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Any tricks for catching your own swarms? I would assume there is more to it than just placing an empty deep in a tree near by. Thanks for the help.
 

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You can put some attractant in the box like lemongrass oil or some unused comb or an unused frame.

An oldtimer (1 of 8 Master Beekeepers in NC) does a neat trick. He cuts some large Hemlock or Cedar branches and digs a hole about 15 ft in front of his hives and buries those limbs in the holes. Last year when he was teaching me he caught 10 out of 11 of his swarms on those branches. He's been bee keeping for over 55 years and has taught beekeeping in South America and Egypt.

When he digs the holes he makes them about 1 1/2 foot deep maybe 2 ft and puts a pvc pipe in the hole. He fills the pipe with water so that the limb will stay green through the swarm season. Then when a swarm attaches to the limb he just takes it out of the pipe and shakes it into the hive. Easiest swarm catches I've ever seen. He then takes the limb back and puts it back into the hole and awaits another swarm.
 

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use a 5 frame box in tree up about 6-8 ft from ground. I would use new wax/starter strips works well for this. old comb will attract wax moths. wax moths don't attack new wax. lemmond grass oil is good few drops/if no lemmond grass oil you can use lemon pledge. what we did 40 yrs ago was to save old queens in a bottle of alcohol crush them and use for { real lure}
Don
 

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excellent info. thanks so much. wish i'd known some of these tricks before i watched 3 swarms in 2 days last summer, a month to the day after hiving them (june 19, 2009). i had read of the lemon grass oil, but the "tree lures" seem very logical (thinking like a bee). i'll be (more) prepared this season.
 

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The Ceder tree works very well. I have 5 ceders in my yard. The swarms go right to them. I try to split in early May in order to prevent the swarms. I only had one last year. I make my own Honey-B-Healthy. Licithin granuals, lemon grass oil, Spearmint oil, etc....The ingredients are listed on this forum. If you would start feeding in May then in june make the splits, you wouldn't have to worry about swarms so much and you will double your colonies each year. Just a thought. Good luck.
 

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Another useful thing is to pick a nice low hanging branch, preferably one they've used before that was convenient, and put some lure on the branch. The advantage then is at least they collect in a place you can easily retrieve them. If you use some "queen juice" or some "bee boost" QMP pheromone, then they tend to be more likely to stay as well.
 

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An oldtimer (1 of 8 Master Beekeepers in NC) does a neat trick. He cuts some large Hemlock or Cedar branches and digs a hole about 15 ft in front of his hives and buries those limbs in the holes.

When he digs the holes he makes them about 1 1/2 foot deep maybe 2 ft and puts a pvc pipe in the hole.
How large is a large branch ? Then you just stand it up in the middle of the hole in the PVC ?
 

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Any tricks for catching your own swarms? I would assume there is more to it than just placing an empty deep in a tree near by. Thanks for the help.
Here's a trick: don't put those boxes right in your bee yard. You'll do much better moving those boxes 1/4 mile away. Follow the creeks and sheltered areas, find a good sized tree and hang the nuc box, or swarm trap, as high as you are comfortable.

My experience has been favorable hanging traps 8-10 fee high, but sometimes the topography limits my ability to hang them any higher than shoulder high.

It's better to work at alleviating the congestive conditions that lead to swarming rather than trying to catch those swarms. Traps work, but sometimes the bees find a place they like better.

Grant
Jackson, MO http://www.swarmtrapping.homestead.com
 

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On Amazon.com you can find the Licithin granules. Store name is Swanson Health Products. Cost about $4.50 for a large can. Shipping is about $3.99
 

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How much is in a large can?

The can that was for $4.29 is 16 oz. But they had a 3 lb. can for $11.99 which is cheaper and shipping was basically the same.
 

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I put 5 frame nuc's in my deer ladder stands 1/4 mile behind my house. old frames and lemon grass oil. They always make catches
 

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How long does that dab of lemon grass oil last in a bait hive? Could the oil be used in the plastic vile like the standerd swarm lure?
 

