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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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    642

    Default Entrance Size and Location for Swarm Trap

    Presently building a deep 8-frame swarm trap. Thinking of using a round hole entrance. What size do you recommend and where should it be located? Does a 1 1/4 inch hole located at side and near top make sense?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
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    1,742

    Default Re: Entrance Size and Location for Swarm Trap

    I don't know about others, and perhaps you have no old, used, deep boxes, but... I have had far better success with old equipment that has old wax, and propolis, than I have with new equipment. I often purchase old equipment at auctions just to use as swarm traps. You can even take two shallow supers, stack them, and put deep frames in them. Doesn't matter if the equipment has holes, broken rabbets, ill fitting tops, etc. I have just found old equipment works best. cchoganjr

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
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    2,335

    Default Re: Entrance Size and Location for Swarm Trap

    Good advice from Cleo. Seems like there are many that are building new swarm traps when a crappy used nuc or hive box(s) will work much better. Just screw down a piece of plywood for a floor and drill a 1 1/2" hole center front. Plywood piece for a top and you have a really good trap.

    Size is debatable. (Just search this forum). I use 8 frame deeps and mediums and found they're attracted to both. Odfrank uses nucs and caught 50 swarms last season.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,379

    Default Re: Entrance Size and Location for Swarm Trap

    I don't think location matters at all, especially if it's up in a tree. A reasonably small entrance seems to work better than an overly large one, but most of all lemongrass essential oil seems to overcome any objections.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Barry, TX USA
    Posts
    861

    Default Re: Entrance Size and Location for Swarm Trap

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleo C. Hogan Jr View Post
    I have had far better success with old equipment that has old wax, and propolis, than I have with new equipment.
    I'll confirm that(already have in previous posts). My anecdotal observation is that used equipment attracts swarms better than new equipment. Doesn't and hasn't stopped me from using new equipment. It still works when you have nothing else. You have to start somewhere.

    I've used 3/4", 1" and 1.25" holes with success.
    Last edited by beyondthesidewalks; 02-08-2012 at 09:30 PM. Reason: added hole size comment
    When you stop learning you're dead.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
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    2,335

    Default Re: Entrance Size and Location for Swarm Trap

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    ...but most of all lemongrass essential oil seems to overcome any objections.
    Very true!
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    642

    Default Re: Entrance Size and Location for Swarm Trap

    Appreciate the replies and info

    I don't have older boxes available, but do have some drawn comb. I did buy some old supers at an auction sale and then decided to burn them because of concern for disease they may have been present.

    Will be trying to avoid swarms, but would like a trap set for any mishaps!

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

    Default Re: Entrance Size and Location for Swarm Trap

    So your goal in swarm trapping is to catch one of your own swarms should one happen? You know the best made plans of the beekeeper are most often thwarted by the bees. If that's the case surround your place with swarm traps so they cannot get away no matter what direction they go. I'm smiling because I've done the same thing. Haven't caught one of my swarms yet but have caught some feral swarms around my place.
    When you stop learning you're dead.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    642

    Default Re: Entrance Size and Location for Swarm Trap

    That's not what I wanted to hear!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! At any rate, I have a nice new swarm trap and swarm bees have an option to make it home or not.

    During a swarm last summer, scout bees did check out a NUC box baited with pheromone, but used a bee vac(I know with all its down sides of the bee vac thread). Bee vac worked quite well other then a rough flange where there was a diameter change in the pipe - damaged a few bees.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Barry, TX USA
    Posts
    861

    Default Re: Entrance Size and Location for Swarm Trap

    Not a big fan of the bee vac. Not a big fan of the cut out either. Looking to do more trap outs than cut outs but even those are a many visit - lot of work thing. Unfortunately, I'm already committed to 2 cut outs this year. One is at the house of a man with MS. I'll be cutting out of the same location for the third time in four years if the bees make it to spring. I'm going to make sure, at my own expense, that there will not be a cavity for them in the future. Triple expanding foam is my friend!!! I'm definitely not cutting on anyones house if I can avoid it. There's nothing wrong with catching feral swarms instead of your own.
    When you stop learning you're dead.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
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    2,335

    Default Re: Entrance Size and Location for Swarm Trap

    Are you guys ready for a little friendly swarm trap competition this year? Not cut outs, not swarm calls, just swarms caught in your own traps. And no it can't be a swarm from one of your own hives but it can be from another beekeepers hive.

