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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?
If anything, I'd spend some time and effort into getting well used equipment.
No matter how well used; even if falling apart (a couple of screws fix just about anything).
Best is free, of course.

When catch a swarm into such used equipment, it is a good idea to keep them in there until you see they doing well and thus be confident absence of infection. Chances are very good they will be doing great in most any old equipment.
 

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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?
D47169BE-75EF-417F-9755-286A4CF783A8.jpg I don’t know which one. We’ve bought various brands, and they have all worked. Four drops. No more. Make sure your entrance is around 1½ square inches. I drill a 1¼” hole with a Forster bit about a third of the way up from the bottom. Use foundationless frames. One frame with drawn comb (no more) if you have it. Don’t worry if you don’t. Mine are the length of a Langstroth frame, six or seven frames wide and 11½” deep. The wooden hanger is well offset from the back so that a telescoping cover can be used.
 

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> "One frame with drawn comb (no more)"

Why do you suggest one drawn comb only?
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I think the number of drawn combs is a matter of personal preference. It is what I do, one old drawn brood comb and the rest foundationless frames. The worst thing you could do is fill the trap with undrawn plastic foundation IMO. I do not see how extra drawn comb could hurt, but since I sell nucs, extra frames of worker sized comb is at a premium. If one will get the job done, that is what I will use.

Too much emphasis is placed on the perfect combination of comb, propolis, wax, bee smell, LGO or Swarm Commander, size, height, opening size, etc. Although important to someone (odfrank) who may be in a swarm trapping competition, new beekeepers need to know that while all these things in concert can practically guarantee a capture, lack of them does not guarantee failure. Bees will take up residence in any suitable location and some not so suitable ones. Your best bet is to get whatever you are going to use as traps out there with a few drops of LGO as an attractant. Heck, even an empty cardboard box with a 1" hole cut in it could work if placed in a location that is protected from weather and baited with LGO. No traps guarantees no bees.
 

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>Although important to someone (odfrank) who may be in a swarm trapping competition

No competition going this year. Charlie got so depressed only beating me once that he moved to Maryland. I usually use all drawn comb because I have so many losses. This year I tried a few with two drawn combs and three Randy Oliver Drone Comb frames, because they were there. They did catch swarms. I took the RODC frames out pretty fast because the bees ignored the plastic worker comb foundation in the top portion and drew drone comb with brood in the open space below. I try to minimize drone comb in the brood chamber especially in nucs trying to get established. What good do hundreds of drones do a growing five frame nuc?
 

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Why do you suggest one drawn comb only?
Using one or one plus a partially drawn foundationless frame has worked well for me and, based on readings from Dr. Seeley about how scout bees "walk off" the dimensions of potential locations, I am concerned that too many drawn frames may interfere with the scout bees "measurements". I have caught bees in boxes full of undrawn frames with plastic foundation. But, as you know, the world of competitive swarm trapping is tough, and I am looking for any edge. I've even considered putting logs on top of my swarm traps, but, of course, I'm not proud of that.
 

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I checkerboard my traps - dark drawn/empty/dark drawn/empty/....
In case I get to a trap late, they will make some new combs for me (traps rent out at the motel stay ratings).
 

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I got tired of cutting out comb and fixing wonky.
i Use 3 or 4 dark combs, with the rest wax foundation frames in a 10 frame deep.
No matter when you find you have a capture its all good.
Some traps I see 1 time in 3 weeks, so if they come then they have some building to do and room to grow till I find it has bees.
managed to get 3 this year so far , 2 sites look very promising, so those 2 will stay a bit longer but in 2 weeks I start picking them up and turning 5 over 5 NUCs into 10 over 10 or 8 over 8 hives.
I do use swarm commander, I feel it gets me 2 more a year than I would have, went from 1-2 per year, to 3-5
I should be out of wooden ware in 2 weeks or so any way.

GG
 

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Seeley did a study on bait hives in the 1980s. It's been a bit since I read Honeybee Democracy; I think he cover a slightly different facet of swarming in there. Here's a link to "Bait Hives for Honeybees" where he looks at height, shade, size, etc of bait hives.

https://ecommons.cornell.edu/handle/1813/2653
We discussed it for the most part.
His study's are full of holes (I refer to early studies, specifically).
I started by climbing trees initially - per T. Seeley and Leo Sharaskin writings.
Right now I am going to say - just ignore their advice wherever possible (regarding the trap placement).

The only place where I'd climb - if placing a trap in a publicly accessible location so to keep the people away (public park or a road side).

If anything, I'd rather read experiences of odfrank on this exact forum. Fun and useful.
 

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I have 3 traps in the backyard with entrances at various levels from the ground level - #1 (1 foot high), #2 (4 feet high), #3 (8 feet high).
Of course, the setups are not identical, but I can say this - does not matter much - these are close enough trap setups.

20200702_105342.jpg

Just us we speak, I observe some scouting going on - will not say which exact trap.
Let us wait and see what develops.
"Today is a good day to..... trap" (c) Star Trek
LOL.
Hot and humid.
Fingers crossed.
 

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I have 3 traps in the backyard ....
So, three days now they have been persistently scouting the #2 - that is at 4 foot level.
I feel the enthusiasm is maybe fading away.
Entirely possible that something is going on the other end - maybe the owner interfered with the process.
But I have been wrong before too (it could be a temporary lull - before the explosion).

But anyway, this time around they clearly showed the preferences of 4 feet (over 1 foot and over 8 foot levels).
Indeed, the 4-5 foot level is a very good compromise, if this can be done easily and the take down is thought about.

One issue with the ground level traps - a possibility of ants taking over - happened to me twice this season already.
I get very annoyed when discovering those black, large forest ants.
The last one - they bored into the lid insulation and made Swiss cheese out of it.
Boy, was I mad.
 

