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  1. #21
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    Nov 2009
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    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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    Default Re: Odfrank's Observations - Bees Inhabiting Potential Nesting Sites

    But he was before he started publishing findings on bees:

    From his site:

    "I started keeping bees as a hobbyist in 1967, and then went on to get university degrees in biological sciences, specializing in entomology".

    That qualification give him additional credibility.

    Adam

  2. #22
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    Oct 2011
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    Santa Monica, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Odfrank's Observations - Bees Inhabiting Potential Nesting Sites

    Quote Originally Posted by shannonswyatt View Post
    Seeley had a controlled environment on an island with no bees on it...
    I see
    Серёжа, Sergey

  3. #23
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    Oct 2011
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    Default Re: Odfrank's Observations - Bees Inhabiting Potential Nesting Sites

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Foster Collins View Post
    ...
    "I started keeping bees as a hobbyist in 1967, and then went on to get university degrees in biological sciences, specializing in entomology"...
    I am not sure about entomology passage. His highest degree is M.S. in Fisheries Biology from Humboldt State... Bachelor in Biology from UC Irvine.

    Apparently, he is Häagen-Dazs® Ice Cream Bee Board Member
    http://www.breakingnews.org/haagendazs/bee_board.html

    Interestingly, I was not able to find Entomology Department in UC Irvine, where he supposed to have "university degrees in biological sciences, specializing in entomology"... May be, they had something in his time ? The closest Entomology Department is UC Riverside and famous UC Davis.
    Серёжа, Sergey

  4. #24
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    Jun 2010
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    Calvert, Md,USA
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    Default Re: Odfrank's Observations - Bees Inhabiting Potential Nesting Sites

    I think Seeley came to the conclusion the bees chose the "best qualified" home amongst the choices. I had a swarm move into an empty double deep hive. That would be on the 80 liter side. 40 more than his findings. Everything else must have been to their liking. One of his swarms was investigating a chimney pipe at a house on that island instead of his bait boxes.
    I have caught swarms in bait boxes that are ten frame deep Langs, and double deep five frame nucs stacked. (five on top of five) I had a swarm scout an eight frame that I would have bet money they were going to move in. Two days later no activity. I had one of my double stacks that was a little off on dimensions. Four over four. Had a swarm cluster on the bottom of the box. This was at a friends house and I had already caught one swarm there. I was thinking this an afterswarm. He called me and by the time I got there, 30 min. later, they were gone. They had to be there a day or so as there was a small piece of comb. Size just might matter. LOL
    Rick

  5. #25
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    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    24,432

    Default Re: Odfrank's Observations - Bees Inhabiting Potential Nesting Sites

    Bees can be finicky. I have had swarms move into a pallet of 60 shallow supers. I have had swarms which were gathered into two deep boxes and then leave for somewhere else. I have shaken swarms down off of a branch of two foot high cedar tree only to go back where I shook them down from, twice. So, bees will do whatever they please. I don't see any of the observations mentioned here as all that unusual or surprising. Interesting though.

    Keep track of where you find swarms lighting. Chances are next years swarms may light there too. I had two swarm calls from the same guy this year w/ two swarms gathered on the same branch at different times, about a week apart. Don't know where the parent hive is.
    Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

  6. #26
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    Feb 2010
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    Park City Ky
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    Default Re: Odfrank's Observations - Bees Inhabiting Potential Nesting Sites

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick 1456 View Post
    I think Seeley came to the conclusion the bees chose the "best qualified" home amongst the choices. r liking.
    If that was Seeley's conclusion, I blew it out of the water today. At Carolyn Monroe's yard, I had 6 swarm boxes withing 50 yards. As I was checking bees today, I noticed that a swarm had moved into one of the boxes, and I must say the worst one. I opened the top to see how many were in the box and if they had dropped comb from the migratory top. They had not dropped comb, and were all working on the two brood combs and the one foundation that I put in all swarm boxes. To my surprise, there was a mouse nest in the vacant part of the swarm box, and the vacant space was two inches deep in leaves, hickory nuts, debris, twigs, etc.

    Seeing this, I decided I should check the other swarm boxes and add a couple drops of LGO. The other boxes were cleaner, better boxes. All were well used, 10 frame Langs, with two brood combs and one foundation comb started agains an outside wall.

    Maybe it was a ley line or good Chee,(chi,qi). Who knows. All I know is, it was not the best box, not even close. Not by my standards that is , but perhaps it was to the bees.

    cchoganjr

  7. #27
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    Jun 2010
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    Default Re: Odfrank's Observations - Bees Inhabiting Potential Nesting Sites

    Not by my standards that is , but perhaps it was to the bees.

