Oops.... Double tapI 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:
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.
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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.
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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.