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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been reading the swarm threads daily and all of the stories are more exciting than most books that I have read. I put out my first(and only) 6 swarm traps a few days ago and checked them already...nothing..as expected, my eagerness is boiling up inside. My question is, how do soooo many of you happen to be fortunate enough to see all of these swarms that I have been seeing pictures of and reading about? I thought about finding out if there is a swarm call list somewhere in my area, but I am afraid with having a full time job, I might not make it to the swarms in time. In my years of life(less than forty), I don't think I have ever seen a swarm of honey bees hanging on anything. Is Wisconsin not common for swarms or something??? Any pointers on how to start seeing more swarms would be great. Thanks, juzzer
 

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You might try calling a pest control company and tell them you are interested in capturing swarms. Our local companies don't collect swarms. They call a bee keeper who has contacted them. Bob
 

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Juzzer - Don't feel too bad there. I'm in the same boat here. I've had swarm traps out since march 1, and notta. Over my course of learning though, i've found that most ferral hives here in WV have died off, so swarms are something of a novelty here. So i put out swarm traps around my apiary just to make sure that if one of mine swarms and I'm not around to catch it personally, maybe they will like a hive already for them.

One trick i've learned though, find someone close that has bees, put traps out around them if they haven't. Chances are you may get yourself a swarm.
 

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Don't feel alone with this. I have lived in the same area for ages and have never witnessed a swarm...nor do I know anyone who has seen one.
 

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It's all a matter of right place, right time. Swarms have been delayed due to the long harsh winter. They should be starting real soon though in the next couple of weeks.
Pest control companies and your local fire/sherrif's dispatch is another good place to set out your information.
Once they start to swarm... be ready. Being prepared ahead of time is crucial. Seems like you will get a call every other day especially once word gets out you collect them.
I was fortunate once to see a swarm in action. Awesome sight to say the least.
 

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I think it is like hunting trophy whitetail deer. I wash all of my hunting equipment to remove scent. I do all of my scouting out of season so I don't leave my scent where I hunt. I stay out of their bedding area. I always trying to setup with the wind in my favor. I enter, and exit my stand where I can be quite, and leave as little scent on the ground as possible. But no matter what I do, if there isn't a trophy buck where I'm hunting then I'm not going to kill one.
 

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Don't feel bad, I'm right there with you. I have 3 traps out and so far nothing. Last week we had the first warm up of the season and I've been told that there were 7 swarm captures locally, but nothing here. Although I know it's just a matter of time and something will happen. Just be patient.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Knowledge and patience...(along with some LGO) seem to be the recipe needed to get swarms. 2 of those 3 "ingredients" are the reason I reduced my amount of hunting and fishing and switched my focus more on beekeeping......but I guess, here I go again. The wait is the build up that makes an eventual swarm that much sweeter! juzzer
 

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I've been beekeeping for about 5 yrs now, this year is the first time I have set out any traps... mainly, because I didn't know about them. So far I have caught 4 swarms in my yard, when I get the scouts in my shed looking around I know something is about to happen. My 2 hives made it through the winter well and I was able to split one in March. I have used LGO and old black brood comb as they say here on Bee Source and it has worked for me. Hope you have good luck and keep trying...I don't plan on buying anymore bees.

20140504_180340.jpg

I couldn't get the other picture to load, but this box is on top of a fence post and another one is on top of a 55 gal barrel so I don't worry about putting them 10 feet into the air.
 

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Our area has several bee clubs that each have their own FB page. Quite often swarm calls are placed on those pages by other beekeepers who get a call, but can't get to it, and they are generally specific to that clubs local area. Most post in the early afternoon, it seems, which works great for me because I'm off by 3:30 and can go get those without any problems. Posts after 5pm gives people who work later a chance too. If you have club affiliations and they don't have a FB page, help get one started. Last year I started a FB page called Bait Hive Challenge Utah. I've personally only caught two swarms in a bait hive (which sucks), but this year people started posting swarm calls on my page as well, which now has 147 members. The more people you get involved, the higher the chance to come up with a swarm yourself! Good Luck!
 

