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Ants In Swarm Trap - What Next?

1751 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  JWPalmer
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
  • 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:

Swing Tree Wood Table Roof

Table Cart Vehicle Furniture Grass

Tree Nature reserve Woody plant Plant Canoe birch

Tree Woody plant Plant Grass Trunk

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.

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· Moderator - In Memorium
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
6,767 Posts
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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