By Bernard Preston
Old hives for traps?
Where might one find an "old" hive? Your trap hives seem to be a different size to regular hives. Is this necessary? And should the entire trap hive be "old"?
How soon can the trap hive be moved to a permanent location?
Hello Derek, and thanks for your questions.
The only place I can think of to get an old hive is a local beekeeper. Like I said, join the local association before making a start; one of those you meet will surely sell you an old hive; it doesn't really matter if it's got holes and looks a bit decrepit.
It must just have the smell of bees.
The trap hive is shown is in fact the normal Langstroth box; but beekeepers often use small trap hives for catching feral colonies; usually with five frames instead of ten; they are easier to move.
Many novices get caught out; they see bees buzzing around the trap hive and think a swarm has moved in, but it's only the initial scouts checking it out.
You could move the trap hive the very same evening that they moved in; in fact if you want to move them a short distance, that's best. After three weeks the new bees will be hatching and it will become increasingly difficult; and heavier as they collect nectar.
A week would be a good average time to move the trap hive to its permanent site.
I hope this helps; get started yourself; the bees in Florida are pretty tame in comparison to our killer bees. Just make sure no one in the family, or immediate neighbours are very allergic to beestings.
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