March 1, 2014 · 11:00 AM
Bait hives are a way of obtaining honey bees for free.
In the Spring, when a colony of bees swarm from an old tree or a managed apiary they look for a new home. By placing a bait hive with the proper dimensions in a suitable location, you try to attract a swarm to take up residence in your bait hive. And then you transfer the bees into a standard hive which you manage.
With some scrap wood, a saw and a drill you can make a bait hive yourself. Capturing swarms with bait hives can be cost effective as a typical package of honey bees costs $110.
We’ll talk about what honey bees look for when searching for a new home and what we want to keep in mind when designing and situating a bait hive. I’ll have seven different examples of bait hives on hand for you to examine.
We’ll then drive to an Open Space three miles from my home where I’ll show you three trees where honey bees actually live. If the weather happens to be sunny and above 55 degrees, we’ll be able to see the bees flying.
Cost: I'm asking a $5-$10 donation which includes a fact sheet and resource list. I am building a holistic beekeeping and permaculture consultancy business but this is only possible through the support of the community. I offer an alternative to the cheap commercial honey from bees fed on monocultures and treated with chemicals. My bees and I would thank you for your support!
Do keep in mind that putting up a bait hive is no guarantee you'll catch bees. It's like fishing. Lots of fun but not a sure thing.
Hope to see you there! - Judith