Swarm traps and rain
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Sacramento County, CA
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    879

    Default Swarm traps and rain

    Placed swarm traps at the beginning of February, but so much rain, I am not so sure about catching any swarm at the present time and location...

    One swarm trap I left out all winter was filled with 4 inches of water. Took it down, drained it, dried it out, and ready to reset soon.

    I did bait and place two other traps...but like I said, super wet, lots of rain storms, and it doesn't look very good for catching swarms at this point in time...

    Anyone have any suggestions for us?

    Thanks!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Nevada, MO
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    557

    Default Re: Swarm traps and rain

    I'd start with drain holes. Are things blooming there? It seems like you'd get a lot of things blooming with the rain, the bees would build up, and swarms would start. I've caught some swarms, but I'm not an expert.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
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    4,146

    Default Re: Swarm traps and rain

    I don't have suggestions but also leave mine out all year and most were pretty dry but several had mouse nest in and this time of year the mice are having babies. The mice can be hard on the traps and they chew a big hole at the thin part where the frame rest are. I dump them out and bait them and keep my fingers crossed. So far I have only found one with wasp in them.
    Good luck
    gww
    zone 5b

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    7,861

    Default Re: Swarm traps and rain

    Our local bee year is not the same like every year. This year is unusually wet with lots of rains. So the
    swarm season got pushed back to at least in mid-April. When it rains at blooming time like now, it is time
    to start feeding your bees. Chances are to collect some early honey is close to nil. If things will be blooming around
    April then you will have a good chance of catching a swarm and collect some honey too. Right now is too early with the rains and all. Good to build up the bee population for some later foraging if things are blooming your way.
    About the swarm trap, drill some small holes at the bottom channeling the water out of the rear where the wood strip meet
    the bottom board. Put a small piece of dry grass in the holes to unclog the hole for the water to drain outside. Also slightly tilting the hive box forward will allow the rains to drain out too.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Yuba County, California, USA
    Posts
    6,572

    Default Re: Swarm traps and rain

    Swarms will be starting up in another week. We are forecast for dry after this weekend, and temps are going to start warming, up to 70F really soon. Get your traps out and in place the middle of next week.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Cazadero, California
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    364

    Default Re: Swarm traps and rain

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    We are forecast for dry after this weekend, and temps are going to start warming, up to 70F really soon. .
    I hope so.
    My hives are going through stores like I've never seen. Found one nuc that was just about empty.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    7,861

    Default Re: Swarm traps and rain

    Maybe in another week or 2 the night time temp. will be warmer above 40F.
    Somehow the rains still linger around for awhile. At build up time the hive will use up lots
    of stores. Now is also the time to give them a patty sub and sugar bricks to help them along. My
    hives are going through the homemade subs within 2 weeks. Making extra feed to keep up!
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    6,894

    Default Re: Swarm traps and rain

    >Swarms will be starting up in another week.

    I would think the cold and rainy weather we have been having has delayed buildup in all but the finest colonies.I have only seen one or two scouts poking around, and not sure they were swarm scouts, maybe robbers.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
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    3,166

    Default Re: Swarm traps and rain

    I'm ready this year to take on Ollie. I have a new found confidence since I trapped the first swarm in 2016 in the Bay Area and it was his!

    IMG_0300.jpg
    My opinions are based on whatever OD Frank says because he thinks he knows everything!

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    7,861

    Default Re: Swarm traps and rain

    When they have to build they have to no matter how small the colony is. I have been experimenting on my
    2 frame and 4 frame nuc hives. The 3 months old overwintered young queen is thinking that she just got mated and laying
    away in the Spring time. We have entered early Spring already. Flowers are blooming everywhere right now. Not going to be
    stingy on the patty subs for all hives in this build up. Still freezing in the low 40s with frost sometimes. Maybe by mid-March since the
    weather just change to warmer.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    1,358

    Default Re: Swarm traps and rain

    Now you guys know what it is like to swarm trap in Portland Oregon! I think we have got over 10” rain this month.
    I know when I have a swarm capture because of all the tiny umbrellas and rain coats sitting on the entry board!
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  13. #12
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    San Francisco, CA
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    3,166

    Default Re: Swarm traps and rain

    Minz,

    My condolences. I lived in your area for 25 years. I couldn't move because I was trapped by my pension. Once I retired, I came down to sunshine and honeybee heaven!
    My opinions are based on whatever OD Frank says because he thinks he knows everything!

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Cazadero, California
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    364

    Default Re: Swarm traps and rain

    wut, wait- sunshine in SF?

