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Greetings,
Concerning trap placement, how many traps should one place on a given property? I have a dozen hives in a field, with only a few neighboring hives around that I am aware of. My initial thoughts are four, one each to the N S E W. I plan to use a deep with one old frame of drawn comb, the rest empty frames. Does this sound reasonable? Also, I live in a rural area, so would placing some traps out at places I frequent often like the hardware store or feed mill be prudent, or a waste of time?
Thanks ahead for your input.
 

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Also, I live in a rural area, so would placing some traps out at places I frequent often like the hardware store or feed mill be prudent, or a waste of time?
Thanks ahead for your input.
Either place them at those locations or somewhere on your ROUTES to and from those locations. I don't "ususally" put more than 1 trap in any 1 say square mile location. That may be wrong, but I only have 30 traps and a lot of place to put traps. I could see putting more than one up if I thought there was a high concentration of feral hives in an area. A beek in my area started trapping in a location close to Libety last year. He had 2 traps in close proximity AND COULDN'T KEEP BEES OUT OF EM. Over a 3 week period I think he caught 12 or 13 swarms.

If you have heard of anyplace where there has been a swarm in the last 5 years get a trap near that locatoin.

Good luck...
 

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Either place them at those locations or somewhere on your ROUTES to and from those locations. I don't "ususally" put more than 1 trap in any 1 say square mile location. That may be wrong, but I only have 30 traps and a lot of place to put traps. I could see putting more than one up if I thought there was a high concentration of feral hives in an area.
I think I know what you mean, but you arn't answering the persons question. If your trapping where you don't know there are hives than I think your rule is find or you will run out of boxes, if you know there are hives both kept or feral increase density. I would put out several if you have a dozen hives.

I think the majority of feral hives come from kept hives, I have no proof though.
 

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burns375 --- Just to clarify... I target locations where there AREN’T kept hives. I look for feral bees because I don’t want swarms that were “created” by beeks feeding sugar syrup in the early Spring.

And I know…. If you go back far enough ALL of those bees come from some managed hive somewhere and that is fine with me. All I am looking for is a colony that does not require feeding or treating. If they meet those requirements I don’t care where they came from.

My main point is “don’t have all of your eggs in one basket” – (all of your traps hung right around your managed hives). Cast a net with your traps. If there is a suitable nest site within a mile or so and there are bees near they will find it.

Make sure your traps are a good distance away from your kept hives. I haven’t read this reported anywhere else, but it is my belief that swarms avoid coming into areas where I have strong colonies. Once I have 3 to 5 – 2 or 3 year old 3 deep colonies in a location I can’t get swarms to occupy traps near there.

I am sorry if it seems like I didn’t answer the question. I know that people are just getting into trapping and they are a little apprehensive. Just get your traps up, see what you can learn this year and apply it next year.
 

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I put out three traps last year and caught one swarm. The successful location was on a tree on a track between two meadows separated by old tall trees and thick brush. My surmise is that bees used the track-- a cut through the trees-- to get from one field to the other.
 

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Someone once compared it to fishing, and I have found that to be a good analogy. You can try and guess where the fish MIGHT be in the lake, what lure to use, etc. But at the end of the day, your best bet is to have lots of lines in the water in lots of locations.

Good luck!
 

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awebber: It's totally like fishing. So many aspects of being successful are parallel, with patterning being the key to success. Just like smallmouth are usually going to be off secondary structure in the lake here, bees here are lurking in the unbroken drainages. If I find a farmstead 3/4 to 1 mile from an unbroken drainage.... The farmstead with at least 1 big tree that can be seen as a landmark across the horizon, I am pretty confident of having success.

rhaldridge: if you find a similar topography in the landscape somewhere around you there is a good chance you will have success in that location as well.

I am getting to the point now where I am putting traps in the locations that give me better over winter survivability. Just like having good spots and better ones.
I wrote some about it back in February.
http://letmbee.com/2014/02/27/records-and-trends/
 

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got a kinda small swarm in a flower pot lookin swarm trap in a small lemon tree in my suburban front yard. the trap is only 4 feet off the ground. I have also got 2 swarms on my front porch swing that is 2 feet off the deck. both times 2 different seasons, I took the trap out of the tree due to rain and a day or 2 after the rain the swarms came to my front porch.
I think you could put a swarm trap on the ground and the bees would find it.
put traps where it is convenient for you! place it and they will come.
also I have got swarms on the fence in my back yard. very convenient for me. I get a swarm or 2 every year I think compliments of my neighbor about 2 blocks away (who's bees have robbed 2 of my hives to death) I figure he owes us!
don't over think it.
good luck this season eyeryone
 
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