Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
424 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So everything I am reading seems to say that either size doesn't matter or that it needs to be 40L. Everything seems to feel it should smell like bees, and not be new wood. So since I am in the position of having no bees anyway, would it make sense to use an idle piece of equipment to bait/catch a swarm?

Given that I have a handful of deep and medium 8 frame boxes, do I just add some frames, and screw something to the top and bottom to close it off, and drill a hole somewhere? Or is there more to it? Perhaps some kind of special bottom that does something good? Like maybe an entrance so I don't have to drill an opening hole in the center of my box? I assume putting a bottom board on it would certainly provide for too much opening, and be a bit difficult to close off once caught. Or would it?

Then, once caught in such a box, could I simply place it on the stand in the bee yard, and unscrew the top and bottom and put on regular inner and telescope, and proper bottom board?

This seems like something that should be easy, and I want to avoid magic and silliness. Simpler the better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,080 Posts
I caught a swarm on 2/14 into this pile of empty 8 frame honey supers. No comb, no frames, no lure. I then just filled two boxes with combs and shook them onto them. I catch one or two every years into piles of boxes.




 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,253 Posts
Then, once caught in such a box, could I simply place it on the stand in the bee yard, and unscrew the top and bottom and put on regular inner and telescope, and proper bottom board?
Simpler the better.
Pretty much what I do. I have caught a few swarms that way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
424 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Where's the log? I thought they needed a log. :)

Please don't take this the wrong way. I honestly believe that 50 years of experience, and an active working beeyard probably have a lot to do with the luck you have in swarms just ringing your doorbell and asking to be allowed to stay with you.

As much as I would love to have such luck, good fortune, favor of the bee g-ds, St. Ambrose or any of the powers that be.... I am not that person.

I have never in my life ever seen a swarm anywhere. Much less anywhere near my home. Well, other than when my hive swarmed over to my fence rail then flew away.

I do, have some trees that I would be able to put a trap in. One in my own yard, and one in the half lot no-man's land between my home and my next door neighbor. I have a shed roof that I can place one on. When I am not on house arrest, or quarantine or whatever you want to call this crap, I still work an 8 hour a day day-job, so finding places outside of my property to place traps, or pile up derelict equipment is quite limited.

This is not to complain, just to set the stage of where I am coming from. I am willing to do what I "can" do, but as of yet, not really sure how much I can either legally, or conveniently do.

However, this is key to being able to have bees moving forward. If I had to pay $250 every year for pansies or petunias I wouldn't plant them either. I need to get to the point of perennials rather than annuals. If I can't catch feral or at least someone else's absconding or propagating swarms, then this may simply not be something I can afford.

I am already good with not getting filthy rich, but I can't simply throw good money after bad casting out populations to the wild :) Someone has to be able to catch them, and judging by how many thieves I get there have to be colonies all around me somewhere.

Anyway, I will build boxes if necessary, or modify what I have if that makes the most sense. I am not personally buying that I don't have to actively do something. I wish I didn't, but that hasn't been my experience so far. Oh, yeah, I am looking for chunks of log to put on top of them too :)
 

·
Premium Member
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
Joined
·
6,888 Posts
Why not just set the hive up on the stand, with bottom board, inner cover, and telescoping top in place? Put one deep and one medium filled with drawn comb and a drop or two of Lemongrass Essential Oil inside the hive and a drop or two near the entrance on the outside. Use an entrance reducer with the 4" wide opening. You are then all set. Swarm season won't last much longer in NC so the sooner you do this, the better. Once a swarm moves in, you might even want to give the 8 frame Lang a go again. :)
 

·
Premium Member
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
Joined
·
6,888 Posts
Just because you have read that something is optimal for trapping bees, does not mean that other options won't work. Here is a picture of a six frame double deep swarm trap from the plans at www.HorizontalHives.com
This trap is sitting on the ground under a grapevine in a parking lot in the middle of an industrial area just south of downtown Richmond.

20200415_155653.jpg

It took three weeks from when I placed it at the end of March for the bees to find it and move in. If there are bees in your area, they will find your trap. The LGO helps draw them in.

