Chattooga County Beekeepers Association

SETTING UP YOUR SWARM TRAP (BAIT HIVE)


* When to set up - Set up early- before the swarm season actually starts.  The scouts will be looking for a new home up to ten days before the actual swarm takes place.


*Cavity Volume - Should be no smaller than the size of a Nuc.  A regular 8 or 10 frame hive size is best.  (A swarm won't go into a box that's too small)


*Shape - important


*Entranceway - Should be on the bottom and approximately 1 1/2  to 2 inches wide by 1/2 inch tall.


*Inside the box - It's very important the inside of the box be unpainted, dry and dark (no screen bottom board).


*Direction - Face the entrance way, south or southwest, but the hive itself shouldn't be in the direct sun.  Mottled shade is best if you can nestle the box among tree branches with a clear pathway to the entrance way.


*If the hive is in your own bee yard you might try using some old frames with beeswax in them.  The smell of darker comb is attractive to a swarm.  (NOTE; that is assuming your bees are not near other peoples' hives and they are healthy as a group!)


*Height - It's best to get the box up as high as you can.  At least 15 feet is a good start.


*Be sure to use the proper size frames for the box where you plan to put the new hive.


*Place a few drops of lemon grass oil just inside the entrance way.  This smell mimics the queen pheromone and may serve as an attractant to the scouts.


*Ratchet strap the components of your hive together so it will hang as well as come down without shifting apart.


*Watch the hive for activity and pollen being carried into the hive.


*Move after dark or early morning, as soon as possible up to 3 miles away depending on the time it has been occupied.