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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Weatherford,Texas,USA
    Posts
    449

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

    Thanks Sol, do you not like the plastic ones because of a shorter life span?
    "It's better to die upon your feet than to live upon your knees!" Zapata

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,803

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

    I found that if you hang those metal entrance disks with the hole at the bottom, and the bolt is loose, they will swing themselves shut because the hole side is lighter and it revolves to the top. I lost a huge swarm this summer because of one self closing. But, I prefer the entrance at the bottom for better drainage and cleaning.

    Also, I have for years just sprinkled a few drops of LGO on a comb and at the entrance, no baggies no nothing. It soaks into the wood and wax and several of my boxes catch more than one swarm a year without a second baiting.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,033

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaseemtp View Post
    do you not like the plastic ones because of a shorter life span?
    I have not tried the plastic ones, and I don't plan to. Why buy something in plastic when you can get something in metal. The metal is galvanized and will last decades without a doubt. I don't know of anything plastic that is positively known to hold up that long in direct sunlight, including the bed of my pickup.


    Frank you seem to be the master at baiting swarms, but let's be honest, your climate has just a little to do with it.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,803

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

    [QUOTE=Solomon Parker;733405The metal is galvanized and will last decades without a doubt. I don't know of anything plastic that is positively known to hold up that long in direct sunlight, including the bed of my pickup. Frank you seem to be the master at baiting swarms, but let's be honest, your climate has just a little to do with it.[/QUOTE]

    I have had the plastic ones break within two years, but are still functional. You can see a broken blue one in the picture. I switched to metal.

    My swarm trapping success is not due to my skill, knowledge, or technique, but rather my good looks. Also adding to my success is the climate, suburban flora, bee clubs that import hundreds of packages to my area, lots of beginner beekeepers who don't give their colonies enough space, numerous hollow oak trees to house feral bees, and most of all, lots of beekeeper swarm catching guys like Charlie with numerous hives in their yard pitching swarms. Yes, I do nothing more than you guys, just old combs and LGO. I am just in an area with literally thousands of swarms flying around. I think I have over 90% success. I caught 13 at one site, which must be within range of someone who buys his bees, some were clearly a commercial strain. I am trapping in dense suburban neighbor hoods.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,033

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

    Now that I have two yards and options on other spots, I'm going to push to catch more swarms this year. Last year, I caught 2 from three traps, but the ones within reach of my house are so tiny, a few cupfuls of bees, but they're good at winter survival. I know they're not mine, my hives are all kept much larger.

    I use 5 frame nucs, because they are easier to haul up into trees. This last year, I screwed a vertical board to the side with a hole in the top to screw straight into the tree.

    Unfortunately, unlike you, there are few beekeepers around here. Forage is slim most of the year and there are no commercials and few backyarders. I'm convinced these consistently small swarms are coming from small tree hollows around here somewhere.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  6. #26
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,803

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    I use 5 frame nucs, because they are easier to haul up into trees.
    I never place them higher than I can reach standing on the ground. I like top of garden walls, picnic tables, over turned garbage cans, top of wood piles, hoods of abandoned cars. Woodpiles work particularly well:

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,033

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

    That's a good plan and I'd love to do that, but most of the area I have access to is pasture. There's goodly sized trees with the lowest branches six feet or more off the ground. I plop my 8 foot ladder against the tree, climb up with the box and a screw gun and it goes pretty quick.

    About what density to you scatter them about?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  8. #28
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,803

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    About what density to you scatter them about?
    You might try and find 15g. nursery buckets for bait hive stands.
    I put one, two or three at sites spread from San Francisco north to San Jose in the south, probably a 50 mile spread. On some Saturday nights I have picked up as many as six a week. I get a lot at my shop where I keep about 30 hives, some of my own and some fly ins. As Charlie says, apiaries seem to attract fly ins. Having a solar melter cooking helps attract them also.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,756

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie B View Post
    Jason,

    They like the look of plenty of room and foundationless works well to that end.

