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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
    Posts
    792

    Default Optimal size for swarm traps?

    I'd like to hear what size traps some of you successful swarm catchers use. I made some 5 frame deep nucs and made, deep 5 frame "supers" to put on top and was planning on using these as swarm traps. I talked to a 2nd generation beekeeper last night at a local beekeepers meeting and he told me he uses a standard 10 frame deep with a medium super for swarm traps. He caught 20 swarms last year so he obviously knows what he's doing, and he told me that my traps were not large enough. He said he had only caught 3 swarms in the past in nuc sized traps.

    I also know that everyone has their own opinion and many times they think they are the only ones who are right.

    So, am I wasting time putting out the nuc sized traps? Should I just use them as nucs to split with and use 10 frame deeps and mediums?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,116

    Default Re: Optimal size for swarm traps?

    Mine are the size of a deep, which is approximately the 40 liters referred to in Seeley's Bait Hive study:
    http://ecommons.cornell.edu/bitstrea...ney%20Bees.pdf
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,887

    Default Re: Optimal size for swarm traps?

    I catch lots in five framers but....I just had one that would not fit in one of four jumbo depth frames. I had to move it into an eight before it flew away. A small swarm will fit in a large trap but a large swarm will not fit in a small trap. I have had several this year filling eight jumbo frames full. This was seven jumbo frames.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,887

    Default Re: Optimal size for swarm traps?

    Before and after of the non fitter. Note cluster hanging overnight in the shadow under entrance.





  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Optimal size for swarm traps?

    These are all last years pics Ollie. What have you trapped lately because I'll bet you a swarm I'm ahead of you so far this season. Oh and just to make sure I'm on topic, the best size box to use is a 10 frame deep but I do ok with 8 frame deeps.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
    Posts
    792

    Default Re: Optimal size for swarm traps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie B View Post
    the best size box to use is a 10 frame deep but I do ok with 8 frame deeps.
    I was hoping you two would chime in. To clarify this for my OCD brain, there is technically no difference in a 5 over 5 and a 10 frame standard deep, but does it matter to the swarms?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Optimal size for swarm traps?

    Brad,

    I think your good either way. If you use old brood comb and Lemon Grass Oil, your chances are good you'll attract a swarm in a similar size space.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,887

    Default Re: Optimal size for swarm traps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie B View Post
    These are all last years pics Ollie. What have you trapped lately because I'll bet you a swarm I'm ahead of you so far this season. Oh and just to make sure I'm on topic, the best size box to use is a 10 frame deep but I do ok with 8 frame deeps.
    They are this weeks pics, duffus. I am at twenty +/- for the year plus one Zombie swarm. And you?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,591

    Default Re: Optimal size for swarm traps?

    Double 5 frame medium nuc is what I run. Had one move in just yesterday. Homowner said it was the size of a volleyball.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Optimal size for swarm traps?

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    They are this weeks pics, duffus. I am at twenty +/- for the year plus one Zombie swarm. And you?
    Ok, ok I'm at 9 so far but I haven't checked my San Mateo or Saratoga traps for a while so I'll report back.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,495

    Default Re: Optimal size for swarm traps?

    I don't know the best size, but I do know one thing for sure, you will get zero swarms caught in swarm traps if the trap that is sitting in your garage, and your odds go up with the number you put out. So I put out everything I have, from 50 liters down to something like 18. This year I'm keeping the small traps close to home so I can check them often, with the thought that if they get a swarm I will be checking them more often and I can quickly move them into a bigger box. That is the idea anyway.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Powell, Wyoming
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Optimal size for swarm traps?

    "These are all last years pics Ollie. What have you trapped lately because I'll bet you a swarm I'm ahead of you so far this season."

    Appears its time to pay up.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Optimal size for swarm traps?

    Good point Shannon's. That's why Ollie catches so many because he has nothing else to do but place 100's of traps out every year.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,495

    Default Re: Optimal size for swarm traps?

    Ah, I forgot about the Sugar Momma.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
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    2,365

    Default Re: Optimal size for swarm traps?

    Quote Originally Posted by shannonswyatt View Post
    Ah, I forgot about the Sugar Momma.
    If you had Ollie's money with nothing to do, you'd catch a ton of swarms too. He wanted to charge our bee club $500 to use his truck to pick up packages this year. I told him he'd feel better about himself if he gave once in a while instead of taking all the time.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,495

    Default Re: Optimal size for swarm traps?

    Lol!!!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morro Bay, California, USA
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: Optimal size for swarm traps?

    In this order:
    1. 6 foot Stack of empty boxes on the driveway, put lids between stories and open one box at a time.
    ---- I have caught more than one swarm a day with this arrangement. The scouts from different bivouacs push each other out of the way climbing over each other to get into the boxes. Word must be out all over town.
    2. Single deeps with half old funky brood frames and half new.
    3. Double 5 frame nucs with only the top box with old medium frames.
    --- The bees move up into the top (framed box), Bottom box is empty to provide the Seeley optimum volume. Tall arrangement seems much liked by the scouts.
    4. any and everything else imaginable. \
    ---- Cardboard boxes used to ship wine, with a hole poked with a stick for an entrance works about as well as any other item. If you search around you can get a size that will hang frames, otherwise you are peeling new comb off the lid. I've put these out when I've seen swarm flights and didn't have a spare box.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,887

    Default Re: Optimal size for swarm traps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie B View Post
    If you had Ollie's money with nothing to do, you'd catch a ton of swarms too. He wanted to charge our bee club $500 to use his truck to pick up packages this year. I told him he'd feel better about himself if he gave once in a while instead of taking all the time.
    Charlie, I charge because I PAY TAXES. I do not hide behind the front of some fake non profit organization. www.habitatforhoneybees.org "All profits go directly back to the bees, as we are a non-profit 501(c)7 and California RTC Charitable CCN #8054228."

    RIGHT!!!!!

    With all the profits you are making with your charitable organization you should be able to afford a truck big enough to pick up your clubs packages, you will know how much it costs to own a large truck, and as you are so generous and charitable you won't need to deal with a tightwad scrooge like me.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,495

    Default Re: Optimal size for swarm traps?

    Ollie, you should start a non-profit. Just be sure not to call it something like "Goldengate Teaparty Bees", or "Bees for Freedom" or Lois, or one of her friends, will hold you up. I recommend "Bees for Barrack" as a sure way to get it approved.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Optimal size for swarm traps?

    Quote Originally Posted by shannonswyatt View Post
    Ollie, you should start a non-profit. Just be sure not to call it something like "Goldengate Teaparty Bees", or "Bees for Freedom" or Lois, or one of her friends, will hold you up. I recommend "Bees for Barrack" as a sure way to get it approved.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

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