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  1. #1
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    Default Poor man's trap - complete with top bars

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    Yes, I know - it's cardboard. I will be keeping up with the rain forecast diligently.

    The box holds coax and power wire for CCTV camera. It has the two reinforced openings that served as handles/wire opening. Now they serve as bee entrances and top bar holders.

    That spot on the top bar is one of the drops of lemongrass oil.

    Can anyone produce any sort of reason a swarm would be completely repulsed by this fly-by-night/makeshift setup?

    trap-1.jpg


    trap-2.jpg


    trap-3.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Poor man's trap - complete with top bars

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    UPDATE !!

    I don't often see honeybees in my backyard, especially lately. However, since I placed the trap on top of my screened-porch within the past hour, I've seen two honeybees. One was directly checking out the trap and the other was crawling on the outside of my screen. That one had pollen on its legs also.

    Does this mean they are starting to get curious, perhaps?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Poor man's trap - complete with top bars

    That looks like something Charlie would make. Gives frugal a new meaning.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Poor man's trap - complete with top bars

    I've gotten frugal and have made trap hives out of cardboard. They worked just fine to catch a swarm. The problem is if you keep the bees in the box too long before transfering them to the permanent equipment. The bees may begin to chew up the cardboard. If the bars get heavy with comb and new brood, the box might collapse on you. The other problem is rain getting the cardboard wet. (All comments, unfortantely, are based on personal experience.) Keep it as temporary as possible.

    ----------
    Tom

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Poor man's trap - complete with top bars

    Tomas,

    Yes, I appreciate it.

    The REAL hive is right across the yard, so the swarm shouldn't be in the trap anymore than a day-or-so.

    I suppose the only issue would be is if I had to go on-the-road to work for several weeks. It could happen, but not going to worry about it just yet.

    I'm sure this has been addressed in previous threads, but what length-of-time should be expected (if even successful) of a swarm inhabiting the trap once it's placed out? I know that's a tough one to answer because of so many unpredictable factors, but this answer would be based on the experience of those who have caught a few.

    Should I be expecting weeks, months......or completely up-in-the-air?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Poor man's trap - complete with top bars

    .

    Here's an update on my 'poor man's' cardboard bait hive. The last few days they have really started to get active. Today it got very active. I also decided that my original two bait hives probably weren't big enough and that they needed to be sealed better besides just one opening. So, in addition to the original two smaller bait hives ( I kept them around), I placed two of those same types of boxes together and made a DOUBLE WIDE. I have also since gone on a hive removal with a fellow keeper who has much more experience than me. I was able to acquire a lot of old comb that had brood, honey and pollen. I threw several of those in the bait hives also. I know some of you get nervous about any honey being in the bait hives, but as you will all see, the bees took care of an ant invader on the outside of the box where I placed a smear-of-honey.

    Here's the video of today that lasts a bit over two minutes. I also included subtitles to keep it more interesting, I hope. I tried to edit it to where the action keeps changing.

    But my MAIN question is: Are these bees just excited to have some free honey and pollen, or could they also be excited about a possible new home? I know no one ever knows these things for certain, but I just thought some of you may be able to spot some obvious signs:


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Poor man's trap - complete with top bars

    Quote Originally Posted by PatBeek View Post
    Can anyone produce any sort of reason a swarm would be completely repulsed by this fly-by-night/makeshift setup?
    Ummm... maybe you have some "hoity toity" bees in your area who think cardboard's "so last week."
    (Hey, you said any sort of reason...didn't say it had to be good!)

    On a slightly more serious note, the only real problem (besides the obvious risk of a rain-induced meltdown) I see with your traps is: How are you going to remove those bars w/out damaging the comb if you get a swarm that builds-out on one of the bars too quickly?
    Other than that, looks like a really cheap way to set up a swarm trap!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Poor man's trap - complete with top bars

    I just threw together 3 swarm traps in a couple of hours, using scrap plywood I had laying around. I used a basic 5 frame nuc design, and added a couple of old btood frames and a couple other random frames. It cost me nothing, using the wood I probably would have throwen out anyways and some nails I already had. That way when (if) I can get any swarms, I just have to transfer the frames to the new hive.

    I know this is not a new idea, but thought I'd share. Even if you dont have any scraps laying around, you could always scavenge some old pallets and use that wood. I have started doing a little "dumpster diving" the last couple of days to collect pallets for this purpose. The more traps you have the better off you are. with a couple of pallets you would probably have enough wood to build 3 or 4 traps. They dont have to look pretty, just work.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Poor man's trap - complete with top bars

    Quote Originally Posted by Tool View Post
    I know this is not a new idea, but thought I'd share. Even if you dont have any scraps laying around, you could always scavenge some old pallets and use that wood.
    I know, I know.

    The thing is - and you guys are completely right about the rain factor, etc - is that these bait hives were completely free. I don't have any scrap wood laying around right now. I am in between projects with work (my wife is suspicious of any "unneeded" Home Depot visits right now), so I figured - what the heck - let's get these boxes up there now !!!!

    I'll build good ones soon. I'm just fishing with a cheap rod and reel for the time being 'cause I have to.
    Last edited by PatBeek; 04-09-2012 at 06:55 AM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Poor man's trap - complete with top bars

    Quote Originally Posted by robherc View Post
    How are you going to remove those bars w/out damaging the comb if you get a swarm that builds-out on one of the bars too quickly?
    Other than that, looks like a really cheap way to set up a swarm trap!
    Yes, that is a slight issue.

    I will cut away the box/tape from the ends. I will most likely also be able to just pull them out very carefully.

