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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My swarm traps are within 50-75 yards from my house where my hives are. Occasionally I am late noticing the activity at the trap and they could be there a week or more before I see them. My traps are the size of a 10 frame deep with one old frame inside. I can close the entrance, top and bottom are screwed on. Last year I locked them in, move them, drilled a hole in the bottom and set them on top of a deep with frames. I let them out after 3 days when I did have a branch in the front of the entrance.
I am thinking it has to be a better way. Not only that I didn’t like drilling the hole in the trap, but I felt bad for keeping them locked up also. I can make a sliding door that I can open so they can move from the trap box into the deep with frames in which case, is it better to have the deep box under or on top of the trap box? Maybe somebody here does something totally different too? Thank you for any help/opinion you can share.
 

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I would fill the swarm box with more than 1 frame to keep the bees from drawing cross comb across the frame.
As far as moving out the swarm trap, I would simply remove the frame from the trap and place directly into the deep and put the remainder of the drawn/undrawn frames in the box. Then, drop the swarm trap on the ground to get the remaining bees to fall to the bottom and then shake them into the deep box. If there are no more bees in the swarm trap, then take it away. If there are still stragglers, put the swarm trap outside of the deep for a day and the remaining bees should move over to the new box. No need to build anything.
 

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I think he's more worried about the bees going back to the original swarm trap location.

I've found swarms to be a little more pliable in reorienting themselves. I've had swarms move into traps 30 feet from the parent colony and I again move them another 30 feet away without issue. A few may come back to the location but they seem to fly around until they find a "home" - have it be their original colony or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Mtnmyke is correct: I am concerned that, if given the chance, they will fly back to the original trap location as I am doing the transfer, but at the same time if they are going to be locked in for a few days, I want them to start using and get the smell of their future home, the real deep box. The trap is a light plywood structure and the one frame inside is just the bait. Yes I could fill up a normal box with base and cover and use it as a trap but I hate going up or down on a ladder holding a full hive. My traps are not heavier than 2-3 lb built in one piece except for the hinged lockable door.
 

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Well, certainly the queen wouldn't fly back to the original location so you may lose a few foragers but the majority of the hive will stay in the box if you decide to move it, even without closing it up. Just use the tricks of closing the entrance down, place sticks/brush at the entrance to force reorientation and you should be fine.

In any and ALL my swarms caught, mine or not, I always add a frame of brood from another hive - with brood of all stages. I find doing this keeps them in the box 100% of the time as they won't abandon brood with the added bonus of giving them a big numbers boost. If you think of a swarm as a package of bees the same math applies in that it's going to take at least 21 days to get new bees into the colony (assuming the queen begins laying on day 1) which means a lot of the older bees will be dying off. The frame of brood keeps the numbers up for quicker expansion as most swarms/packages have a rather large numbers drop before brood begins emerging.
 
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