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Thread: swarm trapping

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Ringgold, GA. USA
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    15

    Default swarm trapping

    Howdy, I'm New to the forum and have a couple of questions.
    1. What is the cheapest type of trap? I was going to use cardboard nuc boxes but if someone knows of something cheaper I'll try anything.
    2. I don't have very many frames of brood comb but I want to put out several traps so would one frame of comb and 4 frames of foundation with lemongrass oil per trap work?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Blythe,California,USA
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    264

    Default Re: swarm trapping

    One of the best traps I ever "had" was an old refrigerator someone left out in the brush. It matters little on the type , but I'll say make sure the cavity is of good size. I've experimented with nuc traps. I've put a lot out and I have caught swarms in them but I think bees prefer a bigger cavity. Do you have any old boxes lying around. You don't have to fill them all the way up just a few frames. I've always had better luck with wet frames than with dry and I've never had any luck with any oils or lures. At least not in my area. I believe they do sell a swarm trap but you'd have to monitor it often and probably do a cut out in the end. There is a trap shaped like a nuc made out of that paper stuff that you can fit frames in. A little searching around and i'm sure you'll find a place that still sells them. good luck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
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    192

    Default Re: swarm trapping

    From what I've read, foundation would be a waste of time in a swarm trap. The comb is a great lure and helps the swarm get off to a fast start.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
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    Default Re: swarm trapping

    Reese..

    I don't think your going to find anything "cheaper" than cardboard. I would advise using some old deep supers and a frame of comb if you have any. Cardboard for obvious reasons doesn't hold up very well to weathered conditions. Most of my swarms have been caught in a standard deep box as opposed to a 5 frame nuc, but you never know. A swarm lure never hurts either. Don't think cheap, think creative.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Adair Co, Oklahoma
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    120

    Default Re: swarm trapping

    Go to the "Build I Yourself" section of the home page and use the 5 frame nuc plans of D. A. Cotes. The result will be cheap and durable.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Adair Co, Oklahoma
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    120

    Default Re: swarm trapping

    That is D. Coates. Sorry for that Mr. Coates.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Louisville Kentucky USA
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    458

    Default Re: swarm trapping

    I've been reading the book Honey Bee Democracy and the author pretty much tells what size trap bees prefer and the entrance type.When I get home maybe I can refer back and get some dimensions.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Barry, TX USA
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    861

    Default Re: swarm trapping

    Quote Originally Posted by hemichuck View Post
    I've been reading the book Honey Bee Democracy and the author pretty much tells what size trap bees prefer and the entrance type.When I get home maybe I can refer back and get some dimensions.
    The book recommends a size of 40 liters which is about the size of a single deep. You can search the archives with the key words "swarm trap" and find much of this information. It's been hashed over and over.

    I have much success with 5 frame nucs. The manufactured 5 frame pulp swarm traps are no longer available. That's also been hashed over and over again. You don't need black comb. I've never used black comb and had success. Lemongrass oil(LGO) also works great and is readily available at the local health food store.

    Homemade plywood traps, ala Mr. Coates are probably the cheapest yet somewhat durable option. Many folks don't like plywood, saying it doesn't last but I've got some plywood stuff that has been around a while with a good coat of paint.

    Good Luck with it.
    When you stop learning you're dead.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Ringgold, GA. USA
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    15

    Default Re: swarm trapping

    So how would you go about using a deep super? Do you nail a top and bottom on? My mentor uses cardboard nucs with some success. He puts out about 10 a year and catches4 or 5 swarms. How often do you make the rounds to check your traps?
    Last edited by L. M. Reese; 02-03-2012 at 06:16 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
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    1,742

    Default Re: swarm trapping

    I use all deeps. Use a regular solid bottom board, inner cover, top, big rock to keep it intact. Set it on a barrel, on a fence post, or any where else. Lemongrass oil helps. During major swarm season, check at least every week. If you don't, and bees move in they will hang comb on the inner cover. If that happens, place a deep on top, wait until the queen moves up, then set that deep and the queen on a new bottom, set the trap a few yards away, and let them rob out the combs in the trap box.. cchoganjr

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Ringgold, GA. USA
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    15

    Default Re: swarm trapping

    Thanks ya'll for the advice. How many traps should be put in a certain area? I have a bunch of places to try that would make my route about twenty miles. If a landowner has fifty acres is one trap sufficient or do I need to put more.