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How I'm able to get a lot of calls (please don't tell anybody)

1 - Exterminators, most don't do bees and will gladly pass honeybee calls your way.
2 - Google, Bing, Yahoo, & Yellow pages - "Place Pages" - all are free. How they work is anybody who does a computer search for bees or bee removal within 45 miles of you, your name and contact information will automatically pop up. Here is one of mine: https://plus.google.com/104618104641332484790/photos?gl=us&hl=en
3 - Craigslist Add- Refresh your add every week during early swarm season. 1st line needs to say "Free swarm Removals, free estimates for colony removals".
4 - Animal control officers, 911 calls get directed to them.
5 - Swarm lists: Ag. Extension office, Forestry Service, Local Agricultural Colleges, BeeSource, BeeMasters, Bees-on-the-net, etc.
6 - And my favorite, Bee Trees - Find them and mine them. When you get a call that turns out to be a bee tree, try to talk the owners into keeping them, then educate the homeowners about what a swarm looks like and have them call you when they swarm. Repeat business is wonderful, probably 10 of my swarm calls last year came from the same bee trees I got calls from the year before.
7 - Photobucket page - where you post pictures of every job for your customers to see. Here is mine:
http://s269.photobucket.com/albums/j...e/Bees 2011/
8 - take care of your customers, pint jar of honey to every body when you catch a swarm, case of pints to the exterminators and animal control officers that send you repeat business at Christmas.
9 - Get your equipment ready, and always have at least 3 boxes for swarms in your truck ready for new bees at all times. A lot of swarms occur on the same day, I've had 4 calls in one day several times.

Good luck, location is very important, some places just don't have many swarms.

....Don

(If your in the Kansas City area don't listen to this guy he is a lying sack of **** and has no idea what he is talking about)
 

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I have been reading the swarm threads daily and all of the stories are more exciting than most books that I have read. I put out my first(and only) 6 swarm traps a few days ago and checked them already...nothing..as expected, my eagerness is boiling up inside. My question is, how do soooo many of you happen to be fortunate enough to see all of these swarms that I have been seeing pictures of and reading about? I thought about finding out if there is a swarm call list somewhere in my area, but I am afraid with having a full time job, I might not make it to the swarms in time. In my years of life(less than forty), I don't think I have ever seen a swarm of honey bees hanging on anything. Is Wisconsin not common for swarms or something??? Any pointers on how to start seeing more swarms would be great. Thanks, juzzer
Knowledge and patience...(along with some LGO) seem to be the recipe needed to get swarms. 2 of those 3 "ingredients" are the reason I reduced my amount of hunting and fishing and switched my focus more on beekeeping......but I guess, here I go again. The wait is the build up that makes an eventual swarm that much sweeter! juzzer
Juzzer, go look at the locations for these guys. Bees obviously swarm the world over, but it helps to be south of the Mason-Dixon line from what I see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Juzzer, go look at the locations for these guys.
What do mean by this? If you mean where they see swarms, I have been reading the locations. Usually it is stated as simply a "branch" or a "tree".

I agree with your location statement, it seems like most of the swarm action comes in the South. juzzer
 

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What do mean by this? If you mean where they see swarms, I have been reading the locations. Usually it is stated as simply a "branch" or a "tree".

I agree with your location statement, it seems like most of the swarm action comes in the South. juzzer
Location of these guys would have been a better phrase.
 

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It's all a matter of right place, right time. Swarms have been delayed due to the long harsh winter. They should be starting real soon though in the next couple of weeks.
Swarms are late here in Maryland also. Yesterday I did a thorough inspection of my strong overwintered hive, and saw one partially constructed queen cell.

I suspect that they will start here next week or the week after.

Phil
 
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