Bees especially the honey bees are the most important crop pollinators on the planet. They play an important role in ensuring the world’s food security. An article “the importance of bees” credits bees for the production of a third of the world’s food production in addition to providing honey. Jose Graziono da Silva, director general of the Food and Agriculture Organization says that bees indicate that all is well in the ecosystem. An online source PremierTech states that they support majority of plant growth which serve as food and shelter for both large and small animals. To attract bees to a beehive a beekeeper must get the timing right and set the bait box at an ideal location.
Beekeepers use different colors not only to attract bees but in addition help bees distinguish the different beehives. It further aides in temperature control white paint reflects heat while dark colors such as green and black absorb heat and light. The swarming season is a factor that greatly determines the attraction to a beehive. Once the hive is overpopulated the bees plan to leave the hive and start one elsewhere, but first a new queen must be determined. The queen bee prepares for the journey by loosing weight to enable her to fly. According to Debbie Hadley states that swarming is important to help prevent diminishing resources which determines the colony’s health. It is ideal to set up a bait hive before the onset of the swarming season.
An online source PerfectBee attempt to explain what happens during the last few steps of relocation. The swarm leaves the hive and move to an interim location, in most cases the location is near the nest hive, this is because the queen is not good at flying. They temporarily rest on a tree or a mailbox as they await reports from the scout bees. It is at this point many beekeepers hope to lure the bees with their bait hives. Although there is no specific time bees move many beekeepers believe most bees move during the warm season and when flowering plants are in full bloom a phenomenon commonly known as honey bloom.
There are two kinds of bee swarms that is the prime and cast swarms. The Apiarist defines the prime swarm as the swarm headed by a mated, laying queen or the swarm headed by the first swarm to leave the natal hive. Smaller groups led by a virgin queen can be spotted as well. Roger Patterson cautions on hiving cast swarms without prior inspection. He suggests that before a beekeeper hives them they must check the origin of the bees and the check for foul brood which is a disease of the honey bee larvae. When looking for a colony of bee be sure to get the prime group since that are beneficial, however if you do get a cast group the virgin bee must be killed before uniting the bees to other colonies.
Another way to attract bees to your hive is by locating the bait hive in an appropriate location. Set the bait hive in a place with great availability of flowering plants where the bees can get nectar to make honey. The location should also be near a water source as bees use water for bodily functions, cooling and feeding larvae. It should in addition be in a rather quiet and away from human activities. Place the hive in a position where there is shelter from sunlight.
The hive must be clean and free from mites which are dangerous as they feed on the pollen intended for the larvae and can attach to the bee making it difficult for them to fly. Evin Biba recommends that the bait hive should be made of breathable material like removable paper, straw and natural wood but not bamboo. She further adds that an ideal bait hive should have a volume of about 40 liters, a solid floor and a small entrance to keep the enemies away. Further the Food and Agriculture Organization recommends that the hive is placed 1 meter above the ground to avoid predators like lizards and to avoid being tipped over by grazing and other animals. It should also be placed where running water cannot carry the beehive away and where ants cannot reach the hive.