Are you guys able to catch so many swarms because they are attracted to your apiaries? I've never seen a bee swarm in my life but you guys seem to see them all the time. Is it your hives that attract them?
They are attracted to the smell of bees. I had a swarm land in an empty TBH last year and a swarm land in a dead out this year. I have a bunch of swarm traps out, but so far, the only success as far as a swarm going into a hive has been in my yard. I have a friend that has bees living in an old building on her property and last year a huge swarm landed on a bush next to that building.
Interesting! I found that bees swarm to where ever they want. But I also know that they seem to like certain places and I find that I go back to the same area many times.
I have bait boxes in my yard and have taken 4 swarms, this was last year.
Here's the 2nd one so far in my backyard this year. Today around 2:30pm and fix'n to rain and thunder too. Mid 80's. Maybe a 3lb? Not from my 3 hives. Had one hive from last year and split it once. Other was Easter swarm. Still nothing in any of my 8 swarm traps as of yesterday.
Millenia... i have wondered the same thing. my buddy that got me into beekeeping, had 10 Langstroth Hives. now has 12 and working on 13. we have caught 2 swarms so far. bees seem to be attracted to his place. which is cool, saves money on buying more and the experience that is gained from it is priceless.
The swarms seem to travel the same routes that others have in the past. One of my traps was placed near a busy intersection in a big oak tree a couple hundred feet off the highway and I caught a swarm there within a few days of putting it up. I had been called to remove a colony from a man's attic in that area a couple years back and then also I had noticed bees in a hollow tree on the other side of that intersection. So I figured with the history of bees using that area, even though there's no beekeepers close by, would be a good bet. And so it paid off. I had another trap on a tree line behind the church I pastor and caught two swarms on the same tree bait box this spring. Again, no beeks nearby, but the bees seem to travel that route regularly. Now here's the interesting part. I have 4-5 hives in each of three different bee yards and have not caught a single swarm in any of them! Ha! Go figure.
Seems to help, one of my property lines runs along a power line. I believe in the past bees went down the powerline and kept going past my place, now they stop by and at least give us a chance to box them. I have a mentor 5 miles up the powerline and he got 22 swarms last season.
I said I had caught no swarms in my own bee yards, but I need to clarify that. I meant that I had not caught any swarms in my own apiaries this year. I have certainly caught many of my own swarms there in the past, but I don't believe any of them were from feral bee colonies. None of my own hives have swarmed this year and I am speculating that it is because of two factors. 1. We had an unusually long, cold, and severe winter that caused the bees to consume all there stores and I had to feed them for over a month. That left them with all empty combs and big job to do. 2. I tried some checker boarding once they started bringing in enough honey. So that's my reasoning as to why I didn't have to catch any of my own swarms this spring....so far.
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