Tree Hive Installation
Before installing a Tree Hive a survey needs to be carried out to see if the location is suitable. Items to consider include:
A suitable tree or structure to secure the Tree Hive to
Exposure to the elements
Availability of suitable forage in the area
Effect on others in the neighbourhood
Other managed bee hives in the area?
Ideally a natural swarm should find the Tree Hive of its own accord. In a normal season the main time for this is between April and the beginning of July. Outside of this it will be more difficult for the colony to survive through the winter months as it may not have had time to establish a suitable nest. On this premise, February and March would be an ideal time to install a Tree hive, in plenty of time for the coming swarm season.
Once the Tree Hive is in position I can guarantee that you will be out their everyday looking for signs of bees. However we are at the mercy of nature which means ANYTHING can happen. Some years swarms are plentiful, some they are not, so patience is needed. Some have colonised within a few days, one took a year.
It is possible to transfer a swarm into the hive using a skep basket, which is something I can do locally and assuming I have been able to gather one in the first place.
Once the Tree hive is colonised its pure joy. The bees are then left to do their thing and follow their natural instincts.