Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

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

I live near Atlanta and this is when the dearth usually starts.

I'm thinking to take down the traps I put up for a couple of reasons: not sure that I want to deal with a late season / post flow swarm; don't want to let the bait comb get moth infested.

Does that make sense?

Regards,
Thomas
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,009 Posts
Like I said elsewhere, I just kept several traps through the winter and lost no sleep over it (just had no time for them).
Personally, I think people over-analyze this.
Also, what is big deal about loosing few combs?
A swarm will promptly repair a partly damaged comb - no sweat.
(keep just one comb in the trap - should be sufficient for the bating, and the damage will be minimal due to lots of air around the single comb - the moths like it tight and no air around).

Granted, there is always a chance some later swarm will land in the posted trap - just keep it out, IMO.
Every single year so far I had at least one swarm captured in mid/late August - I don't mind the trend.
The posted traps require no gasoline/electricity/food/water resupplies - what is the rush taking them down?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,827 Posts
Mine are coming down later this week.
 

·
Premium Member
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
Joined
·
6,888 Posts
I am picking mine up as time permits. Leaving one baited hive in the beeyard and one at work. The other three that are still out are coming home to be used as nucs. Need to give them the lived in smell as they have not been very productive, even when I see scouts on them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,009 Posts
.......The other three that are still out are coming home to be used as nucs. .......
This is one reason, btw, why I would take a trap down (if still not primed).
If a trap is not primed (not used previously), that pretty much is a waste of time as for me.
Never had a swarm landing into a not primed trap yet.

It maybe we just have too many traps to choose from and not enough bees to be choosing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
807 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I actually had another ulterior motive. I needed the frames from the trap to finish a production hive!
Yes that is a sad state of affairs, but really hard to find the time to cut some wood....

Like I said elsewhere, I just kept several traps through the winter and lost no sleep over it (just had no time for them).
Personally, I think people over-analyze this.
Also, what is big deal about loosing few combs?
A swarm will promptly repair a partly damaged comb - no sweat.
(keep just one comb in the trap - should be sufficient for the bating, and the damage will be minimal due to lots of air around the single comb - the moths like it tight and no air around).

Granted, there is always a chance some later swarm will land in the posted trap - just keep it out, IMO.
Every single year so far I had at least one swarm captured in mid/late August - I don't mind the trend.
The posted traps require no gasoline/electricity/food/water resupplies - what is the rush taking them down?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,009 Posts
I actually had another ulterior motive. I needed the frames from the trap to finish a production hive!
Yes that is a sad state of affairs, but really hard to find the time to cut some wood....
Well, then - just leave ONE bait frame per the trap - this is sufficient.
The rest could be blank frames/blank top bars/just some rag laying on some sticks.
There is no absolutely required way to have the trap posted.
It can be a completely empty box, after all.

Raid the traps and take the rest of the frames into rotation (just leave one frame behind if at all possible).

Same here - hard to find any time for the bees lately.
Just finishing the potato/green bean planting, and apple thinning (the potatoes/beans/apples are the staple and win over the bees every time).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,827 Posts
If a trap is not primed (not used previously), that pretty much is a waste of time as for me.
Never had a swarm landing into a not primed trap yet.
And just a reminder that this isn’t everyone’s experience.
I’ve lent out my copy of The Honey Bee Democracy so I will have to write this from memory.
In the mid seventies Tom Seeley, as a grad student, spent his winter break building swarm boxes from sheets of plywood. Baited with only some comb, over the next two seasons, he caught….if my memory serves me….around 150 swarms.
Unused boxes, to begin with anyway…baited only with comb. No lemongrass oil….
 

·
Premium Member
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
Joined
·
6,888 Posts
All three of the swarms I trapped have been in new traps. The first was a double flowerpot trap with nothing but a medium of undrawn foundation. The others were a Dr. Leo style box with a frame of comb. All were baited with LGO. My overall success rate is not very good, only one trapped swarm per year. I believe that getting that old hive smell will greatly increase my chances of getting them to move in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
807 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
[veering Off topic]
any tips on potato planting?
Just finishing the potato/green bean planting, and apple thinning (the potatoes/beans/apples are the staple and win over the bees every time).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,827 Posts
I believe that getting that old hive smell will greatly increase my chances of getting them to move in.
Agreed! My concern is that newbies planning to build swarm traps will be discouraged from doing so by such absolute comments.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,009 Posts
And just a reminder that this isn’t everyone’s experience.
I’ve lent out my copy of The Honey Bee Democracy so I will have to write this from memory.
In the mid seventies Tom Seeley, as a grad student, spent his winter break building swarm boxes from sheets of plywood. Baited with only some comb, over the next two seasons, he caught….if my memory serves me….around 150 swarms.
Unused boxes, to begin with anyway…baited only with comb. No lemongrass oil….
Like I said before - this boils down to the local real estate market.
Brand new traps for me ended up as depressing waste of time.
It very well maybe that in my area I got too many empty hives and traps to move into - and not enough swarms.

