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Thread: swarm trap size

  1. #1
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    Default swarm trap size

    i am finding a little bit of conflicting information on this.

    i am planning to make some swarm traps this winter and was planning on using the 5 frame plans i found on here. it seems like some suggest this may be too small. i do not have an endless supply of old deeps and old comb, (and money), so making traps is my next best bet.

    my question is......is 5 frame sufficient? or too small? what size and number of frames do you all use? i know a lot of sites quote a volume in liters, but i want to know how many frames.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: swarm trap size

    It is not really a matter of what size is "sufficient", in my opinion. Swarms move into boxes of all different sizes, including 5 frame nucs. Just take a look at one of the Ollie (odfrank) swarm trapping threads!

    The 40 liter size often bandied about is approximately 10 gallons, and is approximately the volume of a 10 frame deep.

    You can read Seeley's Swarm Trap study here:
    http://ecommons.cornell.edu/bitstrea...ney%20Bees.pdf

    I make my swarm traps out of equipment built for other purposes. Make it do double duty.
    Graham
    -- The real problem is not precise language, it's clear language. - Richard Feynman

  3. #3
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    Default Re: swarm trap size

    My swarm traps are two 5 frame medium nucs. It is literally a complete nuc hive (including drawn comb) strapped to a tree. Funniest looking thing to see it just.... there.
    Once a swarm moves in, I can leave it there quite a while if need be. Screen it off at dusk, take it to the apiary. Done.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: swarm trap size

    >I make my swarm traps out of equipment built for other purposes. Make it do double duty.

    Exactly. A good swarm trap size matches your brood chamber size. Five frame nucs are also good as they can be used for a second purpose. Trap made from a deep super with luann lid:




    Trap made from a unmodified deep with plywood top and bottom:
    .

  5. #5
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    Default Re: swarm trap size

    A small swarm will fit into a big swarm trap, but a big swarm will not fit into a small swarm trap. So you won't catch it. This one flew away:


  6. #6
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    Default Re: swarm trap size

    The bait has more effect than the size, in my experience, but something between a five frame and ten frame deep is a good size. Old comb, lemongrass oil and queen juice (alcohol from a jar full of alcohol and old queens) is the best combination of bait but lemongrass oil will work ok by itself.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Location
    Richland Iowa USA
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    Default Re: swarm trap size

    Some good advice above..
    I use 8 frame medium boxes built JUST as traps.. about the same volume as a 5 frame deep.. I have quite a few of them, and they work well..
    THAT does not mean I do not miss a large swarm once in a while, BUT, I prefer the ability to handle the box once it HAS bees in it.. Especially if your climbing a ladder to put them up.. I dont do that anymore either...
    I put them up in GOOD locations that I know has feral hives in trees, barns, junk piles etc.. I put them up as high as I can Easily reach standing with both feet planted FIRMLY on the ground...
    Different areas require different methods and different locations.. We have feral bees in abundance, and those bees often live AT, or very near ground level, because thats where the farmers stack all their old junk.. be it furniture, barrels, feeders, old equipment or what have you out in that old washout at the other end of the farm..
    Your bees might be more picky and harder to find.
    www.outyard.weebly.com 8 yrs aiding 40+ hives 3 yrs personal. 40+ of my own now (T, TF Goal) Zone 5a

  8. #8
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    Default Re: swarm trap size

    cool, thanks for the input.

    i am going to post this question as well, but what are your odds you typically see. 50/50? 1 out of 5? put want an idea.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: swarm trap size

    It's like fishing. You can't say what you'll get in a given location because it's all about location. In a bad location you'll get 0 out of 5. In a good location you'll get 2 out of 5. A really good location might get more. Spread them around at first and then concentrate on the locations where you are catching them.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
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    Default Re: swarm trap size

    I used 4 boxes this past spring and caught 2 swarms. The boxes were about the size of a 8 frame deep. I used lemongrass oil as lure.

    IMG_03352.jpg

    IMG_00472.jpg

    IMG_00832.jpg

    IMG_00862.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by wheeler88; 12-06-2013 at 11:06 AM.

  11. #11
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    Whitla Ab. Canada
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    Default Re: swarm trap size

    I built mine like minature topbar hives, I was 2 for 5 this year.
    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/34l58y2kbcg9pil/OlZmxiIvXh
    A Bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it rains.- Robert Frost

  12. #12
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    Default Re: swarm trap size

    Here is a picture of a box from 2012, same tree I caught a swarm in this year.

    Thank you Lauri..............





    Last edited by wheeler88; 12-06-2013 at 03:26 PM.

  13. #13
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    High Springs, FL
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    Default Re: swarm trap size

    I just made up a few swarm traps from 8 frame deeps and mediums. I'm planning on putting medium frames in them all.

    Not sure where to cut entrance holes, if on the side I can't reuse the bodies for other things, but I don't see many who cut holes in the bottom..does that work just as well?

    I'm definitely planning on using lemon grass oil, but don't have high expectations of my first year trying to catch a swarm.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: swarm trap size

    This looks like your best bet. Just temp screw it into the bottom of the super. Easy to remove if needed.
    20130204_124302_zps880a4a48.jpg

  15. #15
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    Default Re: swarm trap size

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Beeman View Post
    This looks like your best bet. Just temp screw it into the bottom of the super. Easy to remove if needed.
    20130204_124302_zps880a4a48.jpg
    When recommending one of my brilliant inventions, please be sure to give me credit. thanks, OD.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: swarm trap size

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    When recommending one of my brilliant inventions, please be sure to give me credit. thanks, OD.
    I see you copied BeeGhost when you cut that entrance so it's not really one of your brilliant inventions.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  17. #17
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    Default Re: swarm trap size

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie B View Post
    I see you copied BeeGhost when you cut that entrance so it's not really one of your brilliant inventions.
    Little in beekeeping is new since 1850. Let me re-phrase it then. "When posting my pictures of my brilliant productions please give me credit." Now, where is BeeGhosts picture?

  18. #18
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    Big Grin Re: swarm trap size

    Here ...


    From this thread:
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ory-lids/page2

    BG posted that on 11/30/13, so prior art hasn't really been established at this point ...
    Graham
    -- The real problem is not precise language, it's clear language. - Richard Feynman

  19. #19
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    Default Re: swarm trap size

    No no no, mine is completely different. It is just a partial cut into the plywood leaving enough for an entrance landing area.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: swarm trap size

    >BG posted that on 11/30/13, so prior art hasn't really been established at this point ...

    My photo was from 2/13 and published on Beesource about that time.

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