Bait hives - swarm catching hives
Watching a bee swarm leave the mother hive is a truly remarkable site and will fill every beecentered beekeeper with joy and pride. Swarming is a true sign of a strong and healthy hive and the most natural and healthy behaviour which we should never try to prevent.
Once the swarm has left the original hive, it will hang in the form of a cluster until the scouts have found and agreed upon a new cavity to build the new nest. The scouts will look for cavities of certain dimensions and aspects and democratically decide which one to choose. This can be a natural cavity, or a man made one. Unfortunately, natural cavities are disappearing fast, with deforestation and big trees getting cut down everywhere. If the bees choose a man made cavity, this can often cause problems.
By installing a suitable hive on your property, you will provide a swarm of bees an ideal nest place whilst preventing them choosing a less convenient site.
Start with keeping bees
Catching a swarm into a bait hive, is the best way to start with keeping bees. The Custos Apium hives are designed with the bees needs for dimensions and aspects in mind and are perfect for catching swarms. We have installed numerous hives in different locations, that all soon attracted swarms. Some of these hives we have left in situ, as part of our rewilding programme. Other hives we have taken to other locations to enable us to have a little gift of honey when the time and conditions are right.
Installing a the bait hive
Honeybees like to live high up in trees, out the way of predators and off the damp floor. We therefore recommend to put bait hives in trees, on a small platform or in an elevated position like on a flat roof. Whether it is just to catch a swarm to start beekeeping, or if it is to be part of the rewilding or preservation program and to offer a swarm a nesting site on your property. Have a look at page High Hiving for some more information.