# Advise on luring a swarm

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• 12-01-2011, 08:43 PM
RayMarler
Re: Advise on luring a swarm
just use a single deep hive box with top and bottom with whatever frames you are using with some lemongrass oil as bait. You might be surprised and get one. A single deep box is perfect size for swarm trappers. I've never done bee-lining but read alot about it and a few stories. It sounds fun and might be very productive in finding a hive for you, but it might be in someones back yard like you are trying to do. :)
• 12-01-2011, 08:51 PM
Keth Comollo
Re: Advise on luring a swarm
According to the research you might get a swarm or two using single deeps but the volume is not there to insure best results. Something larger is going to be more attractive to the house hunting scouts. If your just messing around it would be fun but if you are really intent on getting and keeping a swarm you should look at slightly larger volume boxes. The lemongrass oil is excellent.
• 12-01-2011, 09:15 PM
Intheswamp
Re: Advise on luring a swarm
Quote:

Originally Posted by Keth Comollo
A box shape that has dimensions 14 inches by 14 inches by 13 inches has a volume of:
Volume

= 11.03 U.S. gallons
= 41.754 liters
* calculations accurate to 5 decimal places of precision

<chuckle> Well, that goes to prove it...I was *way* off!!! Thanks for the link, Keth, I had looked for one like that...that one's bookmarked now. Still hard to see it, though...I'm sitting here trying to visualize 10 gallons...the closest I can get to fitting the dimensions with some measurement modifications would be a 10 gallon aquarium...ok, that get's me close enough. ;)

Thanks,
Ed
• 12-01-2011, 09:43 PM
Intheswamp
Re: Advise on luring a swarm
I just figured an 8-frame deep....using 19-3/8x13-3/4x9-5/8 inches for the inside dimensions. The resulting volume is 39.85 liters. Keth, I'm going with all 8-frame medium boxes in my bee yard. I had thought of using 8-frame deeps for swarm traps but your remarks make me wonder if retaining the outside dimensions but going with a deeper, purpose built chamber might not be a bad idea.

If the swarm trap is monitored regularly how do you think 8 medium frames would work in a box 15-16 inches deep but with the perimeter measurements of an 8-frame box. This would give the bees more of an approximation of a hollow in a tree. If checked often would 8 medium frames at the top be enough to hold them without them making too big of a mess below the frames?

If two 8-frame mediums (~55 liters) were filled with foundationless frames with maybe a center frame with foundation for guidance included, would the cavity be too congested to appeal to the bees?

Ed
• 12-02-2011, 06:08 AM
Keth Comollo
Re: Advise on luring a swarm
A bit of a disclaimer. I am not an expert on swarm baiting but I have read Honeybee Democracy and I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

A house hunting scout will measure the interior of the space by walking around. For northern bees they reject anything below 10 liters of volume and the sweet spot of hive adoption seems to be 35-50 liters. The theory is that the bees find a space that they know will be able to hold the substantial stores they will need for the upcoming winter. Makes sense to me.

Having swarm lure and some comb in combination beats the alternatives hands down. The amount of comb can be excessive it seems as boxes full of drawn comb didn't fare as well as boxes with just a few frames of comb. Since the traps I am building are 15 inches deep that gives the arriving bee a sense of space as there is a few inches below the 3 frames of comb that I plan to hang centered in the box. It would be nice if the whole box could be full of comb making transfer to a nuc or full size box easier but rather work hard transferring comb to empty frames to increase the chances of catching the swarm in the first place.

Ed, I like your idea of putting some empty frames in as guides. From what I can tell bees looking for a new home like a combination of the right space that they need and some drawn comb is an added bonus to them as it reduces the amount of work they need to do to start laying in stores for winter.

Thinking about it now I might try different combinations of drawn frames, empty frames and just nothing at all to see if the bees show a preference one way or the other. Dr. Seely had best results with some comb in the hives so I plan on starting there.

Happy hunting!
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