Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mini Bait Hives

The two home made mating hives I mentioned earlier are being put to use as mini bait hives to possibly bait a cast. I know that some people say that the size of a swarm doesn't influence their preference for a certain hive volume but I have had a cast in one of these before. Furthermore I have heard of casts setting up house in upturned flower pots before so I think, as I have them hanging around, I may as well utilize them. Both hives were prepared in the same way.

I put one wider top bar in with an old piece of brood comb waxed onto it. The other six bars have section starter strips and I have set screws on each side of the top bars to give a comb spacing of 32mm. The screws are also utilized with a wrap around wire to act as a hinge between two adjacent bars. I have opened a pair out on this first photo to show that when two adjacent bars are wired together, in order that if they bait a cast, the bars can be lifted out, opened out and easily wired together on the non hinge side. The two top bars opened out are exactly the length of one warre top bar. Therefore the cast can be transferred directly into warre box as 3 full size top bars and allowed to expand naturally without much disturbance.

Click on the photo to enlarge

This shot shows the top bars in position. You can see the wire hinges if you click the photo.

I have stapled a flap of mosquito netting to cover the top bars and make the top bee tight.

A piece of wool carpet as insulation.

Roof on. Notice white paint around entrance and landing board.

A concrete roof tile is put over roof and overhangs all sides. One end is wedged up to shed rain.


  1. I have heard alot about top bar hives. Why do you prefer them over the langstroth hive? They are growing in popularity here, but I'm not sure why. I am looking forward to watching your progress. Keep posting! Thank you.