Hive entrance

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Last  year I had 4 top bar bait hives (16inches long) with a reduced entrance of 3/8x3/4 in.
I did not get a single swarm in any of them.
This year I built a top bar hive 2 feet long with a 1-3/8 in. round hole in it for an entrance
and 4 days after I put it out I had a swarm in it already none of the old hives with 3/8x3/4 
entrances have any bees yet.
Any ideas of what is the difference bigger box or round hole instead of retangle hole?

little john:
What appears to matter with cavity selection is the box volume - around 45 litres - although there's a fair spread to either side of that figure.

From Tom Seeley's 'Nest of the Honeybee':

Smell is also important - old comb makes good 'bait', as does Lemongrass Oil etc.

You might also find Seeley's 'Bait Hives for Honey Bees' an interesting read:


I use 1 1/4 holes and have had no problems.
I am in Central Arkansas.

I took a swarm trap with a 3/8 by 3/4 in opening and closed it and drilled a 1-1/4  in. round hole in trap box above
the old opening didn't do anything else except add lemongrass oil again. Trap has been in this location for a year
and nothing. Since changed hole to round hole in 2 weeks I now have a swarm in it.  All traps with 3/8 by 3/4
opening still no swarms.

I had 12 traps out last year and got nothing.  I had 16 out this year and got two.  One of the two was in a trap that was right by my garage door and it had a round hole.  It hung there since last year when it didn't get anything.  The other swarm was in a medium with a 3 inch shim and a regular bottom board with the opening blocked to about 2 inches, so 2 inches by 3/8th inch.  It did have a flaw in the shim that allowed about 3 bee size holes where the shim had seperated a bit.  When the swarm arrived they used all openings to get inside. 

I can't say that I believe a round hole works better but I don't really know.  I say what matters most is how many bees swarm in your area and how many other choices they have for homes.  I got all excited getting two swarms in two places 8 miles apart but when I checked the other traps, nothing was happening.  The one that moved into the box by my garage had another box exactly like it including how high and entrance direction.  I hung them on two trees expecting to move them to good places but never got around to moving them :grin:.

I do know the bees were checking out my hives I have set up for when I get bees.  You could definatly tell which one they were liking best though.



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