    You know what pisses me off, though, is that I have a PERFECTLY good top bar hive right across the yard of which I never see any scouts or foragers go inside. Of course it's not 10 feet off the ground, either, but it IS filled with all the goodies that the bait hives are filled with also.

    Here's a photo of my top bar hive:

    hive1.jpg

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Poor man's trap - complete with top bars

    .

    Does anyone have any comments about all the activity with these bait hives, as seen on the video I posted above?

    Are they going back home going, "OMG, OMG, OMG - A NEW HOME - OMG !!!"

    Or are they just digging the food and other supplies?

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Poor man's trap - complete with top bars

    They are most like robbing out the sweet stuff. You do realize that swarm traps are often in place for a long time - right?

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Poor man's trap - complete with top bars

    Yelp, looks like they're enjoying the Sweet Shoppe. But, they are getting that location put back in the databanks of their little bee brains and foragers become scouts when swarm time comes around.

    Besides, if you don't have a cavity available a swarm certainly doesn't have anything to move in to does it? Offering a cavity is the first thing to do so you're on your way. As David inferred about...the longevity of the traps might be questionable but they apparently can be replaced easily/cheaply.

    I'm thinking to if you were to turn the boxes upside down and make your own slots for holding the top bars it might work better....the way I understand the bees like darkness, especially at the top of the hive. Use the handholds for entrances (block one totally off with something opaque and reduce the other one to a smaller size (maybe 1/2 that size?). Put a couple of small pieces of wood beneath the boxes to hold them off the roof so they won't stand in water if it rains. Maybe even drape something waterproof over the top.

    Just throwing thoughts out there at you to tickle the ol' gray cells.

    Happy trapping!!!

    Ed

    ETA: ...and what are you using to keep them from blowing away in a strong wind?

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Poor man's trap - complete with top bars

    .

    I appreciate all those tips and comments very much.

    Believe me, I'm soaking it all in and will act accordingly.

    Yes, I realize traps are placed out for a long time. But my G _ _ - they are almost looking like active hives today. It's getting insane.

    Regarding the rain situation, right now in FL, this is our dry season. The rain really kicks-in in June when the temperature and humidity go way up. Right now it's drought time, but that's normal. I plan on placing a temp cover over them for any rogue rainstorm we might get over the next few weeks, though.

    Again, thanks so much for all the help.

    Patrick

  15. #15
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Poor man's trap - complete with top bars

    You could use a large garbage bag (30 gallon etc) as a rain shield. Put the whole box in the bag and use some tape to secure the loose edges.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Poor man's trap - complete with top bars

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    You could use a large garbage bag (30 gallon etc) as a rain shield. Put the whole box in the bag and use some tape to secure the loose edges.
    ...and cut a hole for the entrance, of course
    Wouldn't that kinda turn into a bee oven though?

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Poor man's trap - complete with top bars

    Quote Originally Posted by PatBeek View Post
    I know, I know.

    The thing is - and you guys are completely right about the rain factor, etc - is that these bait hives were completely free. I don't have any scrap wood laying around right now. I am in between projects with work (my wife is suspicious of any "unneeded" Home Depot visits right now), so I figured - what the heck - let's get these boxes up there now !!!!

    I'll build good ones soon. I'm just fishing with a cheap rod and reel for the time being 'cause I have to.
    Hey all the power to you. I am not trying to put you down at all. Just sharing my way of building with free wood. I just made a little trip around the other day and picked up 11 pallets from dumpsters, some better than others of course, but all free wood.

    Theres no wrong way to do it, if it works who really cares what it looks like. I read once that Langstroth would hang dark woolly items from trees, so that a swarm would land where he had placed the item, instead of high up in the tree. To the bee, the dark, swarm shaped stocking cap looks like the place where other bees have landed.

    I read it here http://basicbeekeeping.blogspot.com/...m-capture.html They have a ton of great tips and info in their "lessons" down the right side of the page.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Poor man's trap - complete with top bars

    .

    Today I was able to take advantage of a lull in the bee activity to do some renovating on my bait hives.

    Interestingly, in the mid-afternoon, the bees completely stopped. I took the bait hives down and placed the entrance at the bottom instead of the top (thanks for that tip) and sealed everything at the top.

    I also took the two single hives and made one double-wide out of it. Now I have two double-wides. As soon as I placed one back up in the late afternoon, the festivities started cooking again even more than ever.

    Notice how they keep trying to go back in the top area where the bars are sticking out.....DENIED !!.......But they are adapting to the bottom entrance I made just fine, of course.

    I placed the other double-wide at the opposite end of my patio roof.

    My bait hives are so absurd, but it's so much fun for some reason.

    Hahaha, there's so much packing tape on them now that they are almost waterproof.




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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Poor man's trap - complete with top bars

    Do you have a syrup feeder in there?? that's a LOT of bees for an empty box!
    BTW, I LOVE the landing board, lol

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Poor man's trap - complete with top bars

    Quote Originally Posted by robherc View Post
    Do you have a syrup feeder in there?? that's a LOT of bees for an empty box!
    BTW, I LOVE the landing board, lol
    Yeah, at first I placed the landing/entrance too high. That's why you see the cutout grocery bag piece (secured and sealed with clear packing tape) covering the top of the new entrance - to make it smaller. I don't want to catch owls.

    What a train wreck.

    Anyhow, No syrup feeder. Just a splash of honey I placed in there today because they seemed to pick through the actual honey on the comb. Also the brood comb, pollen comb, old honey comb, beeswax on the top bars and lemongrass oil.

    It IS a lot of bees, right?

    Are they guarding now, perhaps, hmmmmmmmmmmm?

    By the way, here's a fantastic thread I just found today about this very question:

    Conflicting reports: does scouting begin pre-swarm of after the swarm has issued?

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