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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    St.Francis County, MO USA
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    45

    Default Do you have to put traps near existing bee hives or can you wing it?

    I got me a top bar hive, don't want to get into why i can't buy bees..but i can't travel far so made a top-bar hive over the winter for some bees to try out. See if this hobby is something i'm interested in.

    So i want to catch some bees instead (or at least try). I've seen bees on dandelions in march here in Missouri, so i assume that the best time for traps. I have 40 acres..part wooded..part fields next to pond. Is it worth it to try for swarm traps for bees?

    There is a dead tree in middle of one of the fields..with pond a hundred feet from it. Would that be a good starter place?

    I push comes to shove i can order some bees, but i've sank to much money in other "hobbies" i've lost interest in i'd rather not. I prefer the minimalist approach.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    San Jose, Ca
    Posts
    372

    Default Re: Do you have to put traps near existing bee hives or can you wing it?

    Read a bunch about swarms. From what what I read swarms don't usually travel far if they don't have to. If you can find out where the bees that are around you are going back to, and then set the hive 10-20' from the existing hive, you should be able to catch the swarm, if it does. Yes, there is a chance to catch one if you just throw the hive out there, but a bit better if you also buy swarm lure from Dadant or somewhere and add that to it. They are attracted to the lure and should move right in, again, if they are swarming in your area. Option 3 is to call your local bee remover or bee guild and ask if you can have one of their swarms that they caught. Nice to tip them though, but won't be as much as buying a box.

    This is my first year and I'm going to try the second option. I built a smaller swarm box and took some of my frames from my hive and put them in it. From what I've read bees like a smaller space since its easier to protect so you might think about making a smaller hive, aka Nuc box, to move where you can get the bees. Then you can move them back to your real hive when they start building in the Nuc.

    I've heard that you don't want to move them until they have started to lay eggs in the hive though since the queen will stay with the eggs. If you move before and they don't like the new place, they might leave to find a better place. But if there are eggs they they are more likely to stay no matter what. Keep in mind, more likely. They still may not and you'll have to try all over to catch another one.

    I know others will have lots of other ideas though. These are just the ones I've heard of.

    Happy hunting.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    St.Francis County, MO USA
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: Do you have to put traps near existing bee hives or can you wing it?

    I've read about 10 books about bees over the winter, none have showed me how to find the hives bees come from. That would be to easy It won't hurt to try i suppose.

    Now that you mention it though, it would prob be better to try on edge of field since like you said they don't travel far and more likely in the trees in woods.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,046

    Default Re: Do you have to put traps near existing bee hives or can you wing it?

    There are lots of swarm-trapping threads with tips for the searching. Swarms will often eschew a close-by trap to their mother colony, which makes sense; they don't want to compete directly with their parent colony. While they often have a staging ground (I've learned where it is in each apiary, same durn little tree/fence/bush near every year) it's usually just for doing roll call before hitting the road proper and staging scouts who are looking for the actual end-up spot. Using bait such as used comb, pheromone lures, essential oils, etc. will help but I think it's mostly about proper siting and luck.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,596

    Default Re: Do you have to put traps near existing bee hives or can you wing it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Heartspark View Post
    I've read about 10 books about bees over the winter, none have showed me how to find the hives bees come from. That would be to easy It won't hurt to try i suppose.
    You must not have read the right books. They must have been modern ones which didn't include "bee lining" or "honey hunting". A skill we hardly need here in America anymore.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Barry, TX USA
    Posts
    861

    Default Re: Do you have to put traps near existing bee hives or can you wing it?

    Here's a free old book from project Gutenberg by John Ready Lockard. I've read it and it has some interesting information. Really more of a pamphlet.

    http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/34044

    And here's a few modern websites on the topic:

    http://sites.google.com/site/beelining/
    http://www.savethehives.com/fbp/Beelining.html

    If you want to find out if there are bees in a given area just do some open feeding, essentially what beeliners do to attract bees and then follow them. If bees come to your open feeder you have a chance to catch their swarms. I have a few sites that have given me bees repeatedly now. It's kinda like your own secret fishing hole.
    When you stop learning you're dead.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Cookeville, TN
    Posts
    138

    Default Re: Do you have to put traps near existing bee hives or can you wing it?

