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Thread: Swarm Trap

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    chicago, IL/portage,WI
    Posts
    35

    Default Swarm Trap

    What exactly should i put into 5 frame swarm trap??? frames with plastic foundation??? lure??? and when to put them outside?? spring?? summer?? year round??? any instructions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,478

    Default Re: Swarm Trap

    Here's what I do. In the spring I get the oldest hive box I can find with that "lived in" smell. I use old eight frame deeps I got from a commercial beekeeper that have a 2" hole for an entrance rather than a traditional slotted opening. I think the hole best mimics a tree opening.
    I then put a frame of old comb inside. I soak several cotton balls or a piece of paper towel with lemongrass oil and place it in a small zip lock sandwich bag leaving the bag half open and place it on the bottom board near the back of the hive. The sandwich bag will keep the lemongrass oil from drying out thus preserving the smell. I then rub a little around the entrance with my finger.

    Now where to place the hive trap. I used to hang them in trees which seems logical but I never has much success with that. I place them in my apiary. There's something about bees that attracts other bees. Swarms are attracted to places where other bees already are from what I've seen. I watched two swarms coming from the park across the street land on my hive traps and move it. It was very exciting.

    The next day after they move in, I open the lid and place a brood and honey frame inside (middle of the box) and then add the rest of the empty frames in very carefully then close it up for two weeks with top feeder full. If you can't spare honey, the brood is more important. I have never had a swarm abscond putting in a frame of brood or eggs.

    After two weeks, I take all the frames out looking for the queen and or eggs and place them in a new hive box and repeat the process. It's important to leave them alone for the first two weeks. That's the most sensitive time in deciding if they want to stay or not. Remember, there's nothing tying them to an empty box with no food or babies so you have to supply those two essentials.

    Swarm season here starts in early spring and goes all the way through September.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

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