Swarm Trap Design , Placement , Baiting , everything discussed
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  1. #1
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    Default Swarm Trap Design , Placement , Baiting , everything discussed

    I was getting questions and PM's on another group about Swarm Trapping so I made a video. I'm not a pro youtuber, i'm not a monetized channel, i'm just a guy in a shop, so be nice.
    I made this in one take, no editing so it's a little long...but i've covered all the basic points about building, baiting, setting them, scouts vs swarm , tools... and also I cite sources for further info .
    There are obviously many ways to do it. What I cover has been very succesful for me.

    If it helps give a "Like" on Youtube. Thanks, Enjoy, and excuse my bad camera skills haha

    https://youtu.be/nrMWKADe-lg

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Swarm Trap Design , Placement , Baiting , everything discussed

    Thank you for the video. A couple of questions...
    1. How important is the dead space at the bottom?
    2. Have you used old comb? Is new foundation better?
    3. How often does the lemongrass oil need reapplied?
    4. Why have the entrance on the side instead of the front?

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Swarm Trap Design , Placement , Baiting , everything discussed

    Quote Originally Posted by Jadeguppy View Post
    Thank you for the video. A couple of questions...
    1. How important is the dead space at the bottom?
    2. Have you used old comb? Is new foundation better?
    3. How often does the lemongrass oil need reapplied?
    4. Why have the entrance on the side instead of the front?
    The dead space seems to be attractive to the scouts. I've heard others that have trapping success mention also it.
    It makes sense as it gives an appearance of room to expand.
    I've had very good success with this kind of trap so I conclude that it is important.

    Tom Seeley tested side by side traps from 10L to 100L and found that a trap with a 40 Liter volume to be the most successful.
    The traps I make are 34L , they are a compromise that I feel is easy to carry around, hang, and take swarms out of.
    Take your design, multiply it's LxHxW and you get cubic inches , convert that on google to Liters and see where you're at.
    I think a standard 5 frame, D Coates Nuc is about 20L . Much larger than the 34L design i'm using starts to get heavy and awkward.

    I don't use frames of old comb since by just rubbing burr comb and brood comb over everything inside serves the same purpose, without the worry of attracting wax moths.
    When a swarm arrives, they are in already high gear to draw comb and they draw the foundationless frames fast so I figure take advantage of that. Other people do use old comb with success though.
    One thing I can say is that every swarm i've caught, they are always on the foundationless frames first, the wood frames with plastic foundation 2nd ...and full plastic frame last (actually never) so I dont use them. It was just there for the vid .

    I check the traps maybe once a week and I refresh the LGO around the entrance just like i demonstrated in the video.

    The entrance to my traps is on the front. What you see on the side is a vent. I like side vents vs bottom ones so there's no worry of putting the trap down and puncturing a bottom vent screen.
    Could have the entrance on the side ? idk...probably doesn't matter but read the article I mentioned, he speaks about the entrance. The overlapping 1 inch holes seems to matter. Seeley talks about the entrance hole.

    Obviously there are no rules...but there are commonly accepted practices that work for people, a few people of which I mention in the video.

    Read and watch everyones stuff. Look for common themes and use them or a combination of them. You also figure out so improvements along the way.

    Any other questions, just ask, no prob . But read the article and watch at least the 2 vids i mention. Good luck Sir !
    Last edited by SubwayRocket; 01-14-2018 at 05:20 PM.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Swarm Trap Design , Placement , Baiting , everything discussed

    Quote Originally Posted by Jadeguppy View Post
    Thank you for the video. A couple of questions...
    1. How important is the dead space at the bottom?
    2. Have you used old comb? Is new foundation better?
    3. How often does the lemongrass oil need reapplied?
    4. Why have the entrance on the side instead of the front?
    In my experience, you rarely need to refresh the lemongrass oil. Zero to once a season. They can sense minute amounts and too much becomes a repellent.
    Ask two beekeepers, get three answers

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Swarm Trap Design , Placement , Baiting , everything discussed

    Quote Originally Posted by Branman View Post
    In my experience, you rarely need to refresh the lemongrass oil. Zero to once a season. They can sense minute amounts and too much becomes a repellent.
    Exactly. Can't stress this enough, I mention this at several points in the video. If I refresh, it's lightly, and only around the outside of the entrance hole as shown in the video.
    Catching multiple swarms at each location doing this.
    Too much Inside the trap becomes a repellant.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Swarm Trap Design , Placement , Baiting , everything discussed

    Did Seely test traps from 10-100l or just 10, 40 & 100l. From the reading Ive done I thought it was the latter and they showed a preference for the 40l over 10 or 100l.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Swarm Trap Design , Placement , Baiting , everything discussed

    Quote Originally Posted by 220 View Post
    Did Seely test traps from 10-100l or just 10, 40 & 100l. From the reading Ive done I thought it was the latter and they showed a preference for the 40l over 10 or 100l.
    His paper is readily available via google search.

