Swarms are beginning to pop up around Oxfordshire. I know of one yesterday just outside Oxford and one today here 10 miles north of Oxford, and my neighbours tell me there was another (or possibly the same one!) 2 days ago. So make sure your swarm collecting kit is to hand…
Want to report a swarm of honeybees?
Want to get a swarm?
- If you are a Member of ONBG let us and other Members know you are on the look-out;
- if you are also a Member of OBKA then make sure you are on their swarm collection list as they get to hear of large numbers of swarms – contact OBKA’s Swarm liaison officer;
- make sure your neighbours know you are looking for a swarm;
- set up a bait hive.
A bait hive is an empty box, or even a full size empty hive. Some people just use an upturned plant pot and seal the base. You try to make it attractive to bees by making it smell like a home to them with old wax comb, lemongrass oil, propolis; if you have no propolis to hand try laying resinous tree branches round it. If it just smells like freshly sawn wood it isn’t as attractive. It must also be in a location mimicking their ideal tree hole – shaded from midday sun, and above head height (above predators). This latter condition is tricky for a full size hive which is why most bait hives are small. Google bait hive for more information and many differing opinions.