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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Chicago, Illinois
    Posts
    66

    Default Swarms around urban areas?

    Hello! I was wondering, are there a lot of swarms near urban areas? I live right by the Chicago suburbs and did some research on the swarm collectors in the area-turns out they're quite a few for Chicago, but none in my area or who operate in my area. After hearing a lot of people having success with feral honey bees I just thought it would be a good idea to go hunting for them next season, but it doesn't seem like I'll have any luck in my area aha. I've heard that honey bees are sometimes common in some areas, but rare or close to none in some other areas. Hopefully that isn't true for mine haha.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Liberty, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    156

    Default Re: Swarms around urban areas?

    The best advise I would have for you is to construct 5 swarm traps and put them up in 5 locations where you can get permission. I go blind trapping all the time. If in your travels you hear reports of a swarm even from a couple of years ago put a trap up in that location.

    In eastern central Indiana feral colonies are getting more and more common. I investigate any reports of swams or bee trees. Even in Richmond bee trees are getting common. I got a report just Tuesday of a tree that blew over during a storm. It had bees in it and the home owner had no idea until part of the tree broke loose exposing the bees.

    Chicago is quite a ways from here, but I bet there are bees living around there somewhere.
    Jason Bruns
    LetMBee.com YouTube

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,078

    Default Re: Swarms around urban areas?

    I take my swarm calls and plot them on a mapping program. You would be surprised how many come from urban areas. Many older trees as well as older homes that bees find very attractive. Swarms are guaranteed if the hives survive the winter. Occupied homes are heated and increases the odds of hive survival.
    Next season, I plan on setting a dozen or so swarm traps on my most active swarm areas.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Liberty, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    156

    Default Re: Swarms around urban areas?

    Mr. Beeman
    Since I started putting up traps I have greatly reduce the frequency of being at one swarm call and receiving another. I put up traps near those locations and more often than not the bees fill the traps. It has given me a lot more ability to schedule swarm pickups.

    Urban areas oftentimes provide suitable habitat and nesting sites. Oftentimes out here in the country it's hard to find many old trees with cavities large enough to house a colony of bees. More and more old structures are demolished every year here cutting down on old barns and other dilapidated structures. I think with a little searching you can find some bees.
    Jason Bruns
    LetMBee.com YouTube

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,972

    Default Re: Swarms around urban areas?

    I have caught 2 swarms in traps, and three in trees this summer - all in the downtown area around me here in Halifax. The two swarms in traps were on my front porch, and I am within walking distance of the city center.

    If there are bees, then there are swarms.

    Adam

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Chicago, Illinois
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: Swarms around urban areas?

    Thanks for the responses! I think next summer I'll set up some traps after looking how to make/buy them! And I meant to put suburban, instead of urban. I'm pretty close to the city though. How early should I set them? And do your recommend any specific trap?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Liberty, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    156

    Default Re: Swarms around urban areas?

    I have trap plans on my web site. I put mine up in April and take them down august 1st. Suburbs will have some too.
    Jason Bruns
    LetMBee.com YouTube

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Burlington, IA, USA
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Swarms around urban areas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick S. View Post
    How early should I set them? And do your recommend any specific trap?
    I found a easy to build 5 frame nuc plan and used that for my swarm trap. I got a chunk of old brood comb for bait. I've had 1 swarm each summer land in my backyard so far. I'm in middle of a small city.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Chicago, Illinois
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: Swarms around urban areas?

    Quote Originally Posted by LetMBee View Post
    I have trap plans on my web site. I put mine up in April and take them down august 1st. Suburbs will have some too.
    Okay thanks! I'll look up the plans and have them done by spring break so I can set them! What do you use as bait if you don't have any comb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Margali View Post
    I found a easy to build 5 frame nuc plan and used that for my swarm trap. I got a chunk of old brood comb for bait. I've had 1 swarm each summer land in my backyard so far. I'm in middle of a small city.
    Do you have the plans for them? And what if you don't have any bait like that?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Burlington, IA, USA
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Swarms around urban areas?

    http://dchoneybees.blogspot.com/2011...ns-part-1.html
    I made his second try design, the medium 6 frame nuc since I am running all medium equipment.

    Beekeeper Linda Tillman has one of the most detailed blogs I've run across. She is good at accrediting her sources and explaining her reasoning for things. That is useful since Georgia is much different from Iowa climate wise. She has a swarm lure recipe on her site. You can also order swarm lure packets.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/1167483...32787800428258

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Liberty, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    156

    Default Re: Swarms around urban areas?

    I bait my 8 frame traps with 1 old black comb, usually from a deadout. It is sandwiched in the middle of 7 foundationless frames. I also place a plastic bag with a paper towel inside. I put about 0.5mL of lemon grass oil on the paper towel, then zip the plastic bag almost all the way shut. I leave about 1 inch of the Baggie open.

    Then check it about once a month or so and drop another 0.5mL of LGO in there.
    Jason Bruns
    LetMBee.com YouTube

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Chicago, Illinois
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: Swarms around urban areas?

    Quote Originally Posted by LetMBee View Post
    I bait my 8 frame traps with 1 old black comb, usually from a deadout. It is sandwiched in the middle of 7 foundationless frames. I also place a plastic bag with a paper towel inside. I put about 0.5mL of lemon grass oil on the paper towel, then zip the plastic bag almost all the way shut. I leave about 1 inch of the Baggie open.

    Then check it about once a month or so and drop another 0.5mL of LGO in there.
    Thanks! And do you think you could do the same thing without comb? Or could you buy a frame with wax foundation and then use the LGO in it too?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Liberty, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    156

    Default Re: Swarms around urban areas?

    If. You don't have any old comb I guess I would try it with foundation. I tend to think that old comb is a good draw for swarms, but try out whatever and let us know if it works. If you could find an established beekeeper and you were pretty sure they had no diseased comb perhaps you could get some old comb from them for baiting. I usually give away some comb to different people each spring.
    Jason Bruns
    LetMBee.com YouTube

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    East Peoria, IL
    Posts
    398

    Default Re: Swarms around urban areas?

    swarms_peoria.jpg

    These are most of the swarms, bee trees, and removals that I'm aware of in the Peoria, IL area over the last two years. Most are from urban areas with a few that were found in rural areas. I'm sure there are swarms in rural areas they just aren't as likely to get noticed.

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