    That's the ticket!!! Perhaps they were "grunge" bees LOL I got no problem with putting sticks, leaves, and a couple acorns in the bait box, but I doubt I could get a mouse to stay. What can you do?
    Rick

  8. #28
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    Feb 2010
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    Park City Ky
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    Default Re: Odfrank's Observations - Bees Inhabiting Potential Nesting Sites

    Rick 1456... Just a thought, but, what if we market a used mouse nest, sticks, leaves, and a couple of acorns for people to put in bait boxes. We have emperical proof that it works. Guarantee you we would sell a few bags.

    I just go with the flow. I once thought I would try to figgure out what bees wanted and how they wanted it. WRONG... I will never live that long.

    cchoganjr

  9. #29
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    Jun 2010
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    Calvert, Md,USA
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    Default Re: Odfrank's Observations - Bees Inhabiting Potential Nesting Sites

    100% with ya. It's fun speculating though. Do you think Mossy Oak would allow a copy right infringement? " Mossy Oak Honey Bee Bait Box Additive." Bees like a natural carpet in their new home. LOL If not, there's Cabelas, and Pro Bass. Hey, those Duck Guys might be interested. "Commander Swarm Box Mix." We can add the LGO to that,,,,,,,,,,,,,,sorry LOL I get carried away at times. So, what Island you looking to buy?
    Rick

  10. #30
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    Feb 2010
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    Park City Ky
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    Default Re: Odfrank's Observations - Bees Inhabiting Potential Nesting Sites

    I like Australia.... Big Island.

    While we can both laugh at my ridiculous post about selling a mouse nest and a few acorns, I guarantee, if we put that in a plastic bag, a fancy header, and a testimonial, from a couple of beekeepers, we could sell it.

    I have invented a couple of items, jig for cutting hand hold on bee boxes with Skil Saw, and a method to trap bees from trees and buildings, but, I have never charged anyone for info and design for them. My reward is from helping other beekeepers.

    So, if any of you newbees out there want to know how to attract a swarm to your swarm box, I will tell you what you need. You need to contact odfrank. HA!!!

    cchoganjr

  11. #31
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    Jun 2010
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    Calvert, Md,USA
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    Default Re: Odfrank's Observations - Bees Inhabiting Potential Nesting Sites

    Think we will make that much the first year?
    I do not doubt it. Some of the stuff out there Hope to get a chance to use your trap out technique some day.
    Thanks
    Rick

  12. #32
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    Nov 2009
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    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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    Default Re: Odfrank's Observations - Bees Inhabiting Potential Nesting Sites

    I've been watching swarm traps on my front porch for 5 straight days now. There has been so much activity that they look like swarms have moved in. But it doesn't increase. It appears to be a steady number with say, 20 to 30 or so bees constantly in and around each trap. The basically inhabit the hives, protect them and excitedly run in and around the the entrances. Sometimes a single bee will sort of "buzz-run" through the group of bees around the entrance. It's all pretty high-energy, but hasn't yet produced a swarm.

    At night, they're empty.

    I wonder if they do this when queen cells are being constructed or something. If I get another swarm, it will be interesting to see how many days after they began to so such consistent interest did the swarm actually appear.

    They're very excited and active. Clearly more going on than I understand. They're using a lot of energy that isn't going into collecting nectar and pollen.

    Adam

  13. #33
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    Mar 2013
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    Carthage ,TN, USA
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    20

    Default Re: Odfrank's Observations - Bees Inhabiting Potential Nesting Sites

    I have noticed in my recent bait catches that yes sun does make a difference. Had a bait hive in a tree in the wide open with no sun, but by it being in the open still had a lot of light no takers. Had another in a good spot in a fence row the row ran north to south caught one about a month ago, but now as the year has progressed the box is taking on the evening sun only a couple of hours and I also repositioned the box so the entrance would not be in the sun no takers. I have discovered the best places to put bait hives are in fence rows running east to west with very minimal morning sun and I mean very minimal. Thus far I have caught 3 swarms this month 2 appox. 4-6# and 1 close to 10# or enough to a medium to give them a little more room. So to answer to complete your thought I would say no sun if possible on what I have observed it gets to hot. Good luck.

  14. #34
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    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    Default Re: Odfrank's Observations - Bees Inhabiting Potential Nesting Sites

    I am of the thought that the sun/shade debate must take the climate into consideration. I live in a cool climate and catch lots of baits in full sun. But I am in agreement that morning sun / afternoon shade is better, especially in a hot climate. Because I avoid facing hives into the wind, most of mine face from north to south because our winds come from the west/southwest.

