Trap hives for stingless bees
Trap hives or lure hives are not commonly used in Australia for stingless bees. The main reason for this is our cold winters. It can be quite difficult for keepers to provide places for bees to live in a hope they will move in when cold weather prevents the bees from flying.
The video below shows how I have constructed my own trap hives to lure bees into them. I am very confident these will work. but it must be noted I will be placing them in high traffic locations.
Tips on Trap hives or lure hives
- Make sure you place them where there is already lots of bee activity. No point if there is not a bee in sight.
- Use containers with thick walls to protect the bees from cold and heat variations that might occur.
- Use clean alcohols that evaporate quickly and won’t poison bees. Pure Ethanol is good because its formed from yeast. Denatured alcohol and especially Methanol (sometimes used to poison denatured) are not suitable choices. Isopropyl lastly is not as poisonous but still not as good as ethanol for trap hives.
- Don’t heat your solution like I did, instead keep it cool and constantly shake your containers until it dissolves on its own.
- Provide a drain hole in any trap you make. condensation can build in any hot to cold environment and bees wont move into a wet home.
- Entrance holes should have a little resin in them. This both helps to attract bees and encourage the social instead of solitary bees or wasps (Allan Beil)
Resins for trap hives
Choosing a resin was something I wasn’t sure about. I knew already that in places where they use trap hives that they use honey pot resin. In fact they use the honey pot resin from the specific bee they want to catch. I decided for posterity sake to test a few different types of resin.
The resins to be Tested are as follows
A) Sealing resin, Resin used by bees to seal the hives.
B) Involucrum Resin ,This is resin placed around the brood area. Dean Haley suggested this one so I thought why not.
C) Cadaghi Resin, This is resin collected by the bees off the Corymbia torelliana tree. I think this will work well for trap hives.
D) Mixed resin taken from my solar wax melter. This includes structure wax , honey pot wax and a little cadaghi resin.
As soon as I have caught a decent amount of bees with these I will publish something about it. I estimate a couple of years for the traps to catch something. Why not try making some trap hives at your home.
Congratulations on having a go on this technique Nick. Sooner or later someone will find the combination of materials and position. I even planted what is reputed to be the largest growing bamboo back when i first started trying the concept, it is now approaching mature size for our climate. I am sure it can grow bigger in the tropics. I did get some conventional bamboo trunks, but longevity was a challenge. A full dipping of the solution would be needed I think. The more people who try the concept the better. That increases the odds of finding the desired result. There are a lot of swarms out there to catch. Remember to keep the bait material sorted by bee species. or at least identified.
Oooh what’s that bamboo called? Did your traps attract any attention?