Lets assume for talking purposes, your neighbor has a bee tree on his property which is off limits to you, and this tree issues a swarm every year. You want to set-up a swarm trap to catch the issuing swarm. As I understand swarms, they leave the parent hive for a bush, limb, etc. pretty loaded with honey. We'll call this first landing distance X. Now as the bees are clustered on their limb, they send out scouts to locate the permanent home which we"ll refer to as distance Y.
Then the question is, how far is distance X on average, that a heavily laden cluster of bees with honey travels on its first jump? Second, how far do you figure a cluster travels, distance Y, on jump number two to the new home?
What I'm trying to figure out is what a reasonable distance is for setting up a swarm trap in relation to the parent location. I'm thinking a 1/2 mile might be too much distance for a swarm to cover, then again maybe 100 yards is a reasonable distance.
I set out a dozen traps last spring in various places such as the edge of meadows, within wooden areas, etc. without even one hit. So I'm thinking that one has to set out traps close to known sources of bees, but how far is close?