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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone have plans or suggestions for building a swarm trap? I looked in the build it section and didn't see any.
I would prefer to use 3/4 pine which is plentiful and cheap here. Does anyone just make a nuc box and use it as a swarm trap? I am thinking if I did that, it could serve 2 purposes. Getting bored here without being able to work my bees and would like a good winter project. Thanks all. J
 

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My suggestion is to just use/build hive boxes that you would use for other purposes as well.

Tom Seeley's research suggests that around 40 liters is an optimum size for a swarm trap, and that is the approximate volume of a 10 frame deep. More here: https://ecommons.cornell.edu/bitstream/handle/1813/2653/Bait Hives for Honey Bees.pdf

I use my 10 frame medium bodies and add a temporary 3" shim. The shim has an entrance notch cut in it. Add a plywood top and bottom and ... Bob's your uncle! :)


One way to hold all this together is to cut some 1x2 scraps that run vertical to the outside of the hive body, then add some screws into the hive body, the shim and the top & bottom plywood.

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Fivej
I use all mediums for my hives. I usually make a deep size ten frame hive body if I have wood that is wide enough. This allows me to drill a hole in the bottom of the box but also to cut it down later if I need a medium to put on a hive. I try to fill it with frames. For the bottom and top. I usually put a couple of boards together and screw them to the bottom. For the top, I usually use a hive top of whatever kind I have and use screws to hold it down. Over the hole, I will cut a piece of wood and put one screw through it so I can swivel it over the hole if I catch something. I do not have any venting in my traps to fight over heating though when I have used hive bottoms, I have used window screen to close the hive up if I catch something. I have made some out of chip board and make them deep size also. So far I have not over heated a swarm when moving it but no venting makes this possible and so I usually close it at night move it as fast as possible and then open it the second I get it to my yard. I then switch it to a medium the next day.

I like the ideal of making my traps in a way that I can use them for hives incase I someday have enough bees that I don't want to keep trapping. The chip board did work well though and is a little lighter as my hives are oak. With pine, they won't be heavy. I build a platform and screw it to the trees and slide the trap on to it. You could strap the platform to the tree if you don't want to put a bunch of screws in trees.

I think you could use almost anything for a trap but this is what I do.
Every since reading tom seeleys paper on trapping, I don't use nucs or mediums for traps unless I stack two or add a shim to make them bigger. Some say they catch bees in smaller traps and haveing any trap out makes catching more possible then not having anything out. I no longer put traps higher then I can put them with both feet on the ground and just reaching up.

I hope this gives you some ideals and helps in some way.
Good luck
gww
 

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All I us is 10 frame deeps.I catch a swarm and then pick it up and just put another one in its place.Move it to an out yard and add more supers when they need them.I have a frame of old comb and the rest frames and foundation.That way no messy cut outs.
 

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Coates nuc is what I use.
http://beesource.com/build-it-yourself/5-frame-nuc-d-coates-version/
You are correct, it is a multi purpose box that functions as a trap in spring and nuc for mating or starting to build from queen castle to an overwinter nuc.
http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/n599/6minz/q cast 4_zpsngkg58ky.jpg

Attached are a couple of pictures of mine. You will note that I add a hanger on the side with a hole to hang them on the limb.
http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/n599/6minz/traps1.jpg
 

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I'm with the "use your standard brood chamber " crowd. I add a entrance disc for easy closure at moving with a plywood top and bottom. Or a 3/4" plywood bottom with a entrance slot. Or a five frame nuc box. All have multi purpose uses.





 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks guys. Some good and creative workmanship. I will have to read tom Sealey's methods. Fishmaster, did you catch a swarm with your styrofoam box? Minz, maybe I should just use an old birdhouse! I see the advantages of using a deep as well as something along the lines of a nuc box. Now I have something to ponder and build this winter. Thanks again. J
 

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I'm with the "use your standard brood chamber " crowd. I add a entrance disc for easy closure at moving with a plywood top and bottom. Or a 3/4" plywood bottom with a entrance slot. Or a five frame nuc box. All have multi purpose uses.





May I ask what you use to add the numbers to your boxes?
 

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Fivej I just made it last week to try next year. I made five different sizes last year and caught swarms in all five so I hope I get one in the styrofoam one. Going to build another one too. That will give me eight to put out next year. And I used swarm commander!! Good luck!
 

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May I ask what you use to add the numbers to your boxes?
A post by Oliver from a few years ago regarding his hive branding tools ...
I bought a Everhot tool 35 years ago, with a cast registraton brand and also their slotted holder. I eventually bought all of the alphanumeric characters. BrandNew now supports Everhot. I use the slotted holder to brand the year of manufacture on frames, and company name on shovels etc. I work with a friend who has almost the same registration number, and we share a third one inherited from another friend. This helps us keep the equipment sorted apart.
BrandNew/Everhot offers a variety of sized branding tools - here's one of them:
https://www.brandnew.net/estore/shopexd.asp?id=283
 

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Old equipment for me.
Old 10 frame woodenware that's got dry rot on the top. If it's only got the dry rot on the bottom, I cut it off and turn the deep into a super. Otherwise I screw a bottom on, put in one frame of old drawn comb right in the middle and the rest are undrawn frames, drill a 1' hole in the side and put a homemade lid on top. They'll also use any dry rotted areas as openings as well. It'll give me a couple more years of trap service and invariably catch me a few swarms before it's rotted such that I can no longer use it. By that time I've got other "retired" deeps to replace it. Unscrew the bottom from the old deep and screw it on the new one and you're back in business.

I've had very poor luck with my nuc boxes trapping swarms. As a catcher for swarms I retrieve though? Perfect, just make sure to put in a frame of open brood as an anchor and they're yours.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I read Tom Seeley's article. Interesting. He recommends that the trap be 15 feet off the ground. Looking around my apiary, the most convenient tree to locate a trap has a good branch, but it is only about 10 feet high. If I located it there, do you think a swarm would bypass it because it is lower than their "preference"? I know that 15 feet seems to be the ideal, but am wondering how low you can go before your success rate drops off a cliff. Anyone have success with a low trap? I also found it interesting that they prefer shade, so if you have any experiences shade vs sun I would be interested in hearing it.
 

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but am wondering how low you can go before your success rate drops off a cliff. Anyone have success with a low trap?
I catch dozens annually never higher than I can place standing at ground level.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Frank, That's exactly what I wanted to hear. Now I will look around for an even lower branch. I would really like to avoid a ladder.
Snapper mentioned old equipment with the "old bee smell" helps too. I don't have any old boxes, but has anyone tried to replicate the "old bee smell"? I wonder if I could melt up some used comb, propolis and pollen ( maybe even some frass and "parts" from the bottom board) and then paint it on the inside of the box. Also, some commented that the guy in the youtube vid used too much lemongrass oil. How much would you use? One or 2 drops?
 

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Yes melt some propolis and wax with a heat gun inside the box. Less is more with swarm lures.
 

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Ya all mine was placed from the ground. Never higher where I needed a ladder. I coated the inside too!! One I prompt up a old mailbox post and it caught one. A lot has to do with the place. Gotta have hives somewhere in the other. At my wife's work a swarm would come thru every year so I put two in that area. (Both got one) Will have to see what happens next spring!
 
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