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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Arlington, WA
    Posts
    126

    Default Likelyhood of capturing swarm Opinions please

    Obviously there are tons of factors but in your opinion if a person were to place 5 or 6 nuc boxes and keep them baited all year in different locations what is the likelyhood that you would catch a swarm?

    Not worth the effort
    Poor
    Fair
    Good
    Excellent

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
    Posts
    189

    Default

    I wouldn't bother with doing it all year. There's bound to be a good few months pretty much wherever you are that there's no show of a swarm, but a good chance of other critters/bugs invading and ruining your comb.

    As to your odds of success at the right time of year.. that's gonna depend on the number of hives in the vicinity and how they're managed - if someone's working them intensively to keep them from swarming, your chances are a lot lower than if someone's not paying them a lot of attention or is intentionally building them to swarming state.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,240

    Default

    i'm torn between not worth the effort and poor. definetly not worth the effort for me.
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,793

    Default EXCELLENT, location, location, location

    I got about 25 out of 33 filled that I put out during swarming season. That's about about 75%. I first put out 31, two got filled twice. I transferred those into full boxes and re-set the baits. I just got one two weeks ago in my pile of finished empty baits, it had no frames on about 8/20, lots of scouts, I re-baited it with comb and lemon grass oil and it got filled with a good swarm the next day.
    I caught a huge one one accidentally leaving five frames in an empty box for adding to a huge swarm I had just caught. They both produced two medium supers of crop. The bigger boxes caught bigger swarms. Two deep boxes (on a screened pallet) caught no swarms but I filled 6 nuc box baits a few blocks away. Maybe swarms don't like screened pallets.
    I brought one nuc box home thinking the bees in were only stragglers, it turned out to have a queen, I augmented it with brood and feed, it is now going. I caught one out of two in a redwood forest, and none out of two in northern California coastal oak woods grass lands.
    If there are swarms they will come. Use old black combs laced with lemon grass oil.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,313

    Default

    If you spread them around to different locations, I'd say between 1 in 4 or 1 in 8 depending on how well you picked the locations. If you go catfishing today, what are the odds you'll catch a fish?
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Arlington, WA
    Posts
    126

    Default

    So when is the best time to look for swarms? Spring, summer, fall? I am guessing late spring and summer. THe one I have was early fall. Obviously not in the winter.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,543

    Default

    Look for swarms from early spring to end of june, is the season of the increasing daylight hours in a day. Prime swarming season.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oxford, Kansas
    Posts
    1,988

    Default

    thats a loaded question.There is a lot of factors that will determine your success. There was a lot of swarms this year. So you may have done well The year before was not much of a swarm year so the same locations may not of done so well. The main factor I see is do you have time to do it if so then do it and dont get discouraged from year to year.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,322

    Default

    It's much easier to register with the county ag agent and the dispatchers for swarm calls.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Stanwood, Washington USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Swarms..

    Hi Fishdude...my husband built some swarm traps from scrap lumber last year. Caught 4 of our 12 swarms in them. In a couple of weeks you can get one from him as a sample. He baits with lemon grass oil...his largest single swarm this year was on August 3rd. He caught a swarm Sept 15th last year to give you an idea in this area. (he also dropped a bottle of that oil on the tile as you come into our home...still smell the stuff...so do the bees!!) In the off season you should check out the Lake McMurray area..there are alot of hives in that area..good place for swarm traps...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,313

    Default

    I put out 4 traps last year and caught 4 swarms. (One trap caught 2, and another one never caught any.)

    Still that works out to either 4/5 or 3/4 depending on how you count it.

    So either I got lucky, or my odds are just better in my area than others.
    Troy

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Arlington, WA
    Posts
    126

    Default

    How many of theses were your own bees? I am hoping to catch all my swarms plus hopefully wild bees or ones that others would normally lose.
    Thanks for all the responses.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,313

    Default

    How many of these were your own bees?
    In my case, I'm pretty sure none, as most of these traps were far away from my hives. The one that was close to my hives is the one that caught two swarms, and (as a new beek) I was watching my hives pretty closely - and if mine had swarmed I think I would have noticed the populations drop.

    I'm now trying to follow Florida's best mgmt practices and using marked queens, so in the future I will no for sure if they are mine.
    Troy

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Default

    I would expect that many people place swarm traps around their own apiaries. Or they are placed around "areas" of known yards belonging to other beekeepers. Both of those situations may find the best chances.

    Placing them away from managed hives would drastically reduce your chances. There may be feral colonies to mention, but most areas, away from managed hives, do not maintain large numbers of feral colonies. Once you get away from farm lands and other areas, and enter into deep woods, the numbers are drastically reduced.

    I caught 1 swarm in four bait traps I placed away from my own yards. Which is a good lesson unto itself. I caught the swarm, and left it in place, thinking it would be good to let it build up, and then demonstrate at the yearly picnic the skill of doing a simulated cutout from a building. We wanted to cut out the comb from the swarm trap as it only has two frames placed, and thinking the box would fill in with natural comb. It had been occupied for about 8 weeks.

    So I go out the night before the summer picnic and collect the trap. I take it back to the farm. The day of the picnic, we open it up with a good amount of people around, and it had with SHB. Not many, but perhaps 10 or 15. In 50 other hives and nucs looked at that day, not one SHB was found. Good lesson about taking collected swarms back to a primary yard.

    I also collected two swarms from my own yard that went into stored equipment.

    I would rather concentrate my efforts on stopping them prior to swarming. You can spend many hours chasing swarm, getting bum leads, and finding out they are queenless. I could much rather spend my time splitting and being more productive. But there is nothing better than finding a swarm trap occupied!

  15. #15

    Wink Swarms

    catch a few each season.8fr.box better than 5 fr nuc. place 8-10 ft high(rope over branch ect.) face south. find Longest East west EDGE in your area ( gas line,power line ect.)
    use Bjorns lures.
    bob evans

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