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This is a badge bit (BB) that is part of the PEP curriculum.  Completing this BB is part of getting the sand badge in Animal Care.

In this Badge Bit you will catch a honey bee swarm with a bait hive.



Here are some threads on catching honey bee swarms with swarm traps:
 - Bee Bait Hives
 - Building a Bee Bait Box
 - Swarm Trap From Pallets
 - How to Attract a Swarm

Here are some articles on catching honey bee swarms with swarm traps:
 - Tips For Catching a Swarm
 - Setting Up a Swarm Trap
 - Attracting Honey Bees
 - Building Swarm Traps

Here are some nice videos on catching honey bee swarms with bait hives:







To complete this BB, the minimum requirements are:
 - you must catch a honey bee swarm with a bait hive (swarm trap)

To show you've completed this Badge Bit, you must:
 - post a picture of an empty bait hive
 - post a picture of the bait hive full of bees
COMMENTS:
 
pollinator
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Bait hives.

I’m not sure how to claim evidence for this. I’m a lazy beekeeper. I don’t put out bait hives as such, I just leave my empty kit out and swarms move in. I use the exact same boxes as my normal colonies.

This year I have caught 4 separate swarms this way. One here in my garden, three at my work apiary.

I didn’t go out and take photos of empty boxes earlier in the year.
 
pollinator
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Michael Cox wrote: I don’t put out bait hives as such, I just leave my empty kit out and swarms move in. I use the exact same boxes as my normal colonies.



That is my goal.  Building bee boxes is my winter project when it's too cold to do as much outside.  I plan to build as many as possible this year, put them out, and hopefully have a swarm(s) move directly into their permanent home.
 
pollinator
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I hope this is the right place for my question. Apologies if not and I can delete if needed.

Are there any BB areas where building the bait box would apply? I checked under the woodworking areas and animal area and didn't see anything but I may have missed it. Thanks for any help.
 
steward
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The only BB I know of for building a hive is Make a Holzer bee hive in Animal Care Straw.
 
Mike Haasl
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Or if it meets the requirements, it could fit under Make a box in Dimensional Woodworking Sand...
 
gardener & hugelmaster
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Or perhaps in the oddball badge?
 
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I've set up my bait hive, now I'll post my preparations here, and post again when it's inhabited.

I think this was the most helpful video I found, and although it's not in english, it's easy to understand and beautifully made.
They use walnut bark to make the hive, then they rub it with mint and lemon from the inside, seal it, and close the gaps with a mixture of clay and straw. This the traditional way of building bait hives in Chefchaouen, Morocco.

I love these simple and natural methods best, and probably most people on permies do so as well, that's why I'm sharing it here.



Now I'm wondering, I do have bees coming to my garden, so is it ok to place it there, or should I rather set it up somewhere in the wilderness and only place it in the garden when it has bees in it?

PS: There is text under the photos!
photo_2022-04-16_14-53-43.jpg
These boxes are handmade and very popular with the beekeepers around here.
These boxes are handmade and very popular with the beekeepers around here.
photo_2022-04-16_14-53-45.jpg
Rubbed it with a recycled lemon, some mint, and peach leaves. Smells so good, now I wanna live in there!!
Rubbed it with a recycled lemon, some mint, and peach leaves. Smells so good, now I wanna live in there!!
photo_2022-04-16_14-53-47.jpg
Placed it in that corner. Now we wait!
Placed it in that corner. Now we wait!
 
Mike Barkley
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Now I'm wondering, I do have bees coming to my garden, so is it ok to place it there, or should I rather set it up somewhere in the wilderness and only place it in the garden when it has bees in it?  



Swarm traps are usually placed in the wilderness 6 or 8 feet up a tree. I think when the scout bees are looking for a new home for their swarm they probably won't stop to eat from your garden.
 
Sarah Qaswarah
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Mike Barkley wrote:
Swarm traps are usually placed in the wilderness 6 or 8 feet up a tree. I think when the scout bees are looking for a new home for their swarm they probably won't stop to eat from your garden.



Thank you for the reply!
My garden is full of bees, and there aren't too many green spaces in my close proximity. I also noticed at least three different species. That's why I thought it could work.
Do you think I'm totally wrong?
 
Mike Barkley
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Don't get me wrong ... it might work. Certainly worth a try.  Add a few drops of lemongrass oil or possibly a commercial swarm lure inside the hive to help entice them. I think mints work too.
 
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