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Discussion Starter #1
I was wondering if anybody's had any luck trapping swarms in Upstate NY? This miserable winter we had seems to have really done a number on bee populations around here. My 4 hives were wiped out, and I saw barely any honeybees all through May and June (they're usually around). I'm just starting to see them now.

Anyway, I was hoping to catch some swarms to replace my losses, but I'm very new to this game (last year was my first year trapping swarms, and that worked out really well), so I was wondering when the "experienced hands" would be expecting to see swarms, given the conditions...
 

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I have only had 2 swarm calls this year, and have only caught 3 swarms total. Usually i have dozens of calls. I think that a number of managed hives died during the winter, and a number of feral colonies. I also think that many of the colonies that did make it through werent as large as normal, so it has taken longer to see the swarms. I would expect to still get calls all the way through september, but i wont go and get any after july 15 unless they are huge.
 

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I had just one call who said the swarm was low on a small tree in her front yard. I started getting my stuff together but 15 minutes later she called and said they just flew away. Other than that I have four swarm traps out but have had absolutely no activity in any of them.
 

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:scratch:just one small one, added a second deep nuc box to it yesterday, I previously had to re-queen after some left , not a problem free swarm, they are fine now... no bees around. my wife likes to pick wild flowers by the roadside, the only place I have seen any bees working the roadside is about 2 miles from where the swarm came from about 40 miles away. that area is almost within drone range from Kingston Ontario, so far no trucks with summer bees [migratory] yet this year. the last 2 years the summer visitors have not done too well, maybe they are not comeing? on Friday I talked to 2 beekeepers at the Pulaski ny farmers market, one had 1/3 as many swarm calls as normal, the other had had none. the keeper from Syracuse was having a good year for honey . as you go north of Syracuse things are behind with spotty good honey flow. the season still seems about 10 or 12 days late. ok as long as fall is not 10 days early. .. oh yeah I did get a call yesterday for a paper wasp nest does that count?
 

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Last year I had three swarms to my barn walls in late May, early June. (These were all cut-out and became my hived-bees.) I was prepared with enough equipment for the same number, but so far only one small, disorganized, pseudo-swarm has appeared. I'm not sure what's up with them and will check sometime this week. They arrived last Monday.

Enj.
 

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I mentioned in post #4 that i had talked to 2 keepers. one said he had lost 42 of 46 last winter, I think he said no swarms yet. I lost 7 of 7 some in march with lots of honey left. that is the way things were in the north country. no feral bees left or close to none. that kind of is where we are at.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, I guess I'm kind of glad it's not "just me"... at the same time sad that the bees aren't doing so well. I didn't harvest any honey last year because I had just started with the TBHs and wanted the bees to establish themselves. Collected some honey from the hives this spring... but at this rate, I won't even have any bees going into next winter.
 

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I made a weak attempt at getting swarms this spring. I just left out 2 boxes with drawn comb in hopes that it would attract something. It didnt. (not even wax moths or hive beetles or anything bad)

I did notice though this past week that the milkweeds were blooming. Every year around this time they bloom and are FULL of bees workikng them. This year I had to look very very hard to see anything working them. It could be the weather, as it rained lots at night, it could be the winter.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
much of upstate ny is pretty iffy for TBH in the winter. I am not saying it can not be done, but maybe it is not the best idea.
Can you elaborate? I'm not sure I see why it would make a difference... My TBHs have much thicker walls than Langstroth hives, and a SBB. They should be more insulated, if anything, than Langstroth ones.

Also, the bees do look like they died of dysentery: I've had hives die of cold before (a Langstroth in that case), and the bees were all dead in their cluster. In this case, bees were scattered all along the floor of the hive, there were many dead bees on the ground outside and streaks of fecal matter on the front and insides of the hive. Why would dysentery be exacerbated by a TBH design?
 

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TBH is iffy because heat rises. With the TBH the bees are spread on a horizontal access. The also don't warm the honey above them.

You'll see the most success with TBH in southern climes. I hear about lots of people starting up with them here, but two years on none of them are around.
 
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