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Thread: Swarm traps

  1. #1
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    Jun 2012
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    Maryville,tn., usa
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    Default Swarm traps

    What time of the year is a good time to set swarm traps in east Tennessee

  2. #2
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    Nov 2011
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Swarm traps

    Its a little early at this point. I will have mine out by mid-February. Last year I had traps out March 1, and caught one swarm near the end of March.
    Graham
    --- Victor Hugo - "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.”

  3. #3
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    Maryville,tn., usa
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    Default Re: Swarm traps

    My trap are newly built so they have the sent of new wood I have to use new frames and foundation as well should the be set a little early for that new sent to evaporate.

    What do you use for attraction.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Swarm traps

    Around here it's just about dandelion bloom in normal years. Last year was weird, swarms were erratic and HUGE -- a buddy of mine weighed his, and it was almost 9 lbs of bees! Not as many as usual, though, and none after mid April, then a rash of very small swarms in September and into October for some reason, which is NOT normal around here.

    Walt Wright does his checker boarding about 8 weeks before apple blossom in order to head off swarming, so think maybe 4 weeks before apple blossom of swarms to start emerging. Depending on weather, the date could move a week or more in either direction, with the usual pattern being swarms on the first warm, low wind day after cool or wet weather during swarm season.

    Peter

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Swarm traps

    Quote Originally Posted by Hillbillydog View Post
    What do you use for attraction.
    I just used a few drops of lemongrass oil (LGO) directly on the wood inside the trap.

    You may be able to find LGO at local health food store. Or order online, I bought mine at:
    http://www.100pureessentialoils.com/lemongrass-oil.html
    Graham
    --- Victor Hugo - "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.”

  6. #6
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Swarm traps

    if you have them outside now, the 'new scent of the wood will wear off.

    i caught several in new boxes last year. i had good success with mann lake's swarm lure.

    this year, i will have some drawn brood comb to add as a lure.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    4,805

    Default Re: Swarm traps

    Quote Originally Posted by Hillbillydog View Post
    My trap are newly built so they have the sent of new wood I have to use new frames and foundation as well should the be set a little early for that new sent to evaporate.What do you use for attraction.
    Place a few wads of beeswax and propolis on and inside the entrance and melt them down with a heat gun. You now have instantly aged your trap. Add old combs and LGO and you are off to the races.

  8. #8
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    Jun 2012
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    Maryville,tn., usa
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    Default Re: Swarm traps

    Thanks for the info

  9. #9
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    Jun 2010
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    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
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    780

    Default Re: Swarm traps

    I do it pretty much as Rader. -js

  10. #10
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    May 2012
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    Willisburg Kentucky USA
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    Default Re: Swarm traps

    How far away from my bee hives should I hang a trap, in case they swarm while I'm at work. Also, I know where a bee tree is. Do bees normally swarm every year from a bee tree? If so, how far from the bee tree should I place a swarm trap? Thanks in advance.

  11. #11
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Swarm traps

    i had mine from 50-200 yards away. i used single deeps, with a reduced entrance, and swarm lure. once caught, i added a frame of brood. i would guess they probably do swarm each year. check the tree in late february on a warm day. if there are bees there, you'll at least know they were good enough to make it through last season and survive winter.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  12. #12
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    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: Swarm traps

    If you have no drawn comb at all I would leave out the foundation. Maybe even try a shallow tin of honey on the bottom board to encourage visitors. I am surmising you don't have any colonies yet.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Swarm traps

    [QUOTE= try a shallow tin of honey on the bottom board to encourage visitors[/QUOTE]

    Poor suggestion. This will attract ants that definitely discourage swarms. I make sure all my bait combs are freshly extracted and dried by other hives before using them.

  14. #14
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    Jan 2011
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    Clackamas Oregon
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    Default Re: Swarm traps

    I got ¾ of a deep frame that fell out last year. You think I would be putting it a frame or melting it in the entrance? I got two swarms last year in new boxes and was wondering if the ‘new box smell’ put them off. I may build some more this year (depending on how my ADD keeps me in the shop and changing projects) I also got a mouse that tore up my old comb tore it up pretty good and was thinking ½” hardware cloth over the inside of the holes. Maybe a type of a rotating hole cover like OD has shown (I think they were his circles) made from some flashing so I am not trying to cut traps out of trees and staple hardware cloth in the entrance in the dark.
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Swarm traps

    Does a new box smell different than a old live tree? I would put the comb in a frame.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  16. #16
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    May 2012
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    Willisburg Kentucky USA
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    Default Re: Swarm traps

    So, if I use a deep hive as a trap, I shouldn't put racks and new foundation in it? I have never tried to catch a swarm with a swarm trap. I would sure like to add a couple new hives to my yard without paying $100. Plus, the swarms I have caught in a tree work better for me than the package bees. If I don't have any old cone, what should I put in the trap?

  17. #17
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Swarm traps

    leave the trap empty, until they go in, then add one frame of brood and foundation.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  18. #18
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    Evansville, IN
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    Default Re: Swarm traps

    Frames with foundation are better than an empty box in my opinion. Even ratty old comb that's been attacked by wax moths is OK so long as you remove the webbing, the bees are looking for a previously used hive.

    I've found a spare empty brood comb gets them all excited, they will move from a box without one into a box with one if given the opportunity. Again, it doesn't have to be a good one, just one that's had brood in it and is more more less intact.

    They will build comb on that foundation in a heartbeat. They will build comb on empty frames, too, but not necessarily where you want them to -- a buddy of mine had to put a couple frames of foundation in to get them to quit building across the frames last year.

    Peter

  19. #19
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    Jun 2012
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    Maryville,tn., usa
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    Default Re: Swarm traps

    I have 5 colonies that are looking very healthy at this point I was wanting to use all my drawn comb to get my hives going in the spring but if I have it avalable in early spring I may use some for traps.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Willisburg Kentucky USA
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    40

    Default Re: Swarm traps

    I really appreciate you guys for giving me some info on the best way to catch a swarm. I know I prolly lost a couple of swarms last year. I hope I haven't crossed the line and hijacked this thread. I hated to start a new thread about the same thing.

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