Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
799 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi, all,

I plan on trying to trap some swarms this year. I'll be making my own swarm traps and was wondering about different techniques for attaching traps to trees. I see from the horizontal hive website, they appear to strap their traps to tree trunks. Is this common? What are other options?

thanks,
Thomas
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,150 Posts
I use ratchet straps to attach traps to trees. I've had luck with the traps as low as shoulder level (no ladder climbing) to about 15'. I put my traps in the shade with the entrance facing south. I'm assuming you have decided on what to use for a scent lure. I usually put one drawn frame and five frames with either starter strips of foundation or five foundation less frames. The five frames without full foundation seem to give the impression of more space in the trap hive but the bees will build comb on those frames so I don't have to cut comb off the top. I used the plans from the horizontal hive web site to build my traps. There was an article in one of the bee magazines two or three years ago, featuring those plans.
 

·
Super Moderator
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
Joined
·
5,796 Posts
Ditto everything GaryG74 said. You can use a french cleat or build a platform, but it is extra work with only a little benefit. I just use the ratchet straps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,044 Posts
I used the plans from the horizontal hive web site to build my traps. There was an article in one of the bee magazines two or three years ago, featuring those plans.
Pretty much these:
http://horizontalhive.com/honeybee-swarm-trap/bait-hive-how-to-catch.shtml

Last year I got so lazy (and safety aware too) I did not attach a single trap to a tree.
All free standing on the ground and a back porch.
Was not needed, in the end.
Got enough swarms to keep me busy.
I like my trend as is.

PS: take one back - I did have a tree-mounted trap in a county park (to keep it away from the two-legged mammals);
ratchet-strapped and standing on a thick branch;
about 10 feet high - reachable by a folding ladder;
no hits the second year on that seemingly very good location - not climbing the silly tree again - enough nonsense.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,044 Posts
Ditto everything GaryG74 said. You can use a french cleat or build a platform, but it is extra work with only a little benefit. I just use the ratchet straps.
yup this is all i did last year and will be doing again this year. Got 4 swarms last year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
799 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks to everyone for their advice.
Just to summarize what I've learned so far.

1) Use straps (or chain) to attach trap to tree.
2) Doesn't have to be 12 feet off the ground. Could even be on the ground.

if #1, then it seems like I could add eye hooks to the trap for attaching the straps? Or screw 2x4(s) to the trap, the 2x4(s) would have holes drilled in them to attach straps or chain.

if #2, I could possibly prop up a trap on top of a chain link fence against the tree trunk? Or even just hang it from the fence?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,044 Posts
if #2, I could possibly prop up a trap on top of a chain link fence against the tree trunk? Or even just hang it from the fence?
Yes you can do either.
What really matters is - the location.
Once you nailed the location, it is less important how high.
Thinking back all my swarms so far have been caught at the chest level or below (save for the back porch - about 8 feet up).
This is one is 2 feet off the ground (made the installation/removal easy; notice - the location is safe from the two legged mammals):
20170702_174847.jpg

PS: last year I had to take down a similar trap from a local community garden;
at very convenient three feet high, some humans kept knocking it down and plugging it up. These people...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
799 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Greg.
This reminds me how important it is to understand numbers from research.
I believe the 12' or higher number comes from Tom Seeley, but he is referring to a distribution curve, not a black or white height. More chances for success at that height, but other heights are NOT zero success.

Yes you can do either.
What really matters is - the location.
Once you nailed the location, it is less important how high.
Thinking back all my swarms so far have been caught at the chest level or below (save for the back porch - about 8 feet up).
This is one is 2 feet off the ground (made the installation/removal easy; notice - the location is safe from the two legged mammals):
View attachment 46353

PS: last year I had to take down a similar trap from a local community garden;
at very convenient three feet high, some humans kept knocking it down and plugging it up. These people...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,791 Posts
1. Take a 1 X 4 scrap of wood and screw it to the box.

2. Drill a 1" hole in the top of the board.

3. Drive a nail into the tree.

4. Hang the box on the nail.

Swarm Trap.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
223 Posts
The owner of the trees may not want ya to put metal into the tree if they plan on harvesting them for wood (makes for a blade damaging projectile if they hit it). Just something to think about if you are near commercial forest land.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
799 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Could you tell me more about hunter tree stands?
Where do you get those?
Hunters' tree stands make excellent bases for traps. Easily removable and non-damaging to the tree.

Nancy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
799 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Luckily I'm the "owner" of the woods. Gonna put two traps in a clearing which happens to be our back yard. And then maybe a trap by the lake in the woods and a couple by the river in the woods.

The owner of the trees may not want ya to put metal into the tree if they plan on harvesting them for wood (makes for a blade damaging projectile if they hit it). Just something to think about if you are near commercial forest land.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,044 Posts
Could you tell me more about hunter tree stands?
Where do you get those?
Something like this, Thomas:
https://www.menards.com/main/outdoo...-c-13885.htm?tid=-1140590586464959577&ipos=29

Of course, I would not run and spend all kinds of money for the hunting stands.
If, on the other hand, you can get one for cheap (or free!) through the ads/craigslist/facebook - something to consider.
Gee, IF I had such great resource as my own woods, I would seriously consider hunting down cheap hunting stands - for swarm traps.
In the past I almost purchased a hunting piece of land (it already had hunting stands on it - my plan was to use them for bee hunting in summer).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Watch the video and it will show you what we are going too on all of our swarm traps. We do have some older traps that we will still be using but we wanted an easier way to change them out when we found a good location.

Hopefully this will make sense and later we will be making a video to show how we build the system as well as videos of them in actual use!

Enjoy the video!

TNHB Swarm Traps

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,241 Posts
Thomas:

Not sure if this helps, but I elected to use bike hanger hooks to hang my suspended swarm traps this year. The advantage of this is similar to the suggestion for a nail or French cleat in that it alleviates having to hold the weight of the box and frees up both hands to adjust the trap for level prior to tightening the ratchet straps down.

The only downside I have found with the cantilevered approach is that the box is not inherently balanced so it requires two ratchet straps to work successfully.

Best of luck to you with your trapping this Spring!

Russ
 

Attachments

1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top