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So what is the deal w/ Swarm Commander? Just how good is it? I will have plywood nuc traps and want to get the best bang for my buck and get as many bees as possible during swarm season. I don't have much old comb to go around. This swarm commander stuff seems great, like you just spray it on a tree and the bees come.

So what should I do? Pay up for the Swarm Commander? If you have used it, are the results exceptional? How many swarms did you catch?

 

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I wish I had a definitive answer for you, but this is the first year that I am using both. Last year I used a swarm lure that I bought off eBay and it produced 1 swarm out of 3 traps. I wasn't able to trap all year long though- I'd say my efforts only spanned 2-3 months, and even at that, I did not re-bait them. Long story, but I'm trying to go all out this year.
 

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Last year I hung traps in two locations and caught 5 swarms. I did have some old comb and used LGO. Not sure which of these worked or if it took both. This year I am hanging about 15 traps out and going to try one with just old comb and one with LGO only. I have already caught 2 swarms this year but they had both comb and LGO.
 

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I've caught swarms now with both, one thing I will say is that the bees LOVE Swarm Commander! You almost have to pry it away from them when a swarm moves in. I put it on a paper towel in a baggy with just a small opening, once they move in they swamp the bag and you can't just take it out, you have to shake all of the bees out and put it in something immediately or they will be all over it back to the house.
 

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Long thread on this last year should be easy to find with the key search word ---swarm commander.

"This swarm commander stuff seems great, like you just spray it on a tree and the bees come." If that were true every tree in my neck of the woods would have bees hanging off it ;)
 

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Working with just old comb and a few drops of home-made queen lure, we trapped zero swarms and a HUGE crop of wax moths.

The zero swarms part is meaningless ... none of our hives swarmed, and we had no other apiaries close enough to have been likely to find the trap. Scouts did find the swarm trap.
 

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I used bait hives of 'perfect' volume (per some study I read, I ended up with a 6 frame box somewhat taller than a deep with medium frames, and excess space below), one frame of comb, rest foundationless wired frames, and a smearing of homebrew lure (1 part lemongrass oil, 1 part geraniol, added to past made of olive oil and beeswax). The bees that encountered my lure LOVED it, but the swarm traps saw little activity from scouts and caught no swarms. I got wax moths, wasps, wood roaches, and spiders instead. Maybe this year will go better. I'm trying different placement this year with the same fittings, though I'll also be adding a touch of queen infused alcohol.
 

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I did a comparison last year and concluded that if I set up a box with LGO and a box with SCL a the same site, the SCL usually catches the first swarm but the LGO box gets filled late also. I caught many with LGO long before SCL became available. I was not impressed with the results of Queen Juice or dead queens, the scouts throw them out as soon as they arrive.

Watch this video and Setup 2 -5 also to see the results of my comparison. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXUZzLVpnyA

I have never had a swarm hang on the outside of a bait box and this week I had two. I also this season have a drone layer baitswarm and a EFB bait swarm. And yes Charlie...I am up to 24 catches already and the game is early on. And Charlie this is not bragging, I am just quoting FACT.



 

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Long thread on this last year should be easy to find with the key search word ---swarm commander.

"This swarm commander stuff seems great, like you just spray it on a tree and the bees come." If that were true every tree in my neck of the woods would have bees hanging off it ;)
Why are you spraying all the trees with SC? :lookout:
 

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Personally im noticing a distinct increase in catches this year relative to last spring with using SC this time around. Like others have said, most of my LG boxes got filled eventually, but the SC definately getting hit early and often
 

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I only caught one swarm last year.. I had two boxes side by side. I tried to make them as identical as possible with LGO in one and SC in the other. The SC caught the swarm.

Odfrank catches far more swarms than most and it seems he has had very favorable results with SC. Folks mention the price of SC but what is the price of a package of bees ;) So one catch and it is paid for IMHO...
 

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I have learned one thing about Swarm Commander. Dont move any bee in around where you have a trap that has Swarm Commander sprayed in it.I started a new area and had a box already there that was sprayed with it.I brought in 5 nucs and set them up on the bench I built for them.Lots of disoriented bees have went to the Swarm Commander sprayed box.This also happened at another area.It really attracts bees.
 

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I made my own swarm lure, before there was Sw.C. on the market.
The swarm lure compound is not the only important part. I have got them without it because I left it home. But it does help!

What will Reduce catch success the most, is placing the lurebox in too much sun. The scouts go in, it's 110° inside at noon, you get no bees.

The size is not set in stone as some say. My best, are the 8 frame lang size, cut to Warre box height, with 12-13 Warre topbars. Or, 2 Warre boxes. That's not the supposed ideal of 40 liters, but those catch the most. One 8 or 10 frame Lang box always does great, but I use less Lang gear, so put out less standard Lang lures. Even a 10 fr. is not 40 liters, so don't sweat it. I use hive bodies so no removals are needed. I just bring them home.

