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Discussion Starter #1
I started 2 packages a April 24th.

So when I saw bees in my Pole barn I thought they were from my colonies. I had some comb frames laying in a pile and there was some robbing going on.

I did notice some bees orienting near a stack or lumber and since that didn't make sense to me I too a closer look. 2 year old swarm trap under some boards. The trap has 3-4 frames of old dark comb in it. So I set this up on a table.

Day 2: 30 or so bees in the morning, some fanning at the entrance. @ 5:30 pm more like 100. After dark I found it empty except for 2 or 3 bees, I thought "they must have left some night watch ladies" (Can't call them, "watchmen")

I decided to go pull a few of my other traps so in case there was a swarm it might increase my odds of catching them. I wasn't convinced that these were not my bees.

This is what I found in one of the traps I pulled.

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It had been up for 2 years and no discernible activity. My friend was checking it often but.....looks like we missed one.

This is what my pole barn looks like now;

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Looks like my third caught swarm.

I will have to get some more deeps ready and get these bees hived up.
 

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Good deal, Trin.
Looks like I could use some black plastic containers too (about 50 liters) if in dire straits.
You have a good demo of that.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I would have preferred a lighter color. Was thinking that a dark color might heat up a lot in sunlight. Regardless, they are relatively cheap and quick to make. I drill the holes for the dowels a little small so they are tight. I think bees do like the expanse of space. I use 4 cable ties to keep the lid on and keep coons and other varmints out. The entrance is cut in the side leaving a 3/8 x 2 flap of plastic to bend up, and I put a landing board under it because plastic is a bit slick. The entrance flap can be bent down and taped shut for transport of a caught swarm.

Sure is a lot of propolis on the tote/lid rim. So they were trying to close up the air leakage. I do place them just inside tree lines where they see some morning sunlight, but are shaded for most of the day. Full sun and black box might cause a trap rejection. The tote idea was from a Youtube video, maybe Barnyard bees?, that guy is tinkering with equipment ideas.

I'll give an update on how the transfer from trap to deep box goes tomorrow. I set some frames with drizzled sugar syrup next to the trap to give them something. But it could cause an influx of bees from existing hives.

Going to try to quarantine all of the frames of comb and bee smelling equipment in sealed trash bags tonight when the circus calms down.

I think I will switch to just using conventional 5 frame NUC boxes. A frame with some lure is good enough. Liked the tip of using a 10ft. or so 2x4 with a platform to attach the box on top. A couple of ratchet straps and done. A lot easier than climbing ladders and doing a semi-controlled, weed crushing, experiment with gravity.......my friend insisted on going up the ladder and cutting the trap loose reminding me that I looked ridiculous rolling around on the ground 2 years ago. Don't know what happened to my balance, I used to climb trees and did a lot of work at the top of 40 ft. ladders.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I am wondering about when to transfer the caught swarm into a deep conventional 10 frame. It's cloudy and 64 f outside and the bees aren't flying.
I plan on placing the new hive body in the same spot as the swarm trap and tipping the trap over after moving the 4 frames in the trap to the new box. Hoping they will march in. If I see the queen, that would be great. Hoping she is on the frames in the trap.

So I am wondering if I set up a few frames laying on their side and drizzle sugar syrup on them to stimulate foragers to get to work would it be something to calm the foragers before opening the swarm box and transferring the cluster into the new box. Just a question thinking that idle foragers might be a bit testy.

Trying to do this as calm as possible. Want to reduce the risk of the queen flying off, but maybe that's just in the cards you draw......

I am by nature a cautious person. I am used to an analytical process of asking a lot of questions before taking action. It serves well with solving problems but is a handicap by overthinking the issue.

I understand that it is considered bad practice to use smoke with swarms.

I will move the hive about 7 miles to a friends house tonight for a couple of weeks before moving them back with the existing hives. Don't want bees in the barn if the hive disappears.

All that being said, and depending on how it goes, I think I will switch to 1 or 2 NUC box traps, or a single deep. A lot easier to manipulate post catch.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hiving the bees was a breeze. They started flying late in the day when the sun came out. Didn't seem the least disturbed when I took off the trap lid. Swarm is on the smaller side, about 3-4 frames of bees, accounting for foragers.

Didn't look for the queen because the light wasn't the best. Will move them off site tomorrow night to a temporary home. Just have to run off and buy some sugar tomorrow. They are on 8 frames drawn comb and a couple foundation.

Funny thing; A friend tells me he and a neighbor seems to have traded swarms. Both were a bit upset to lose some of their bees. As I understand it the bees avoided the empty swarm traps and flew off, only to enter each others traps. They compared notes on time and flight direction.:D
 
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