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    https://ecommons.cornell.edu/bitstre...pdf;sequence=2
    Last edited by SubwayRocket; 01-15-2018 at 09:02 AM.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Swarm Trap Design , Placement , Baiting , everything discussed

    Quote Originally Posted by Branman View Post
    In my experience, you rarely need to refresh the lemongrass oil. Zero to once a season. They can sense minute amounts and too much becomes a repellent.
    That is great news. I want to set a trap at my parents house near the National Seashore and replenishing every week is a p.i.t.a.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Swarm Trap Design , Placement , Baiting , everything discussed

    You have many good suggestions in your video. My techniques differ in a few respects.

    I like the trap plans at horizontalhive.com . If is very similar to yours but will hold 7 frames and is constructed of 1/4" plywood sides. I have always put the entrance on what you call the ends and my entrance is 1/2" x 4". I do like your door closure and use a wood block similar to your method.

    I also like to load the trap with one frame of dark comb in the middle surrounded by foundationless frames. I think the more open area in the trap the better. I have had to fix the comb sometimes when doing it this was but not to a great extent.

    I did not get through the entire video so you might have mentioned this later...Make sure to put nails to secure the frames from moving side to side in the trap. This will keep the comb lined up with the frames most of the time.

    Thanks for taking time to make the video.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Swarm Trap Design , Placement , Baiting , everything discussed

    Quote Originally Posted by SubwayRocket View Post
    His paper is readily available via google search.
    https://ecommons.cornell.edu/bitstre...pdf;sequence=2
    Good read. Ty

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Swarm Trap Design , Placement , Baiting , everything discussed

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Gough View Post
    similar to yours but will hold 7 frames and is constructed of 1/4" plywood sides.

    I also like to load the trap with one frame of dark comb in the middle surrounded by foundationless frames. I think the more open area in the trap the better. I have had to fix the comb sometimes when doing it this was but not to a great extent.

    I did not get through the entire video so you might have mentioned this later...Make sure to put nails to secure the frames from moving side to side in the trap. This will keep the comb lined up with the frames most of the time.

    Thanks for taking time to make the video.
    I fill the 5 frame box with 5 frames. I tried 3 and they drew comb off the lid as I mention in the video. That led me to use 5 frames, 3 foundation frames in position 1,3,5 ...and 2 foundationless with wood starter strip in position 2 and 4 . This gives the appearance of empty space and wood that they like.

    JadeGuppy , the LGO in the baggie acts as a slow release so u dont need to refresh all the time.

    Thanks for watching. Good luck all !

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Swarm Trap Design , Placement , Baiting , everything discussed

    Quote Originally Posted by SubwayRocket View Post
    His paper is readily available via google search.

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    https://ecommons.cornell.edu/bitstre...pdf;sequence=2
    Yes and I have read it numerous times, it doesn't answer the question I had about trap sizes.
    It shows that a swarm has a preference for a 40l trap over 100 or 10l size, that given the choice they will take 100l over 10 and that 10 is almost certainly to small to be successful.
    What I was looking for was further research around the ideal trap size. Is a 30l or 50l trap just as effective or even more successful. Probably doesn't make a lot of difference but if you can make a few more traps from the same amount of materials then you should have greater success.

    I don't have a lot of swarms here and the only one I have caught this year was is a 5 frame nuc box. I did have a couple of trap boxes set within 200y that I had built based on the recommendations in Seely's paper with regards to size entrance size etc yet they chose the smaller option.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Swarm Trap Design , Placement , Baiting , everything discussed

    Scott, I use the horizontal hive plans also but I can only get 6 frames in mine. Like you, 1 drawn comb, the rest foundationless with a starter strip.

