Scouts to Swarm
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Thread: Scouts to Swarm

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Default Scouts to Swarm

    Wondering how long is it from the time scouts visit the swarm trap do the rest of the swarm show up?

    I've got 4 traps set and the weather is finally warming up. I've seen a few bees checking out some of the traps but no real swarm move in.

    Do the scouts travel in groups (2-3 or more) or do they go alone?

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Scouts to Swarm

    It could be hours or days. Scouts recruit other scouts, so it may start out as one scout and gradually work up to dozens or more.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  4. #3
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    Feb 2015
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    Bryson City, NC
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    Default Re: Scouts to Swarm

    The swarm that showed up yesterday on my trap was preceded by about two weeks of steadily increasing scouts. There were maybe 10-20 sniffing around the trap over the last 3 days. This is my first crack at trapping so I don't know if that's typical.

  5. #4
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    Dec 2015
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    Shelby, Missouri USA
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    Default Re: Scouts to Swarm

    Scouts do not travel in groups. The scouts find a place they like and then go back to the swarm and recruit others to also go take a look.

    If you want to learn more than you ever thought you would know about the subject watch this video...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnnjY823e-w

    It is Dr. Tom Seeley doing a presentation on "Honeybee Democracy". It is amazing what he has discovered.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Scouts to Swarm

    I would guess the average is around four days But have had some work the trap for as long as 10 days before moving in. Traffic steadily increases to a few dozen at any given time, this is usually the indicator they have chosen your trap. One or two bees with no increase in traffic is likely forages collecting propolis or robbers looking for stores. Scouts fly differently they are checking the trap inside and out they may come out and fly right back in. The scouts travel alone but they get directions from other scouts "waggle dance". Also attracted by smell from the comb and the lure.

    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...60#post1445860

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Scouts to Swarm

    Thanks to all

    I've never seen more than 2-3 bees max. I suspect the problem is perhaps my location. I have no trees so 3 of my traps are at ground level. The other is on the backyard deck about 4 feet above the ground. Been trying for close to a month.

  8. #7
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    Ardnamurchan and Fife, Scotland
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    Default Re: Scouts to Swarm

    Do colonies in your area have drones and are there swarms about? If not, it's too soon to say they're not attractive.
    I think that the bait hive (volume, entrance, bee smell) matters more than the location ... mine are all at knee level.
    During variable weather I've had scouts turning up for ~20 days before the swarm arrived. No guarantee they were from the same swarm of course, but there are relatively few beekeepers around here.
    Keep the faith
    The Apiarist - beekeeping in Fife, Scotland

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Scouts to Swarm

    Quote Originally Posted by fatshark View Post
    Do colonies in your area have drones and are there swarms about? If not, it's too soon to say they're not attractive.
    I think that the bait hive (volume, entrance, bee smell) matters more than the location ... mine are all at knee level.
    During variable weather I've had scouts turning up for ~20 days before the swarm arrived. No guarantee they were from the same swarm of course, but there are relatively few beekeepers around here.
    Keep the faith

    I keep hearing that others in my area are seeing and capturing swarms, so they must be out there. Hanging in there and keeping the faith. Thanks

  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Sheboygan County, WI
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    210

    Default Re: Scouts to Swarm

    Wondering how long is it from the time scouts visit the swarm trap do the rest of the swarm show up?

    Just because you see some bees, doesn't mean the swarm is going to follow........
    Are you using swarm commander ? Lemon Grass Ess. Oil ? Any Lure ?
    Do you have old brood comb in your trap ?
    How big is your trap, and what is the configuration ?

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Scouts to Swarm

    No trees, are your traps in full sun?

    Find a shady spot next to your house.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Scouts to Swarm

    Quote Originally Posted by FlowerPlanter View Post
    No trees, are your traps in full sun?

    Find a shady spot next to your house.
    not all day. but there is lots sun until about 4-5pm.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Scouts to Swarm

    Quote Originally Posted by VaJim View Post
    not all day. but there is lots sun until about 4-5pm.
    Good for hives, no so good for swarm traps

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Scouts to Swarm

    Quote Originally Posted by FlowerPlanter View Post
    Good for hives, no so good for swarm traps
    Thanks...that's what I always knew about the hives.

    I've moved one of the traps around to the only side (north edge) of the house that provides the most shade.

    Now the temps have dropped. 59 in the backyard today.

  15. #14
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    Jun 2014
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    Default Re: Scouts to Swarm

    Quote Originally Posted by VaJim View Post
    Thanks to all

    I've never seen more than 2-3 bees max. I suspect the problem is perhaps my location. I have no trees so 3 of my traps are at ground level. The other is on the backyard deck about 4 feet above the ground. Been trying for close to a month.
    soarwitheagles has had good success with massively overdosing his traps with scent lures.

    I did try adding more scent, but I added to the outside of the trap, not the inside, and I caught a swarm this weekend, after only 4 days of waiting. But I'm also fishing in a known-good location, so YMMV.
    Painted Peacock Manor, Palos Verdes, CA

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Scouts to Swarm

    Va jim
    Not every location is great. I had 12 traps out first year and caught nothing. I had 16 traps out the next year and caught 3. I had 16 traps out last year and caught 2. I have never caught two swarms in the same trap. So I do know it is possible to catch swarms. I do know that I have 5 differrent traps and locations that have worked one time. I think some of it might be the trap and location and some is just what is around the traps and if there are a lot of bees healthy enough to swarm.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Scouts to Swarm

    Pretty much any bee flying past a box baited with lemongrass oil will check it out. They tend to remember them for later...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Scouts to Swarm

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    Pretty much any bee flying past a box baited with lemongrass oil will check it out. They tend to remember them for later...
    Thanks Michael

    I may move the one trap from the north side (shady) to back on the rear deck. On the deck it did have shade in the later part of the day and I did see bees checking it out. On the north side I saw nothing for it was almost hidden from any possible flight path.

    Jim

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