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Thread: Swarms

  1. #1
    dtwilliamson Guest

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    Could someone tell me when I can expect swarming season to start (if not already) here in Northwest Indiana? I have a couple of swarm traps with lures out but don't know if I am too early or not. I know there is a good chance I won't get one but wanted to know when I might expect the prime season to be here. The South seems to have been in full-swing for a while but I don't think that's the case here.

    Thanks.

    Dan

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    The peak would be the second half of May, June, and first half of July. Once the time goes back to getting shorter days, the bees swarm alot less but you could have swarms into Aug. But not anything like May and June.

    Are your swarm traps for your own apiary, or are you trying to catch ferals or other apiary swarms?


  3. #3
    dtwilliamson Guest

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    Thanks for the reply! No, they are not for my apiary. I am getting back into bees this year after a 12 year hiatus. Got 2 nucs coming the first of May but wanted to see if I could catch some feral swarms. Had some luck in my previous beekeeping life catching them....(well assumed they were feral didn't know of any apiaries nearby) Figured I'd give it another try. Been so long that I can't remember the rough dates for various hive activities in this area.

    Does anyone know how long the swarm lures last?

  4. #4
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    The swarm lure still seems to attract attention a year later, but I'm sure it's more potent when you first open it.

    Now is when I'm putting out bait hives. Have been seeing drones and I think they could swarm this early, but more likely in the middle of May.

  5. #5
    dtwilliamson Guest

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    I just put the bait boxes with lures this past weekend so I'm assuming I didn't jump the gun.... I figured better early than late.

  6. #6

    Big Grin

    Interesting to read your replies about the timing of your swarm seasons. Ours (north Texas) is just about half way over now. Should finish in another three weeks or so. It usually last about six weeks starting at the first of April.
    --
    dt, put your name out with a few cities' Animal Control Departments and you'll soon run out of equipment to house them all!

    So far, I've brought eight swarms home and "by passed" several other calls. Since I don't have an endless supply of equipment, I kinda "pick-and-choose" which swarm calls I'll personally take. If it involves anything more than about step-ladder high, I leave it to some of the younger area beekeepers.

  7. #7
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    mountain home, ar, usa
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    I've collected 15 swarms so far (all from my own hives though). They seem to be petering out now... but there's a monster swarm in a tall tree behind my house right now. The tree is just too tall to reach it, and not worth endangering my life. I just stare at it and hope it goes for a bait hive (but doubt it). I live on the border of Missouri and Arkansas.

  8. #8
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    Feb 2003
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    Auburn, Wa
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    Ive caught 2 swarms from my hive, 1 saturday and 1 today.Im running out of hive stands, bottom boards and both covers. both swarms went into the neighbors little tree (real easy to catch), good thing since these were my first captures. How many more times will they swarm??? they have plenty of room.

  9. #9
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    Oct 2002
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    My hives have not swarmed yet, (maybe I am doing something right), but I have picked up twelve swarms and two big bird house colonys so far. Haven't caught anything in the bait hives yet.

    Swarm season started here the last week in March.

  10. #10
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    Feb 2003
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    Lake county, Indiana 46408-4109
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    Smile

    I got my first swarm April 30 last year and that was an eairly one, I have got them as late as late Aug. and feed then and wintered them.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
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    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
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    I am sure latitude and altitude have a great deal to do with swarm season. It probably most certainly centers just ahead of the solstice, but I bet it lasts longer in the south and shorter in the north due to the declination of the sun as it travels across the sky and the length of the day since days are longest when the sun is directly overhead.

    The bees know how long the day is and they know the sun's declination probably more accurately than we do. Bees are sun worshippers, they use the sun for navigation.

  12. #12
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    Don't know but it starts a lot earlier in the deep south (like several weeks ago for early swarms) and much later here (like probably about now) With the main season not until mid May around here.

    Sounds more weather related than length of days, but laying seems tied into a combination of weather and length of days, so maybe swarming is some combination too.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
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    Rochester, Washington, USA
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    Big Grin

    Have two swarm traps out, one on my property and one at a friends. Nothing yet but a lot of scouts, am useing Lemongrass oil the bees seem to really go to it, but they are all part of one of my hive. Just went and cought a ferial hive yesterday, took me about 5hrs to get as many of them as I could, wound up w/over 10# of bees from the one hive, 5'x4'x4" filled two deeps w/ten frames.

    ------------------
    'WHEN WE CLOSE OUR EYES WE ALL LOOK THE SAME' GWPW 03

  14. #14
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    The main thing the lure does is get them to investigate it. IF they want to swarm later the field bees are the ones that scout out the locations and they have good memories. My sucess at just setting them at random is about 10% of the traps get a swarm. But once you find a good spot, you want to use it again, because a successful hive is around somewhere near and likes to swarm.

    Then the odds go up.

  15. #15
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    Lodi, California U.S.A.
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    How far does a swarm usually go to find a new home?

  16. #16
    dtwilliamson Guest

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    I hadn't thought to ask the distance question. I don't have any hives at my house yet. I have dandelions blooming like crazy around my house but I have yet to see a honeybee on any of them. I do have some crabapple trees blooming with a few bees flying around. Seem to be more bumblebees though. I live on 3 rural acres maybe my location isn't the best for a bait box if they have to fly too far.

  17. #17
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    >How far does a swarm usually go to find a new home?

    About as far as they will forage. From 100 yards to 2 miles is most likely, but more is not unheard of. It is the foragers who scout out the new location so it is from their knowlege base that the the location comes from.


  18. #18
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    Apr 2004
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    Stronghurst,Illinois
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    New to the board here as well to beekeeping . I don't have any bees yet and am sadly finding that I am too late to order any .

    I have found some feral colonies but the main one the farmer won't allow any siding to be taken off the corn crib they are in .

    Will bees swarm a new batch every year or is that only if they are feeling crowded ? I have a deep brood box with fresh foundation and swarm lure within 30 feet of the entrance but is a lot lower than their entrance they are useing .

    Drifter

  19. #19
    Join Date
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    >New to the board here as well to beekeeping . I don't have any bees yet and am sadly finding that I am too late to order any .

    It is hard to get them now.

    > have found some feral colonies but the main one the farmer won't allow any siding to be taken off the corn crib they are in .

    One option is the cone method. Search on here for that and you'll probably find several descriptions and discussions.

    >Will bees swarm a new batch every year or is that only if they are feeling crowded ?

    Most feral hives are in a small enough area that they swarm every year, and sometimes multiple times. But sometimes they don't.

    >I have a deep brood box with fresh foundation and swarm lure within 30 feet of the entrance but is a lot lower than their entrance they are useing .

    It's actually more effective to have it 100 yards or more away. But sometimes they will move in even if it's next door.

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