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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, The empty hive I had in my loft in my shop I found to be dried out and no bees.
I still have lots of bees in and out of my shop from wherever unknown to me?
What I would like to do is build a swarm tarp.
Here is what I understand to do, use an empty hive box? use some swarm catch like what is available at Dadent.? My question, Can I use the old dried out hive in the hive box? next question, if I use the old hive, do I put it in frames and use rubber bands, etc to hold it in place?
I need a little guidence if I can get it so I can try to capture some bees? I plan to set the box up on my loft again temp. since all the bees seem to be attracted to the area, and it is aprox between 8-9' up. One more questions? if I d this, should I order a queen? and would I be ok to order a Russian queen?
Clint
 

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Clint:I've got them with or without the comb,As long as you use the lure.If I was to put the comb in it wouldn't be but maybe one piece because they will need the room,
As far as the Queen,they will have there on Queen.So if you catch them this spring I'd wait till at least the fall to requeen.Then if you want a Russian queen you could do it then.
 

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Clint, here's the way I set up a swarm trap. I take an empty hive body and atttach the bottom board with hive staples. Then put in frames with drawn comb or foundation. If I don't have enough frames to fill the box I center them in the middle. Then I drive a small nail in the frame rest on each side of the set of frames so they won't shift and fall off the frame rest while I move the trap. Next, attach the swarm lure vial at the bottom of a frame near the front of the hive with a small nail. I have used just one frame in the hive body before, but the bees attached several combs to the lid of the trap in just a couple of days. A swarm can build a lot of comb in the wrong places in just a short time. I have placed traps in trees six feet off the ground and also only 4 to 6 inches off the ground. I would recommend ordering a new queen after you catch a swarm for two reasons. First, some of the queens are the colony's old queen that may not be very productive. Second, you might catch an africanized swarm in our area, and you need to replace her to keep gentle bees if possible.
 

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Clint, if you want to actually watch how it's done, Brushy Mt. Bees has a wonderful video for sale that shows the whole process. Good luck and let us know how it goes! -Dan
 

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I'll have to disagree on the amount of frames inside of the hive,Although I'll agree that they can build wax FAST.A single hive body is not that big to start with.& sometimes a large swarm will not enter because of it.Studies was made & the European bee prefer a 9 gallon size trap over a 7 gallon(Bulletin of the Entomological Society of America,33(3)155-158)The smaller size do not seem to affect a trap's attractiveness to Africanized bees.
 

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If you're tight on cash, I think you could skip the lure, the bees are already attracted to your location.

I would put out an empty hive body with feed in it, the more traffic you get into the box the better.
 

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What are the advantages/disadvantages of using the swarm traps that are sold by the supply houses over a homemade trap? Other than money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the tips, sounds a little easier than I had previously thought.
here is what I have ordered from dadent
http://www.dadant.com/catalog/advanced_search_result.php?search_in_description=1&keywords=swarm+catch&x=6&y=14

You may have to copy and paste the link, watch for the wrap.
Any one have suggestions of the best way to use this?
OK, now, I plan on using some of the old comb on one or two frames, then using the rest of the frames? with foundation. If I do this, I only have the plastic feeder that holds the qt jars. should I leave out some frames for enough room inside?
Clint
 

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My only concern about swarming is when? Is it safe to say that there is probably no danger in early spring and during the flow? It is a concern when the flow slows and it stars getting hot/humid?
 

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<<What are the advantages/disadvantages of using the swarm traps that are sold by the supply houses over a homemade trap? Other than money.>>

I don't see any advantages to them whatsoever. No disadvantages, other than money.

<<OK, now, I plan on using some of the old comb on one or two frames, then using the rest of the frames? with foundation. >>

If you're going to monitor the trap frequently, I would leave the foundation out. I don't think it will attract anything, but it probably won't hurt either, just watch out for sagging.

<<If I do this, I only have the plastic feeder that holds the qt jars. should I leave out some frames for enough room inside?>>

I would use that, but close off the entrance next to the feeder so the bees have to go inside the hive to get to the feeder. To them, it'll be a dead hive with food. Just right for a swarm to set up shop in.
 

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<<My only concern about swarming is when?>>

There are entire books written about that:)

Usually, they won't swarm before there are drones flying.

Then at some point in summer they will lose the urge somewhat. Some people will say they absolutely won't swarm after a certain date, depending on area.

But there is research showing more fall swarming than you might expect, and it all boils down to what a silly old bear once said: "You never can tell with bees."
 

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Last year I built platforms in trees (about 10 feet up) to set my bait hives (deeps) on. That was very difficult and dangerous hauling a box up that high. Getting them down with honey in them was even harder. This year I got smart, and attached a weight to a rope, and slung the rope over a high branch. I tied one end around the deep (centered so it didn't sag), and pulled the deep up to the branch. Then I tied off the rope on a nearby tree, and now it will be much easier getting down too!

I use 3 or 4 frames of old comb and some lemongrass oil to attract bees. Had real good success last year, even though I thought I caught all the swarms by hand. The key is to be up high (8 to 10 feet or more), and to be 3 or 4 hundred yards away preferrably.
 

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>If I do this, I only have the plastic feeder that holds the qt jars. should I leave out some frames for enough room inside?

I wouldn't put a feeder in a swarm trap. You want to attract bees looking for a home. Not bees looking for food.
 

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<<You want to attract bees looking for a home. Not bees looking for food.>>

But wouldn't it be good to just get as much traffic as possible? The more workers familiar with the location...
 
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