Where the box is, is Everything. The placement, facing entry east, towards sunrise, the tree size, quality of light where you put it. Dappled tree shade, is best. They like a well ventilated area, with clear flight lanes, not a smothery thicket.

The boxes are used, and/or liberally smeared with old hive goo, every thing you clean out of a hive, when re-doing a hive. Lots of dirty propolis. I'll re-apply, if it's not fragrant. I seldom put in any comb, except for used topbars, in Warre boxes. Just the leftover bits stuck on it. If you have comb, warm it, & smear it on the inside. Moths can't easily use it. Moths don't bother the cleanup goo. This will make new lures catch like old boxes.

I got over 20 swarms last year, the capture success rate was about 80%. I don't use all my lure boxes anymore.

1 box site caught 3 swarms.

All are on a low hive stand, under a tree, or set in the center crotch or on a low branch of a small tree. Highest one last year, was knee high at the bottom. Never are they put higher.

Other sucessful folks have good methods, too.

My recipe is a blend of essential oils, majority, lemongrass. Lemongrass is almost as good, alone.

I never tried S.C., but I bet it's just great, if you do all the other stuff right.
Happy Bee Catching!
 

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im no expert, infact a newbie that started march 2nd with first swarm installed into a hive, now have 12 hives. two more swarms in traps i have no clue what ill do with, no more hives avalible, when i got the notion to start a bee hive i decided to try catching a swarm, this was after ordering a package of bees that would not be delivered until late march. after building three traps and purchasing two i also purchased lures swarm commander, another lure and lemon grass oil off ebay so i had three options for baiting. set traps up and two weeks went by, i saw bees and got excited but after becoming a member here and doing research realized they were scout bees. no swarms, then i was in contact with someone who asked of i had added propolis to my traps, i didn't know what propolis was but ordered some. took the traps down heated propolis on a wooden paint stirrer with a small hand held propane torch and smeared the stuff all over inside the traps, i was amazed how this stuff smelled, almost perfumy, as god is my witness within a couple hours i had two swarms inside the traps, two days later another two swarms, one inside and the other covering the outside the box. they spent the night there and entered the trap the next morning, propolis? is it the smell they go after? is this like i would have added frames of wax as my traps had only new rite cell frames , i built the traps so they could hold 8 frames so rather an 8 frame nuc, . this fellow who told me to add propolis was the only person ive ever heard advising me to do this, do any of you guys add propolis to your traps, seems like it work here for me.
 

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I caught thirty last year off of LGO. I have never used SC, but if rsderrick sent me a vial, I would be more than happy to give it a test. If it works, I would even post about it and give the product some free advertising! :D
 

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I did a comparison last year and concluded that if I set up a box with LGO and a box with SCL a the same site, the SCL usually catches the first swarm but the LGO box gets filled late also. I caught many with LGO long before SCL became available. I was not impressed with the results of Queen Juice or dead queens, the scouts throw them out as soon as they arrive.......

I have never had a swarm hang on the outside of a bait box and this week I had two. I also this season have a drone layer baitswarm and a EFB bait swarm. And yes Charlie...I am up to 24 catches already and the game is early on. And Charlie this is not bragging, I am just quoting FACT.]
image.jpg

I will be forever greatful for Swarm Commander because it lured this first swarm of the season in my area. The best part is that it came from one of Ollie's hives only a few blocks away!:thumbsup:
 

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In my experience queen juice or QMP are a good addition to LGO, but by itself QMP is not that effective. I haven't enough experience yet with SC to compare it to LGO. They seem about that same at this point to me, but I don't have enough of both out there right now to tell.
 

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I have use LGO and have done good with it.I have used Swarm Commander and done good with it also.This year I decided to by quantity and bought a pint of LGO for less than a bottle of Swarm Commander.I opened the bottle and right off I new something was wrong.Not much smell to it at all.Almost odorless!!!! I used it and not a bee even came around it in my out yard.I got on the phone and got some Swarm Commander on the way.You spray it once and bees show up shortly.I got bit by some shady seller with diluted lemon grass oil and I wont go there again!!! I will stick with what I know I am getting from now on.
 

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The main reason we lure so many swarms in the Bay Area is that there are many managed and feral hives here. To my knowledge, there is not much in the way of swarm prevention techniques practiced as well. I've had a fair amount of swarms land in empty supers without using anything.

I would say if you live in a more sparse area, definitely use either one. I would give the edge to SC however. It seems to attract them faster but LGO still does the job.
 
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