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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Mt. Vernon, OH
    Posts
    122

    Default swarm catching odds

    for those of you who specifically set swarm traps, what are the typical odds of catching a swarm do you see?

    i know, there are a million variables, but just real quick. 50/50? 1 out of 5? 2% of traps set?

    just a ball park number.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    lafargeville ny usa
    Posts
    728

    Default Re: swarm catching odds

    it totally depends on where you are. in my area there are practicaly no feral bees right now so the odds are close to zero. in some areas down south there are all kinds of wild bees so much better odds. also skill makes a difference. so it is back to all beekeeping is local.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,203

    Default Re: swarm catching odds

    It really is like fishing. In a good spot how many fish will you catch? In a poor spot? Spread the bait hives over a large area. When you catch some, put more there and less in the places you're not catching them.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Lorain County, OH USA
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: swarm catching odds

    Some years some; some years none. I would say on the average about 10-15% in my area.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Shreveport Louisiana
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: swarm catching odds

    I typically get at least one for two traps set.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,898

    Default Re: swarm catching odds

    I used to get over 90%, but not this last year, was down to maybe 75%. I also set less. Very dense population of colonies where I live. Not only feral, but the local bee clubs import hundreds of packages every year. I caught 30 this year and over 50 the previous few years. Our local losses were 56%.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Whitla Ab. Canada
    Posts
    425

    Default Re: swarm catching odds

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ching-question
    This thread has some good info about catching swarms, Rader put a link in his post in it that also has good info.
    A Bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it rains.- Robert Frost

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Glencoe, Okla USA
    Posts
    304

    Default Re: swarm catching odds

    Question for odfrank, how many of the swarms you caught had marked queens?
    I am guessing bees swarm way more than we think.
    What size boxs are you using?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Richland Iowa USA
    Posts
    154

    Default Re: swarm catching odds

    Spending a bit of time HUNTING feral colonies is usually time well spent if you want to catch swarms... Keep an eye on those spots, and place your traps/boxes anywhere from a hundred yards away to a 1/4 mile.. I know where there are a few survivor hives, and usually have good luck catching the swarms from them.. If I dont know an area and just slap up a bunch of boxes I dont have nearly as much luck..
    www.outyard.weebly.com 8 yrs aiding 40+ hives 3 yrs personal. 40+ of my own now (T, TF Goal) Zone 5a

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tyrone, Pennsylvania,USA
    Posts
    353

    Default Re: swarm catching odds

    I got 1 out of 3 last year. Next year I will put out a few more maybe 5 or 6, good luck swarm trapping.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,898

    Default Re: swarm catching odds

    Quote Originally Posted by Myron Denny View Post
    Question for odfrank, how many of the swarms you caught had marked queens?I am guessing bees swarm way more than we think.What size boxs are you using?
    Catching a marked queen is a dream I have not fulfilled. My foremost goal in life is to catch one of Charlie B's marked queens. I am using five frame, eight frame, ten frame, deep frames and Jumbo depth frames. This was my arsenal from 2011:


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    High Springs, FL
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: swarm catching odds

    wow, that's an impressive number of caught swarms.
    I'll be putting out 6-10 traps this year and hope for the best!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,371

    Default Re: swarm catching odds

    Most of those traps surrounded my SF yard for months last spring!
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,603

    Default Re: swarm catching odds

    I've been receiving swarm calls for a few years now and have mapped where these were picked up. I figure the odds are more in my favor if I set traps where some of these calls cluster up.
    In one instance, I have had four calls in a one mile area.
    I'd bee content with a 25% success result.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    971

    Default Re: swarm catching odds

    Quote Originally Posted by wildflowerlanehoney View Post
    for those of you who specifically set swarm traps, what are the typical odds of catching a swarm do you see?
    Last winter saw our region have the worst colony loss ever. As a result, we had the worst swarm season. We had 0% success. Leading into this winter, we had a better, still not good season. Hopefully, we will catch some swarms.

    Shane

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    786

    Default Re: swarm catching odds

    I'd have to ditto Shane/tsmullins. I am in Upper East TN, not far from Shane. I went from a high of 30 colonies last year to 18 by 1 October. By spring, I was down to 2 - a full size colony and a nuc. I had zero success trapping swarms this year, though I did get called out on a few swarm calls that I collected by hand. -james

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,672

    Default Re: swarm catching odds

    I have better luck from getting calls off of local swarm list. I keep two hives set up in my truck from Feb. through the end of April.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    740

    Default Re: swarm catching odds

    Goes to show it is a location game. Last year we had a light winter and swarming was early by a month and heavy. I had two traps of 5 and my own yards swarmed to a point that I filled all my deep gear. I pulled my remaining traps and caught one in the traps at lunch time in the canopy of the truck. I did expand my traps and tried adding a shallow. One of the traps was swallowed by a road widening project and none of my new traps produced. I use my traps for my OW nucs to keep that ‘bee smell’ in them. It might be BS but like fishing a lot is the location of the bait and my confidence to put it there.
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    White House, TN
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: swarm catching odds

    Quote Originally Posted by mathesonequip View Post
    it totally depends on where you are. in my area there are practicaly no feral bees right now so the odds are close to zero. in some areas down south there are all kinds of wild bees so much better odds. also skill makes a difference. so it is back to all beekeeping is local.
    So there are states without feral bees? I see a lot post that say this or that catching swarms are next to impossible.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: swarm catching odds

    In 2013 I had 11 traps out and all but 2 were sucessful. I caught 9 swarms all in different traps/locations. One was building comb off a trap lid when I got there with all the bees hanging on the front of the trap - that was easy to transfrer into a hive body. All others took up residence in the traps.

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