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Thread: Swarm trap size

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Cattaraugus,New York, USA
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    Default Swarm trap size

    With all the recent discussion on here about swarm trap size, I decided to measure mine up. I am running double 5 frame medium nucs for swarm traps. The inside dimensions are 6.625"x8.25"x18.25" for a total of 997.47 cubic inches, for a single 5 frame nuc. Doubled up that is 1994.94 cubic inches.

    I have heard that the European Honey Bee likes a cavity between 30-40 cubic liters. My double 5 frame medium nucs come in at 32.74 cubic liters.

    I havent seen anyone claiming to be using double 5 frame medium nucs, but it seems that I have hit the target goal for cavity size.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    5,113

    Default Re: Swarm trap size

    That's very interesting, I hope there is some more discussion on this. I have used single 5 frame nucs with some success.

    Would a 10 frame nuc work better?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Cass County, MO
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    448

    Default Re: Swarm trap size

    Here is an interesting study that might help. I am using 6 frame two tall medium nucs this year. They are about 39 liters.
    I know many will not agree but I firmly believe 6 frame mediums are the perfect size for many common purposes.

    Bait hives for Honeybees-Cornell U
    4 seasons 19 Hives-Camp Branch Bee Ranch. Est 2009
    "I am a nobody; nobody is perfect, and therefore I am perfect."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Chippew County, WI, USA
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    650

    Default Re: Swarm trap size

    I have caught swarms that would not fit in a five frame nuc.

    Yes a deep is better.

  5. #5
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    May 2009
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    Default Re: Swarm trap size

    rkr-Thanks for the link, looks to be a very interesting and enlightening study. I hope that I can take some of the information in it and turn it into swarms!

    Just glancing at it, i see that the bees prefered the 40 liter cavity over the 10 and 100 liter size, and that Seeley claims that the size of the swarm did not determine the cavity size.

    I plan on putting out about 20 swarm traps over a 30 mile radius, and some will be double 5 frame nucs, single 8 frame mediums, and 3 tbh that measure about 65 cubic liters. The results could be facsinating.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Phelps Co. Missouri USA
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    856

    Default Re: Swarm trap size

    NY_BLUES

    With that many traps over such a area, I for one am definitely looking for updates on your progress.

    Please keep us informed.

    Oh. what is the dates of your swarm season ?

    Thanks

    PCM

  7. #7
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    Oct 2008
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    Cass County, MO
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    Default Re: Swarm trap size

    Quote Originally Posted by PCM View Post
    NY_BLUES
    Please keep us informed.
    Yeah, what PCM said!!!!
    I would love to see your results. Do you plan on keeping notes about height, general location characteristics and dates? You’re bound to find a few good spots.
    4 seasons 19 Hives-Camp Branch Bee Ranch. Est 2009
    "I am a nobody; nobody is perfect, and therefore I am perfect."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Cattaraugus,New York, USA
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    Default Re: Swarm trap size

    rkr and PCM--
    My swarm dates are around May 1st thru July 1st, though I did get a swarm call in October last fall. I am going to log scenarios such as date, location, height, entrance direction and lure or no lure, and comb or no comb. I may even use multiple size traps in a single location to compare side by side results. I have located a few good locations, and a few bee trees that I hope to utilize in my search for swarms.

    The link to the study by Seeley shows that the study was done around Ithica NY, which is about 3 hours east of my location, so I hope to utilize the information to the fullest extent, as many of the environmental factors should be close.
    Last edited by NY_BLUES; 03-05-2011 at 06:15 PM. Reason: addition of information

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Spicewood, TX, USA
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    375

    Default Re: Swarm trap size

    I decided to make some 10 frame deep swarm traps. I basically took DCoates design for nucs and revised it to a 10 frame deep. I laid it out so that you can get 3 traps out of a sheet of plywood. I am attaching the layout on the sheet of plywood. It is calculated using 23/32" decking. You can tweak the dimensions to your own taste. I haven't decided what type of opening to use yet.

