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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
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    1,403

    Default How close would you put a swarm trap to a bee tree?

    I have found a couple bee trees in the area I live and I was wondering, if I wanted to catch a swarm coming off these trees, how close/far would you put a bait hive?

    One of the bee trees is a Eucalyptus in my yard that I am going to leave feral, but I would like to try and catch a swarm off of it either this year or next, so if I was to put a bait hive up, how far away would you put it? I have a grove of about 15-20 Eucalyptus trees and the closest other trees are about 300 yards or so away.

    The other bee tree is in a creek area in city limits. I am thinking about putting a few bait hives in that area for next spring, and its only a hundred yards from where I caught my first swarm this year!! It should be pretty easy to paint up a green camo nuc and set it where people wont screw with it deep in the tree area!!

    Also, I made some Coates nucs which I intend to use as bait hives, I plan on putting a few frames with foundation in them and I think I read about lemon grass oil on a cotton ball or something??

    Thanks for any help in putting bait hives up!!..................Jason

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,399

    Default Re: How close would you put a swarm trap to a bee tree?

    How close it is isn't as important as using the proper lure. Bee's sense of smell is amazing so as long as it's fairly high in a tree, (don't kill yourself ) and relatively close, you'll attract a swarm.

    The drawn frames are a great lure. In addition to old comb, I soak a piece of paper towel with lemongrass oil and place it in a half open small plastic sandwich bag. This preserves the smell and keeps the oil from drying out. I place it on the floor of the bait hive towards the back. I then rub a little lemongrass oil around the entrance with my finger.

    Good Luck!!
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Des Moines County, IA, USA
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: How close would you put a swarm trap to a bee tree?

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeGhost View Post
    I have a grove of about 15-20 Eucalyptus trees and the closest other trees are about 300 yards or so away...

    ... its only a hundred yards from where I caught my first swarm this year!!...

    ...I plan on putting a few frames with foundation in them...Jason
    300 yards sounds about right, 100 yards the minimum.
    Foundation with wax will attract wax moths if left long term.

    The swarm is the natural process for the bee species to grow and survive.
    That instinct makes them look for a new home far enough away that the two hives do not share much of the same forage.

    The distance depends on the quality and quantity of forage surrounding the parent hive and suitable new home.

    If there is an excellant new home in the same woods, but the woods is an oasis with barely enough forage for one hive and the next oasis is say two miles away, they will most likely move two miles.

    Make the swarm catch box large enough to entice any swarm.

    Studies indicate that the 10-frame deep has enough volume, the 8-frame has enough for many swarms, but a 5-frame nuc has little chance of catching even a small swarm.

    Goodluck
    Push, Pull, or get Out of the Way

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Barry, TX USA
    Posts
    861

    Default Re: How close would you put a swarm trap to a bee tree?

    Quote Originally Posted by WPG View Post
    That instinct makes them look for a new home far enough away that the two hives do not share much of the same forage.

    The distance depends on the quality and quantity of forage surrounding the parent hive and suitable new home.
    I've had them move into the dead out next door. I don't give much creedence to the distance. Put three or four traps within a quarter mile and I think you'll have success. I've also had much success trapping swarms with traps only 7 or 8 feet from the ground. No need to get too high and risk falling off a ladder with a heavy swarm. Have you ever seen a hive entrance at the base of a hollow tree? I use only LGO and agree that black comb is going to attract moths long term. I stuff cotton ball in a 2" piece of drinking straw. Staple the straw to the back of your trap and use an eye dropper to soak the cotton, 3 or 4 drops, with LGO. Smell lasts over a month for me. You might have better or worse luck than me. Saturate the area with traps and you have a better chance of catching the swarm, kind of like P&G selling 20 different kinds of laundry soap. Compete with yourself and knock out the competition.
    When you stop learning you're dead.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Fairview, TN
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: How close would you put a swarm trap to a bee tree?

    how did you find those hives? I would like to locate some and try to catch one next year. Thanks.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,403

    Default Re: How close would you put a swarm trap to a bee tree?

    Quote Originally Posted by dray34 View Post
    how did you find those hives? I would like to locate some and try to catch one next year. Thanks.
    The one at my house was wierd, a large swarm went over my house in April, I didnt get to see it but my wife did. While checking the orange tree out a week or so ago to see if any of my bees were hitting it I seen a different looking bee than mine. Then one evening while helping my kids with there 4-H projects I kept seeing bees go by, but not heading towards my apiary, so I would follow bee after bee until I seen them go towards the trees and I found the activity!

    The bee tree in town is the same thing, seen a ton of bees working the wild berry bushes in the creek while I was working. I would notice which direction they would fly off and one day I just took my time and followed bee after bee again and found the nest along a trail in a pepper tree. The funny thing is, its not 15' from the walking path! I have a feeling that tree is were the swarm i caught earlier this month is from as its not very far from where I caught the swarm.

    A good time to watch the bees for me is in the late afternoon when the sun is just right and its easy to see the bees flight for a longer time.

    Get out and take a walk, if you find bees working an area, take note of the general direction they take off to, then go to where you seen it last and keep following the next bee or bees that fly by, they will eventually lead you back to the hive, but it may take some time depending on the distance they are flying!!

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