set the 1st swarm traps, have some ???
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Southern Illinois
    Posts
    16

    Default set the 1st swarm traps, have some ???

    I set 3 swarm traps out last night. I'm trying to make do with what I have on hand. One trap is an old deep box w/ 5 partial drawn comb frames and 5 foundationless frames. and the other 2 are Nuc box traps with 2 partial drawn brood comb frames and 3 foundationless frames each. All 3 were baited with LGO and set approximately 250yds apart from each other. I didn't have any luck catching any swarms last year. I set all 3 approx. 10' off the ground. One of the NUC box traps I sat near an ornamental bush that is Loaded with white pollen. Last year, the bees covered this bush for over nearly 2 weeks. The weather is wet and rainy here in So. IL, with temps fluctuating between 63* today and almost 27* predicted Friday evening.

    I took some burr comb from last year and rubbed it in the boxes, added some LGO to 1 q-tip and dabbed it on the front entrance then dropped it in the box. The partially drawn frames do have some wax moth damage, will this affect the trap? The closest nuc trap I have to my remaining hive is approximately 100 feet. Is there anything else I can do to increase my chances to catch a swarm this year?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Northern Il, USA
    Posts
    615

    Default Re: set the 1st swarm traps, have some ???

    More traps? Put a trap in the same yard where your current hive sits. Caught one of my own last summer, a hive I was sure would not swarm.

    If you know where other beehives are, try to set traps within a half mile of them. My best luck was one year I got permission to set traps in a neighbor's woods, and I could see from the road that there were a dozen hives in several people's back yards nearby.
    Sadly, those hives were all gone the next year, and that location has since failed to get me any swarms.

    Some people swear by Swarm Commander. Never have tried it myself.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: set the 1st swarm traps, have some ???

    Try some of this style of trap too - https://www.sflbeesupplies.com/store...warm_Trap.html

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    6,952

    Default Re: set the 1st swarm traps, have some ???

    Take a heat gun. Melt some propolis inside the traps. As you melt the propolis drip on a few drops of LGO. This worked for me with brand new 10 frame traps. This is a swarm moving into one of those traps. Another advantage here....this site caught 13 one year and 10 another. A real Honey Hole.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbQ6hVJ4-VY
    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
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Southern Illinois
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: set the 1st swarm traps, have some ???

    So, it is supposed to be 70* and storms today, and 27 for the low tomorrow, with mid 60's predicted for the highs the next two weeks. I hope to see some action soon. When is the typical swarm season in So. IL? I mean Southern Illinois south of 64, not Springfield or Champaign. We have lots of Bradford pears, and ornamental bushes blooming here now.

    DD33: how does one attach frames inside of that fiber pot for a swarm trap? Or do you not use frames inside of it?

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: set the 1st swarm traps, have some ???

    You don't use frames in the flower pot style. You need to check them often so they don't build inside. I am able to check them every day so they work well for me. Even though they are small I have had several swarms over 5 lbs in them (I weigh them all out of curiosity).

    I have two styles of traps, these flower pot ones and double stacked 5 frame nucs with frames in the top box only. Last year I caught around 17 swarms and if I recall around 14-15 of those were in the flower pots. This year I am at 7 swarms already and all of them have been in the flower pots.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Northern Il, USA
    Posts
    615

    Default Re: set the 1st swarm traps, have some ???

    Quote Originally Posted by pintail_drake2004 View Post
    So, it is supposed to be 70* and storms today, and 27 for the low tomorrow, with mid 60's predicted for the highs the next two weeks. I hope to see some action soon. When is the typical swarm season in So. IL? I mean Southern Illinois south of 64, not Springfield or Champaign. We have lots of Bradford pears, and ornamental bushes blooming here now.

    DD33: how does one attach frames inside of that fiber pot for a swarm trap? Or do you not use frames inside of it?
    Check out the 'Post your swarm dates' forum for Illinois.
    https://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...21092-Illinois

    I scrolled through and it looks like early May is typical in S Il. Not surprised since here in N Illinois it is late May. You might want to look at nearby states too, on the same latitude. Missouri?

    Lots of people don't seem to use frames in traps. Just slice the new comb off and rubber band it into frames. I did that once, a real pain. I use boxes with frames now.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
    Posts
    4,231

    Default Re: set the 1st swarm traps, have some ???

    Just my opinion but with small numbers of traps, putting each a mile away from each other would increase your odds. Pick on relatives and have them call you if they see bees looking. More traps is better.
    I have 16 or so traps out and average 2 swarms a year in my area not from my hives. I do have traps closer then a mile but if I only had a few, I would not. You see by my post that I am not an expert. I have seen no difference in areas that are crowded compared to outback areas.
    Best of luck.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Boaz, KY, USA
    Posts
    1,913

    Default Re: set the 1st swarm traps, have some ???

    Quote Originally Posted by pintail_drake2004 View Post
    When is the typical swarm season in So. IL?
    Pintail:

    I am just a bit South of you in Western Kentucky. Typical swarm season in these parts is late April - early May. That said, things seem to be running a little early this year, so you are wise to have your traps out already IMHO.

    You've gotten some good advice thus far, so the only other thing I might add would be to consider both the size and orientation of the opening to your swarm traps. Specifically, smaller is better and if you have the luxury, having my swam trap entrances facing South, East or Southeast has yielded the most interest.

    Best of success to you in your trapping efforts- I'll bet there are some good feral bees in the Shawnee Forest looking for a new home...

    Russ
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

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