2702Re: “Where is everybody?"
- Aug 5, 2014There are a number of things to remember when baiting swarms. Most just increase your chances but some are important. I have caught 5 swams this year alone doing this.1: Have a solid bottom. If you have a mesh bottom cover it. Any light entering the hive will put them off. This may also cause housed swarms to abscond. 2: Rub around the inside of the hive with beeswax. If you don't have any buy some organic beeswax from ebay etc. This will NOT spread disease. 3: Have bomb proof comb guides. As they are entering a open space you need v.good comb guides. I would recommend either 1 inch starter strips or triangular wooden strips rubbed with wax. Do not use string, lollysticks, or wax channels. 4: An old piece of brood comb makes a massive difference. It doesn't have to be in one piece. You can melt old brood comb into olive oil and add lemon grass oil (this slows the lemon grass oil release). You then rub this around inside you hive. Do not do this and point 5 as too much lemon grass oil will put them off. 5: zip lock bag with cotton wool ball. Few drops of lemon grass on the cotton wool and all but close the bag. Two more drops of LGO on the entrance. 6: Entrance size should be one inch (25mm) diameter. Bigger is difficult to defend, smaller they don't like. If using a large hive wih multiple entrances close some. 7: hive size, 20-40 litres seems ideal depending on the bee breed. Either use follower boards to reduce hive size or build a bait hive 8-15 bars. 10 bars seems ideal. 8: face entrance south or slightly east of south. 9: they seem to prefer bait hives at 6-8 feet. Obviously not possible with your hive but not essential.Bit late in the year now for swarms but can't hurt. If you do catch one they will likely need feeding. Best of luck.www.augustcottageapiary.wordpress.com
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