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they clearly showed the preferences of 4 feet (over 1 foot and over 8 foot levels).

One setup is not a very thorough experiment. There might have been one very attractive comb in that one box. Set this same test up 1000 times over and you might get some usable data.
 

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they clearly showed the preferences of 4 feet (over 1 foot and over 8 foot levels).

One setup is not a very thorough experiment. There might have been one very attractive comb in that one box. Set this same test up 1000 times over and you might get some usable data.
I do a standard checker-boarding of my traps - one blank/one dark comb/etc.
All of the traps are the same standard 50L, well primed traps.

Still, this is nothing but an observation (should go without saying).
this time around they clearly showed the preferences of 4 feet
Nothing on this forum classifies as a submit-able scientific experiment (to be taken as such) - these all are personal testimonials, no IF or BUTs.
So we should just put this one away already and have fun. :)
 

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Greg, I find the big black tree ants to be hit and miss. I have had traps at 6 and 8 feet get taken over while the ground traps have remained tree ant free. Do get some of the small ants but they don't bite.
 

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Greg, I find the big black tree ants to be hit and miss. I have had traps at 6 and 8 feet get taken over while the ground traps have remained tree ant free. Do get some of the small ants but they don't bite.
I would agree, JW, in that these big, black buggers climb all over and can easily take a raised trap too.
It is just this particular season they took over two of my ground-level traps.

One I just had to move some distance away (after shaking the ants) and that helped - a swarm moved in shortly thereafter.

The other one was suspiciously quiet for too long (not much scouting).
After noticing the foam debris outside of the trap I opened it and it was a horror.
I took the trap apart, killed and shook as many ants as I could, and left it all disassembled to, hopefully, persuaded the ants away from the insulated lid (they made a great colony for themselves inside the insulated lid).

I love the Nature but hate the ants in my set traps (donno how many swarms were pushed away by these ants).
By the same token, I am not bothered by ants in my active hives - these buggers, especially the small ants, are great against the true pests (moths and beetles). Once the bees settled in, the ants are tolerated just fine.
 

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"One issue with the ground level traps - a possibility of ants taking over - happened to me twice this season already.
I get very annoyed when discovering those black, large forest ants.
The last one - they bored into the lid insulation and made Swiss cheese out of it.
Boy, was I mad. "

Hey Greg, I wonder if making a spray bottle with alcohol and cinnamon and maybe a little propolis mixed in and spraying either the tree behind the trap or the back or outside of the hive trap would discourage the ants.
 

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"One issue with the ground level traps - a possibility of ants taking over - happened to me twice this season already.
I get very annoyed when discovering those black, large forest ants.
The last one - they bored into the lid insulation and made Swiss cheese out of it.
Boy, was I mad. "

Hey Greg, I wonder if making a spray bottle with alcohol and cinnamon and maybe a little propolis mixed in and spraying either the tree behind the trap or the back or outside of the hive trap would discourage the ants.
The trap was free-standing (typical with me) - no tree behind the trap.
Here is a typical free-standing trap as I do it (this exact trap I had to relocate because of the ant takeover).
20190511_155341.jpg
I feel conflicted about spraying anything with alcohol and cinnamon around the trap.
Will this chase the swarms away just the same as the ants?
 

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I have heard that cinnamon will discourage ants. I haven't tried this yet, as the ants, while present around my hives haven't been much of a problem.

You could dust some at the borders of a ground placed hive. I just thought about either brushing or spraying ( the solution might clog a sprayer) some cinnamon propolis alcohol on the tree. The alcohol will evaporate leaving behind cinnamon which supposedly discourages ants and propolis which attracts bees. The propolis would help stick the cinnamon to the tree or hive. I haven't read anywhere that cinnamon bothers bees.


Another possible solution; Neverwet paint painted on a smooth legged stand makes it hard for bugs to climb up. I will eventually set up a hive stand to verify this. I have watched a video of this working to discourage SHB from getting out of the space under screen bottom boards.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DNQBFAW?tag=duckduckgo-ffnt-20&linkCode=osi&th=1&psc=1
 

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I have heard that cinnamon will discourage ants. I haven't tried this yet, as the ants, while present around my hives haven't been much of a problem.

You could dust some at the borders of a ground placed hive. I just thought about either brushing or spraying ( the solution might clog a sprayer) some cinnamon propolis alcohol on the tree. The alcohol will evaporate leaving behind cinnamon which supposedly discourages ants and propolis which attracts bees. The propolis would help stick the cinnamon to the tree or hive. I haven't read anywhere that cinnamon bothers bees.


Another possible solution; Neverwet paint painted on a smooth legged stand makes it hard for bugs to climb up. I will eventually set up a hive stand to verify this. I have watched a video of this working to discourage SHB from getting out of the space under screen bottom boards.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DNQBFAW?tag=duckduckgo-ffnt-20&linkCode=osi&th=1&psc=1
True; alcohol will evaporate in no time and is a non-factor.

To think of it - I have this queen juice tincture (gone now, I spilled most of it) that I liberally applying at my traps (around the entrances) - no issues at all. If anything, the queen juice tincture helped to attract the swarms, not pushed them away.

Speaking of a "smooth legged stand" I don't even bother with these auxiliary gizmos (don't have any and don't want any).
Toss a tire, a couple of 2x4 on it - the stand is ready.
But surely, the tire itself could easily be splattered in that cinnamon/propolis mix (easy to do just to see what happens).
May or may not do it though - looking forward, the trapping is a low priority now (today being July 3rd) - queens and nucs are the priority. If any accidental swarm still moves into a empty equipment - why, sure, a nice bonus.
 
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