Converting an 8-frame Medium Super to a Bait Hive

Medium Super to Bait Hive

Using a medium super as a bait hive to capture a swarm

You have an old medium super that still has a little life left in it, so why not convert it to a bait hive to capture a swarm.  The principles behind bait hives are explained superbly in McCartney Taylor’s book “Swarm Traps and Bait Hives.”  The volume of an 8 frame deep hive box is excellent for a swarm trap.  To use a medium super, we will add a 3 inch rim at the bottom to make the overall height of the box 9-5/8″.  The entrance hole drilled in the rim avoids having to alter the super in any way.  The super and rim together will be holding deep frames.  If the frame rests become damaged, the rest of the assembly may be re-used with another super.

Materials Needed:

  • Qty 2:  1/2″ plywood, 13-3/4″ x 20″, for top and bottom
  • Qty 1:  1x6x20″ for the hanger board
  • Qty 1:  1x4x6′ to make the bottom rim
  • Hole saw to make a 2″ entrance and a hole in the hanger board
  • 3″x3″ piece of 1/2″ hardware cloth
  • Qty 16: 1-1/4″ galvanized deck screws for the top, bottom and hanger board
  • Qty 4: 4″ galvanized deck screws (or hive staples) to attach rim to the super
  • Qty 2:  Deep frames with some old comb pieces along the top bar
  • An 8-frame medium super

Procedure:

  1. Make the top and bottom from plywood (13-3/4″ x 20″).  An 8-frame migratory cover would also work for a top.
  2. Make a 3″ wide 8 frame sized rim (13-3/4″ x 20″)
  3. Screw and glue the bottom onto the rim using 8 1-1/4″ screws
  4. Drill a 2″ hole in the front of the rim and staple 1/2″ hardware cloth over the inside to keep birds out.
  5. Make a hanger board, 1 x 6 x 20″, and screw and glue it to the back center of the rim.
  6. Make a 2″ hole in the hanger board centered 4″ from the top.
  7. Attach the rim and hanger board assembly to your medium super by using 4″ screws through the bottom into the super and 1-1/4″ screws through the hanger board into the back of the super.  Do not glue the assembly to the super so you can use the super for other chores in the future if needed.  (Option: Use the large hive staples to attach the rim to the super, but still screw the hanger board to the back of the super.)
  8. Add a couple of deep frames, bait the hive and let the bees move in.
Recommended reading:  Swarm Traps and Bait Hives” by McCartney M. Taylor

(c) 2012 Randal L. Carr.  Reproduction for personal and non-commercial use is OK.
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