At the beekeeping class in Durango, I was able to speak with Jim Marquis from Farmington, NM. He is a trapper and has had good luck catching swarms with bait hives. He said that it is not a good idea to put resources in a bait hive, the bees will not want to move in there because they will be worried about being robbed.
He said that 2 medium-depth, 8-frame boxes will work well, but he said to put the following in the top box: one empty frame of drawn comb and the rest empty foundationless frames. And, leave the bottom box completely empty (no frames at all) so that the bees feel like they have room to expand.
He suggested hanging the bait hive in a big cottonwood along the river. I am planning to hang one on the Blakeslees’ property, but also talk to them about where they’ve seen feral hives before.