    Here is a photo of the cut pieces


    Here it is assembled

  10. #10
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    Dec 2010
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    Default Re: Swarm trap size

    Opps! Forgot to upload the layout.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Swarm trap size

    Risky- Nice design, will you be painting them?

    I am using an 1 1/4" diameter hole, again seems to be in the range of the size opening that bees seem to prefer. I put my hole about 2/3 the way down the first box. I am trying to take ideas from multiple sources and incorperate them into what i hope is a great design.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Spicewood, TX, USA
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    375

    Default Re: Swarm trap size

    That's what Seeley says in Honeybee Democracy. 1-1/4" Dia, with a nail across it to keep birds out. His model also shows it to be about 2" from the bottom and facing south.

    I considered not painting them but may paint them forest green or cammo. I wonder if you can buy some film or wrap in cammo, like Realtree. Probably overkill.

  13. #13
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    Sep 2007
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    Phelps Co. Missouri USA
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    Default Re: Swarm trap size

    Looks like one hefty dude to get 10 ft. up & down a ladder.

    Ah, youth !

    I make my traps, lite as possible, I don't see the need for weight & strength, when/if I catch a swarm they will be soon place in a regular hive box, and the swarm season in my area is only a couple months long.

    Nuc's are another story, they are used you might say year round for different purposes.

    PCM

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Fair Grove,MO,USA
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    Default Re: Swarm trap size

    Like Wi-beek said, i found that a 5 frame deep nuc is to small for some swarms, i've had them come and leave the next day. I've been using deep 10 frame hive bodies with the bottomboard stapled to the bottom and a screenboard screwed to the top so i can transport in hot weather with the top off.I leave the regular hive entrance open and when i take them (after dark) i just screw a board across the front with a cordless drill. Then when you take them to your bee yard there already home.I use lemongrass oil for a lure and so far have caught swarms in every trap i set. Jack

  15. #15
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    Dec 2010
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    Spicewood, TX, USA
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    Default Re: Swarm trap size

    Looks like one hefty dude to get 10 ft. up & down a ladder.

    Ah, youth !
    Good point. I think on the next ones I will use some thinner plywood with some 1 x 2 strips in the corners to nail / screw to. If I had a table saw, it probably would cut the time in half, at least.

    Not sure about what you consider youth. I was feeling a lot more youthful before I cracked some ribs while snowmobiling last month. At 50 something I still haven't figured out when to slow down.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Swarm trap size

    [QUOTE=brooksbeefarm;626274 i found that a 5 frame deep nuc is to small for some swarms, i've had them come and leave the next day. Jack[/QUOTE]
    This one left the next day, basketball size.



  17. #17
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    Apr 2008
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    Fair Grove,MO,USA
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    Default Re: Swarm trap size

    Odfrank, Thats like one i lost because of a 5 frame nuc.Not lost one since i went to the 10 frame deep hive body. Kind of gives you a sick feeling to loose one like that. (nice picture) Jack

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Swarm trap size

    Thanks for the replies.

    Though it is true that i may lose some by running nucs, I am sure people have lost swarms using 10 frame deeps, for one reason or another. I am not using single deep nucs, but double medium nucs, which makes my cavity 7.25"x13.25"x18.25", considerably larger than the deep nuc, hoping the added cavity area will increase my chances of keeping the larger swarms.

  19. #19
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    Nov 2009
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    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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    Default Re: Swarm trap size

    I think some of this depends on the number of colonies in your area. If you live in a place with lots of swarming, then maybe you don't have to be as careful about box dimensions and positions - and you'll still have a good chance of getting a swarm.

    Here, there are very few hives around me. I would be putting out traps which very closely fit Tom Seeley's recommendations (detailed in the Cornell U pdf offered in rkr's #3 post).

    Adam

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    longton, kansas USA
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    606

    Default Re: Swarm trap size

    what is your thoughts on swarm lure oils ?

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