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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Driggs, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    4

    Default Swarm trap. Using medium frames in deep box?

    I am getting into bee keeping this coming spring. I am planning on buying 2 nucs to get started but also plan on putting about 20 swarm traps out to see if I cant catch a few more. I have read that the best size for swarm traps is between 30 and 40 liters. I was planning on making swarm traps that are long enough for a langstroth hive frames and 5 frames wide. But I was planning on building them deep enough to come close to 35 liters (about 16 inches deep)

    I was wondering if I put 5 foundationless frames (or maybe 3 foundationless with 2 foundationed frames) in the top and leaving the bottom part of the trap empty will the bees start building their comb in the frames at the top of the trap? Or will they also start building comb to the bottom on the frames in the empty space?

    I am thinking they would start by building the comb in the frames and then as they ran out of room they would also then start building onto the bottom of the frames.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,073

    Default Re: Swarm trap. Using medium frames in deep box?

    You are correct, they will build in the frame most times. Once the frames are filled out, you can transferre them into their permanent hive.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Nevada, MO
    Posts
    200

    Default Re: Swarm trap. Using medium frames in deep box?

    I just started this spring. I bought bees for one hive and caught a swarm for another hive. I used medium 10 frames for traps. I made bottom boards with 3" sides to make them bigger. This also let me drill a round hole in the front. I caught one swarm from six traps. I was pretty happy for a first attempt. I was late getting them out.I didnt realize how early the main swarms are.I know a lot of people have a much higher success rate. The bees were in the trap a couple weeks before a switched to a normal bottom board. No problems with comb under the frames. The hive with the swarm is better than the one with purchased bees.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,243

    Default Re: Swarm trap. Using medium frames in deep box?

    "...one can never really tell about bees..."
    Pooh,THE HUNDRED ACRE WOOD
    Really it does depend on the bees.
    Some I've seen almost refuse to follow frames even with comb
    Your odds go way up (or down) with the nearness to perfectly level that you place your trap.
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,243

    Default Re: Swarm trap. Using medium frames in deep box?

    Natural swarms are superior in all ways to a "shook swarm" that one buys as "package bees"
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Nevada, MO
    Posts
    200

    Default Re: Swarm trap. Using medium frames in deep box?

    If I was starting over, I don't think I'd buy any. It'd be really frustrating to end up not catching any swarms though.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,243

    Default Re: Swarm trap. Using medium frames in deep box?

    Everything about bees can be frustrating if you let it
    The best takeaway one gets at the end of the day is patience and a sense of wonder
    It's pretty frustrating to catch a swarm with foulbrood too and have to burn ones hives
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Nevada, MO
    Posts
    200

    Default Re: Swarm trap. Using medium frames in deep box?

    That would be awfull. Is that common?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,243

    Default Re: Swarm trap. Using medium frames in deep box?

    Not so much now but I'm old enough the guy that taught me kept his bees in "gums" ( hollow logs) and when his got the foulbrood they would not only swarm with it but would abscond (flee) to escape it and of course bring it with them. There was no treatment because you don't have removable frames in a gum ( not that he could afford or would condone treatment anyway)
    Rest in peace, J.C
    But one reads about it here on occasion and yes I've burned hives because of it
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,243

    Default Re: Swarm trap. Using medium frames in deep box?

    I'm glad you made me think about that !
    I'm gonna give my grandson his first hive next year and I believe I'll start a gum to show him the old way
    Have already committed to raise him a few stalks of tobacco to see how it was done with a "peg" and a hoe and some open pollinated corn to make a pipe ( just for a snowman, mind you)
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Default Re: Swarm trap. Using medium frames in deep box?

    Bees start at the top and build down. If you are late getting them out, they will have expanded past the bottom of your frames, but they usually are still a fairly simple cut out.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Driggs, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Swarm trap. Using medium frames in deep box?

    I appreciate all of you comments and am glad I was on the right track. I plan on checking the traps at least every 2 weeks and was thinking that would be often enough to prevent a mess inside the swarm traps.

    I guess it would be worth asking how quick a large productive swarm can draw out 5 medium frames? That would give me an idea as to how often I should check the traps.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Default Re: Swarm trap. Using medium frames in deep box?

    >I guess it would be worth asking how quick a large productive swarm can draw out 5 medium frames?

    "You can never tell with bees"--Winnie the Pooh

    I wouldn't lose any sleep over it. If they move in and they fill your frames and there is some comb hanging from the bottom bars, it's a very simple cutout, at worst.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    210

    Default Re: Swarm trap. Using medium frames in deep box?

    I basically constructed my swarm traps like Kenww described. I run all 8 frame medium boxes. I took the 8 frame medium and added a 4 inch tray underneath, which is also where I cut my entrance hole. I was shooting for something around 40 liters in size. I used this calculator to determine how big the tray needed to be:

    http://dmplastics.ca/volume_calculator.htm

    When you hang them, make them as level as possible and they will build perfect comb most of the time. I use one brood comb and 7 foundationless with wood starter strips. I caught 9 swarms this year with this style trap.

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