Dear Beekeeping Community,

We are beginners, so I apologize if my question is silly. I set and baited (old frames with some left over honeycombs and honey) our beehive box in our backyard and for a while there was no movement. This past Sunday, around 6:30PM, I noticed a couple of bees checking out the box. I placed some honey by the entrance and around the hive. On Monday morning about 10-20 bees came to the beehive, so I placed additional honey around and inside the beehive. I also placed a container with sugar/water by the entrance. By the afternoon on Monday there were about 300-500 bees in and around the beehive. Tuesday and Wednesday the number of bees grew to about 700-1,000. They hang around all day, but I noticed that they are taking the honey and sugar to their beehive, which I can't figure out where it is. Also at night, I noticed that all but a handful of bees go back home. Am I doing something wrong or is this how to attract the bees? Is there anything else that I can do to entice them to move in permanently to our beehive? Thanks in advance.

Douglas

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Douglas, you are not "catching" bees you are simply feeding them.

But, you are off to a great start!  One, you know there are bees in your neighborhood.  Two, it is simply a matter of time until the hive- somewhere in your neighborhood, decides it is time to look for a new home (Swarm).

To "catch a swarm, like fishing, you need to use the correct bait.  Bees will come to honey or sugar water, candy etc.  But to get them to decide your swarm box is the next best place to live. You need to put a couple of drops of lemon grass oil on the inside of the box.  Pieces of old comb are great!  And if you put ONLY one or two drops of lemon grass oil on a single piece of old comb, don't overdo it!   You can reapply the one or two drops every two to three weeks. Then,all you then have to do what all great fisherman have learned to do... wait.

Hope this helps and I hope to see you tomorrow night at Pine Jog center for our monthly meeting.  There will be lots of experts to answer any further questions you might have.

Bee well, Lee

Hello Lee,

Thank you very much for your spreading your wisdom. I think that I am going to keep this box available and just buy a second box along with the bees.

Unfortunately, we cannot go tonight; World Cup game this afternoon.

Have a great weekend and thank you for everything.

Douglas
 
Lee Wisnioski said:

Douglas, you are not "catching" bees you are simply feeding them.

But, you are off to a great start!  One, you know there are bees in your neighborhood.  Two, it is simply a matter of time until the hive- somewhere in your neighborhood, decides it is time to look for a new home (Swarm).

To "catch a swarm, like fishing, you need to use the correct bait.  Bees will come to honey or sugar water, candy etc.  But to get them to decide your swarm box is the next best place to live. You need to put a couple of drops of lemon grass oil on the inside of the box.  Pieces of old comb are great!  And if you put ONLY one or two drops of lemon grass oil on a single piece of old comb, don't overdo it!   You can reapply the one or two drops every two to three weeks. Then,all you then have to do what all great fisherman have learned to do... wait.

Hope this helps and I hope to see you tomorrow night at Pine Jog center for our monthly meeting.  There will be lots of experts to answer any further questions you might have.

Bee well, Lee

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