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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For 6 straight days I have lots of activity at my swarm trap, they just won't commit to bring the whole swarm. It is slightly early, but seriously take a chance. Picture from 2 evenings ago. Double nuc box with about 8 frames of old comb and 2 with foundation.
 

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Scouting can go on for months and end in a swarm arriving or no swarm arriving. Good time to practice patience as the Corona virus might arrive with you sooner.
 

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This was me last year. Lots and lots of activity that went on for weeks. Turns out it was a my own hive that I thought had no chance of swarming since I had taken the queen out into a nuc. For some reason during the whole time it took them to make a new queen they scouted that trap and as soon as they had a queen they took off. I caught that swarm on a tree branch and that ended the scouting.

The old hive ended up queenless as a result and I had to put the old queen back in.

So like odfrank said, don't be surprised if this goes on a long time, with maybe no good result. Trapping is like playing the lottery. Every once in a while you might win big. It's fun, but you can't count on winning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The trap is in my back yard. I don't have any hives in my backyard. I am working from home until further notice. So my "coffee breaks" are when i watch the bees. My wife thinks i am obsessed. I am in denial.

They must be from a hive near by that hasn't swarmed yet and making plans. Everything is green right now the trees, bushes, cars, concrete and any flat surface. Haven't had a rain shower in a while to wash away the pollen.

As soon as they settle in i am going to take them to where i keep bees. And probably re-queen with some VSH queens. Feral hives here in SE Texas tend to be difficult to manage, but they grow like crazy and make lots of honey.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Have you read "Honey Bee Democracy"? Tom Seeley goes into great detail about the factors involved with a swarm moving into a particular location. If the bees are flying back and forth, it is a good sign. If those particular bees are staying at the trap, the swarm may have moved on already. This is from my personal experience of having scout bees in a trap for several weeks and never getting the swarm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I had the book but couldn't get around to diving in. I now have read it, since this never-ending tease by the ladies in yellow and black. I couldn't find where he talks about what happens at the losing sites and where the scouts that advertise them end up. He does talk about how all scouts eventually stop scouting and rest back at the swarm. So I am not sure why bees would continue to stay at the trap after the swarm moves on.

I am convinced that the actual swarm has not left the mother hive. Otherwise, they would be out in the open for 7 days already. Everyday mid-morning to mid-afternoon there are 10 -15 bees hanging out on the front and 4-6 coming and going to the trap. And every evening it is empty again. Nerve-wrecking to say the least.

I am obviously not the most patience person.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
We had rain almost all day yesterday and cool and cloudy today so not much if any activity. Thursday was very active, but again by the late evening the trap was completely empty. Thanks for asking.

I did go out yesterday and check the the trap during a lull in storms. Happy to say there were two fools out looking at the trap and only one was me.
 

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>As soon as they settle in i am going to take them to where i keep bees.

Or set a trap where you keep bees and you will save moving them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
After 2 weeks of shopping the neighborhood, they moved in this afternoon. My 1st time seeing a swarm arrive. Pretty spectacular. We also had a swarm move into some empty dead out equipment at the bee yard. A couple pictures. 1st one is as they are arriving and the second about 10 minutes after it started.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Took the 1st swarm to the bee yard Saturday morning and placed them in a single deep. Brought back the double nuc with 5 more frames and placed in the same spot. An after-swarm moved in this evening. Crazy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
My backyard seems to be a hotspot this year. Had my 3rd swarm move into the same location.

Update on the other 2 this year that i moved to our bee yard. The first swarm is now in a deep and 2 medium supers. The second swarm had a virgin queen and a frame of bees. She is now mated and about to fill a full nuc box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
This our 5th swarm this year to catch in southeast Texas. Three have been average to below average defensiveness. One just showed up so the jury is out. One was full africanized bees. That hive showed up early in some empty equipment. It would erupt when you opened it and would never calm down no matter how much smoke you used. A hundred bees in your face after pulling only 1 frame. We are in the process of re-queening it and 3 other hives (2 swarms and 1 nuc) to improve our genetics. It is difficult to raise our on queens because we never know who they are mating with. Last year we bought Italians queens to lower the defensiveness in our hives, but since it was still hot here in October the mites took over before we could apply MAQS or formic pro or apiguard. Only 1 colony with those queens survived until December. This year we are trying VSH queens that are supposed to be less defensive.

Hope things are going well with you and your bees Russ. I have heard there was an early warm-up and then crappy weather for a lot of areas near you.
 
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