 12 inch long bar correct?
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Barbara
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Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Phil, I see our posts overlapped. I actually have a 9 bar box that is in it's third year with dark bees as most of mine are and they happily overwinter in that size with no problems at all and no supplemental feeding. I actually think it is possibly the optimum size for survival in my climate for my bees. Of course they swarm multiple times, but then settle down and build back up to capacity for winter.

@ Tai Haku

Not sure what you were planning as regards the floor for your bait hives but best to avoid an open mesh floor.
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Barbara
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only stupid question is the one you don't ask, when you are unsure.

Yes Phil means twelve, normal length, 1 1/2 inch top bars.
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tai haku
Nurse Bee


Joined: 16 Sep 2015
Posts: 35
Location: guernsey

PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barbara wrote:
Hi Phil, I see our posts overlapped. I actually have a 9 bar box that is in it's third year with dark bees as most of mine are and they happily overwinter in that size with no problems at all and no supplemental feeding. I actually think it is possibly the optimum size for survival in my climate for my bees. Of course they swarm multiple times, but then settle down and build back up to capacity for winter.

@ Tai Haku

Not sure what you were planning as regards the floor for your bait hives but best to avoid an open mesh floor.


Thank you Barbara. I was planning a closed box with a lid over the bars and just a single entry hole on one end.
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Tavascarow
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Joined: 24 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi tai haku.
Good to see you over here.
Volume is more important than dimensions but it makes sense to make your bait hives the same bar length & cross section as your hives in my humble opinion.
Transfer to a full size hive is much easier then.
this PDF by Dr Tom Seeley is the definitive guide to bait hives.
Hope your chillies are doing ok.
Very Happy
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biobee
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Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1055
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To be clear, I use the same top bars throughout, for nucs, swarm basket, bait hives and full size hives. 17" x 1 1/2" x 3/4".
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tai haku
Nurse Bee


Joined: 16 Sep 2015
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Location: guernsey

PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tavascarow wrote:
Hi tai haku.
Good to see you over here.
Volume is more important than dimensions but it makes sense to make your bait hives the same bar length & cross section as your hives in my humble opinion.
Transfer to a full size hive is much easier then.
this PDF by Dr Tom Seeley is the definitive guide to bait hives.
Hope your chillies are doing ok.
Very Happy


Hi Tavascarow - good to see you - I've not been active on Downsizer for a while as have lost my password and can't reset it; the DS website mailbox is full I think? Chillis are on hold due to the inadvisability of allowing a toddler who mouths everything in the same room as a hydroponic unit full of superhot chillis; hoping to get a greenhouse set up soon to allow me to get back on the wagon as dried stocks are running low!
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Tavascarow
Silver Bee


Joined: 24 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing Laughing Guarantee toddler will only do it once.
I'll send a message to the admin on DS on your behalf.
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Bee happy.
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tai haku
Nurse Bee


Joined: 16 Sep 2015
Posts: 35
Location: guernsey

PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 10:53 am    Post subject: finally finished them Reply with quote

finally finished my 3 bait hives/nucs yesterday. Not the squarest or most beautiful carpentry but I'm really pleased with how snug and neatly 12 bars fit in each one.





I figured a Spirio would be useful for bait hives. If I get lucky I can easily close the hive up for moving with these.




These are the bars I've gone with - 38mm X 19mm (is this too thin for long term use in a hive proper?) The comb guides are some usefully shaped stripwood from b&q - I figured the multiple ridges coming to a point would form useful attachment points - I still need to wax these.
[/url]
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trekmate
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Joined: 30 Nov 2009
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Location: UK, North Yorkshire, Bentham

PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Couple of comments, hopefully constructive!

If you put these in direct sunlight (even for part of the day) a bit of insulation under the roof would help. Something like 25mm Kingspan (or similar) would work.

If you don't trim those entrance closers, it looks like they'll open when you put the box down (in the back of your car?).

I use 20mm wood for top-bars. I'm sure 19mm will be fine!

Just two or three firm strokes with a block of beeswax on the comb guides will be adequate. Don't be tempted to melt wax onto them. It'll never stick as well as the bees will attach!

