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Discussion Starter #1
I'll be making my first swarm trap this spring. What do you guys reckon is a good height? Is 1.5m (5 ft) off the ground ok? I want to make sure it is safe for me, not just attractive for the bees.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Both of the swarms I have caught this year were at ground level. I really don't know if the bees care or not. No offence intended towards T. S.'s work. Could be that the bees have a preference, but are quite willing to settle for a sub optimal height if the other conditions are favorable.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ground level, or a bit higher is even better for me. Just as long as I keep other pests out.

I wonder what is your opinion in placing it in the sun, or shade or in between. I find that here hives perform best in full sun, but then I read not to place a swarm trap in full sun.

I was going to paint it white like the hives so it doesn't get too hot inside.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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This is one area of Seeley's work that has proven true for me, place the traps in the shade! Last year I had the same trap as this year sitting in full sun, just on the other side of the grapevine it now sits under. No interest by the bees at all. This year, two swarms caught and heavy scouting that did not result in a capture. My traps are a light gray or green color.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank for your help, much appreciated. Will definitely place in the shade.

I'm about to read Seeley's "Honeybee Democracy" not sure whether swarm traps are covered. Interesting to know whether it's the sun light, or temperature that makes the difference.
 

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I have caught 32 this year all placed with both my feet on the ground, most are painted dark colors and many in full sun. So figure that out. This one is in the sun, fairly dark colored, and placed on top of a hive.


 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hey odfrank... where's the rest of your flow hive?

Back to swarm traps. What would be the ideal entrance? I'll be using a full 8-frame box.

1. Standard wide entrance
2. 1" round hole
3. 2" round hole

Will it make any difference?

I can't wait to get my hands on Seeley's Honeybee democracy, where I believe this topic is discussed, but I still would like to know what your experience people.
 

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Hey odfrank... where's the rest of your flow hive?

Back to swarm traps. What would be the ideal entrance? I'll be using a full 8-frame box.

1. Standard wide entrance
2. 1" round hole
3. 2" round hole


Will it make any difference?

I can't wait to get my hands on Seeley's Honeybee democracy, where I believe this topic is discussed, but I still would like to know what your experience people.
I'd keep entrances small.
1" round is plenty fine (still need to screen from the creatures).

My entrances - two to six 1/2" round holes and a horizontal slit 1/2" by 4".
All of these were successful.

One of the largest 2020 swarms squeezed through just two 1/2" rounds holes (that 1/2" inch square total area) - not a problem.
This one:
20200605_132250.jpg 20200605_131611.jpg
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I/2" x 4" works for me.

20200626_094405.jpg
 

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That is a client's Flow hive. We sold the super, we do not have time to drain honey at the apiary when we have a dozen extracting supers that need extraction also. The clients never take time to drain them and the frames go solid granulation over winter.
On my portable swarm traps I use the same size hole as the metal entrance disks. 1.5"? On my hives I use 3/8" x 14 1/4". Or 12.5" wide on 8 frame hives. The bees have not read Seeley's book, they move into almost anything. Dark round holes seem attractive to them. Most important is placing a sexy piece of wood on top of the baithive. You will greatly increase your catches.






Hey odfrank... where's the rest of your flow hive?

Back to swarm traps. What would be the ideal entrance? I'll be using a full 8-frame box.

1. Standard wide entrance
2. 1" round hole
3. 2" round hole

Will it make any difference?

I can't wait to get my hands on Seeley's Honeybee democracy, where I believe this topic is discussed, but I still would like to know what your experience people.
 

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Back to swarm traps. What would be the ideal entrance? I'll be using a full 8-frame box.
1¼” round with a vertical nail bisecting it to make it less attractive to birds and squirrels.

Will it make any difference?
I haven’t compared it to other artificial entrance sizes, but I’ve caught thirty-two so far this year and many in the past using that entrance design. (I intend to catch one more to best Ollie, of course.) It also works well with a rotating entrance disk that lets you screen off the entrance for transport and rotate to a queen excluder if needed.

I can't wait to get my hands on Seeley's Honeybee democracy, where I believe this topic is discussed, but I still would like to know what your experience people.
Smart.
 

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> (I intend to catch one more to best Ollie, of course.)

Several of mine failed so you might have beat me already. One queen laid eggs and a month later the box was empty. When I complete my rounds I might find more catches however.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
You guys filled me up with enthusiasm, verging on overconfidence. :) Chances are I won't catch anything but I'll be in the game.

Now, as soon as I thought I had everything ready, and about to order the Lemongrass Oil, I find there are three species of LGO:

Cymbopogon flexuosus
Cymbopogon citratus
Cymbopogon schoenanthus

Being a beginner I don't have much spare used kit, just a used box, no used frames, and definitely no dead queen potions to smear in my traps so I have to rely on a potent lure. If I choose a random oil from the above list, trust me, it will be the one that doesn't work.

So again I'm seeking your experience on this. Which one will work best please?
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I believe any of the different species of lemongrass will provide essentially the same chemical components that attract bees. Do not worry too much about the items that make a trap more attractive. My first swarm was caught in a flower pot trap with a brand new frame with a piece of undrawn foundation inside. Gave it a couple of drops of LGO and had a swarm in two weeks. Sometimes ya get nothing, even with a properly prepared trap.
 
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