  15. #14
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Sacramento County, CA
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    879

    Default Re: Swarm traps and rain

    Thanks for the nice replies everyone! And hi Ray, Charlie, Frank, and BeePro!

    Well, I did bait each swarm trap nearly two weeks ago, but with all the incredible rain, did not catch a thing. But I got caught...in a darn flash flood off of Clay Station Road early last week after approximately 20 minutes of a near monsoon level of rain here. Early in the morning...still dark...and Dry Creek was well over its banks [nearly 200ft. wide], but not on the road. Drove over Dry Creek bridge, thinking all was well. A few hundred yards later, it looked like only 1 inch of water flowing across the road. It was more like 2-3 feet. Really messed up our new car and almost lost the the car to the flash flood. Learned my lesson the hard way...

    Back to the bees...re-baited yesterday using Swarm Commander in some, then some Ebay hot selling lure in another. Hope to set 10-15 traps by next weekend.

    Anyone have any more suggestions? And is it ok to use foundation with white wax instead of old black wax? I do not have any black wax.

    Oh, suggestions for bees...not suggestions for foolish attempts to drive through flash floods...

    I made a choice to no longer drive Clay Station after months of super saturation, and then immediate heavy rains. Will go a different route from now on during those conditions...sure felt like a lame brain after making that foolish choice...

  16. #15
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    6,894

    Default Re: Swarm traps and rain

    Some more suggestions:
    Entrances on the bottom with trap sloped to entrance so water runs out. I bought 18 X 24 cookie baking sheets from Web Restaurant Store for $6 each. They overhang all my nuc boxes up to ten frame wide and make for a nice telescoping cover for $6. This wet winter taught me some hard earned and expensive lessons for keeping nucs dry.

  17. #16
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    May 2002
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    Default Re: Swarm traps and rain

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie B View Post
    I'm ready this year to take on Ollie. I have a new found confidence since I trapped the first swarm in 2016 in the Bay Area and it was his!
    Charlie, you repeat your fantasies and lies more often and longer than D. Trump.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Sacramento County, CA
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    879

    Default Re: Swarm traps and rain

    Frank,

    Thanks for the good ideas and advice...I especially like how you keep your traps dry.

    Charlie has shared lots of wonderful info about bees and equipment. No need to get so upset just because he keeps finding your swarms!

    Yesterday's Trump speech was the best this nation has seen since WW2. I kind of enjoyed the truth for a change...tuned out the liberal media's lies and deceit and insanity a long, long time ago...

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
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    4,146

    Default Re: Swarm traps and rain

    Sourwithe.....

    Yesterday's Trump speech was the best this nation has seen since WW2. I kind of enjoyed the truth for a change...tuned out the liberal media's lies and deceit and insanity a long, long time ago...
    Watch it or you might start something, it will be a lot better when we see what the actions behind the retoric really pan out to be. It is easy to "say" everything will be great. I relize oddfrank started it. It could end up being a really long thread.
    gww
    zone 5b

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    southwest ohio
    Posts
    111

    Default Re: Swarm traps and rain

    It's still real swampy in DC.

    Here in southern Ohio I saw a field full of freaking dandelions. I think swarms could be a month early this season.

    I agree with Frank on hole location. My new traps will have the hole cut very low on the side so water drains out. I've tried drain holes some but seem to clog and not work too well.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Sacramento County, CA
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    879

    Default Re: Swarm traps and rain

    Quote Originally Posted by gww View Post
    Sourwithe.....


    Watch it or you might start something, it will be a lot better when we see what the actions behind the retoric really pan out to be. It is easy to "say" everything will be great. I relize oddfrank started it. It could end up being a really long thread.
    gww
    gww,

    Ok, I will take your warning to heart. And I remind myself this is a forum for bees, not politics.

    Only thing is, when I told my bees that Trump won the election, they suddenly realized that for the first time in a long, long time, they will be need to be personally responsible, and that even though bee medicine will be lower priced, there will be no more free rides. Then they began to work for a change, got off the sugar syrup welfare, and are producing honey for the first time ever. They also informed me Russian bees might work better during this administration and I might even get a better tax break on my apiary.

    Then I learned that illegal killer bees that migrated from south of the border may be deported to make our nations after. Finally, to top it off, I was told by the bees that hives leaning sharply to the left perform incredibly worse than hives that lean to the right. Dang politics!

    We better focus more on bees...who knows, we just might learn a few lessons from them!
    Last edited by soarwitheagles; 03-02-2017 at 08:37 PM.

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