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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Porto, Portugal
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    122

    Default How long should I keep baiting?

    I've had great success baiting swarms this year. I've been able to attract 3 swarms into my bait hives and another got into an owl box. I scrambled to put up two more bait hives but haven't seen any activity in them for a long time. I was thinking of putting another bait hive in the location where the two best swarms showed up but was wondering how late in the season is baiting still a good use of time?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
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    1,729

    Default Re: How long should I keep baiting?

    Quote Originally Posted by pedrocr View Post
    how late in the season is baiting still a good use of time?
    Until the first snowflakes falls.

    If the bait hive is only used as a bait hive, leave it out until it is too late for swarms. It is not uncommon for colonies to swarm very late in the season. You can either give them honey to get them through the Winter, or, you can join with a weaker hive in order to get it through the Winter. I don't have anything to lose by leaving them out.

    I caught a swarm in a swarm box last year on October 6th. Way late for swarms in Kentucky. I gave it three deep frames of honey and it made it through.

    When Winter is really here, I close off the entrance to the swarm boxes (to prevent mice from overwintering), and leave them in place until next year.

    cchoganjr

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Bells, Texas
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: How long should I keep baiting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleo C. Hogan Jr View Post
    You can either give them honey to get them through the Winter, or, you can join with a weaker hive in order to get it through the Winter
    In regards to feeding, will a 1 to 1 ration of sugar water work? I won't have any honey to provide them. The reason I ask is that I have an opportunity to do some trap outs, but because of vacation, etc.., they will have to wait until July for me to take care of them. If I get them then, they won't have much time to do anything to get ready for winter.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
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    1,729

    Default Re: How long should I keep baiting?

    I think most people use 2:1 for stores build up.

    I have always quit trapping in Ky. about mid-June to 1 July. You are right, they don't have enough time to build up for Winter.

    In Kentucky there is barely enough to sustain a colony during July and August, In fact they often dip into their Winter stores just to get through July-August., so, there is little to no winter stores laid back. Sugar syrup will sustain them during July and August,.. In September the asters, and other Fall blooms will help to rebuild, but as coolor days start in October they tend to quit taking it.

    I typically join colonies that are trapped after 15 June to 1 July. Queens start their shutdown during this period, and there are not large numbers of bees being produced.

    Of course your area may be different, as you may have a later Fall than we have.

    cchoganjr

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,792

    Default Re: How long should I keep baiting?

    The bait season here seems to have run from 3/13 -5/21, but there are still scouts daily in some boxes. I catch an occasional small swarm into September but not baits.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Porto, Portugal
    Posts
    122

    Default Re: How long should I keep baiting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleo C. Hogan Jr View Post
    Until the first snowflakes falls.
    That would be all year here, it doesn't snow...

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleo C. Hogan Jr View Post
    If the bait hive is only used as a bait hive, leave it out until it is too late for swarms. It is not uncommon for colonies to swarm very late in the season. You can either give them honey to get them through the Winter, or, you can join with a weaker hive in order to get it through the Winter. I don't have anything to lose by leaving them out.

    I caught a swarm in a swarm box last year on October 6th. Way late for swarms in Kentucky. I gave it three deep frames of honey and it made it through.

    When Winter is really here, I close off the entrance to the swarm boxes (to prevent mice from overwintering), and leave them in place until next year.
    I'll just leave the three boxes I have left in place anyway and they'll be ready for next season if nothing else. I always leave the entrance reducers on the boxes so that mice can't get in, so there shouldn't be too much of an issue with letting the trap boxes overwinter.

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    The bait season here seems to have run from 3/13 -5/21, but there are still scouts daily in some boxes. I catch an occasional small swarm into September but not baits.
    That sounds similar to here and bay area weather is indeed similar to ours. I guess I shouldn't expect any more swarms this year.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
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    1,729

    Default Re: How long should I keep baiting?

    pedrcr.. The snow comment was a feeble attempt at a little humor.

    Nice to not have snow, (but, lots of people love it). Actually, my part of Kentucky has very little snow in a normal year.

    odfrank... Do you leave yours out, or do you remove each year?

    cchoganjr

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,792

    Default Re: How long should I keep baiting?

    Some that catch a swarm early get set out again. But as I bait them with all comb, I bring the unused five framers in to fill out the catches that go into ten frame boxes. About this time of year I shut them all down to avoid wax worm damage. I tried some with a few frames of foundation this year, but experienced substantial chewing around the wires in several.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,729

    Default Re: How long should I keep baiting?

    odfrank.. I experience some of the same. I always bait with two old, dark, (black) frames of brood comb, and one frame of foundation, with the brood comb against one side, and then the foundation frame, which normally keeps them from dropping comb. And, yes, they do chew some around the wires, but, not normally enough to warrant replacing them.

    Not sure why, but, wax moths or small have beetles, rarely attack the combs in the bait hives. I think it is because they are old, dry, brood combs.

    You answered you shut them down, but, do you remove them, or just close them off and let them stay until next Spring. (Guess I should take a photo of some of the bait hives with all the pieces tacked on them to close them off.) I close them off, and just let them stay there until March of next year, then open them up, 3 drops lemongrass oil, and wait. Check about every 10 days to 2 weeks.

    cchoganjr

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
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    4,792

    Default Re: How long should I keep baiting?

    I bring them back and use the combs to fill out the other catches.

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