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 entranceway, 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 entranceway.


*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.