New igloo disposable ice chest as a swarm trap?
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  1. #1
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    Default New igloo disposable ice chest as a swarm trap?

    I saw an add for this new disposable ice chest that is supposed to be an alternative to styrofoam. Looks an awful lot like the swarm traps you can buy, but better suited for some top bars and cheaper
    Like the swarm traps you can buy the volume is about comparable to a nuc, but I suppose you could connect 2 together if you want a large trap.

    Can only buy from REI right now, but price is only $10 so pretty cheap. I am tempted to get one, rub the inside with bees wax, and then see if I can fit an old comb from my top bar hive in there and add some lemon grass or an attractant. Of course if I did the same with some plastic pots it can work too. Location, location location.
    I just figured it looked like similar material to the commercial trap but cheaper and a more convenient shape.

    https://www.rei.com/product/154999/i...1322_f15c67631

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: New igloo disposable ice chest as a swarm trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by adammccoy View Post
    Like the swarm traps you can buy the volume is about comparable to a nuc, but I suppose you could connect 2 together if you want a large trap.
    Too small (even if doubled).
    Gear Capacity (L) - 11.36 liters
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: New igloo disposable ice chest as a swarm trap?


  5. #4
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    Default Re: New igloo disposable ice chest as a swarm trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jtcmedic View Post
    Hmm..
    This one being in ~40L range may actually work (can hold water for 30 days - that is tough material).
    One issue - the Lang frames will not fit.
    But - compact frames may just work - another reason to look into compact frame hives.
    For ~$8 apiece maybe worth practical testing out.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: New igloo disposable ice chest as a swarm trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jtcmedic View Post
    That looks like a better size, and the price is even a little lower, at least before you calculate shipping. Not sure what the dimensions are, but that rim might hold a top bar or frame. Thanks for the link. I might have to buy one (or three) to see.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: New igloo disposable ice chest as a swarm trap?

    Note: shipping is an addition $9 for 1 and $12 for the pack of three so that does change the price quite a bit.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: New igloo disposable ice chest as a swarm trap?

    Do keep in mind - computer boxes can be had for free and work just as well and offer many benefits over coolers.
    I ran 5-6 of these one season (with 0% success, to be noted).
    The computer boxes were wrapped and held really well through the summer.
    I also kept nucs in computer boxes one season and did fine (had no equipment).

    Not doing again though (just because well used and primed hives work best and I have plenty on hand now to waste my time on paper-based traps).

    But if going for these coolers, computer boxes then to be considered as well.
    I'd prefer computer boxes over coolers if to do this.
    20170513_144503_Small.jpg
    20170513_113625_Small.jpg
    20170513_120406_Small.jpg
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: New igloo disposable ice chest as a swarm trap?

    My thoughts were:
    1) already waterproof so a bit more resistant to weather
    2) has an integrated rim that can (might?) support bars.
    3) it looks a little more like it is something real. If I am sticking these in a neighborhood to get a swarm that is high up in a tree it makes everyone feel better if it isn't 2 black plastic nursery pots wired together (or a computer box). With some propolis rubbed inside and LGO the plastic pots can work, but they look home made and are not a container they can stay in for long.

    I have both Lang and top bar hives and like using top bar combs in trap because I can put that into a top bar hive OR into a Lang box. My top bars are a tad shorter than a lang box, but I have strips of wood the length of the Lang box that can be screwed into the top and then they fit. Same trick could be used if the length of these are not spot on.

    Unlike you, I never have extra boxes on hand. Every time I have extra boxes it makes me want to get more bees.

    Even if my wife makes me pass the hive on to someone else!

    That said, there is always a lot to be said for free, and your computer boxes look like great options. I am sure someone will benefit from seeing how you rigged yours up.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: New igloo disposable ice chest as a swarm trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by adammccoy View Post
    My thoughts were:............
    Sure thing.
    Give it a test run and report back!
    For sure, 40L, water-proof boxes for $7-8 a piece make it really easy to rig up few traps (when in a pinch).

    One good thing about paper-based traps - they soak up propolis tincture/LGO really well and give the smell off over time, for the bating.

    Not much to lose; everything to gain.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: New igloo disposable ice chest as a swarm trap?

    You will waste time and money on a funky box AND then need to spend time and money on an actual bee box to put your catch into. Your best value is to make traps out of real bee boxes and be said and done in one step and investment.
    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.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: New igloo disposable ice chest as a swarm trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    You will waste time and money on a funky box AND then need to spend time and money on an actual bee box to put your catch into. Your best value is to make traps out of real bee boxes and be said and done in one step and investment.
    Well, if you have empty used hives - sure.
    Use them - a no-brainer.

    But if no used boxes are available, why buy/build 10 full hive boxes so to only catch 1-3 swarms into them (or nothing at all)?

    Brand new wooden hive box is no different from brand new cardboard box - both are not ideal because they are NOT used yet.
    Might as well go the easiest/cheapest/fastest way and do cardboard.
    Let us not forget - not everyone one has stacks and stacks of old, used hive boxes.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: New igloo disposable ice chest as a swarm trap?

    Price of this funky box: $10
    Cost of budget box from Mann Lake...$14. This proposed trap is DISPOSABLE. It will only last a few years. Time and money wasted. A real beebox will last decades.
    I went through the whole funky bait hive phase years ago. Do a search here on Beesource. Frozen fish shipping crates, wine crates.....all a waste of my valuable time. All of you can waste your time also. I warned you. Front boxes left and right are my beebox traps:



    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Well, if you have empty used hives - sure.
    Use them - a no-brainer.

