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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Morgan, Utah, USA
    Posts
    252

    Default What more could I have done?

    This was my third year trying to obtain a swarm. We moved to a new town in January, and I promptly got the word out that I was keeping bees.

    Before swarm season began, I had posters up at all the major businesses, my name on the swarm list, my business card with the local sheriff, fire department, and dispatch center. I wrote an article about beekeeping for the local newspaper, and had an ad in the same paper. I also spread the word each time I did class presentations. I placed five swarm traps along the major country road through town with a great lure recipe from a guy who's caught 30 swarms this season. Two of those traps were hives full of comb, on people's property who wanted bees. I thought with the calm winter, this would be the year I would find success. I drive my stretch of highway 4-12 times every day, and always scan the trees and fences for any sign of swarm activity.

    NOT ONE CALL.

    Honestly, what more could I have done? I'm quite depressed over the situation. I was counting on catching at least two swarms this season, as my "bee budget" did not permit the purchase of more than one package this year. AARRGH!
    If I'm neither sanguine, phlegmatic, choleric, nor melancholy, does that mean I'm out of humour?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Grayson, KY
    Posts
    274

    Default Re: What more could I have done?

    I think it's just luck. I've caught two this year. Everyone tells me this is extremely lucky considering this is my first spring with bees.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Brookville, PA
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: What more could I have done?

    I've gotten most of my calls from the local pest control company. In the Spring, right before swarm season, I wrote them a letter stating that I was a beekeeper and explained the recent plight of the honeybee - which I of course, said they probably knew all about. And while I didn't wnat to compete with them, I also knew that they probably didn't want to exterminate honey bees if they didn't have to. I specified SWARMS.

    I've gotten several swarm calls and multiple cut out offers from the pest control company giving my name out to their potential customer. I've gladly taken the swarms, but haven't exactly worked up to a cut-out yet. I have two to do yet this year that I promised people I would do, so once I do them (for free) and gain knowledge on what I'm doing - I may take them up on doing cutouts - with a charge, of course. Or, I might find out cut-outs are way more work than I want and just stick with capturing swarms.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,362

    Default Re: What more could I have done?

    I caught 17 last year and only 6 this year. Why don't you do splits? It a good way to make up additional colonies for just the cost of a queen or let them raise their own.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Morgan, Utah, USA
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: What more could I have done?

    Charlie, I would have split my hives but I had a horribly slow build up this spring. My strongest hive blew over during a freak winter storm this spring, and I lost 2/3 of my bees in it. It's still trying to recover. I hope to do that next year, but I was hoping even more to increase my numbers with swarms. I hate having empty hives at the end of June, and neighbors asking when bees will move in to my hives on their property. I guess that's what happens when one "assumes" she'll get swarms.
    If I'm neither sanguine, phlegmatic, choleric, nor melancholy, does that mean I'm out of humour?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Battle Ground, Wa
    Posts
    198

    Default Re: What more could I have done?

    Well, you've tried a bunch of stuff that I hadn't. I do have a listing on Craigslist and also put my name out on several different honeybee websites on the internet. Not sure Craigslist has done anything for me, but I do get several swarm calls each year. For some reason this year I don't seem to get the call till they're already in a chimney (2) or in a column or post (2). Only got a couple of calls where they're out in the open & easy. Also, it depends a lot on the year. A couple years ago I collected over 20 swarms & so far this year only 6.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Lander, WY
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: What more could I have done?

    Get your name and number to the County Weed and Pest and the Ag Extension Office, thats who give me the most calls.
    7 swarms this spring, 5 were calls from the Weed and Pest.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Arroyo Grande, California
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: What more could I have done?

    I'd recommend calling Facilities and Maintenance (custodial and grounds) at your local school district. Schools get swarms every season around here. I picked up a swarm yesterday from a tree just a few feet from a playground - my fifth swarm but my first solo venture!

    You've been very dilligent - I've been very lucky. Three simply moved in to boxes that I left out.

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