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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm getting back into beekeeping . . . kept bees in Langstroth Hives for a couple of years, about 20 years ago. Instead of buying bees this time around, I'm hoping to catch a swarm or two. With this goal in mind:
  • I'm going with the Layens Hive as found on horizontalhive.com
  • Have built one 14-frame 'classic' horizontal hive
  • I've built two Layens Bait Hives (Swarm Traps)
  • One Bait Hive is about 9' up a Black Walnut, near a creek that has water most of the time
  • One Bait Hive is about 8' up a Tulip Poplar
  • Both traps have slow-release tubes of LGO.
  • I had a small amount of beeswax from some comb in honey from my brother in LA gave me. Melted it and applied it to the wood starter strips in my frames. That trap (Black Walnut, by the creek) has been up since March 21.
  • Got the second trap (Tulip Poplar) up on March 29. Didn't have any more wax, so bare framed.

A couple of days ago I found I had a second jar of comb in honey, recovered the wax from it along with all the good 'dark stuff'. Took frames out of my waiting hive, covered the starter strips and went out to the second bait hive in the Tulip Poplar to change frames out and found what you see in the first picture below. The other pictures are just 'Bee Porn'. :cool:

SwarmTrap#2Ants.jpg
Layens#1.jpg
SwarmTrap#1.jpg
SwarmTrap#2.jpg

The ants were primarily in and around the cleat to hang it on the tree, in around the lid and in and around the frame tops. I saw at least one ant carrying what looked to be an ant egg. Ants here are a disappointment; the location is right alongside a gravel road, a perpendicular line of trees and the edge of a field. Since I'm trying to attract bees, I obviously don't want to use insecticide anywhere near my trap. Seems like Tanglefoot in a location like this is counterproductive. I know if bees take up residence, they'll keep the trap cleaned out. I the meantime, I'm thinking the ants will find the wax on the starter strips a tasty treat! For the time being, I've killed/removed all the ants I've run across, taken the trap down and stuck it back in the garage. I'm almost afraid to go check Swarm Trap #1!

Any good ideas?

I've seen what I'm sure are scouts bumping heads against walls around the house. Nice, dark little bees. Have yet to seen any action around the hives. Actually had what had to have been a scout trapped in my garage and made itself known when it buzzed the shop light over my head. Got a paper towel wet, dropped some sugar on it, held out my hand and she landed on it. Scooted her over onto the paper towel, deposited it in the hive, drug it outside and hope she leads somebody back to it. We don't need no stinking swarm traps! Added a slow release tube of LGO to the hive also. Now, just have to worry about all the wasps around here.

Thanks for any suggestions. Hope to have positive news to post i the near future.

John
 

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5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
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Hi John,

You seem to be on track, May as well set the main hive out where you intent to place it, with LGO as well.

So I have the same ant problem,, here are some suggestions.
Try to get some propolis from somewhere, it helps, to attract the bees, make a 50-50 mix of propolis and 151 grain Alcohol, let it set for a week then paint the inside with it starting with the lid .
first.
If finding ants, sweep them into the creek and move the trap, may need 2 trees trade the trap back and forth every 2 weeks. with 2 traps do an interleave so you have a fresh moved trap every week.
If you have a good trap site, the ant poison cans can be put on the ground, under a washtub or bucket, next to the tree, IE no other insects can get to it.
If sandy soil a borax mix can be buried and inch or 2 below the surface. google " borax for ants"
don't give up, just check them more often.

Welcome hope to hear good news in a few weeks.

GG
 

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JayTee:

Welcome to Beesource- as usual, Gray Goose has given good advice.

I did want to welcome you, especially given that we are 'across the river' neighbors- I am located in Western Kentucky.

Best of success to you this season- I'll look forward to reading how your trapping efforts turn out. Seems like swarm season is a couple weeks early around here.

Russ
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@Gray Goose - thanks for the ideas. I almost hate to poison the ants, since they are just 'doing their thing'. <grin> I can move the trap to another, nearby tree, and move it back and forth. Guess I better check Swarm Trap #1 and see if the same thing is going on with it.

@Litsinger - Greetings 'neighbor'!

Thanks to both of you for the replies. I'll hope for good news soon! In the mean time, I'll just keep on, keepin' on!

John
 

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>some comb in honey

Honey can be a four letter word in swarm trapping. Honey and dead brood attracts ants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Morning odfrank!

You know, that had not occurred to this NOOB! However, the comb from honey went into Swarm Trap #1, which I'll have to get down and check. The picture from above was Swarm Trap #2, which had plain lumber and a slow release LGO tube - no wax. The reason I went out to it was to put newly waxed frames in.

I'm going to try Gray Gooses suggestions to switch out trees from time to time and rather than poison . . . maybe I'll try Diatomaceous Earth around my tree bases. Being outdoors, I'll have to refresh that frequently.

To paraphrase the Deadly Knights who say "NI!" . . . "Bring me a Diatomaceous Earth!"

John
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Congratulations. As a reward.for your efforts, you get a shrubbery of your choosing. All you need is a shovel and a flashlight.
 
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