    I did basically the same thing last year. I didnt catch any swarms in the traps last year. I would recommend signing yourself up with as many swarm removal lists as you can. Not quite as easy as trapping them but imo a more reliable way to get "free" bees.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Santa Rosa County, Florida
    Posts
    407

    Default Re: Do you have to put traps near existing bee hives or can you wing it?

    I like my traps to be in the edge of the treeline and near a permanent water source.We now like our bees to be in full sun because of small hive beetles but the bees don't seem to have read that book.I have never seen a feral colony in an open field in full sun.I also put my traps about a quarter mile from existing hives.Find a sloppy beekeeper if you can and put your traps a few hundred yards from his/her hives.Do not let them see you do it or they will have your bees and trap..

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    St.Francis County, MO USA
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: Do you have to put traps near existing bee hives or can you wing it?

    Thanks guys for the tips. Its suppose to be in the 60s Sunday here. So i'm going to get to work on some traps. Will prob make some feed bags to.

    Would it hurt if i put feedbags IN the trap?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Do you have to put traps near existing bee hives or can you wing it?

    The first thing I would do is put some drops of lemongrass oil in that hive you built and watch your first swarm move in all by themselves.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    St.Francis County, MO USA
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: Do you have to put traps near existing bee hives or can you wing it?

    You know i did not even dawn on me, i was so concentrated with catching them with something else. lol

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    San Jose, Ca
    Posts
    372

    Default Re: Do you have to put traps near existing bee hives or can you wing it?

    If you have any bees wax, you should put some inside to also attract them. You should put it on the top bars right in the center so they know where to start building comb. If not you might want to try honey. Like other have said 1:1 sugar in a mason jar with 1/8" holes upside down for their feed will attract all kinds of things to the area also.

    Have you been seeing bees working in your area now? I'm in really warm and have a rosemary and there are 15-20 on it at all times. That will let you know how many bees are in the area and if they are traveling to your area right now. The water is a really good idea though since they do have to go there. Happy hunting.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    St.Francis County, MO USA
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: Do you have to put traps near existing bee hives or can you wing it?

    The problem is that the 40acres i plan on putting hive on does not have any real flowers to see bees a lot. A few by the house, but not at edge of field. But the house down the road has tons of flowers and i've seen bees on them. I will do a walk around the land this weekend to see if i can spot a hive someplace. If i find one that will be fantastic.

    Won't hurt to try. If nothing bites this year i will go to plan B and just try to fine someone local who has some. Its suppose to be in the 50-60s ALL week here in Missouri, with scattered T-storms. So bees should start buzzing around.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tulsa OK. USA
    Posts
    846

    Default Re: Do you have to put traps near existing bee hives or can you wing it?

    Something to think about when looking at the flowers/gardens down the street, alot of nursery stock is hybred and as I understand it they don't need pollination so they may not produce pollon/necture. course I could be misunderstanding the hole thing. Jim
    Stop and smell the flowers, 50,000 ladies can't be wrong
    Bsweetapiary@aol.com

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

    Default Re: Do you have to put traps near existing bee hives or can you wing it?

    Based on my experience and what I've heard from others LGO is really the silver bullet. Your box may not be the right size. You may not have the right size entrance. You might not put it at the optimal height but if there's LGO in your trap, if there are swarms to catch, you'll catch them IMO. Besides, the bees haven't read all the research and seem to do what they want. Go for it and good luck catching some swarms.
    When you stop learning you're dead.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    St.Francis County, MO USA
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: Do you have to put traps near existing bee hives or can you wing it?

    Quote Originally Posted by beyondthesidewalks View Post
    Based on my experience and what I've heard from others LGO is really the silver bullet. Your box may not be the right size. You may not have the right size entrance. You might not put it at the optimal height but if there's LGO in your trap, if there are swarms to catch, you'll catch them IMO. Besides, the bees haven't read all the research and seem to do what they want. Go for it and good luck catching some swarms.
    Does LGO attract the wrong kind of insects? Would hate to get hornets or something instead.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Barry, TX USA
    Posts
    861

    Default Re: Do you have to put traps near existing bee hives or can you wing it?

    Not in my experience.
    When you stop learning you're dead.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    florence sc usa
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Do you have to put traps near existing bee hives or can you wing it?

    sounds like a plan, my lemongrass oil is in the mail and i've already set the trap out in my yard because bees are on the dandelions here now.

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