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  1. #41
    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 all mediums so I don't wire my frames but I think you could put in empty wired frames and the bees wouldn't care. It's not like the wire gives it a less roomy look. Swarms move into electrical boxes and water meter boxes all the time with a lot more obstruction than wired frames so I don't think it would make any difference.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  2. #42
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    5,038

    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?

  3. #43
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    May 2011
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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

  4. #44
    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 ran short of honey supers last summer and made up a bunch with foundationless interspersed with comb. Because I had more foundationless than comb, I had a few boxes with two foundationless next to each other. In most cases, they crossed combed the two together. I didn't mind it in a honey super, just cut them out and increase my wax output. But I suspect it is a bad idea in a bait hive unless everyone's lifestyle is like yours where you have so much leisure time that you can check all your hives daily just by climbing to the rooftop. This is one in which they did not cross comb, even with three in a row. Notice the drawn combs were made fat, and the new foundationless combs were thin.

    Correction: this picture is a box of drawn combs interspersed with foundation. That is why there was no cross combing.

    Last edited by odfrank; 12-11-2011 at 12:12 PM. Reason: Correction, wrong photo.

  5. #45
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    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?

    Why is it that some colonies build really nice straight comb on foundationless then others insist on making a solid block of comb inside the box no matter what you do?
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  6. #46
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
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    5,038

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie B View Post
    Why is it that some colonies build really nice straight comb on foundationless then others insist on making a solid block of comb inside the box no matter what you do?
    There are some strains of bees much better at drawing comb or making attractive cappings than others. Old time comb honey producers selected bees just for that purpose. I have thrown big swarms on foundation that have trashed it like a rock band in a motel room.

  7. #47
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    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?

    Here's what the activity looks like right before they move in. The next day, a basketball size swarm took up residence.

    checking it out.jpg
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,313

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

    Use Sundance's Bt Aizawai powder for wax moth control. It works great.
    Troy

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Bourbon, Missouri
    Posts
    187

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

    I am new to beekeeping and I have a question . I am wanting to go to a smaller cell size of 4.9mm. for various reasons. If I use "bought bees", I know they will be use to the standard 5.4mm cell size. I would have to regress them. My question is can I assume a wild swarm I may trap is use to the 4.9mm cell size. Therefore not needing to be regressed? This would save time and expense. Any replies appreciated!!

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

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

    A swarm will likely be closer than conventional bees, but many times, the swarm will be from a conventional beehives, making them only a little better than a package.

    Catch as many swarms as you can and go from there. Free bees.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  11. #51
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    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?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goat Man View Post
    My question is can I assume a wild swarm I may trap is use to the 4.9mm cell size. Therefore not needing to be regressed?
    It's hard to tell if you have a true "feral" swarm. At first, I thought all the swarms I trapped were feral until I spotted a marked queen in one of them so who knows.

    Even if you actually witnessed the progression of a colony swarming from a tree cavity to cluster on a nearby tree branch, and then eventually chose your swarm trap, how do you know that colony didn't come from a beekeepers hive to the original tree cavity? Like Soloman says, catch as many as possible and give them a good home.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  12. #52
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    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    5,038

    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.

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
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    1,789

    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....
    Stuck in Texas. Learning Permaculture in drought, guess I will teach permaculture in drought. The bees are still alive.

  14. #54
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    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
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    5,038

    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.

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
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    1,789

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

    I have a lot of reading to do. Can"t join Charlie on his visit.
    Too far from Texas, too much to do here.
    Stuck in Texas. Learning Permaculture in drought, guess I will teach permaculture in drought. The bees are still alive.

  16. #56
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Whatcom, Washington, USA
    Posts
    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

  17. #57
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,729

    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

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