Don't worry too much about the location of a bait hive / swarm trap
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  1. #1
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    Apr 2016
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    Default Don't worry too much about the location of a bait hive / swarm trap

    I put together my five bait hives yesterday with a few old frames and a q-tip with lemongrass oil and some queen juice. I spent a bit of time perusing my area for the best places to put the traps, stressing over this or that little thing that wasn't quite to my liking. I found a couple of locations to put some, and left the other three stacked by my garage walkway for another day when I find some other "good" locations.

    Lo and behold, this afternoon I have a bunch of activity around the hole of the bait hive stacked in the middle, about 4-5 feet off the ground. Tonight I see that many bees are staying in the hive for the night. Seems like that bait hive location was plenty good enough for some swarming bees.

    LOL.

    I love bees; they definitely teach you to take it as it comes.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    Rosebud Missouri
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    Default Re: Don't worry too much about the location of a bait hive / swarm trap

    tim...
    I had that happen before I moved a trap to a good location also. Now I always have a trap there.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    Tyler, Texas
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    121

    Default Re: Don't worry too much about the location of a bait hive / swarm trap

    Did the same thing last week, got down to the last trap and could not find the perfect place so just through it up and 1 week later I caught a swarm, go figure!

  5. #4
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    Dec 2017
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    Dane County, WI, USA
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    Default Re: Don't worry too much about the location of a bait hive / swarm trap

    Well, I would not say - "don't worry about the location".

    I rather would say - for sure trap in your own backyard and every one of own bee yards.
    Often enough your own yard is just it - THE LOCATION (especially if your yard and garage and a shed smell like bees, it's a no-brainer).
    When you put up bee hives and stocked some used equipment, you just created a new location.
    Locations do matter at that.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  6. #5
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    Aug 2011
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    KC, MO, USA
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    Default Re: Don't worry too much about the location of a bait hive / swarm trap

    IME A swarm trap is also a swarm detector; If you have traps out and a swarm is looking they seem to find them all.

    More times than not they pick the traps with the preferences that T Seeley tested in his book.

  7. #6
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    Feb 2015
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    Rosebud Missouri
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    Default Re: Don't worry too much about the location of a bait hive / swarm trap

    Flower planter
    IME A swarm trap is also a swarm detector; If you have traps out and a swarm is looking they seem to find them all.
    This is how I found my first swarm from one of my hives cause I saw a bee looking at one of my traps. I walked down to my hives and sure enough there was a swarm in my cedar tree right by my hives.

    I like having my traps spread out by a mile but do have some places where I have up to four traps in flying distance from each other. I do find that bees look at all of them before moving in cause I have seen it. I do say on my place that the bees did not pick the trap that mostly fit seeleys ideal place and I had two others that would have fit better but that does not mean that there is not a fluke every so often but that they might mostly do so.

    I will have to catch more then I have to figure that out.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    Wharton, Texas, USA
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    229

    Default Re: Don't worry too much about the location of a bait hive / swarm trap

    I had the same kind of luck brand new to bees I just put a 10 frame deep in my yard where I planned to install a pack or nuc with a couple frames of old comb and a swarm moved in. Seemed almost to easy

  9. #8
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    Jan 2017
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    Orlando, Florida
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    16

    Default Re: Don't worry too much about the location of a bait hive / swarm trap

    I'm new to beekeeping (1 year and change). I got a Swarm Trooper for Christmas and put it out with some old frames and lemon grass oil. My question is, I have the bait hive in a guava tree about 10 feet away from my only established hive. Is there such a thing as "too close" to an existing colony?

  10. #9
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    Apr 2016
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    Houston, TX
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    Default Re: Don't worry too much about the location of a bait hive / swarm trap

    I've read here that scout bees do tend to look further than that from the original hive for a new location. I don't know how far in general

  11. #10
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    Dec 2017
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    Default Re: Don't worry too much about the location of a bait hive / swarm trap

    Quote Originally Posted by yonderbob View Post
    ..Is there such a thing as "too close" to an existing colony?
    No.
    Just search here on recent posts/pics by odfrank and see for yourself.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  12. #11
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    Jan 2017
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    Orlando, Florida
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    Default Re: Don't worry too much about the location of a bait hive / swarm trap

    Thanks, Tim. I'm not so much looking to trap a swarm coming out of my own hive as luring a swarm from a feral hive or another bee yard some distance away. I was thinking maybe they wouldn't be interested in having the "neighbors" so close by.

