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I’ve read several threads here and watched several videos on YouTube about the various ways to acquire swarms. Being a hunter I’m familiar with using attractants/scents to attract game...which lead me to this thought/question. Has anyone ever tried this... during prime swarm season, picking spots along the side of the roadway where a bush or tree limb sticks out into the county right of way that you could drive by a few times a day, spraying swarm commander on the end of a limb that would be perfect to walk up to and shake a swarm into a nuc box, seal it, and take it straight to a hive? I live in rural Alabama where the traffic is minimal so the chance of someone else seeing them first would be low.

Another question would be...How long would the SC last?...until the next good rain?
 

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Swarms are rare in my locale, but I doubt many beekeepers would travel their “swarm-scent route” every three (3) hours during sunlight hours to have a chance at catching a swarm that is temporarily attracted to a branch/limb. Landowners do not want bees (unless they are beekeepers); if you respect their property, and ask permission of the landowner, I suspect your swarm trap will be permitted to exist to first attract, and then temporary house those swarms. You need only travel your circuit weekly (or as convenient), and moving bees is very simple.
 

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As far as I know, you can place a swarm trap on a public right of way with no problems. I prefer private property with the landowner's permisson of course.
 

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Re: I’ve been thinking and wondering

Iyou could drive by a few times a day, spraying swarm commander on the end of a limb that would be perfect to walk up to and shake a swarm into a nuc box,
By the time you buy the swarm commander, then buy all the gas to drive by 3 times a day, I'm thinking you would be far better off just buying a package of bees. Probably spend less and definitely have a higher probability of success.
 

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Re: I’ve been thinking and wondering

+1
buy some bees and get to the work of beekeeping...
For sure hang some traps and let them work passively for you. but if catching swarms for free was such a big thing... packages wouldn't have rose to $150. They are a bonus, but counting on them vs all the other beekeepers chasing them is often hit or misss
 

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Re: I’ve been thinking and wondering

Don't disagree with any of the comments but sometimes things are attempted just because. In the vein of scents and attractants, have you looked up the Russian scion? A little more than spraying a limb but the same general concept.
 

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Re: I’ve been thinking and wondering

Its fine for "just because" but doing a lot of work for little chance of reward may not be the best thing.

The swarm doesn't go very far from the mother hive before it bivouacs, for what ever reason swarms often end up in the same spot/ tree year after year. I have a little 4' pine in one yard that regularly attracts them.
So for the plan to work you have to get close to a swarming hive, witch lowers your probability of being in the right spot drasticly
 

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Hi jsneed, your idea isn't to far off base..Just my opinion. But, I'd shure like to see a box for those bees to go into right off. You might get lucky though, who knows. I think the swarm commander may last a few weeks. But that's in a box. Out in the open, im sure it will dissipate allot faster. I seem to get lucky most years, at my local hardware store calls me when a swarm com's. The first swarm I caught was on a propane tank at their fill station. Let folks know that your serious into bee keeping. Talk about it with allot of folks you know. Give em a card with your contact info, ect. Good luck, and if ya need any help, give me a message, we can talk on phone. Live in Decatur, and hives in Cullman, and soon in Lawrence co. Rich
 

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Re: I’ve been thinking and wondering

I live in rural Alabama where the traffic is minimal so the chance of someone else seeing them first would be low.
It sounds as if you live 'out in the sticks', as I do. When I re-started beekeeping I needed some bees (obviously) and so I gave my contact details to a local pest control outfit, bought a couple of nucs, and installed a few camouflaged swarm traps high up in some likely-looking trees.

The swarm call-outs proved to be expensive both in time and petrol (gasoline); my own swarm traps produced nothing (very few swarms occur far away from a human population); but the nucs I purchased proved to be a wise investment, and I've never looked back - but only thanks to them.

I keep hearing stories of people who want 'bees for free' and put out swarm traps year after year, but without any success whatsoever. Then there are those who cannot keep up with the number of swarms they catch each year, and become inundated with them. So much depends on where you live, as you can't catch what ain't there in the first place. And I'd say there's a case for these two groups of people to start talking to each other. :)
LJ
 

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I wonder if you could compromise? Get a few packages this year then spray swarm commander on some convenient branches next spring and see if it works with your own bees. Then experiment with how long the scent lasts. And of course let us know!
 

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Re: I’ve been thinking and wondering

If you have gobs of bees in the area, I'd recommend, once ya decide you are getting into beekeeping, use the 2 brand new deep bodies with waxed plastic frames inside and Swm Cmdr on the outside front as bait hives in the area you propose to drive by all the time. May want to have them out of sight, out of mind. Keep in mind the absolute. If there are no hives in the general area throwing swarms, you just ain't gonna get a fly in to a bait hive. Regardless how much swarm commander attractant you put out.
Annnd, it is just as likely that someone else driving by notices that branch with the swarm you prepared your way, drops it in a box and drives off with it. Thank you very much for your efforts. But no cigar (or swarm).

Once they do their fly-in, those deeps can simply be moved onto stands in the permanent hive locations. And if one of those original deeps is still unoccupied when the other gets the fly in, you can decide to retrieve the 2nd deep to be placed on the first or go with your luck and try for a second fly in.
 

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Re: I’ve been thinking and wondering

trapping swarms is really hit or miss. I put up 5 traps in 2018 on my property and caught 4 swarms. Last year same 5 traps , same property, same locations, same lure...no swarms.

Most reliable way to get more bees in my opinion is to learn to graft, build a whole bunch of nuc boxes and make several hives from one.
 

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Re: I’ve been thinking and wondering

Here is a discussion from 2016.

https://www.beesource.com/forums/sh...mmander-vs-LemonGrass-Oil-vs-Queen-in-Alcohol

I own and use both but would reccomend just the LGO for a first timer because it is cheap, does not need to be applied as often, and works almost as well, according to reports. The swarms I have trapped have all been in LGO baited traps but that is more a matter of chance and location.
 
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