I try to put them out the begining of May here in NY. The earliest swarm I caught last year was the 3rd week in May. Setting them out early lets the scouts find them in advance of swarming. I add a couple drops of lemongrass oil to the topbars each week. Good luck
Barry count back 6 weeksfrom your honey flow.
From that date on for the next 4 weeks is when you have most of your reproduction swarms. Here in southeast Missouri that would about first week of April until first week of May, give or take a few days. You can get limon grass oil at you local health food store. Good luck
Here, I've seldom seen a swarm in March (one). Most of them are somewhere between mid May and mid July. Rarely you see some overcrowding swarms later.
For optimum results, I'd put the bait hives out no earlier than April and no later than Mid May here. If you put them out earlier, I'd refresh the lemongrass oil. If you use the plastic vials of it from the beekeeping supply places, they will last a year and you can put them out as early as you like.
>Michael, do you have a supply location that you could recommend for the plastic vials of lemongrass oil?
I'd buy the bottle of Lemongrass oil instead. It's cheap. The vials are expensive. But they are available from all the major bee suppliers. Brushy Mt is where I got mine. I'm pretty sure Mann Lake and Dadant have them.
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