  13. #12
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Don't worry too much about the location of a bait hive / swarm trap

    Location definitely matters. Some locations I never get swarms. Some locations I get multiple swarms. Year after year the good locations have remained good locations and the poor locations have remained poor locations...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  14. #13

    Default Re: Don't worry too much about the location of a bait hive / swarm trap

    Quote Originally Posted by timsch View Post
    Lo and behold, this afternoon I have a bunch of activity around the hole of the bait hive stacked in the middle, about 4-5 feet off the ground. Tonight I see that many bees are staying in the hive for the night. Seems like that bait hive location was plenty good enough for some swarming bees.
    I am not clear on this. Did you actually get a swarm in that trap or just a bunch of scouts? Attracting scouts with a baited trap is pretty easy. Getting a swarm to move in is a different matter.
    I've had swarms move into unbaited equipment in all sorts of undesirable places. Last year one moved into a deadout in the bed of my pickup truck that had only been parked for about an hour. Having said that, those random occurrences are a small fraction of the swarms I catch. The baited, carefully placed traps generally collect 10 to 1 over the random ones.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Don't worry too much about the location of a bait hive / swarm trap

    Guess i'll just have to keep it baited and wait. I'm in the middle of downtown Orlando so who knows what these "city bees" will do? I know there are other registered hives within half a mile of here and if one of those guys (or gal) gets a little lazy... maybe...

  16. #15
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    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
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    Default Re: Don't worry too much about the location of a bait hive / swarm trap

    About 3 years ago, I brought a dead out hive home to clean up and take back to my remote bee yard. Clean up task soon accomplished but it was Easter weekend and we had lots of family activities so I decided I’d just stack the empty hive next to our back door by our garage with plans to return it to my out yard on Monday. As we drove home from Easter Sunday services my wife said “look at all the bees!” We sat in our car in the drive way and watched a big swarm move in and take up residence in that empty hive at our back door. My friends who are fond of the University of Tennessee Volunteers, nicked-named that hive our “Volunteer Bees.” It seemed to create quite a lot of interest and folks in the community would ask me, “How are the Vols doing?” They were talking about our bees not the ball team. We allowed the Volunteer Bees to stay at our backdoor through the honey flow before moving them away from the house. They made a fine crop of honey right there. Great memories...all this said, you just never know when and where a nice swarm may show up and Volunteer their services!
    “My child, eat honey, for it is good, and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste.” (Proverbs 24:13)

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Don't worry too much about the location of a bait hive / swarm trap

    I just wondered if there was any scientific or semi-scientific guidance as to whether swarming bees will take up residence in close proximity to an existing colony. I know I can get my neighbor's bees to "visit"... I found that out by open feeding. but is it futile to bait a trap just a few feet away from my healthy colony?

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Don't worry too much about the location of a bait hive / swarm trap

    >I just wondered if there was any scientific or semi-scientific guidance as to whether swarming bees will take up residence in close proximity to an existing colony.

    I've had them move next door often enough... but what I have been told about the research shows a bell curve that peaks at about a quarter mile from the original colony and extends for several miles.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Don't worry too much about the location of a bait hive / swarm trap

    There should be a clear distinction between 1)swarm-source colony and 2)some existing, unrelated colony.
    Confusion keeps mixing in.

    They will try to go away from the source colony (the younger the queen - the further away they will go normally).
    They will totally move into an empty trap/hive just few feet away from some existing, unrelated colony (not the source colony).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  20. #19

    Default Re: Don't worry too much about the location of a bait hive / swarm trap

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    They will try to go away from the source colony (the younger the queen - the further away they will go normally).
    They will totally move into an empty trap/hive just few feet away from some existing, unrelated colony (not the source colony).
    I've heard this repeated but never seen anything formal.
    I have them move into swarm traps less than 200 feet from the donor hive regularly. I've seen it happen. I've seen my marked queens in my traps. I don't think bees follow any rules that we understand in this regard.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Don't worry too much about the location of a bait hive / swarm trap

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    I've heard this repeated but never seen anything formal.
    I have them move into swarm traps less than 200 feet from the donor hive regularly. I've seen it happen. I've seen my marked queens in my traps. I don't think bees follow any rules that we understand in this regard.
    Whatever is the case, this year I am setting out all my previously used, empty equipment directly onto the yards.
    Any swarm flying by is welcome to join my yard.

    Got tired driving out to check my random traps - takes too much time.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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