    But if no used boxes are available, why buy/build 10 full hive boxes so to only catch 1-3 swarms into them (or nothing at all)?

    Brand new wooden hive box is no different from brand new cardboard box - both are not ideal because they are NOT used yet.
    Might as well go the easiest/cheapest/fastest way and do cardboard.
    Let us not forget - not everyone one has stacks and stacks of old, used hive boxes.
    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.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: New igloo disposable ice chest as a swarm trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    Cost of budget box from Mann Lake...$14.
    You mean this?

    https://www.mannlakeltd.com/shop-all...y-budget-grade

    If yes, each box still requires more parts and work/tools to assemble.
    Pretty quickly your $14 turns into more and time spent.

    If really, seriously looking at this as a long-term swarm trapping investment, I'd be hunting for used equipment instead of any of these paper or wood items.

    There is so much used equipment to be had for near nothing - that is the real way to go (the best long term investment for trapping).
    But takes time and some "fishing" and thinking ahead.
    Since the last season, I got myself so many used boxes in the back yard for pennies - neighbors are probably hating me for trashing their views.
    Last edited by GregV; 05-10-2019 at 11:46 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: New igloo disposable ice chest as a swarm trap?

    Thanks for all the input. I will consider myself warned odFrank. Sometimes you have to figure out HOW you want to waste your time and this doesn't seem the worst way (yet).
    Although if you have any extra boxes you want to sell for pennies, I drive by San Mateo every few weeks.

    I do have a new box that I will be assembling this weekend, but boxes have a tendency to become hives and then you are out of empty boxes again.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  16. #15
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    Default Re: New igloo disposable ice chest as a swarm trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by adammccoy View Post
    Thanks for all the input. I will consider myself warned odFrank. Sometimes you have to figure out HOW you want to waste your time and this doesn't seem the worst way (yet).
    Although if you have any extra boxes you want to sell for pennies, I drive by San Mateo every few weeks.

    I do have a new box that I will be assembling this weekend, but boxes have a tendency to become hives and then you are out of empty boxes again.

    Those paper-based ice chest should have one huge advantage - storage optimization off-season - they should be stack-able, if designed correctly (to be sure - I only assume so).
    If to be used as 100% in-season traps only, these are great, just for the efficient storage in cases where space is tight.
    Like so:

    https://www.dadant.com/catalog/queen...rm-trap-m01997
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: New igloo disposable ice chest as a swarm trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by adammccoy View Post
    Although if you have any extra boxes you want to sell for pennies, I drive by San Mateo every few weeks.
    There are hundreds of piles of empty boxes all across California.
    Here is one in Linden:

    https://stockton.craigslist.org/grd/...881714066.html
    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.

  18. #17
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    Default Re: New igloo disposable ice chest as a swarm trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    There are hundreds of piles of empty boxes all across California.
    Here is one in Linden:

    https://stockton.craigslist.org/grd/...881714066.html
    Yep.
    This is exactly what serious trappers should be looking for.
    Last year I was rummaging through a sell-out for the worst possible, the most used boxes.
    The seller could not understand why I needed the junk.

    OK, I am not serious enough to be buying at these volumes - "50 box minimum" (https://stockton.craigslist.org/grd/...881714066.html.)
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  19. #18
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    Default Re: New igloo disposable ice chest as a swarm trap?

    I figured I started this thread so I should invest in testing it out.
    I ordered one of the 42 L "Ohana" coolers today. I will try to take some pictures once it arrives and document what mods I make to the box if it appears that it will work. Otherwise, my next door neighbor probably gets it for his boat and maybe it comes back with enough fish for me.

    For the record, I do think there are used boxes out there that do have the advantage of not having to transfer the swarm out later, but as I said before, in my hands, I think boxes will just become more hives which has both advantages and disadvantages.

    The expected benefits of these over used deeps is they should be stackable (if they last long enough to go multiple seasons), and light weight which is good if you are sticking them up in trees, but look a little nicer than computer boxes.
    They only cost $8 (more than a computer box, but less than a deep), but shipping is another $10 so if you are buying 1 at a time it isn't so cheap any more.
    Is it worth it? We shall see. So far the smart money seems to be on No, but I still kind of like the idea and so will give them a try.
    At least the price is still less than the swarm traps you can buy from Mann lake, and the size is better so ahead on that front.

  20. #19
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    Default Re: New igloo disposable ice chest as a swarm trap?

    I will be watching glad your ordering

  21. #20
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    Default Re: New igloo disposable ice chest as a swarm trap?

    If I may,
    I have made several"killer swarm traps" out of pressed paper planter containers and one Ice chest. The problem with those odd traps is when you get a swarm, it is a mess to open them and transfer the contents into a box with frames. The new comb with eggs, larva, and pollen really should be transfered into the box to help keep the swarm from leaving. The comb is super soft and is difficult to put into a frame. You can shake the bees into the box and hope you get at least one queen. The "gobbed up mess keeps one from putting in all the full sized frames or follower boards. I am now using 5 frame "Nuc boxes". The swarm are already on the frames and you have the option to move the frames into a housing box or to turn the "Nuc-box" into their permanent home. I am not trying to convince anybody about this way, I am just sharing my sad experience with making a mess and having to work on cleaning it up for several weeks after the capture. I wish you well!

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