So, the time spent priming the brand new traps is time well spent.
But - have to have bees to prime those traps.
My first trapping season I had no bees and so it went - spunky new traps with LGO and some wax splattered on the walls.
Trapping is a marathon, not a sprint.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,009 Posts
[veering Off topic]
any tips on potato planting?
Mulch - the more the merrier.
Cardboard pinned down with wood chips/garden scraps works great (both moisture retention and weed control).
I don't ever water my potatoes - kinda how I do things in general - low resource inputs - set it and forget it.
I will post a pic of how I planted my potatoes this year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,009 Posts
beemandan said:
.In the mid seventies Tom Seeley, as a grad student, spent his winter break building swarm boxes from sheets of plywood. Baited with only some comb, over the next two seasons, he caught….if my memory serves me….around 150 swarms.
Unused boxes, to begin with anyway…baited only with comb. No lemongrass oil….
And of course, T. Seeley did his research swarm trapping on an isolated island with the swarms having no other choices but HIS plywood boxes.
Heck, I would not even spend the time and money on plywood boxes then.
I'd just use free cardboard boxes from trash, cut to size and wrapped into plastic.
That'd the real way to do it if ask me (dirt cheap and crazy efficient and still gets you the answers you want as bees have no other real estate choices).
Haha!

.....To further refine the bees’ criteria for nest choice, Seeley built 200 nest boxes at the woodshop in the Dyce Lab in the winter of 1975.....

......in June, 1975, the start of his first field season of swarm work on Appledore Island off the coast of Maine......... where he could set up boxes with no other available nesting options......

....In an inauspicious start, he had to finesse his first swarm out of the chimney of a curmudgeon lobsterman with a shotgun next to his door.....
LJ really likes this fact when the bees first moved into the chimney, before they bothered with those plywood boxes having no other choices left.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,827 Posts
And of course, T. Seeley did his research swarm trapping on an isolated island with the swarms having no other choices but HIS plywood boxes.
Seeley’s early work…in the seventies…that I was referring to was done in forests and the swarms he was catching were the product of pre varroa feral colonies.
You might find it enlightening to actually read some of his work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,827 Posts
And the quotes referencing Appledore Island are totally out of context. How could you have gotten this so screwed up????? ALL of the Appledore Island research was conducted MUCH later in Seeley's career.
Wherever you got those quotes....you might want to suggest to that person as well that they ought to actually read the book before before sticking their foot into their mouths...or keyboard...whichever the case might be.
 

·
Premium Member
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
Joined
·
6,888 Posts
Agreed! My concern is that newbies planning to build swarm traps will be discouraged from doing so by such absolute comments.
Dan, the point of my post was that all three of the swarms I have caught so far have been in new traps. Wanting to better the odds by getting the trap to smell like an older hive is not an absolute comment, unless you were referring to a different post by someone else. Just sayin.

I really need to get and read "Honey Bee Democracy" and gain better insight into Seeley's work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,827 Posts
unless you were referring to a different post by someone else.

I really need to get and read "Honey Bee Democracy" and gain better insight into Seeley's work.
I was referring to someone else's comment.

Seeley's Honey Bee Democracy is an amazing piece of work….in my opinion. It is a compilation of the work of three generations of beekeeping researchers. Von Frish who decoded the foraging waggle dance, Lindauer who discovered that a swarm of bees also used the same dance for finding a new nesting site, and Seeley who built on their work.
Seeley’s Appledore Island studies determined how dependably a swarm of bees choose the best nesting site of all those available. The bees are extremely successful.
It is disappointing for me to see people comment on Seeley’s work that have obviously not read any of it. They often confuse, distort and misrepresent the work conducted over a professional lifetime of a brilliant researcher. It is embarrassing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,009 Posts
And the quotes referencing Appledore Island are totally out of context. How could you have gotten this so screwed up????? ALL of the Appledore Island research was conducted MUCH later in Seeley's career.
Wherever you got those quotes....you might want to suggest to that person as well that they ought to actually read the book before before sticking their foot into their mouths...or keyboard...whichever the case might be.
If I stand corrected, then so be it.
I have no time now to cross-check my own sources.

Either way, people will make decisions for themselves and for their local real estate market.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,827 Posts
If I stand corrected, then so be it.
I have no time now to cross-check my own sources.
For twenty bucks you can buy a new copy of the book. You might even learn something.
If you plan to use other 'sources' for public claims, you ought to make sure that those sources are trustworthy.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top