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Periscope entrance for bait hive?

 
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Chippy
House Bee


Joined: 26 Sep 2016
Posts: 15
Location: Cornwall

PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:53 am    Post subject: Periscope entrance for bait hive? Reply with quote

I am building two bait hives at the moment and I wondered whether I should incorporate an internal follower board periscope entrance as this will be the set up that I will use in my full size tbhs.

This is probably a question for Barbara as she seems to have the most experience with this type of periscope set up. (Sorry Barbara!)
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Barbara
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1530
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi

I can see advantages and disadvantages of incorporating a periscope effect follower board into a bait hive as you describe...

Advantages

It gives you the same set up as the bees will encounter when they are transferred to their final home, so a smoother transition although this will be minimal I think.
Having a blank bar between the entrance and the follower will give you a little room to manoeuvre if you don't realise the bait hive has been occupied or for some reason are unable to transfer to the main hive within a month or so and they have comb on every bar. Depending on the construction, you could even over winter a small colony in it and in this case the periscope effect will be beneficial in protecting against wasp/robber attack in late summer. (My happiest colony has been in a 9 bar bait hive for the last 4 years. In my opinion it is the optimum size for my bees to survive and thrive. Of course there is no honey harvest for me, so just really a conservation hive and early swarm producing source.)
It will probably deter birds from using it although that can easily be accomplished by other means.

Disadvantages

It may discourage scouts from investigating fully and therefore not be so successful.... if you have something like old comb in the main part of the hive I would imagine the smell of that will be enough to lure them in to examine the space more closely.
The bait hive itself will need to be a little larger and therefore more cumbersome to locate and of course remove once (hopefully) occupied.

That's just off the top of my head, so I'm sure there will be other considerations. Why not try one of each configuration and see what happens.

I never set up swarm traps as such myself because I am usually pottering around in the house/garden during swarming season waiting to catch the swarms once they emerge and settle.

Sorry I can't give you a definitive answer.

Regards

Barbara
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Chippy
House Bee


Joined: 26 Sep 2016
Posts: 15
Location: Cornwall

PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Barbara. I think that I'll build two the same, I'm aiming for Thomas Seeley's 40 litres, and try one with a periscope entrance and one without as you suggest. I can always retrofit a periscope if the hive without attracts a swarm.
Now to hunt for some old brood comb, wax and maybe beg some propolis from my new found bee friends!
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biobee
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Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1039
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a quick comment: nowhere that I have seen does Seeley say that bait hives should be 40 litres. He simply ran an experiment using three different capacities, and that one attracted more swarms than the other two, IN THAT AREA, UNDER THOSE CONDITIONS.

Somehow, this has passed into beekeeping lore that 40 litres is some kind of "golden measurement".

I have baited many swarms into much smaller boxes - between 20 and 35 litres, approximately, so don't take this too literally!
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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 14, 2017 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

biobee wrote:
I have baited many swarms into much smaller boxes - between 20 and 35 litres, approximately, so don't take this too literally!

I've also had a swarm move into a full sized hive with the followers set to a volume of about 100 litres.

My bait hives are all around 32 - 34 litres and work well.
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Chippy
House Bee


Joined: 26 Sep 2016
Posts: 15
Location: Cornwall

PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

biobee wrote:
Just a quick comment: nowhere that I have seen does Seeley say that bait hives should be 40 litres. He simply ran an experiment using three different capacities, and that one attracted more swarms than the other two, IN THAT AREA, UNDER THOSE CONDITIONS.

Somehow, this has passed into beekeeping lore that 40 litres is some kind of "golden measurement".

I have baited many swarms into much smaller boxes - between 20 and 35 litres, approximately, so don't take this too literally!


Thanks for the reply Phil, much appreciated. I settled on 40 Litres whilst bearing in mind that Seeley's boxes were at 20, 40 and 100 Litres and that his findings were not subjected to further examination. The only conclusion that could be drawn was that a prime swarm, under his location/conditions, preferred a box closer to 40 Litres than one at 20 Litres.