    220. Read the info at horizontalhive.com Dr. Leo whatshisname talks about trap sizes as well. The 40-50 litre volume seems to be the prefered size. The plans available maximize the use of the plywood. I think the 2 sheets give you 7 complete traps and parts for more. YMMV.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Swarm Trap Design , Placement , Baiting , everything discussed

    Quote Originally Posted by 220 View Post
    Yes and I have read it numerous times, it doesn't answer the question I had about trap sizes.
    It shows that a swarm has a preference for a 40l trap over 100 or 10l size, that given the choice they will take 100l over 10 and that 10 is almost certainly to small to be successful.
    What I was looking for was further research around the ideal trap size. Is a 30l or 50l trap just as effective or even more successful.
    You either need to look for more studies then, perform your own, or just use what other people have had success with and call it a day. Seeley doesn't say any certain sizes are impossible. His paper is a guide from which you can make an informed decision. People catch swarms with a plain old Nuc or cardboard box. His research showed that 40L was chosen most frequently. I didn't want to lift and lug around a 40 or more Liter box so I settled on the design you see in the video. It comes to approx 34 L , LxHxW then convert Cu inches to Liters . I know of several people including myself that do well with approx this size box. Try to be close to 40 L but don't get hung up in the minutiae. If you find a D Coates plan, u just increase the depth incrementally to get 35 , 40 , 50L . But it's going to get heavier and heavier and more awkward to hang. ------And the guy from Horizontalhive.com , (Dr. Leo Sharashkin) i forgot about him. I've watched his videos and he also shares alot of good info in his video's .
    Last edited by SubwayRocket; 01-15-2018 at 05:32 PM.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Swarm Trap Design , Placement , Baiting , everything discussed

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Scott, I use the horizontal hive plans also but I can only get 6 frames in mine. Like you, 1 drawn comb, the rest foundationless with a starter strip.
    You are correct. 6 frames is what I get in also. Sorry for the mix up. The boxes are also a little taller than recommended in the video. I have had great luck with that design.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Swarm Trap Design , Placement , Baiting , everything discussed

    Thanks, Im not overly hung up on size but am looking to maximise my chances of success so any additional info is appreciated.
    The traps I have built I stuck with standard 8 frame deep size which is close to the 40l mark, went with it simply because if I find myself running short on equipment I could leave them in the trap and simply add a box if needed.
    I have gone a little different and don't attach the trap directly to the tree. I had a heap of short lengths of scrap angle, shs & rhs so made up some brackets that I attach to the tree, sit the traps on then strap them in place with a cheap tie down strap. The bracket arrangement also lets me make use of any spare conventional hives as traps, just sit them on the bracket and strap in place.
    I have put some scaffold planks on the racks in the bed of the truck, it gives be a nice stable work platform that lets me easily reach between 10-14' depending on if I am on the uphill or downhill side of a tree. No need to cart a ladder I simply pull up beside the tree and work off the platform.

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Swarm Trap Design , Placement , Baiting , everything discussed

    Rusty Burlew (Master Beekeeper) of Honey Bee Suite swears by Swarm Commanderfor a lure.
    Proverbs 16:24

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Swarm Trap Design , Placement , Baiting , everything discussed

    Quote Originally Posted by Cloverdale View Post
    Rusty Burlew (Master Beekeeper) of Honey Bee Suite swears by Swarm Commander for a lure.
    Swarm Commander Lure is excellent, but in my tests I found that if I set out a trap with SCL and another with LGO, both got filled. Most often SCL got filled first, but not always. It might give an advantage in less attractive setups. I always use as many black combs as possible. I never leave empty space so it clearly is not necessary. I will run tests this year in less attractive setups LGO VS SCL.

    I never leave empty foundationless frames, the one time I did the combs collapsed when the catches were moved. I never hang high up, always at a convenient level. I rarely re-bait. I no longer build specialty boxes but use my common size brood chambers and nuc boxes. Deep frames are better than mediums. Here you see buddy Desmond helping haul in a load of catches, 5 and 8 frame traps. You can see my SCL and LGO markers.


  20. #19
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    Default Re: Swarm Trap Design , Placement , Baiting , everything discussed

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    I never leave empty space so it clearly is not necessary.

    I never leave empty foundationless frames, the one time I did the combs collapsed when the catches were moved. I never hang high up, always at a convenient level.

    Where are you trapping ? Looks suburban in the photo

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Swarm Trap Design , Placement , Baiting , everything discussed

    Good video, I'll try this out this spring early. I supposed the earlier trap is out, and baited with lemon oil the better? Also, would it be good to put some sugar water or feeder close to where you hang your trap? Newbee here, just a thought... Thanks for the advice. 1st time to trap bees. Any other info would be nice addition and helpful

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