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  1. #1

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    I was planning on making several TBH swarm traps with the same width and depth of my TBH's and was wondering if any of you had any advice on how many bars it should be to make it big enough to be attractive yet small enough to be manageable.

    My hives are Kenyan TBH with the available are for the bees as follows:
    17 1/8 inches wide below the top bar
    8 1/2 inches deep
    6 5/8 wide at the bottom
    With those dimensions one 1 1/4 top bar would give about 195 cubic inches of space. How many bars would be best to use to make it large enough but not too large. Thanks for the imput.

  2. #2

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    "(...)less then 1 bushel ( = 36,4 L.,add.WW) They selected these sizes despite having bigger traps available(...)" According: Walt Wright Published in American Bee Journal March 1996 P 187 & 188

    WW

  3. #3

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    Thanks Wojtek, from what I figured, I would put a 1 1/2 inch bar at the front and back, then 8 1 1/4 bars between. That should give me about 30-31 liters. That sounds like it might work. Thanks. Any more ideas?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Post

    A ten frame deep seems to be a pretty good size. I've often used an eight frame medium or a five frame deep and still had decent luck if there's some kind of lure (lemongrass oil, commercial lure, or "queen juice")
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    El Dorado County, CA
    Posts
    605

    Post

    im cutting two 3' ktbh from last year in half and adding new backs. i figure they should smell like home and be about 10 bars. heres a sight on the subject www.feralhoneybees.homestead.com
    all that is gold does not glitter

  6. #6

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    Thanks guys, I was planning on using crushing lemongrass stalks and rubbing them down with it. I'll let ya'll know how it goes. Thanks.

  7. #7

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    Since you Heritage ask, “any more ideas? May be you find this useful, also as a swarm trap.
    I put this in different topic a few days ago, but I think this could fit to this topic too.

    I noticed that there are some beekeepers that use conventional (framed) hives and want to try TBH now, or combining these two kinds of hives
    When I was starting beekeeping, one day I was standing in front of small box full of bees and reading instruction what to do with it. Removing little box with queen and placing it in a new location was within my imagination, but shaking this energetic little creature, what is more, with wings, through relatively small openings, with plenty of dead bees, completely didn’t fit my imagination. So, after long but successful scratching my head I drilled a hole (about 2” diameter) I the bottom of smaller box, (see picture),
    http://homepage.interaccess.com/~net...Dwa%20male.jpg
    and put this box on the top of packet such way that the hole was above the opening in the packet left after removing a cane with syrup, which I covered with thin cardboard. I slide out this cardboard and after about an hour or so all bees, still being able to walk, found themselves around their queen in new location leaving only a thick layer of dead bees. Of course, I was very proud of my achievement.
    This lead me to another idea when I was reading some posts about problems with transition from framed hives to Kenyan TBH. I didn’t realized this idea because I don’t have any framed hives and I don’t want to have anything to do with frames, but for some this could be useful, I think. I made animated simplified drawing to help to understand this.
    http://homepage.interaccess.com/~net...e/Schemat2.gif

    This could serve as a transition from frames to Kenyans TB’s or with queen excluder and some expansion, as something more permanent to harvest honey in fairly comfortable position.
    With proper utilization of movable partition and adequate positioning an opening in the bottom, paying attention on stability, it could serve both, depending on necessity. It can work also as swarm trap since it is very light.
    These 2 boxes are made with plywood ( bottom) and the rest of 1” pink Styrofoam. It contain 5 and 10 TB. There are no covers on this picture. Everything externally is covered thin with synthetic stucco to get some surface stiffness and protect against ultraviolet and erosion. Still very light. Inside is painted with hot wax.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Honduras
    Posts
    229

    Post

    My trap hives have eight or ten top bars. The boxes themselves are 12 inches deep and approximatly 17.5 inches across the top and seven inches at the bottom.

    This size has worked real well for me. The bees seem to acept this amount of space without a problem. In general it gives most swarms enough space to work with for three or four weeks (in case I don't get around to taking them out of the tree or moving them into their permanent box right away). Some bigger swarms, however, have filled this amount of space with combs in two weeks.

    This size also seems to work well for me to use the boxes when making splits.

    I use lemon grass to bait my hives also. What I usually do is make a really strong tea and then paint it on to the box. It seems to make better use of the grass than crushing and rubbing.

    So far on these forums I haven't heard of anybody else that actually has "lemon grass". Most seem to get ahold of lemon grass oil/essance. In my case I'm down here in Honduras where it grows naturally.

    I'm sort of curious (and maybe others also) about where/how you got lemon grass and (if you're in the U.S.) where you're located. Are you growing it indoors or outdoors?

    ----------
    Tom

  9. #9

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    I picked up one little lemongrass plant from a local nursery in Richmond, Virginia after reading about using lemongrass oil here. I planted it outside last spring and it grew like a weed - from a little 2 inch pot with just a few blades of grass about 6 inches high to a plant about 4 feet high and 12 -14 inches around. I clipped it off about 6 inches high and dug it up, put it in a bucket, and brought it inside. It is slowly growing in a spare room right now. I will put it under heat and light here shortly in order to get it growing good for early spring.

    Could you elaborate on the "really strong tea" you use please. That sounds like an intereting way of using it. I did make a tea with it and tried drinking it, but didn't care for it too much. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    I'm thinking of making my swarm traps with 10 bars out of 1/4" plywood (free from my cabinet shop scrap pile) and beefing it up with 3/4 X 3/4 pine framing. I'm thinking that should be strong enough to last a season or two yet light enough to handle easily. Thanks for all the info!!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Elkton, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    288

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    Marking for notification. If anyone knows how to do this without having to post something, let me know through PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Honduras
    Posts
    229

    Post

    Howdy Heritage

    If I would make a lemon grass tea to drink, I might put between four and six blades in the pot--just enough to get the flavor. It would probably give the tea a sort of light yellow color (and then I would add honey of course). The people down here like to use it to help them fall asleep.

    When I make a tea to use on the trap hives, I put in enough lemon grass to make the water a deep yellow color. It might be a medium sized handful.
    I have no problem with my supply so I usually use a lot of it. I chop it up into smaller peices and basically fill the pot I'm using. I figure the more I use, the stronger the smell and the better it should work.

    If I'm making the rounds, checking the boxes, I carry a squirt bottle and add some to each of the boxes that are still empty.

    I've also dried it. If I'm up on the farm where we have the hives, I'll cut a bunch and let it dry in my house. Then I always have some on hand to make the bait tea. It's worked fine that way also.

    I think you're correct about wanting to make the box as light as possible. They can get heavy if the bees fill them up fast and then awkward to take down from trees. For the sides of my trap boxes I use aluminum printer plates that I get from one of the newspapers. That helps take off a lot of weight. Back in December there was a topic about tbh swarm lures. I sort of described the trap boxes I use. You might want to take a look.

    ----------
    Tom

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