I calculated that using your plans a tbh box has a cross sectional area of 110 square inches and that at 22 inches internal length would give a volume of 40 Litres with 14 bars. I plan to use Barbara's internal periscope entrance with an empty bar and then a follower board with entrance hole at the open end of the box and at the closed end a follower and then a blank bar so that inspection could take place from either end.
This would leave a usable volume equating to a 10 bar box of approximately 32 Litres with room for expansion or emergency feeding for a late season cast. A 24 inch internal length box would take 15 bars and at half the length of a four foot hive should be large enough to take a colony through the winter, I'm not yet decided as to whether I should build at 22" or 24" for this reason.

Do you have any thoughts on using the internal periscope system in a bait hive? As I outlined to Barbara I will probably set up two boxes, one with and one without. The box without a periscope entrance will have another two bars behind the closed end follower.
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Chippy
House Bee


Joined: 26 Sep 2016
Posts: 15
Location: Cornwall

PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

trekmate wrote:
biobee wrote:
I have baited many swarms into much smaller boxes - between 20 and 35 litres, approximately, so don't take this too literally!

I've also had a swarm move into a full sized hive with the followers set to a volume of about 100 litres.

My bait hives are all around 32 - 34 litres and work well.


Thanks for that trekmate, it seems that that will be the approximate volume that my boxes will end up at. Smile
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biobee
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Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1039
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use 12-bar boxes as bait hives, around 32 litres, I think.

https://youtu.be/CGsu_T330OE

They are make very simply using four boards, 18"x12"x1".

Chippy wrote:

Do you have any thoughts on using the internal periscope system in a bait hive? As I outlined to Barbara I will probably set up two boxes, one with and one without. The box without a periscope entrance will have another two bars behind the closed end follower.


I haven't tried it, but if it works for Barbara, it's fine by me. My only possible issue is that in order to check the "periscope" end, you will be disrupting the comings and goings of the bees, but that may not be a big deal.
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Chippy
House Bee


Joined: 26 Sep 2016
Posts: 15
Location: Cornwall

PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

biobee wrote:
I use 12-bar boxes as bait hives, around 32 litres, I think.


This would of course be dependant on the width of the bars being used. I know that an adjustment to bee space and bar width is still an evolving topic but what width bars do you use in your bait hives Phil? I was calculating at a nominal 44mm width.
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Barbara
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
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Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your bait hive is going to be predominantly brood comb so in my opinion you would be better with 35-38mm.
I have a variety of bar widths for brood, from 31mm-38mm, (my bees seem to be happy at about 33mm) but I have a table saw so it is simple enough for me to cut them to whatever I want. I mark the width in pencil at one end, so I can see at a glance what it is and I can then insert a wider bar or narrower bar if the comb is running off centre. I appreciate that this is more complicated than it needs to be but it suits my purpose as I reclaim the timber I use and cut it to whatever I can get out of the wood I have to hand.

I also have a variation of 40-50mm bars for honey which again I insert as required.

Another option for inspecting bait hives instead of using a follower is to just screw the back wall on and not glue it, so that when you come to inspect and you find it propolised solid, you can unscrew the screws, carefully run a knife down the gap to cut any brace comb/propolis and ease it back to gain access to the comb. This saves making the bait hive larger and more cumbersome than it needs to be.
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biobee
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Joined: 14 Jun 2007
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Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chippy wrote:
biobee wrote:
I use 12-bar boxes as bait hives, around 32 litres, I think.


This would of course be dependant on the width of the bars being used. I know that an adjustment to bee space and bar width is still an evolving topic but what width bars do you use in your bait hives Phil? I was calculating at a nominal 44mm width.


Wow - that's wider than any I have seen! I use 38mm and a lot of people use 36 down to 32mm.
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biobee
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Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1039
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barbara wrote:


Another option for inspecting bait hives instead of using a follower is to just screw the back wall on and not glue it, so that when you come to inspect and you find it propolised solid, you can unscrew the screws, carefully run a knife down the gap to cut any brace comb/propolis and ease it back to gain access to the comb. This saves making the bait hive larger and more cumbersome than it needs to be.


Nice trick! I must work on a design for a TBH that opens at the back...
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