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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    275

    Default To swarm or not to swarm, is that the question?

    Last week I posted about a swarm (or scouts for a swarm) attempting to enter a large Oak wine barrel on our front porch. After covering the bung hole to the barrel and placing a box nearby with frames in it, the bees vanished.
    Today they came back we think. There were perhaps a few hundred flying at the back of the house. I re-baited the box with Lemongrass Oil scent, and have 5 frames in it. Then there is a Nuc, no frames and no scent in a close location. We also have another deep with frames and foundation, no old comb as we're beginners, and scent in it. I now have the Swarm Lure stuff from Dadant on hand.
    The bees are still flying around the house looking into the boxes, landing, many more are up at the peak of the rooftop. They don't dare go into a crawlspace would they? It's got to be 125 up there. I checked earlier and a few had come in, they flew out when they had the chance and were in the house for awhile.
    So, I've seen pictures of a swarm, and this is not a clump, but a few dozen here, a few dozen there sort of thing and showing interest in our boxes.
    Should I break out the pheromone lure and put it in the box? Should we pack up two of the boxes and only give them one choice? I wonder if the "ball" of bees with queens is nearby in the woods.

    Any suggestions would be helpful. Would love to catch a swarm.
    Our two hives seem to be operating as usual and are a couple hundred feet away.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    275

    Default Re: To swarm or not to swarm, is that the question?

    So, a day later and we still have bees flying around the house. The 10 frame box on the back deck seems to be the most popular location. It is about 22' off the ground. Bees are going inside the box, and checking it out. We are guessing that the bees are scout bees. I told my wife, no queen, no swarm. So they're quite possible somewhere nearby, there's over 15 acres of woods just in our general vicinity.
    We'll give it a few more days I guess. I was on the verge of purchasing a Nuc from a local keeper, but with the "possibility" of a capture, I could save my money. He will only have Nucs for a couple more days so something needs to happen quickly.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,277

    Default Re: To swarm or not to swarm, is that the question?

    sounds like they are interested in your 10 frame box beepappy, good luck!
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Cache, Utah, USA
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: To swarm or not to swarm, is that the question?

    I am also curious about what their behavior is saying. I have had traps out all spring and have had activity at two of them but they just don't want to commit. Should I be placing more lemon grass oil as they are inspecting the trap or should I leave them alone? Can the lemon grass oil be too strong, I mean am I applying too much? will it go bad in a plastic bag (spoil)? I sucks that I get my hopes up to have them leave.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    275

    Default Re: To swarm or not to swarm, is that the question?

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    sounds like they are interested in your 10 frame box beepappy, good luck!
    Thanks! Believe me, if I get a swarm, you'll all know about it!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    275

    Default Re: To swarm or not to swarm, is that the question?

    Quote Originally Posted by Talvez View Post
    I am also curious about what their behavior is saying. I have had traps out all spring and have had activity at two of them but they just don't want to commit. Should I be placing more lemon grass oil as they are inspecting the trap or should I leave them alone? Can the lemon grass oil be too strong, I mean am I applying too much? will it go bad in a plastic bag (spoil)? I sucks that I get my hopes up to have them leave.
    I hear you Talvez. From what I've read, just a few drops is all that is needed. It is very aromatic. I put a dot of it on the bottoms of 3 frames. Later, my wife added a cotton ball to the bottom of the box that had a few more drops on it. I've seen a Q-Tip used to "run a bead" around the inside of a Nuc box about halfway up in a vid I watched. The frame of old comb seems to be a favorite lure too, but I don't have any, so I'm just using frames with foundation on them.
    A lot of it just seems to be left to luck, or being in the right place at just the right time.

    If a little more time passes with no capture I'm adding a little "For Rent" sign up on the front porch of the box.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    518

    Default Re: To swarm or not to swarm, is that the question?

    In the meantime I think you might want to caulk the crack at the roof line. They may not go in now, but they are showing you where they could go....JMHO

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