Swarm traps and unspoken code of ethics
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  1. #1
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    Jun 2017
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    Default Swarm traps and unspoken code of ethics

    Thinking about putting out some swarm traps this year. I have a few friendly places I can put them but the rest I’m thinking about putting them out by lakes/ farmland. Has anybody had their traps stolen or reported as suspicious? Should I place a name and number on my traps? Any positive feedback would be great. Is there a unspoken code of ethics among beekeepers and swarm trap setting?

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  3. #2
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    May 2014
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    Belmont, Michigan
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    Default Re: Swarm traps and unspoken code of ethics

    I put out a dozen last spring and caught 0 swarms. I heard of no swarms being caught. None were stolen and I didn't identify them in any way as to ownership. I don't think there is any code of ethics per se either. I know about 3/4 of a mile from me there is a commercial beek who parks about 20 hives in an old gravel pit for the summer. I'm going to place some traps in the trees along the edge of the gravel pit to catch any swarms that issue from his hives. Is that ethical you ask, well I've kept bees for years and nobody ever knocked on my door to see if I'd object to placing so many hives within the flight radius of my bees. We all share the same fields and flowers.

  4. #3
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    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    Default Re: Swarm traps and unspoken code of ethics

    "I have a few friendly places I can put them"

    If by that you mean you have the landowner's permission, your good. In most (many?) States the landowner owns a swarm unless the swarm was visibly observed from hive to landing.
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

  5. #4
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    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    Default Re: Swarm traps and unspoken code of ethics

    >Is there a unspoken code of ethics among beekeepers and swarm trap setting?

    Yes. Beekeepers are the most honest of any profession and you can have no fear of any beekeeping item ever being stolen.
    All of my opinions and suggestions are based on my five decades of actual beekeeping,
    not so much on book learning, watching YouTube videos nor reading internet sites.

  6. #5
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    Apr 2017
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    Default Re: Swarm traps and unspoken code of ethics

    Do not set swarm traps on private property unless you have the landowners permission, usually easy to get. Otherwise, public lands, right of ways, etc. are a good alternative. I put my name and phone numer on those traps and try to locate them so they are not readily visible to passersby. You would probably have more trouble with vandals than people stealing the bees or equipment.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  7. #6
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    Mar 2014
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    Red Bud, IL, USA
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    Default Re: Swarm traps and unspoken code of ethics

    I'll take a leap of faith that you're only putting out bait hives where you have permission from the property owner, otherwise trespass laws apply.

    Before ethics and beyond trespass. In many states beekeepers must be register with the state and at least one of the hives in an apiary must be clearly marked with the owner's registration number or the hives can be considered a nuisance, the nuisance negated by the authorities along with any applicable legal ramifications. Some states even have regulations prohibiting movement of bees or used equipment across county/precinct/etc lines without being inspected and in receipt of a transfer permit. You might want to check your state and local apiary laws/regulations if you want to stay in complete compliance.

    Damage and/or theft, you know the probability for your areas better; like beekeeping, it can be localized too.

    Ethics - reverse roles and stand in the other individual's shoes, would it ruffle your feathers. I've found a short conversation goes a long way with most folks around my area
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

  8. #7
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    May 2014
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    Belmont, Michigan
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    Default Re: Swarm traps and unspoken code of ethics

    These are all good comments and I agree that trespassing without permission to install a trap is not good juju. In my state the road right-of-way extends 33 ft. from the center of the road. So there usually is a nice fence line of trees in which to install a trap. Parks, state game areas, etc. would work also. Keep in mind that a car parked on the road regularly, even when one does have permission, is cause for people to wonder just what is going on! I have found that a slow stop and go in the truck with a pair of binoculars is all I need to assess the status of my traps. And it is quick, doesn't require parking, getting out of the truck and walking a ways to do a check. Thus a field loaded with commercial hives surrounded by a fence line of trees in the road right-of-way certainly seems like a likely spot for a trap. Although I had high hopes last spring/summer, the outcome was zero swarms as I mentioned above. Hope you have better luck!

  9. #8
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    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    Default Re: Swarm traps and unspoken code of ethics

    Beekeeping is local , so are laws.

    The fee in a right of way, even the road bed, belongs to the landowner. There is no right to put a trap in a right of way. The soil, the trees, the bees all belong to the landowner.
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

  10. #9
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    Dec 2017
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    Default Re: Swarm traps and unspoken code of ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    .... public lands....... are a good alternative..
    Be cautious about public lands.
    You don't want to set out traps all over just willy-nilly - someone may come after you.

    Public lands are subject to the laws and rules of the admin the runs those lands.
    For example, I get a written permission (email) from the county admin to put up my traps in the county parks.
    There are rules attached to the permission too.

    My own city did not give me the permission to setup traps in the city parks.
    If I still do it and they catch me - there will be trouble I'd rather avoid.

    Then, there is the state-wide DNR regulations about hunting, trapping, foraging that may apply too.

