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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Swarm Trap complete!

    After reading Honeybee Democracy I decided to build a swarm trap that took into account all of Dr Seelys research.

    The only real difference is that I made the length perfect for a frame so that I could put one or two frames in it. Seely just tested putting chunks of comb in the box. As you can see from the photo there is considerable space under the frames and that is intentional so they have an easier time measuring the volume.

    Here it is just before I paint it. Sitting next to a standard deep for comparison. Standard deep is about 42 liters volume and my trap is 43 liters.

    IMG_5108.JPG

    This is the entrance. 1.25" hole with a nail through it.

    IMG_5109.JPG

    This is the bottom. I added feet and behind that piece of wood in the middle is a screen ventilation hole. After a swarm is captured and I screen the entrance I will remove the board allowing good ventilation for transport.

    IMG_5111.JPG

    Add a cover that has some screws to secure it and I am ready for some hunting!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Swarm Trap complete!

    Would only allow me to add three photos so here is the last one . . .

    IMG_5112.JPG

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    sewell, nj
    Posts
    518

    Default Re: Swarm Trap complete!

    nice job. have you had luck in the past trapping bees? i made 30 nucs that i am using as traps next season. this is my first..

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Swarm Trap complete!

    Next season will by my first attempt to bait a swarm. I plan on building about 5 of these over the winter.

    According to the research that Seely did a standard 5 frame nuc is on the small side for attracting a swarm. You may consider building some boxes that strap on top of your nucs to give them about a 40 liter capacity for best success.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Crystal Water, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    897

    Default Re: Swarm Trap complete!

    Lovely job, Keth!! Let us know how you go with this approach.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,713

    Default Re: Swarm Trap complete!

    How many liters is a standard 5 frame deep nuc? Or a medium nuc?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Swarm Trap complete!

    A standard 5 frame deep nuc is 22.866 liters. About half the size of what seems to be most attractive to the bees.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Spicewood, TX, USA
    Posts
    375

    Default Re: Swarm Trap complete!

    Setting swarm traps is sort of like setting trout lines for fishing. Nothing like walking upon one and seeing bees flying. You will be glad you sized it for a standard frame. It makes it easy to transfer to a hive. I started with 10 frame traps and switched to 8 frame, which is very close to the 40L that Sealy subscribes.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Swarm Trap complete!

    Yes, I am a trout fisherman and this is just a natural extension of that. I don't expect anything but if I get a swarm I will make sure to tell everyone it is bigger than it really is!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,793

    Default Re: Swarm Trap complete!

    [QUOTE=Keth Comollo;731787According to the research that Seely did a standard 5 frame nuc is on the small side for attracting a swarm. [/QUOTE]

    The bees in my neighborhood did not read Seely's research. About 50 of those illiterate swarms move into my five frame nucs every year. This swarm should have read the book, they wouldn't have tried to fit in this 5 framer.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Swarm Trap complete!

    Great photo! At 22 liters a five frame nuc is on the bottom edge of acceptable. If it works for you then keep at it. I just built to the most accepted size to increase my odds.
    Last edited by Keth Comollo; 12-03-2011 at 06:37 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,333

    Default Re: Swarm Trap complete!

    I have about a dozen of those around the neighborhood. And they have yet to catch anything. Seems like there are not as many swarms out there as there once was.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Swarm Trap complete!

    I believe that. Michael Palmer lives just north of me and I believe he recently said he hasn't caught a swarm in years. It is a crapshoot but a fun diversion.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Gray,Ga. USA
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Swarm Trap complete!

    Quote Originally Posted by EastSideBuzz View Post
    I have about a dozen of those around the neighborhood. And they have yet to catch anything. Seems like there are not as many swarms out there as there once was.
    Try setting your traps near a source of water and flowers. the best location set a trap is go to the rivers in your area go to the southern side ( try levies) setdown near some wildflowers during lunch and look around. set the traps facing south away from the tree lines. they seem to like isolated trees and a high of 6 to 10 feet .

    go luck
    john

    I have found 10 wild hives near a levy and plan to set traps out starting in late feb.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,793

    Default Re: Swarm Trap complete!

    If I make more I will make 8 frame size. I would not make special boxes, but just use 8 frame deeps with a thin bottom and top, and a disc entrance.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,332

    Default Re: Swarm Trap complete!

    I used old "already lived in" 8 frame mediums that lured 12 swarms over the summer.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,713

    Default Re: Swarm Trap complete!

    After reading Seelys book I did have a question about the hive size. He said 40 liters was just enough space for a hive to fill out and get enough honey into to make it through the winter. That makes sense. However, you need more honey to make it through the winter in New York than you do in North Carolina. So, if a hive would need nearly half the space to still make it through the winter, would they still look for 40 liters of space?

    My assumption (and that's all it is) is that the size of a swarm trap would be regional. 40 Liters would be small for a colony to make it through the winter in, if it was located in Alaska. But it may be too big for a colony that lives in Mexico. I'm pushed to believe that the "40 liters" mentality isn't encoded into every race of bee for every location, but I haven't read anything on it. Any thoughts?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,713

    Default Re: Swarm Trap complete!

    Another question that came up is with the "old comb" trick. Seely's research (at least from memory, it's been a while since I read it) used empty bait hives. I've always been told to put a frame of very dark, old comb in a bait hive, as it increases the chances of a swarm moving in. By adding a frame of comb, does it chance the "40 liters" rule? Would it then need to be larger, since some of the 40 liters is being occupied by comb? Or could it be smaller, since a 35 liter home with comb would be more acceptable than a 40 liter home without comb?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,713

    Default Re: Swarm Trap complete!

    Seely's book talks about the size of a swarm hive, as well as it's quality, but not necessarily it's location. I'm sure others have done research on the best heigh, the best distance away from hives, the best direction, amount of sunlight, distance to water, ect., for placing bait hives, but I am not aware of it. Can anyone help me?

    p.s. Sorry for the triple post. My braid doesn't always work so clearly on Sunday morning.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,793

    Default Re: Swarm Trap complete!

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie B View Post
    I used old "already lived in" 8 frame mediums that lured 12 swarms over the summer.
    What was the "furniture" inside? Old combs, new combs, other?
    My eight medium frame wine boxes with broken yellow extracting combs were no where as successful as my five deep frame traps with black brood combs.

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