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So I've been trying to look at what others are saying about swarm trapping.

And it sounds like people really swear by getting free bees this way. And it sounds fun, either now or most likely next spring. (Plus, being a learning experience for going forward and building foundation.)

Do swarms work in or near urban areas? (Cities)
And how often should you check them?
If you do fine and catch one, is there something you should do to help them accept the new area you are moving their new house to?

But to me the most troubling question is, it looks like these mostly at least half the time on Youtube are putting the traps on someone else's land.

How do people skate around this? How do you avoid getting charged with trespassing for that? And how do you deal with this? I'm betting most people don't care for permission. And I wonder what people think about this? (I'm not really caring about being a white knight about it so much as don't want to get sued, etc, and have problems.)
 

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Hi hagane,

I can not speak to the issues of trespassing, but I can speak to the idea of urban (sort of) bees.

I caught two swarms of bees this spring, (well a primary swarm and a cast swarm) and hived both and moved them approximately 1 and 1/2 miles from the tree that they originated from. I did not do anything except put them in new hives, and they have been there since early May, and doing very well, as near as my inexperience can tell..

My town is small approximately 3000 residents so I am not real sure that you would call that a "urban" area but the bee tree in actually in a tree about 50 yard from my house and I caught the swarms hanging on the branch of a small bush.

I know that bees have lived in this tree for the past 14 years. I just this year finally caught them swarming for the second time. The first swarm, about 3 years ago, I called a beekeeper to come and get them because I had no clue as to how to catch them or what to do with them after they were caught.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience so far. We will see how the first winter goes.

I will try to build and set some swarm traps around my house and the yard where I have my two hives set up. to see if I can catch some next spring. If I do decide to try to catch some on other folks property I will make sure and get permission first

Happy Home
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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My first swarm was caught in an industrialized.area south of town. Mostly parking lots and buildings.cant get more urban than that. Always get permission before placing a trap on private property. Ask friends, coworkers, etc. Had a trap in a coworker's tree for two years before I hit paydirt. That was in an older residential neighborhood. Place traps in the shade if possible at a comfortable height.
 

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So I've been trying to look at what others are saying about swarm trapping.

And it sounds like people really swear by getting free bees this way. And it sounds fun, either now or most likely next spring. (Plus, being a learning experience for going forward and building foundation.)

Do swarms work in or near urban areas? (Cities)
And how often should you check them?
If you do fine and catch one, is there something you should do to help them accept the new area you are moving their new house to?

But to me the most troubling question is, it looks like these mostly at least half the time on Youtube are putting the traps on someone else's land.

How do people skate around this? How do you avoid getting charged with trespassing for that? And how do you deal with this? I'm betting most people don't care for permission. And I wonder what people think about this? (I'm not really caring about being a white knight about it so much as don't want to get sued, etc, and have problems.)
Swarms in urban areas are good. In some cases they can be more "feral" than those caught in the country. Where I live, there are reports of bees living in the old buildings for years and years.

Swarm catching is FUN. Go for it.

Don't skate around it. If you want to hang a trap in a city area, just ask around. Most of the time people are thrilled to be able to "help the bees." If you do hang a trap, put it high enough so that bee traffic is away from people.

A couple years ago I had a trap on top of a garage outside of an apartment building. The tenants would hang out on the fire escape in the evenings, and watch the scouts going in and out. They loved it - Bee TV. I never caught a swarm at that location, but everyone was enthusiastic about it.
 

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Glad to hear you're working towards getting some bees. Couple of points: you can only catch a swarm if there's a swarm around to be caught. You can't make it happen - it's mostly down to luck. BUT - the best place to catch swarms is wherever there are beekeepers, especially in reasonable numbers ... so, an urban setting trumps the rural environment every time.

Set out swarm traps wherever you can place them - BUT ALSO - advertise a free swarm collection service, and register your details with the local police, pest controllers, and so on. If you should decide to engage in swarm collection, keep your catchment area manageable, as you'll need to make two visits each time - one to initially 'bag' the swarm, and the second (late in the evening) to ensure you've mopped-up the stragglers.

When looking for bait hive sites, it might be a good idea not to call the boxes 'Swarm Traps', as that sounds somewhat 'non-eco'. Better perhaps to call them 'Honeybee Rescue Boxes' or something similar. Has a slightly more friendlier ring to it.

LJ
 

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.....How do you avoid getting charged with trespassing for that?......
You don't trespass.
You ask permission (including written permissions from public land management if you place traps there - you want written since the managers change).