    In all, I like anymore just having traps around my bee yards and call it done.
    Less hassle - swarms still come the same.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Ukrainian frame experimentation.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Swarm traps and unspoken code of ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    Beekeeping is local , so are laws.

    The fee in a right of way, even the road bed, belongs to the landowner. There is no right to put a trap in a right of way. The soil, the trees, the bees all belong to the landowner.
    I think you are confusing a right of way with an easement. Typically, the state or county maintains the right of way and owns the timber which might be located on it. It is public land. An easment on the other hand is owned by the landowner and provides access to other properties or utilities.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Swarm traps and unspoken code of ethics

    No, not confused at all.

    Do not know about Virginia nor Utah. My local is Maine.
    Sometimes the fee is with the Gov. , sometimes the landowner, can vary parcel by parcel on the same road. Ownership to trees , soil and bees only comes with a deed. Often the true owner to the road bed has been dead for a hundred years or more.

    Deed to the side of the road is sloppy. You own to where you own, subject to a road easement.
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Swarm traps and unspoken code of ethics

    I guess the best thing is to check local laws. My knowledge is limited to Wisconsin and Virginia, the only states in which I have owned property outside of a subdivision.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  14. #13
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    Aroostook, ME, USA
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    Default Re: Swarm traps and unspoken code of ethics

    Check local laws AND deeds. In Maine technically it is illegal to own to the low water mark, but some deeds were done when the law didn't exist and have been upheld in court. They may own to the low water mark whereas your deed may not. Not everything is cut and dried as it may seem.

    Personally, just go talk to the neighbors and let them know that bees naturally reproduce and that you are trying to prevent bees from taking up residence in their attic and you are doing a public service. If you word it so that it benefits them rather than you, you may get both permission and a friendly call when the bees start hanging around. Amazing how well being nice works. And if they don't want you there, they most likely would have been the ones who would have torn it down/thrown it away anyways.
    46.91° N

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Swarm traps and unspoken code of ethics

    Actually a few deeds extend beyond the low water mark, those are a lot less tested. Then there are those based upon Native deeds as well Kings Grants; " all the fishes and animals". Spelling and wording off, but that is the gist of it.
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Swarm traps and unspoken code of ethics

    The streams I float you're allowed to set up camp along the stream as long as you stay below the "normal" high water mark; landowner may own to the center of the stream but the public has limited access for use of a public stream. Technically, my deed says I own to the center of the road but the county maintains the road and a 15' right of way on either side. Lots of variances in the local laws and regulations.
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

  17. #16
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    Feb 2015
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    Bryson City, NC
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    Default Re: Swarm traps and unspoken code of ethics

    Most of Swain County NC is federal land of one kind or another. I called the federal authorities and they'd never gotten a swarm trapping request. NC doesn't have an established season for bee trapping but they gathered my contact information and issued me a permit for the locations I'd identified anyway. They asked me to put a name and phone # on each trap I put up and to let them know when I put them up and took them down. The permits stated I had to have the permit on me at all times that I was on the land dealing with the traps. Collecting a trap after dark I got stopped by a sheriff's deputy. After some loud clear communication and slow deliberate movements I showed him the permit and then we had a nice chat about bee keeping.

    If you want to trap on federal land get the permit. Also, probably start working on that permission a month in advance because the request caused some confusion.

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Swarm traps and unspoken code of ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by gklagan View Post
    NC doesn't have an established season for bee trapping but they gathered my contact information and issued me a permit for the locations I'd identified anyway.
    If one asks permission for a 'swarm trap' in our part of the world, first question would be 'are you a licensed trapper?' Next would be 'When is the season for trapping honeybees'.

    Much better off to use different verbiage. Tell them you want to set up a 'catch box' as a public service for re-homing errant bee swarms to help prevent them from entering the eaves of people's homes.

  19. #18
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    May 2014
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    Default Re: Swarm traps and unspoken code of ethics

    Greg, I believe the mistake everyone makes is referring to these boxes as swarm TRAPS. You should rather refer to them as "swarm control or swarm nesting boxes". A trap is something that detains something against its will, which these boxes do not do. In fact, you are promoting the existence of the honey bee as a valuable pollinator. Every state that allows the trapping of furbearing animals requires a licenses. The same can be said for hunting licenses and fishing licenses. Hunting, fishing and trapping of furbearing animals is to bring about a foreseeable end for personal gain, not promoting its existence! If you are promoting the existence of the honeybee by giving it proper housing, how can that be construed as trapping? Do you need a license to put up a bird house or a wood duck nesting box in a marsh? I believe the error is in referring to it as a "trap" which is in itself a negative connotation, rather than a positive one. Just my thoughts.

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Swarm traps and unspoken code of ethics

    grozzie, I like your line of thinking! I should clarify also that my comment above wasn't directed at Greg, but rather to gklagan.

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Swarm traps and unspoken code of ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by rick54 View Post
    Greg, I believe the mistake everyone makes is referring to these boxes as swarm TRAPS.
    Gotta agree with that - great line of thinking. "Swam Rescue Boxes" - gives a totally different perspective.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

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