  15. #35
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    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
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    628

    Default Re: Odfrank's Observations - Bees Inhabiting Potential Nesting Sites

    Been driving my truck to work with my bee gear in it. I noticed at lunch that I had bees in the back of the topper so opened it up. After work it was really swarming. Closed the topper when I got out of the driveway. Went shopping and put a bike it the back and it was getting bad. Got home and it was ridiculous. Caught a swarm in a baited trap in my truck at lunch! I think I left half them at Wal-Mart and work. Maybe I am onto something, I did poor trapping this year in the trees (mostly because our swarming was so bad I took all my traps down after running out of deeps).
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  16. #36
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    Feb 2010
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    Park City Ky
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    Default Re: Odfrank's Observations - Bees Inhabiting Potential Nesting Sites

    Maybe everyone should make their swarm bait hives mobile. Put them on trains, 18 wheelers, buses, public transportation vehicles, travel trailors, boats, etc.. If the bees don't come to your swarm bait hives where you put them, then, move them around.

    You might be on to something here.

    cchoganjr

  17. #37
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    Nov 2009
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    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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    Default Re: Odfrank's Observations - Bees Inhabiting Potential Nesting Sites

    An update:

    I've been watching bees on the swarm traps on my front porch (to be clear, I have a single deep swarm trap, and two stacked empty deeps that I put lids and bottoms on and a single empty comb in, as well as a tbh with a couple of empty combs - I figure, if I'm storing them, they might as well act as traps. So in effect, there are three traps of different sizes and shapes).

    I have seen a steady supply of bees at these boxes since June 20 or 21. The bees were easy to identity, as they are noticeably black in color compared to most bees around here. The bees have been very active; so much so that you would think a swarm had moved into each from the number of bees around the traps. And they guarded against other bees trying to come in. We've had a lot of rain recently, and during those times, the bees would vanish.

    After 5 days of rain, sun returned yesterday, and there were more bees than ever. Another colony discovered two dead-outs I have on the property and robbing got heavy there. These bees were very orange and easy to tell from the black ones. Some of these orange bees tried to get into the traps, and there was tons of fighting. The orange bees became extremely numerous, and over the course of the day, I noticed that the focus of the black bees (which had been at all three traps, but mainly at the stack of two deeps with a lid) had moved to focus on the single deep swarm trap a few feet away. It had only one small entrance, (where the other had two bigger ones) and was easier to defend. I counted 31 dead bees on the porch floor at the end of the day, and all boxes were empty at night. I opened them to check.

    Today I woke to find that the black bees finally swarmed and took up residence in the single deep swarm trap. The orange bees are still robbing the dead-outs and checking out the other empty boxes.

    Now, these are of course just observations, but this experience, combined with others in previous years, makes me feel that what Odfrank has observed is true to what I'm seeing. From this I can infer that:

    Bees are aware that they are going to swarm in the future, and begin to locate, prepare (through cleaning at least, which is what I have observed) and will defend potential nest sites to the point of killing other bees - up to two weeks in advance of swarming.

    That time may be even longer, but so far, I have observed two weeks twice. Last year, it went for two weeks with thorough cleaning of the bait comb and then suddenly stopped at the two week point. I assume they swarmed to another location. Therefore I can also assert that:

    Just because bees are inhabiting, cleaning and defending a potential nest site, it doesn't mean they aren't also considering other sites, or preparing and defending others.

    In my case, the bees were inhabiting and defending three, then under great pressure, pulled back to one.

    Lastly:

    The presence of many many bees at your swarm traps is a good sign. Bees killing each other also shows strong interest, but not definitive. You could have scores of bees for weeks without a swarm materializing. Bottom line - it ain't over 'til "the fat lady" moves in.

    These are my observations, and I offer them here for perspective in analyzing your own.

    Adam

  18. #38
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Dawn, MO 64638
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    14

    Default Re: Odfrank's Observations - Bees Inhabiting Potential Nesting Sites

    Thanks, Adam, appreciate you sharing that and your insight.
    Last edited by Barry; 07-05-2013 at 03:05 PM.

  19. #39
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    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    Default Re: Odfrank's Observations - Bees Inhabiting Potential Nesting Sites

    I brought in all my traps today, I need the combs for divides. Two ten frame traps that had been scouted for weeks both had about ten bees living inside.

  20. #40
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    Nov 2009
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    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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    Default Re: Odfrank's Observations - Bees Inhabiting Potential Nesting Sites

    I'm seeing that in one of mine as well. I watched one with about 5 bees that were there for a while, but they were just sitting there. I think those were bees who were scouts for a swarm that went somewhere else, and they lost contact somehow. Maybe the swarm moved while these bees were still investigating this trap, or on their way to this trap. Whatever the case may be, they just camped out in the trap and weren't very active.

    Later, new bees began to get interested in the trap, and these few bees tried to defend it. Eventually they were killed off by investigating bees.

    Adam

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