  12. #12
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    Feb 2010
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    Park City Ky
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    Default Re: swarm trapping

    Set as many as you can. It increases your odds. You can use any old deep super you have that you are not going to use. Don't worry about holes, broken rabbets, ill fitting tops, etc, you are going to move them out of the trap.

    When I find them in a trap, I place drawn comb or foundation in the trap, let the queen start laying, (usually a week or so) then transfer the frames into your new box, let it stay in place for another week or so, then move the new box, and set the trap back in the same place. You will find that the location that catches bees one year, will be your "HOT" spot year after year. Remember those areas that caught bees, and keep several traps in that area. Some places may never catch any bees.

    Place in an area where you think there will be swarms, or where you have caught swarms, either from feral sources or neighbor's bee yards. If you have a fifty acre target area, one trap is not enough, but one is better than none. If you have fifty acres, and there are good number of colonies, (feral or neighbor's) I would put at least 5 to 10. cchoganjr

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Barry, TX USA
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    861

    Default Re: swarm trapping

    Quote Originally Posted by L. M. Reese View Post
    Thanks ya'll for the advice. How many traps should be put in a certain area? I have a bunch of places to try that would make my route about twenty miles. If a landowner has fifty acres is one trap sufficient or do I need to put more.
    It's kind of like fishing. The more lines you have wet the more fish you'll catch. The more traps you have out there, the more swarms you'll catch. Up your odds by putting them in places where swarms have been caught or sighted, where cutouts have been done and where you see feral bees in trees and other abodes.

    I use 5 frame nucs with foundationless frames and LGO in it. I've thought about trying a 10 frame deep and I"d do it by screwing a plywood bottom and top on the hive body with a 1" hole drilled in one end so I could put a Walter T. Kelley metal disc on it. It would also have 10 foundationless frames in it to make moving the bees to a standard hive a breeze.
    When you stop learning you're dead.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    4,803

    Default Re: swarm trapping

    Quote Originally Posted by beyondthesidewalks View Post
    I It would also have 10 foundationless frames in it to make moving the bees to a standard hive a breeze.
    The only one in which I used foundationless frames had total comb collapse when moved to another site. What a mess. With all foundationles frames you also risk crosscombing.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Barry, TX USA
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    861

    Default Re: swarm trapping

    Not if you run frame wire or fishing line in the frames to support the combs. Bees tend to not build comb to the sides and bottoms of frames. Without some sort of reinforcement I would expect to end up with a mess. I've had a little bit of cross comb but not much. Nothing that can't be handled with a little management. My first attempt at foundationless was a failuare much like yours. I don't see how the top bar only frames could be handled at all in 90 degree plus heat.
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 02-05-2012 at 03:46 PM. Reason: UNQ
    When you stop learning you're dead.

  16. #16
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    Feb 2012
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    Ringgold, GA. USA
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    Default Re: swarm trapping

    When you say foundationless frames, do you mean no foundation at all or do you use a starter strip

  17. #17
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    Nov 2007
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    Barry, TX USA
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    Default Re: swarm trapping

    Quote Originally Posted by L. M. Reese View Post
    When you say foundationless frames, do you mean no foundation at all or do you use a starter strip
    I use no foundation at all. Started out with starter strips but despite my best efforts to wedge them in securely, they would get warm in our heat and fall out. Then I started putting popsicle sticks and paint stirring sticks in top bar grooves and coating them with wax. Couldn't get enough of the paint stiirrers and felt bad asking for more so I swtiched to strips I cut on my tablesaw. Then I found I could purchase foundationless top bars that had the guide on them already. That appealed to my lazy side.
    When you stop learning you're dead.

  18. #18
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    Feb 2012
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    Ringgold, GA. USA
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    15

    Default Re: swarm trapping

    Stanisr thanks for suggesting the plywood nucs. I made up a dozen so we'll see how they do.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Adair Co, Oklahoma
    Posts
    120

    Default Re: swarm trapping

    Your welcome, I believe when I finished mine last year, I had about $4.50 per trap, not including frames.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Tuscarawas, ohio, usa
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    44

    Default Re: swarm trapping

    I've built 8 Coats plywood nucs, along with several traps made from old deeps. My backorder of Kelly metal entrance discs just arrived so I'm planning to install them on the traps.

    The traps look fairly tight with just the round entrance opening, does anyone add a screened hole as a vent? With the Kelly discs turned to the vent position there isn't a lot of area for air movement. It seems like this could be a problem when you have captured a swarm and need to haul the trap back to your bee yard. Also, any drain holes in the bottom?
    Seth

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