Not sure what the wood is on the roof, but as it's flat it would be worth weatherproofing it (assuming you get rain in the tropical south!). A sheet of plastic would work if you're on a budget. Rain getting in will deter a swarm.

Good luck! Nothing more exciting in beekeeping than seeing a swarm arrive IMHO.
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Tavascarow
Silver Bee


Joined: 24 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Again constructive comment.
The only thing I'd change is the entrance closer.
During transport a hive can get very agitated, generating a lot of heat & using up oxygen fast.
I would do away with the block & have a square of bee proof mesh.
Your way is fine for catching swarms in the apiary but if they are going any distance in the boot of a car more air is needed IMHO.
Smile
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tai haku
Nurse Bee


Joined: 16 Sep 2015
Posts: 35
Location: guernsey

PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks both - these comments are really helpful.

trekmate wrote:
Couple of comments, hopefully constructive!
If you don't trim those entrance closers, it looks like they'll open when you put the box down (in the back of your car?).
.


Tavascarow wrote:
Again constructive comment.
The only thing I'd change is the entrance closer.
During transport a hive can get very agitated, generating a lot of heat & using up oxygen fast.
I would do away with the block & have a square of bee proof mesh.
Your way is fine for catching swarms in the apiary but if they are going any distance in the boot of a car more air is needed IMHO.
Smile


On the entrance closers - the hives will literally get closed, taken down from their fielding position and moved into the main apiary - max 150 yards movement so I was planning to just duct tape them shut for those few minutes - defo won't be going in the car like that; I don't trust my carpentry that much!

trekmate wrote:

If you put these in direct sunlight (even for part of the day) a bit of insulation under the roof would help. Something like 25mm Kingspan (or similar) would work.

Not sure what the wood is on the roof, but as it's flat it would be worth weatherproofing it (assuming you get rain in the tropical south!). A sheet of plastic would work if you're on a budget. Rain getting in will deter a swarm.


On the roofing, is the insulation just meant to keep temps stable? Will waterproofing with some white plastic sheet probably to try and minimise heat gain.
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trekmate
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Joined: 30 Nov 2009
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Location: UK, North Yorkshire, Bentham

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Insulation will help keep temps stable, but more importantly, stop the top-bars getting too hot and softening the new comb allowing it to break. White will help reflect heat and may be enough depending on location.
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tai haku
Nurse Bee


Joined: 16 Sep 2015
Posts: 35
Location: guernsey

PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

trekmate wrote:
Insulation will help keep temps stable, but more importantly, stop the top-bars getting too hot and softening the new comb allowing it to break. White will help reflect heat and may be enough depending on location.


Thanks for that. They were deployed yesterday each with a roof with an inch of insulation polystyrene in a white plastic delivery bag and duct taped top cover. They now look ugly as sin but hopefully they'll catch some bees. here's one in situ

2016-04-01_05-49-55
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trekmate
Golden Bee


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

PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tai haku wrote:
They now look ugly as sin but hopefully they'll catch some bees. here's one in situ
Beeuty in the eye of the beeholder? Very Happy

If that IS a sloping roof (photos can be deceptive), make sure the bait hive is horizontal in all planes to help with building straight combs when they arrive.
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Tomas
Guard Bee


Joined: 16 May 2008
Posts: 85
Location: West Central Honduras, Central America

PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From my blog, "Musings on Beekeeping."

Musings about Swarms and Trap Hives: Getting “Free-bees”
http://musingsonbeekeeping.blogspot.com/2016/03/musings-about-swarms-and-trap-hives.html

More Musings about Swarms and Trap Hives: Learn from My Mistakes
http://musingsonbeekeeping.blogspot.com/2016/04/more-musings-about-swarms-and-trap.html

----------
Tom
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AndyC
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Joined: 04 Jul 2014
Posts: 301
Location: Uk/Horsham/RH13

PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They are not that choosy.
There was only about 12inches above the water in this butt.


[IMG]http://i1370.photobucket.com/albums/ag277/Motobiman/Mobile%20Uploads/B43F3090-2571-4467-A6E6-175EC59F587B_zps2erqjwmd.jpg
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Chippy
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Joined: 26 Sep 2016
Posts: 15
Location: Cornwall

PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's an excellent blog Tom, thanks.
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