Ollie, from the picture, it looks like Charlie is the one catching the swarms. And isn't he in Bowie, MD now?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
424 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Let's not have it said that I was stiff-necked and refused to follow advice given. I am back now, and sweaty. But here, as proof, for your viewing pleasure, idle hives, set in place with some LGO, and the closest thing I could find to logs. One in the position of the regular hive stand, and the other in my side 1/2 lot "no-man's" land, raised up on some scrap 4x4s.

log1.jpg log2.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
342 Posts
Not sure where you are getting some of your information - especially about swarms needing logs.

Bee swarms are looking for any kind of cavity that will work for their new home. The "ideal" size of a new home is the size of a full deep hive. However, they will move into anything - even if it's smaller or larger - and it doesn't matter if it's a hollow tree, a cavity in the wall of your neighbor's house, empty hives that are sitting somewhere, a garbage can, etc.

When the swarm sends out scouts to look for their new home - they communicate where a possible site is - and communicate it to others. The others go look at the possible selections, and after deciding which one will make the best home - they let the whole swarm know and fly there.

It's much easier to get their attention, using old equipment since it already smells like a bee home. A drawn frame of comb can also help - but as has been said - they will move into whatever they deem "best". And the "best" is what is available. If there are no hollow trees around, or empty hives, they will take whatever they can find. Some lemon grass oil just helps them find the potential new home much easier and quicker.

With the swarms that got away from you in the past - the bees are out there in the wild. When their hive gets full - they swarm - are here is your chance to catch a swarm.

As for "needing a log" nearby - in the past, some people wanted their hive to resemble more of a tree - so would put the hive on top of a log, against a tree, or with branches on top of the lid. The bees really don't care what the cavity is - as long as it's big enough to move into.

Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,080 Posts
I did not say that swarms need logs. I said that placing logs on top of bait hives seems to add to their attractiveness. Nothing is a sure thing in beekeeping. I last week caught a swarm in a five frame vintage box with one black comb, four foundationless, one squirt of SCL. No log.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
424 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You had responded to the thread, and I was trying to get a rise out of you, since I just got finished watching your youtube video about the logs. Especially when I posted the pictures with my logs on top. Or, the closest thing I could find to a log. But I assume until I mentioned your name or linked your post I was missing my joke delivery. :) I guess I am just not good at levity. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,080 Posts
I never smile and I don't know how to have fun.

You had responded to the thread, and I was trying to get a rise out of you, since I just got finished watching your youtube video about the logs. Especially when I posted the pictures with my logs on top. Or, the closest thing I could find to a log. But I assume until I mentioned your name or linked your post I was missing my joke delivery.
I guess I am just not good at levity.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,080 Posts
Charlie sold off all his bee equipment before moving and I was able to swindle him out of stuff cheap. One bait swarm I caught even cleaned up some of his SHB slimed combs. I caught two on his old medium depth brood combs. However he made me pay full price for an unopened package of Apivar.

[/QUOTE] Ollie, from the picture, it looks like Charlie is the one catching the swarms. And isn't he in Bowie, MD now?[/QUOTE]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,433 Posts
My brother has trapped two swarms in different years in equipment sitting on his patio. Last year I was busy and didn't get around to cleaning up a couple deadouts right away, and had a swarm from somewhere move into one of them. Good deal for them, a complete hive with fully drawn comb!

Bee commander helps too, it's better than lemongrass oil (and much more expensive, eh?), but the best way to catch swarms is do splits from bees you already have.....

And if there are no hives close, it's unlikely you will catch any.

On the other hand, I have a few hives on a friend's properly, and after I put mine out there he got the beekeeping itch. Caught eight swarms there last year, two of which I kept, and seven so far this year I think. One of my hives out there is very much prone to swarming, will put a Snelgrove board on next year and see if I can head them off. Some of the rest were from my friends, but we also think there is a well established bee tree close, some of them are definitely different color than any of ours.!

The only equipment swarms will reject on their own (rather than being put into) is a nuc box. Too small, if they find something that suits them and is larger, they will take larger.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top