    Good hunting!
    Charlie and OD, I'm following you. Any idea if mid-february is too early to start in North Texas?
    (I've got the itch...going to trap those robbers...)

    Gypsi
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,033

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

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    On some Saturday nights I have picked up as many as six a week.
    What do you do with all of them?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  11. #31
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,803

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

    [QUOTE=Gypsi;733445] Any idea if mid-february is too early to start in North Texas?

    Ask local beekeepers.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,803

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    What do you do with all of them?
    Replace dead outs, sell, combine for honey production. We have had about 50%+ winter losses here since 2006.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,756

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

    What is this metal disk being discussed up-thread? It is ok to just use a bottom entrance hive or nuc with mainly open frames, and a bottom opening, bit of comb on one frame and some LGO, right? I did trap a small swarm in September with just a nuc baited with wax coated plastic frames, one with comb, and LGO, no fancy anything.
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  14. #34
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,337

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

    Gypsi,

    Use your hive boxes you had this summer, (You need a lure box with that "lived in smell"). They will hit on a bottom entrance if you use an entrance reducer down to about 1 1/2 inches. They want to be able to protect themselves because they're vulnerable when they first get established so a smaller entrance is attractive to them. (Even robber bees want protection)

    Set them out in early spring. You have nothing to lose, your boxes would just be sitting in storage anyway, right? You may get some free bees to make up for your loses over the summer.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    814

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

    Is smaller better? I have 2 nuks I'm going to use for lures--I wondered can I also use a shallow super and put in a frame or two of drawn comb and then foundationless frames? Instead of a deep box? I also have medium supers I could use.

    My first swarm catch last year, I used LG oil, and also on a daily basis I had a popsicle stick I dipped in honey and that got them in checking it out. It took about 4-5 days to get a swarm in.

    I'm placing boxes under a tree where I've seen swarms, including one that bailed on me last year and then came back when I placed it at the tree they'd swarmed to. I think they were driven out by robber bees. It was a small removal I'd done from a water meter for a co-worker. They left and I put out the box, 48 hrs they were back. I'm assuming it was the same colony.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,756

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

    Charlie,

    Should I put the boxes at normal hive height - which I did last year, or maybe put one up on top of my shed or in my big tree. (and if I put it in the big tree I'm guessing that dial an opening is how to keep bees in when getting it down?)

    Gypsi
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  17. #37
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,337

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

    Bevy,

    Just like it was mentioned earlier, it's like fishing. I would place different sizes out and give them choices. I had a medium and a deep out in my yard in SF and they chose the medium. I had both out in Saratoga and they chose the deep. The colony that chose the deep was twice the size of the colony that chose the medium. As stated, odfrank has a great deal of success with nucs. If you know of a tree or other area that a previous swarm has landed, that's your best bet besides placing them in your apiary.

    Gypsi,

    I would place a box where you caught that one over the summer. Like odfrank said, I don't think you have to place them too high in a tree. Don't kill yourself trying to get height. If you bait it properly, that's what matters the most. Remember, you have to get it back down full of bees. Yes, the dial will close the entrance but still allow air in. Make sure the dial is not loose and spins open as your retrieving the box from on high. Not a good combo!!! I just duct tape window screen over the entrance. (I don't have money like odfrank does to buy luxury items like that).

    Happy Hunting!!
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,756

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

    Thank you Charlie! I'm probably sticking to duct tape and screening too. If they like a bit higher I could set one on a board over my trailer's toolbox, and have a manageable height. There were enough robbers to make a few boxes worthwhile. Got to afford that spray for the combs to keep moths off of it, but I've got drawn comb. and the boxes I had made in October that my ex finally got straightened out....

    Gypsi
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    814

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

    Thanks Charlie--I will do all three ideas in spring. I've not yet tried baiting at my apiary so I will do that too. I like the baits in my back yard because then I can watch it happen, and my grandkids love it too.

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Bryan, TX
    Posts
    112

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

    When putting in open frames, are they wired?

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