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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
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    1,383

    Default Swarm trap: What do you load/or not load your trap with?

    If you were to use a trap the same size of a 10 frame deep, would you load the trap up with undrawn frames of foundation? Maybe foundationless frames with starter strips? Maybe a couple of frames with drawn comb (a premium for a new bee keeper like me!!)?

    My whole thing is I dont want to have to transfer wild comb to frames unless I have to, unless im doing a cut out or something. Is it possible to have a swarm take up residency in a swarm trap and then build out frames?

    Question for Charlie and ODFrank since we are in the same area..............when do you start seeing your first swarms in the bay area?

    Take care and thanks for any and all replies!!..................Jason
    Coyote Creek Bees

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    San Francisco, CA
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    Default Re: Swarm trap: What do you load/or not load your trap with?

    I use two frames of drawn comb, one on each side next to the walls to give it an open appearance. I then fill the rest of the box in with foundationless frames with wax coated starter strips keeping with the roomy appearance. That way, they just start filling in the frames after they roost. I also use lemongrass oil as a lure. They love it.

    Swarms here usually start late March early April and run clear through to September.

    Spring will be here before you know it. Happy hunting!!
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,797

    Default Re: Swarm trap: What do you load/or not load your trap with?

    I use one old brood comb and the rest empty foundationless frames (frames with a comb guide).
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Burlington, Iowa
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Swarm trap: What do you load/or not load your trap with?

    I use waxed plastic foundation with some lemongrass oil. I tried some drawn comb in a couple and the wax moths had a hay-day with it before any bees found it. I may put in some foundationless frames along with the plastic foundation this year.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Whatcom, Washington, USA
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    146

    Default Re: Swarm trap: What do you load/or not load your trap with?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I use one old brood comb and the rest empty foundationless frames (frames with a comb guide).
    Michael, where do you prefer to position the one drawn frame in the bait hive?
    Thanks
    -Serge

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,797

    Default Re: Swarm trap: What do you load/or not load your trap with?

    >Michael, where do you prefer to position the one drawn frame in the bait hive?

    It doesn't matter.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,272

    Default Re: Swarm trap: What do you load/or not load your trap with?

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie B View Post
    I use two frames of drawn comb, one on each side next to the walls to give it an open appearance. I then fill the rest of the box in with foundationless frames with wax coated starter strips keeping with the roomy appearance. That way, they just start filling in the frames after they roost. I also use lemongrass oil as a lure. They love it.

    Swarms here usually start late March early April and run clear through to September.

    Spring will be here before you know it. Happy hunting!!
    Charlie, could you tell me how you apply or dispense the lemongrass oil in your swarm trap, I plan on setting out a number of them this spring.....Bill
    Last edited by WWW; 12-08-2011 at 03:21 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    San Francisco, CA
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    2,358

    Default Re: Swarm trap: What do you load/or not load your trap with?

    Quote Originally Posted by WWW View Post
    Charlie, could you teel me how you apply or dispense the lemongrass oil in your swarm trap, I plan on setting out a number of them this spring.....Bill
    Bill,

    I put about 5 or 6 drops of LGO on a piece of paper towel. I then put the paper towel into a zip lock sandwich bag and place it on the floor of the box near the back wall. I leave the zip lock bag half open to where there's just a crack of an opening. This way the LGO doesn't dissipate and it last for a whole season. For ceremonial purposes, I Cristen the entrance by rubbing a few drops all around it with my finger while praying and asking God to help me beat odfrank in swarm captures. (That part is optional but fun ).

    Another thing I do is use a box with a 1 1/2" hole instead of the traditional entrance. I think the hole best mimics a tree for feral colonies.
    I use 8 frame mediums and deeps I got from a commercial buddy of mine that were in pretty bad shape. I repaired them and they work great. Talk about a lived in smell!
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

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

    Default Re: Swarm trap: What do you load/or not load your trap with?

    Solomon,
    Can you tell me the diameter of the hole in the metal ones?

    Thanks!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,071

    Default Re: Swarm trap: What do you load/or not load your trap with?

    Yes, it is about 1 1/2", exactly what Charlie was suggesting. You can see a good picture of two on some plywood nucs here: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-p3SboPh3KF...0/IMG_1169.JPG

    They are handy because after you've caught a swarm, you can rotate the disc around to the screened portion and haul them home. They also include queen excluder (or includer) slots as an option.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,824

    Default Re: Swarm trap: What do you load/or not load your trap with?

