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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Two days ago it finally got warm. This is going to be my first year beekeeping. Never seen many bees here, and the closest beekeeper is six miles away. So for the hell of it I put out some sugar syrup. A lone bee showed up and would come back like clock work every seven minutes. Yesterday about fifteen, today well over one hundred coming and going. It seemed that they could not be going far. It got me thinking a should build a swarm box ASAP.

Question one. Which would be better four frame or five?

Question two. Entrance hole size and location?

Question three. This is my first year so have no old comb to use. I do have plastic rite cell. Would it be a good idea to spray it with sugar water with lemon grass in it.

I have a good location I can put it in that was in the flight path. A tree where I can put up ten feet. Any other tips to make this successful?
 

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Two days ago it finally got warm. This is going to be my first year beekeeping. Never seen many bees here, and the closest beekeeper is six miles away. So for the hell of it I put out some sugar syrup. A lone bee showed up and would come back like clock work every seven minutes. Yesterday about fifteen, today well over one hundred coming and going. It seemed that they could not be going far. It got me thinking a should build a swarm box ASAP.
Tom Seeley's work describes what was optimum in his experiments. From memory-

Question one. Which would be better four frame or five?
Approx. 40 liter volume which is fairly close to one deep box.

Question two. Entrance hole size and location?
About an inch, but I have had luck with smaller and a bit bigger. South side.

Question three. This is my first year so have no old comb to use. I do have plastic rite cell. Would it be a good idea to spray it with sugar water with lemon grass in it.

I have a good location I can put it in that was in the flight path. A tree where I can put up ten feet. Any other tips to make this successful?
Put some lemon grass oil on a cotton ball and put that into a zip lock bag. Poke some holes in the bag and pin it to the inside of the bait hive. Put a drop or two near the entrance hole.

I think Tom said 12' to 15' up is good, but I have had good luck at 6' to 10' which is a lot easier to get to.
 

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rkereid makes good poits all the way around. Last year was my first year putting out bait hives and out of 20 or so boxes, my lone swarm took to a 10-frame deep. not statisically significant, but worth noting, maybe. I had no foundation in mine. just ten frames of foundationless air. I baited mine with lemon grass oil (purchased a 4oz bottle on ebay for about $8 or so...BTW this is WAY more than a normal human being will need) and the bees took to it.

For fun, you might try "beelining" (goolge it) and find the source of these bees. Not that you should do anything with it, but it would be neat to find. I've got too dang many of my own bees around no to find the feral hives. I had bees here and there before I brought a mess of them in, so i know they are out there. I open feed a bit to help them out in the fall if they need it.
 

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Two days ago it finally got warm. This is going to be my first year beekeeping. Never seen many bees here, and the closest beekeeper is six miles away. So for the hell of it I put out some sugar syrup. A lone bee showed up and would come back like clock work every seven minutes.
I think I remember the number 15 mph for the average speed a honeybee flies. 7 minutes means the hive would be a little less than a mile away, if it's the same bee and I did the math right.

3.5 minutes for a one way trip. 15/60 = .25 miles per minute. 0.25*3.5 = 0.875 miles away, give or take some time to get it unloaded at the hive. I say get some permissions and go find it, and if they don't care, bring it back. It would be fun. I've tried, but I can never be patient enough to just watch one bee run around to different flowers and never tried building a box for the job.
 

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PyroBee

Take a compass reading on where they are flying and transfer it to Google Earth. Set out another feeder some place were you may get another reading and put it on the same map.
Were the lines from the two readings cross look in that area for the feral hive.
Then do a Cleo Hogan trap out.
Have fun doing it also.
 

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its worth a try. I would use a deep box since its standard equipment to add on a hive stand and larger than nuc. I would just put a few drops of oil around the entrance. In april/may see if the bees notice. Its likely a hive is closer than 6 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think I remember the number 15 mph for the average speed a honeybee flies. 7 minutes means the hive would be a little less than a mile away, if it's the same bee and I did the math right.

3.5 minutes for a one way trip. 15/60 = .25 miles per minute. 0.25*3.5 = 0.875 miles away, give or take some time to get it unloaded at the hive. I say get some permissions and go find it, and if they don't care, bring it back. It would be fun. I've tried, but I can never be patient enough to just watch one bee run around to different flowers and never tried building a box for the job.

That is what I thought. So I think realistically more like .5-.75 miles away. I have an idea where they might be and I am going to look this weekend.

They are almost heading due south. I really do not want to hang a ten frame box up, I will if that is best. I have read that some have luck with six frames. Thoughts on this?

Thanks, really getting excited, did not think that any bees were this close and did not count on try to catch any.
 

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That is what I thought. So I think realistically more like .5-.75 miles away. I have an idea where they might be and I am going to look this weekend.

They are almost heading due south. I really do not want to hang a ten frame box up, I will if that is best. I have read that some have luck with six frames. Thoughts on this?

Thanks, really getting excited, did not think that any bees were this close and did not count on try to catch any.
If you've got extra equipment, hang a six frame and put a ten frame under the feeder. Bees are bees and will do as they please, as the saying goes. How many people have done everything right with swarm traps and then had a swarm move into a hive body that was just sitting in their barn? I say start with the easy, and go from there. Put as many as you feel like, and that way if they do move in, it's more likely to be an easy one to get access to.

I know that bees prefer a hive that is a certain height and size with a certain entrance, but I don't think anyone would argue that putting out some oddballs in easier locations is a bad idea. Just think of all the places people find hives at and have to call someone to do a cutout. Some make no sense other than the bees found a dry space with a slightly reduced entrance.
 
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