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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've done well on several of my traps with feral bees this first year of trying this, but I failed to capture two swarms in my own apiary today. I think the main problem is all the rainy wet weather this spring. Two swarms ignored my traps around my own yard and took to the skies. I opened the traps and they were damp, mildewed, and moldy looking. One of them had a colony of ants raising brood in it. I'm pretty sure the bees didn't want to move into a nasty apartment like that. My traps that have done well with the feral bees may have avoided the mildew by staying busy with new swarms, so they never got nasty. I know now I should have looked inside them on a weekly basis to keep tabs on the condition in this wet weather.

BTW, I did catch one of the swarms today from my hives the old fashion way of climbing a 22' ladder and taping a 5 gal bucket to the end of a pruning pole to reach the swarm that was about 35' up in the top of a tree. I tried luring them down with a fresh super of comb and lemongrass oil, but they weren't responding and I was afraid they would move out soon with the approaching rain.

Well, I learned another lesson today and thought I'd pass it on to some who may not know already. Blessings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I guess I should ask the question now from the pros: what's the best way to clean mildew and mold from equipment. Can comb be washed clean or do you just trash it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Nastier the better. Old comb in a 10 frame hive will do nicely to attract them.
I had old comb and regular hive stuff, but the mildew from all the moisture is what I was concerned about. All the traps that mildewed caught no swarms. Each one had a green film on the frames and comb.
 

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I had a swarm move into a dead out with molding comb in it. I think in your case you are wanting to get the bees from your own yard to move into them, but bees want to move away from there parent hive. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but the bees want to move away. On the other hand bees seemed to be attracted to the pheromones in a bee yard, so keep some empty boxes around your hives for the odd swarm that happens to be in the area.
 
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