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie B View Post
    I use two frames of drawn comb, one on each side next to the walls to give it an open appearance. I then fill the rest of the box in with foundationless frames with wax coated starter strips keeping with the roomy appearance.
    What was your percent of cross combing when using multiple foundationless frames in a row for your bait hives?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
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    Default Re: Swarm trap: What do you load/or not load your trap with?

    I didn't really have much but I only let the swarm stay in the lure boxes for a week or so at the most then transferred them to a new hive. I've had one or two hives that made a complete mess so I had to integrate foundation frames between some of the messy foundationless frames when I re-hived them to a new box. Sometimes that doesn't even work.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
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    Default Re: Swarm trap: What do you load/or not load your trap with?

    I have caught many swarms baited on to small cell combs. This fall I caught one baited on to small cell foundation. It is one of my strongest colonies right now. But this is not an endorsement of small cell, which I have to date not found to have any advantages. the reason I have caught many swarms onto small cell is that as many as them have died on me as large cell. Last year 100% of my ten hive small cell apiary died.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
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    1,764

    Default Re: Swarm trap: What do you load/or not load your trap with?

    OD,

    That's a lotta bees to lose. Is there a lot of spraying or something going on in your part of California? I'm hoping to hear a better survival rate locally as we come out of winter. If I don't, well I may go ahead and bait for bees, but I will not buy more to bring them in. And I will cease spending on eqpt, etc. I've already cut back and built some myself. May go to top bar, no foundation to worry about. If of course there are any bees left come spring....
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,824

    Default Re: Swarm trap: What do you load/or not load your trap with?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gypsi View Post
    Is there a lot of spraying or something going on in your part of California? I'm hoping to hear a better survival rate locally as we come out of winter.
    Little spraying here. From what I see and read, it seems to me to be a virus or Nosema cerenae. And other peoples losses I read about on BeeSource seem similar to what I am experiencing.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,824

    Default Re: Swarm trap: What do you load/or not load your trap with?

    I have had so many deadouts the last few years I have been able to fill mine with almost all old black comb and a few drops of LGO. The 8 frame wineboxes I set out last year with mostly broken yellow extracting combs and LGO had only 33 % success.
    Down by the bay the swarms start beginning of March and the dates get later moving west up the hill to 280 just a few miles. I got a call as early as 2/15 last year.
    I am always cautious setting out boxes with foundation unless it will soon get drawn out, the foundation can warp in an unventilated box. Charlie and Michael's layout sounds like a good plan. I have had no moth problems until later in the summer.
    I am making 8 framers now but have had good luck with 5 framers, which are easier for a old decrepit fart like me to carry.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Polk County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: Swarm trap: What do you load/or not load your trap with?

    Placing foundationless frames is a good idea if its a while in between checks to see if you have caught anything, but make sure that your traps are nice and level (from side to side) or else its going to be one heckuva mess. I place an old drawn frame with LGO and fill the rest with plastic frames that werent drawn out the summer prior. Its kina like fishing, the more lines in the water, the better your success rate.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,071

    Default Re: Swarm trap: What do you load/or not load your trap with?

    I have used 1 or 2 brood frames and the rest foundation in the past, but foundationless instead of foundation now sounds like a better idea. I've only used commercially avialable swarm bait thus far, though I'd like to graduate to Mr. Bush's swarm lure. I'm gonna have to bring myself to kill a few queens.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,383

    Default Re: Swarm trap: What do you load/or not load your trap with?

    Thanks to everyone for their input!! I have plenty of plastic/waxed foundation and also have some chunks of black comb from a couple removals that I could stick in the boxes, and LGO. I may stagger plastic foundation and foundationless frames and see what happens..............a fishing I will go come spring, well, actually i'll set some traps out in February so they are established before the swarms start!!

    Again, thank you to everyone for your ideas!!.................Jason
    Coyote Creek Bees

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,358

    Default Re: Swarm trap: What do you load/or not load your trap with?

    Jason,

    Don't do the plastic foundation stagger thing, I tried it and they don't like it. They like the look of plenty of room and foundationless works well to that end.

    Keep us posted. I plan to beat odfranks record of 50 swarms next year. We'll see how it goes.

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

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