Catching swarms
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Thread: Catching swarms

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Tully, NY
    Posts
    2

    Default Catching swarms

    Is is necessary to use comb to catch swarms or can one just use foundation. My guess is the queen will want to start laying quickly so comb would be needed. Then on the other hand...swarms don't always find comb when they swarm in nature.

    I set up a 10 frame box with some frames and lemongrass oil to see if I could catch a swarm. Though not hopeful I hope to learn from this test at least.

    Thanks

    Dave

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    695

    Default Re: Catching swarms

    A frame or two of old comb helps. Used equipment helps. I like foundationless frames for swarms.

    Dr. Tom Seeley catches a bunch of swarms every year over by Ithica, you should be in a good area. Pick up his book Honeybee Democracy to get the low down.

    Good luck. ....Don

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Winthrop, WA
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Catching swarms

    I caught 3 swarms in 3 bait boxes on our property in one day 5/30(they had been sitting out for about a week or so and I noticed scout bees right away)...I used old comb frames as well as foundationless and some new foundation and lemongrass oil. One bait box was a 10 frame hive box(on the ground) and the other two were old cardboard nuc boxes with frames and lemongrass oil(one in a bush 2 feet off the ground and one about 6 feet off the ground next to our shed). I am guessing that one of my own hives swarmed...Each of the swarms I caught is on the smaller side..afterswarms? I just set out another bait hive across the road from us in a bushy wooded setting sitting on some old logs. We'll see if I get anymore takers.
    Quote Originally Posted by cleanslate View Post
    Is is necessary to use comb to catch swarms or can one just use foundation. My guess is the queen will want to start laying quickly so comb would be needed. Then on the other hand...swarms don't always find comb when they swarm in nature.

    I set up a 10 frame box with some frames and lemongrass oil to see if I could catch a swarm. Though not hopeful I hope to learn from this test at least.

    Thanks

    Dave

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: Catching swarms

    Ha! Sounds like me. I got my first bee packages in mid April, put them in 8 frame deeps. A friend gave me a complete 10 frame set-up that I bought a new dipped deep for and set up on the edge of the woods with 5 plastic frames (enhanced with extra wax) and a queen cage with cotton balls and lemongrass oil. I figured that at worst I won't catch anything, at best I'll catch a swarm and gain experience and a new hive of bees and maybe some drawn comb. I just today cleaned it up,(removed an ant nest) reapplied the lemongrass oil and hoped for the best. By the way one of my new hives superseded the queen and is now going gangbusters. The other hive had a good queen and I am thinking that I may get a super of honey from this one if the flow continues until the end of June. Keep us posted as I'm sure there are many 1st year hopefuls like me out there. Good luck!

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Tully, NY
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Catching swarms

    Thanks all. I figure nothing ventured nothing gained. I don't see a lot of bee activity around here this spring. Flowers and nectar sources have been about 1/2 of what we normally see.

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