I have seen the swarm traps advertised in several catalogs over thew past few years, and I was wondering if it was worth while or not. I understand you need the lure too. I guess my questions are:
Do they work?
How long does the lure work?
Is it worth 20 bucks and shipping?
Please enlighten me!
Swarm traps do work...BUT... it is a mistake to trap bees on anything but movable comb frames. A good swarm can build a lot of free hanging combs in a few days in a fiber box, and you then have the mess of transfering them into frames. I would recommend swarm lures or dark comb in a nuc with frames and combs.
I have had good luck just setting a 5 frame nuc out about 5 feet off the ground with 5 frames of old comb and nothing else 5 swarms last year!
just South of Lansing Michigan
Odfrank is right . I caught 3 swarms last year in an old dynamite box with a lid and a 1 1/4 inch hole in it on the end . I really had my hands full transfering them into a hive body . This year I am using nucs.As far as the old powder box the flying squirrls took up residence in it for the winter, they can have it.
I'm setting some bait hives this year for the first time. I've heard of people having some wonderful results. They all agree, you want the traps with frames. Otherwise you have to check your traps everyday or transfer a lot of comb.
I think the wax coated MDA boxes from Dadant for 8.95 a piece work the best. Or you can buy the plain cardboard ones from MDA and wax coat them.
Also you can just use old 10 frame brood boxes with the bottoms and lids screwed on.
The pherome bait is the main key, and make the entrance too small for birds.
Also, the middle few frames or all the frames should have just a starter strips for foundation, so there is room for them to make a big cluster in the middle. It's what swarms do. Then they will want to draw a lot of comb from all the wax they are secreting from filling up before they left. The smell of fully drawn foundation could help attract them, but put it on the sides. Also if you put fully drwan foundation in, you may want to put certan on it to prevent the moths from getting it.
[This message has been edited by Michael Bush (edited February 27, 2003).]
going over to Ms. & set some trap's this year.( next month).I've never seen as many wild bee's as over there.I know an empty hive with the smell of other bee's help. but was wondering has anyone used the nasonov pheremone swarm catch lure they sell .(smell's like lemon pledge to me.)lol. thank's
Hook: I've had good luck using an empty hive for a trap. Full setup of bottom,1 deep w/drawn comb , inner and telescoping covers. I have a stack of firewood near my hives and in the early spring I set my trap hive up onto the firewood. This is probably about 5' off the ground. Works well for me!!
As I said, I'm just starting this year, but I have done a lot of reasearch and the people who used to catch them without the pheromes and have tried the pheromes say the pheromes make a LOT of difference. I've heard of people with four or five traps catching 45 swarms in a year with the pherome.
Also, they say it should be 8 feet or more off the ground. I figure I don't want more, because it's only harder to get down. But 8 feet makes sense. If I was a bee I'd like to be out of reach of the bears.
But then the people who were catching swarms before pheromes say the height and the old hive body or combs mattered a lot then. They say none of this seems to matter so much with the pherome.
Here is what Roger A. Morse has to say about BAIT HIVES in The New Complete Guide to Beekeeping, page 48:
Should be hung on trees or poles about a week before swarm season starts.
They prefer to nest high rather than low; 15 feet above the ground appears to be optimum.
Must be visible but shaded.
Entrance about 1-1/4" diameter is best. Shape of entrance not important. Prefer entrance near bottom, facing east or south.
The volume of a std 10-frame super, 1.4 cubic feet, is best. Shape of hive not important.
Light must not enter from top.
Bees appear to avoid new wood.
Small piece of old comb makes hive more attractive, because of its odor.
Don't leave good combs in a bait hive, because wax moths may destroy them.
I was recently given two packets of swarm lure. How are these supposed to be used in the trap? There are two vials of the pherenome in a packet. Are they supposed to be poured onto something or spread around?
Also how are they to be stored. I have heard refrigerated and I have heard frozen. Thanx for the help
steve,I just bought some lure & the inst- that came with it said just to hang one cap- up inside of the trap.don't open the cap, for storeing said to put in a tight closing jar,&place in the refg, mark
Caught another swarm using the swarm lure,that stuff is good lord sent,