Indeed, the bees are free for taking (for those willing to spend the time and labor doing it).
I had to forgo a "free" cut-out posted yesterday locally here, as I just have no time for it.
Someone finally picked up the job today.
No climbing was required - a good thing.
Cut-out02.jpg

Now, what about reading few pages in the "trapping" sub-forum?
Most all details have been rehashed and documented many times by the "trapping" crowd.
 

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I'm always surprised by where you can get swarms. I'm not home much but I frequently receive calls from folks who found me by word of mouth and I've seen swarms in mailboxes, on trash barrels, phone poles, etc. I have one hanging in my barn right now (ughh...this late in the year) that won't move.

Do your homework and ask the right person for permission. Once you catch a swarm, they're "your" bees in the mind of people who are afraid of them or want them gone immediately and if "your" bees are on "their" property....well, it's not good for you.
 

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Great thread for a newbie like myself, so thank-you. This was something I've been wondering about myself.

I've been wondering if these "Swarm Traps" were set out as an actual trap, or used as go-bags of sorts. I mean keeping an empty super to use on the go, to try and catch a swarm by shaking the ball of bees from a branch or someplace into it. It sounds like you can do both, and catching a live swarm does does very exciting for sure! (Says the guy with no bees yet)
 

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I tried several years to catch a swarm without success. Often times my swarm traps would be full of scouts only to deliver disappointment in a week or two. So, I bought a nuc.

This year was the 1st year I caught swarms and it was the exact same location I had tried previously. My 1st catch was after watching a video by Beemandan where he was using 2- 5 frame nucs stacked on top of each other. The 2nd, in the same spot, was in a 10-frame box given to me by the farmer who offered his 200 acres for bees. The box had been in his barn at least 20 years, had mice in it, and smelled like piss. I washed it before setting it out.

The other difference, besides using a larger box, was that I had old brood comb to use. I am quite convinced that box size and brood comb were the difference for me. The right size box, comb, and a few drops of lemongrass oil are all I needed.
 

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I tried several years to catch a swarm without success. ......... I am quite convinced that box size and brood comb were the difference for me. The right size box, comb, and a few drops of lemongrass oil are all I needed.
Like we were saying ~60 litres is the sweet spot.
Doing things otherwise often amounts to waste of time (and unclear savings in terms of materials?)

Why not just do the ~60 liter traps and eliminate this variable?
Black comb usage for the traps beat the alternatives (say low efficiency wax extraction).
 

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Why not just do the ~60 liter traps and eliminate this variable?
Because I didn't have spare boxes. Everything was occupied with splits & nucs. Why waste a box on a maybe when the split or nuc is already a sure thing?

Even now I'm pressed for spare boxes. I have 6 mating nucs that will need a home for winter and a few nucs that will need to move to full sized boxes. Besides this years 2 swarms, everything in my yards can be traced back to the splits off the original nuc I purchased.
 

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I have used 30-40 L traps and 15^2 cm entrances. Both wood and cardboard worked. Cardboard is great for weight and disposal. I have not been lucky with swarms/effort. I have used 1-4 drops lemongrass with some on the entrance. I put wax/propolis an sometimes queen scent in the box.

I just found this: https://ecommons.cornell.edu/bitstream/handle/1813/2653/Bait%20Hives%20for%20Honey%20Bees.pdf

They conclude that 10 L and 100 L are bad.

changes I will make:
  1. Raise volume, reduce entrances
  2. Put traps at 4-6 feet high.
  3. If there is scouting, raise the trap to 15 feet.
  4. not checking often: A cutout should be less work than excessive checking.
  5. Use wax paper + origami instead of aluminum to delay the lemongrass.
 

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[*]not checking often: A cutout should be less work than excessive checking.
Cut out can be a mess of work and a potential liability too.
Often for not much payback IF any.

Meanwhile - why check often?
What is the point exactly of checking?

If checking often is not good for you - you set the hive-trap exactly where the hive would be and forget it.
Bees don't need you there.
Some trappers set the equipment out in May and collect it all back in September/October.
That's a lot of checks - exactly two trips.
 

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Like we were saying ~60 litres is the sweet spot.
Doing things otherwise often amounts to waste of time (and unclear savings in terms of materials?)

Why not just do the ~60 liter traps and eliminate this variable?
Black comb usage for the traps beat the alternatives (say low efficiency wax extraction).
Any yet bees can surprise. My first swarm captured was a 6-frame sized box. It had, if I recall correctly, one frame of old brood comb and one frame of comb.
This year I may have made a mistake. I had lots of frames of comb and filled the traps. Maybe just a few frames is better if the theory is correct that bees judge the open space available.
I just drop a few drops of lemon grass oil on the back of the box.
 
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