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Thread: feral colony

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Stayner, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    11

    Default feral colony

    We're in the middle of winter here in Ontario, but I'm thinking of bees and my spring projects...

    A friend told me she has a colony of bees in a tree by her house. She likes them there. They pose no threat. I haven't seen them but am now wondering this: If they are IN a tree, they will most likely swarm in the spring from lack of space. Could I set up a box on or near the tree in hopes of catching the swarm and leave her with a populated tree??? We'd both be quite happy... and maybe I'd have a natural source for bees???

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,268

    Default Re: feral colony

    Mark, yes if they survive they will likely swarm and a swarm trap is a fun way to get them, or if they land on a convenient branch just shake them into a box. Do a search on Beesource for "swarm trap" there are lots of good ideas here.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: feral colony

    I would set up several bait hives. If you can put them about 1/4 mile away.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesferal.htm#baithives
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,238

    Default Re: feral colony

    If your going to try to trap one hive when they swarm you will have a better chance with more swarm traps. I would use 3 in different directions. The closest I would set the first one is 50 yard, then 100 and 150 yards. You will most likely catch them in the 100 yard trap. The bees want to spread out a bit when looking for a new home.
    Factors that will increase your chances are used comb in the trap, lemon grass essential oil (LGO), height off the ground, entrance size 1 sq in, box size, south facing entrance and lower entrance. Used comb is by far the best thing to attract a swarm, can even be comb pieces glued into an empty frames.
    I averaged 33% in my swarm traps. I use 5 frame traps baited with LGO. Some had store bought lures, some were high in trees, some were facing south, some in full shad some part shade. The traps that caught the swarms had used comb, some were full brood comb frames and some just comb pieces and some was just white comb.
    It was like Christmas every time I caught a swarm.

    The D Coats 5 frame nuc box is easy to make.
    http://www.beesource.com/build-it-yo...oates-version/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,937

    Default Re: feral colony

    MaarkFrontYardHoney..... If the neighbor will let you, I would recommend trapping, 1-3 colonies from the tree. It will not hurt the parent colony, is a sure thing, where catching swarms or swarm boxes, are hit or miss.

    Unless someone constantly watches them during swarm season, you may or may not get any swarm that they issue. Swarm boxes are good, but no matter how good, swarms don't always go into them. The trap is a sure thing.

    If you haven't used one, contact me and I will send you the details on trapping from a tree. (No Charge) cchoganjr@scrtc.com

    cchoganjr

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Stayner, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: feral colony

    Thanks for all the advice. Trapping is new to me but I'm 2 for 3 in swarm catching. I happened to run into the property owner today and she's ok with the idea. She recalls talking to her neighbour that thinks the colony has been there for about 3 years and swarmed a couple of times. This sounds pretty exciting and it sounds like the bees could be pretty healthy. A great source to add to my apiary.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,744

    Default Re: feral colony

    Think of bait hives as a simple swarm catch. It doesn't get any easier.
    I have 5 all ready to go from last years swarm calls where I was fortunate enough to find the bee trees.
    Set em and wait for the customer to call. See... easy.

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