    What do you say?, I know Jolie Ollie is in.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,756

    Default Re: Entrance Size and Location for Swarm Trap

    I'm in. Do trapouts count?
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
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    2,335

    Default Re: Entrance Size and Location for Swarm Trap

    Quote Originally Posted by Gypsi View Post
    I'm in. Do trapouts count?
    No. It has to be a swarm, not a colony living in a structure that you're doing a trapout or cutout from. The swarm has to be attracted to and move into your swarm trap on it's own without you having prior knowledge of the location of the swarm. (An example would be if you get contacted about a swarm from being on a bee club call list).
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

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

    Default Re: Entrance Size and Location for Swarm Trap

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie B View Post
    And no it can't be a swarm from one of your own hives but it can be from another beekeepers hive.
    So you come home from work and one of the bait boxes in your apiary is full. How are you going to know if it came from your hive or elsewhere?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
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    4,803

    Default Re: Entrance Size and Location for Swarm Trap

    The swarms from my yard generally hang in trees even though there are many bait hives to choose from, they don't move there directly. I have seen many swarms fly into my yard, all from the same direction, several gigantic ones. See my Youtube videos, search for JollyOllie8.

    Charlie, I think your swarms will fly across the street and settle in a tree in GG Park. You might try erecting a pole with a black sock hanging from it filled with something and a few drops of LGO. Or bring up a potted tree. They usually land on something tall. You need a landing spot on your rooftop. Or, maybe you learned so much from my lecture on swarm control none of yours will swarm.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,742

    Default Re: Entrance Size and Location for Swarm Trap

    odfrank...I haven't heard your lecture on swarm control. Maybe you could write it out. Even with everything I do, I know a few of mine will swarm every year. I sell nucs, and I am robbing brood and honey from the brood stock, but even with reduced bees, reduced brood, reduced honey, there will occasionally be one to swarm. I have a few old grass sacks (dark brown burlap) with LGO dropped on it, hanging from nearby trees, they occasionally will go to that. That is an easy catch. Just lay the sack and bees in a deep hive body.

    I normally get 15-20 swarms each year in swarm boxes, so, I know I cannot compete in the competition, but I wish each of you much success.

    cchoganjr

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
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    2,335

    Default Re: Entrance Size and Location for Swarm Trap

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    So you come home from work and one of the bait boxes in your apiary is full. How are you going to know if it came from your hive or elsewhere?
    If you don't know, then it's all good. I'm just trying to prevent cheating from beeks who are on swarm lists and respond to calls to remove swarms. That shouldn't count. The overall goal is to see who has the most attractive traps to swarms.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    San Francisco, CA
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    Default Re: Entrance Size and Location for Swarm Trap

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    Charlie, I think your swarms will fly across the street and settle in a tree in GG Park. You might try erecting a pole with a black sock hanging from it filled with something and a few drops of LGO. Or bring up a potted tree. They usually land on something tall. You need a landing spot on your rooftop.
    I've only have two of my hives swarm last July and both landed on one of my garden boxes about 10 feet away that I dripped LGO on. I
    don't know if the queens in both cases were to fat to make it across the street or they were lazy or they liked the LGO.

    After listening to your presentation at our bee club on swarm prevention, I'm confident that none of my hives will ever swarm again!
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,803

    Default Re: Entrance Size and Location for Swarm Trap

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleo C. Hogan Jr View Post
    odfrank...I haven't heard your lecture on swarm control. Maybe you could write it out.
    Charlie just want to see me squirm so he had me speak on swarm control at the San Francisco Bee Club. He gave me the hardest topic so that when the listener's hives swarm they would hold me responsible. I don't know a thing about swarm control and lose many a year. Last year three giant ones landed in my Mexican Locust, the thorniest tree available to them. Read Michael Bush's section on swarm control, it will bring you more up to speed than I can.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
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    2,335

    Default Re: Entrance Size and Location for Swarm Trap

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    Read Michael Bush's section on swarm control, it will bring you more up to speed than I can.
    He's being very modest, it was an excellent presentation and very specific for our area.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

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