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I use lots of foundationless frames in my apiaries. I run all 8 frame mediums. I sort through all my extra comb coming out of winter. If I have lots of drone comb, I cut it out to melt and use these frames in my traps with an old/dark worker comb in the center of the box. When a swarm moves in, they build pretty much all worker comb, because they are looking primarily at expanding. So, I use swarm trapping as a way to convert drone comb into worker comb. I also use lemongrass oil - will staple a section of straw filled with cotton ball to the back of the hive and add a dropper full of lemongrass oil to it. If I don't use the straw method, I just take a Q-Tip and dip it into the lemongrass oil and place into a sandwich baggie folded and drop it on the floor of the trap. I also make a paste wax using beeswax, lemongrass oil, and olive oil. You can follow these instructions from Linda Tillman:

https://plus.google.com/photos/1167...5172532293879188994&oid=116748370159747164350

I smear this paste wax around the entrance hole on the front of the box. I will often drip two full droppers of lemongrass oil onto the underside of the lid. I know these seems like a lot, and it is - but it's cheap and I seem to be catching lots of swarms each year.



You could do this I guess, but I dedicate my swarm boxes to trapping. I use French cleats on most of them, so I can take my caught swarm down just by lifting it off my bracket, and placing a new trap in its place.

View attachment 31402

I have also made some traps out of plywood, these boxes, I will paint the inside of the boxes with a tincture made from propolis and alcohol. I just save the propolis during the summer from cleaning frame rests, etc. Add it to a jar with 97% alcohol and shake it often. When I make a new plywood trap, I paint the entire inside of the box with this tincture. It gives that nice lived in smell. Once You catch a few swarms , that is not necessary anymore. Example of a plywood box below. I back my truck up to the tree, and place along a gas line of field edge.

View attachment 31403


Although baiting is important, the most important thing is location. I just happen to have a great location and catch 10+ swarms every year on one 70 acre farm. Last spring was a very "swarmy" year. I caught 4 a single tree in my fathers driveway. One time I took a trap down at 10:30pm to move it, hung a new trap, and 1pm the following day another swarm moved in.

This spring, all my hives are going to overwinter (23), so my trapping will be very limited, I will allow them to swarm into the wild. If I want more hives, I can use my own resources.

PAHunter62
Oops.... Double tap
 

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I use lots of foundationless frames in my apiaries. I run all 8 frame mediums. I sort through all my extra comb coming out of winter. If I have lots of drone comb, I cut it out to melt and use these frames in my traps with an old/dark worker comb in the center of the box. When a swarm moves in, they build pretty much all worker comb, because they are looking primarily at expanding. So, I use swarm trapping as a way to convert drone comb into worker comb. I also use lemongrass oil - will staple a section of straw filled with cotton ball to the back of the hive and add a dropper full of lemongrass oil to it. If I don't use the straw method, I just take a Q-Tip and dip it into the lemongrass oil and place into a sandwich baggie folded and drop it on the floor of the trap. I also make a paste wax using beeswax, lemongrass oil, and olive oil. You can follow these instructions from Linda Tillman:

https://plus.google.com/photos/1167...5172532293879188994&oid=116748370159747164350

I smear this paste wax around the entrance hole on the front of the box. I will often drip two full droppers of lemongrass oil onto the underside of the lid. I know these seems like a lot, and it is - but it's cheap and I seem to be catching lots of swarms each year.



You could do this I guess, but I dedicate my swarm boxes to trapping. I use French cleats on most of them, so I can take my caught swarm down just by lifting it off my bracket, and placing a new trap in its place.

View attachment 31402

I have also made some traps out of plywood, these boxes, I will paint the inside of the boxes with a tincture made from propolis and alcohol. I just save the propolis during the summer from cleaning frame rests, etc. Add it to a jar with 97% alcohol and shake it often. When I make a new plywood trap, I paint the entire inside of the box with this tincture. It gives that nice lived in smell. Once You catch a few swarms , that is not necessary anymore. Example of a plywood box below. I back my truck up to the tree, and place along a gas line of field edge.

View attachment 31403


Although baiting is important, the most important thing is location. I just happen to have a great location and catch 10+ swarms every year on one 70 acre farm. Last spring was a very "swarmy" year. I caught 4 a single tree in my fathers driveway. One time I took a trap down at 10:30pm to move it, hung a new trap, and 1pm the following day another swarm moved in.

This spring, all my hives are going to overwinter (23), so my trapping will be very limited, I will allow them to swarm into the wild. If I want more hives, I can use my own resources.

PAHunter62
Excellent info PAHunter!

I'm going to be making swarm traps this year (going into my 3rd year and have finally realized the value of swarm catching) out of some beat up medium boxes that I took shortcuts on during my first year (no primer, only 1 coat of paint). I hate to trash them. I plan on implementing your system of a bottom tray with a medium 8 frame on it, with a migratory top bungee'd around it. However, I'm going to have to come up with an attachment system... The french cleat is a great idea, but with Oklahoma winds, I'm concerned with it staying attached. All great ideas to ponder.

Thanks again for sharing!
 

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I'm going to have to come up with an attachment system... The french cleat is a great idea, but with Oklahoma winds, I'm concerned with it staying attached. All great ideas to ponder.

Thanks again for sharing!
The French cleat has worked well for me so far. Take your time and get the trap situated level, especially side-to-side if you have foundationless frames. This will ensure you don't get cross comb. I try to find a good straight tree, but if needed I add shims under the top (or bottom) of the mounting bracket to get the trap leveled. Wind has not been an issue for me, but black bear have knocked a few down if I let them hang for too long.

IMG_1943.jpg

PAHunter62
 
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