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How large is a large branch ? Then you just stand it up in the middle of the hole in the PVC ?
If you're talking about height then around 5 to 6 1/2 feet tall. Doesn't have to be real bushy but enough that you could picture a swarm attaching to it. Just common sense and it will work. I thought it was crazy, but it was neat to go out there almost everyday and see a swarm from his hives attached to it. He packs some mud in the PVC pipe for stability but other than that, that's pretty much it.
 

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If you're talking about height then around 5 to 6 1/2 feet tall. Doesn't have to be real bushy but enough that you could picture a swarm attaching to it. Just common sense and it will work. I thought it was crazy, but it was neat to go out there almost everyday and see a swarm from his hives attached to it. He packs some mud in the PVC pipe for stability but other than that, that's pretty much it.
I see,the hole in the ground is filled in to hold the limb in the PVC ? I guess you could just knock (drive) a pc. of PVC in the ground, fill with water and stick the branch in it,right ?
We have several cedars around,so I guess we need to check them each day or so.
 

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I see,the hole in the ground is filled in to hold the limb in the PVC ? I guess you could just knock (drive) a pc. of PVC in the ground, fill with water and stick the branch in it,right ?
We have several cedars around,so I guess we need to check them each day or so.
Yes that is correct. I wish I had a picture of it, but I haven't been there since April. You have the idea though. Cedars sometimes aren't as bushy as some other evergreens but they will probably work. Leyland cypress limbs work well.
 

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I got a lot of scrap drain PVC from the Interstate crew expanding I-24. They are about 12" across (ID).

Got them to use so that the trees would not soak up all of the water in the ground away from flowers and small shrubs. Cut the PVC into lenths of 18" to 24". Dug a hole larger than the diameter of the pipe. If putting in several of them I basically dug a pit the depth of the PVC length and as big around to accomodate all of the pipe. Filled the PVC with my own mixer of the soil (crumble fine by hand removing all rocks/Arrow heads/50 caliber balls or Sharps/old metal from a barn years ago/Civial War buttoms/Geodes). Mixed with compost and peat to give nutrients and keep water.

It worked! But I had a PVC left over and used a few for sitting some hives above the ground. Really didn't like that so I pulled them up and replaced them with cinder block.

Anyway, I digress. My question is: I should be able to use 1 or more of these PVC pipes in the ground filled with water/peat/soil as mud as a container to put the cedar branches? One thing we have a lot of in Middle TN is cedar. Plenty of poor land so much of it is in cedars that spring up everywhere.
 

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I got a lot of scrap drain PVC from the Interstate crew expanding I-24. They are about 12" across (ID).

Got them to use so that the trees would not soak up all of the water in the ground away from flowers and small shrubs. Cut the PVC into lenths of 18" to 24". Dug a hole larger than the diameter of the pipe. If putting in several of them I basically dug a pit the depth of the PVC length and as big around to accomodate all of the pipe. Filled the PVC with my own mixer of the soil (crumble fine by hand removing all rocks/Arrow heads/50 caliber balls or Sharps/old metal from a barn years ago/Civial War buttoms/Geodes). Mixed with compost and peat to give nutrients and keep water.

It worked! But I had a PVC left over and used a few for sitting some hives above the ground. Really didn't like that so I pulled them up and replaced them with cinder block.

Anyway, I digress. My question is: I should be able to use 1 or more of these PVC pipes in the ground filled with water/peat/soil as mud as a container to put the cedar branches? One thing we have a lot of in Middle TN is cedar. Plenty of poor land so much of it is in cedars that spring up everywhere.

From the one experience I had, the older gentlemen had about 8 or 9 hives, (that's all he can handle at 80) and he had about 5 limbs spread out in front of his hives about 15 ft away. It really looked like he had just planted some leyland cypress and then he went over there and pulled it out of the ground took it to the hive and brushed the bees down into it. I would say my mouth probably dropped, he got a kick out of watching me. Many questions followed after the demonstration.
 
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