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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, brand new to this. I live in SW FL. My orange blossoms are in full swing and the bees are happy!

I bought a full newbie kit from Dadant several months ago with the intent of moving a hive in a hollow tree on my property. I had a health issue so it got put off. I did notice over time there seemed to be fewer and fewer bees, went to try to capture them last week and they were all gone, either dead or moved.

Anyway, so now I have this nice vacant hive kit. For the months is sat there no interest at all from the hive in the tree, the trees is small so I was hoping they'd move over voluntarily, but no interest at all.

So I got some lemongrass oil and rubbed a little on a couple of the frames off of a q-tip, put the q-tip in a baggie and left it in the bottom of the hive near the entrance.

Lo and behold I had a few bees checking it out the very next day! So I put some diluted honey on a saucer with a screen over it to feed them, and had several dozen bees going into the hive, I was very hopeful, but once the food ran out they just left. Repeated a few times (I'll switch to sugar water), they ate the free food and took off.

So, I'm looking for tips on attracting a swarm. This is just a hobby, I've always loved bees.

Edit: I'm on a waiting list for buying a Nuc but I'd prefer to capture some local, native bees. I'm not up for the nuc for another month.

Main question is - how often should I replenish the lemongrass oil? I've been told you can overdo it and actually repel them, true?

Any other tips?

Thank you in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Yeah there's definitely a ton of bees around. I just added some diluted honey to my homemade bee feeder and within an hour it's covered with bees. Some of them fighting so I guess there may be more than one hive around?

It may actually be too late to catch the early swarms down here, the termites were swarming today (I live on 3 wooded acres with hundreds of acres around me.)

So I'm thinking just keep up the lemongrass oil every 2 weeks or so, adding 2 - 3 drops?

Feed 2-3 times a week just to keep them interested in my hive boxes?

Hope I catch a swarm later on?

Thoughts?

By the way, been reading lots of back posts, very informative.
 

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Unless you have some drawn comb it is unlikely but not impossible the swarms will be attracted to a new hive body. Even with the lemon grass oil they just like the bee smell in the box too. Quit feeding in the box. You are drawing the wrong attention to it. Just rub the inside with lemon grass and leave it be.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks, any suggestions on where to get drawn comb? A quick internet search hasn't shown much.

Sorry for the newb questions, I'm reading like crazy trying to learn.

There is the hollow tree that used to have bees in it a few months ago, my only fear is I don't know if they died off or moved on.
 

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If the tree is empty of bees they died off. Bees don't typically abscond and move on unless there is some huge extenuating circumstances. (likely mites)

Old comb is best found from another beekeeper. See if there are any clubs in your area, you may find a kind mentor willing to give you a frame.
 

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You said the tree is hollow. Is there anyway you can get to the area that the bees were in. Last spring I did a cut out from a fallen tree. A lot of the comb I cut out and rubber banded into frames. I used some of that in my swarm trap last year. If not find a local bee keeper or club. Somebody will either give you or sell you an old frame or two that you can put in your trap.
 
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