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Leaving a nuc box next to a thriving hive, how likely is it that a new colony will take up residence in the empty nuc within a reasonable amount of time?
 

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I have no experience trapping swarms but am thinking about it and researched it a bit and sources said a swarm looks for a certain amount space in a cavity before they move in (about a deep hive body at least), and they like it if it's about 10ft in the air. They should be swarming soon though (to my knowledge). If you haven't I'd check for swarm cells.
 

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I have never seen a swarm enter an empty box that was less than 75 to 100 yards from the apiary. I don't mean a baited swarm box, just an empty box with or without comb.
 

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I have no experience trapping swarms but am thinking about it and researched it a bit and sources said a swarm looks for a certain amount space in a cavity before they move in (about a deep hive body at least), and they like it if it's about 10ft in the air. They should be swarming soon though (to my knowledge). If you haven't I'd check for swarm cells.
I caught 14 swarms last year. The boxes were the size of a five frame nuc frame except they were 20 inches deep. None of them were over 6 ft off the ground. I don’t think the bees know they are supposed to like them really high.🙂
 

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OP - probably about 0%.

There's a minimum distance requirement for swarm traps, at least 100-200 yards.
 

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Leaving a nuc box next to a thriving hive, how likely is it that a new colony will take up residence in the empty nuc within a reasonable amount of time?
Truthfully no one knows. You will get all kinds of opinions but bees do what they want to do.
 

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I tend to leave empty hives in the vicinity of others. Last year I had a swarm move into a setup about 150' from the main hives. A second swarm lit on a very small bush right close to the ground about 75' away from where they took off- I put an empty deep over them, a deep full of drawn comb on top of that and a cover, by the next day they had settled in.

A third swarm conveniently took up residence in a box on the porch about 100yds from the others and I immediately moved them back into the field with the others. Another swarm lit in a tree between the house and the field, I set up boxes underneath them and dumped them in when they couldn't make up their minds about it after a couple of hours (scouts kept investigating but they wouldn't move, so I finally forced them). They got immediately moved back into the apiary as well.

I've bagged some within 10-30' of the hives when I was keeping them close to the treeline. The furthest I've had to go to retrieve a swarm is about 1500'. I think I've only ever lost one, that took up residence in a tree. I couldn't find them, the brush was too thick, but I could smell them- I don't think they made it through the winter.
 

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I caught a swarm in a 5 frame double deep trap earlier this week. It was sitting on the rack right next to my other hives. Thenew bees are not from my hives.

I had not intended to set a trap there, I had only put the trap there, because my wife made me empty the van so she could use it for car pool. When the trap quickly attracted a lot of scout traffic, I decided to leave it and see what happened. After catching that swarm, I decided to reset the trap just a few feet down the rack. That trap has also seen consistent traffic.

Seeley has shown that swarming bees can be thrown off course when they intersect the flight paths of established hives. I think it is possible that established hives my attract the attention of scout bees.

We also hear of many beekeepers who unintentionally catch swarms in unused equipment stored next to their hives.

I think you chances of catching a swarm next to your hive is at least average.
 

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I caught 14 swarms last year. The boxes were the size of a five frame nuc frame except they were 20 inches deep. None of them were over 6 ft off the ground. I don’t think the bees know they are supposed to like them really high.🙂
How did you rig the inside? Frameless? One frame of old drawn comb and four foundationless frames? I understand the scouts measure the inside, but am not sure they can measure properly if the box is filled with five frames of foundation/comb.
 

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How did you rig the inside? Frameless? One frame of old drawn comb and four foundationless frames? I understand the scouts measure the inside, but am not sure they can measure properly if the box is filled with five frames of foundation/comb.
1 frame of old brood comb in the middle, the rest was frameless with fishing line.
 
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