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Discussion Starter #121
7/8.
Free standing hive.
Pretty sure I caught my own swarm that I lost (just found out tonight - think they jumped the ship either today or yesterday).
Which is just fine and does count.
20200719_202326.jpg
 

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It looks like I have my 2nd swarm of the year in a bait hive in the woods. The first was on June 2 and in the same location. The first was moved 5 miles away for a few days, then brought back to the apiary on our property(several acres away). There were stragglers who returned to the trap and have been a few in and out ever since. But, yesterday my wife noticed heavy traffic. I know it's late for swarms up here, not sure when I should pull the traps.
 

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I had 7 traps out and caught 3 swarms, one trap did catch 2 so the spot matters.
I have pulled 3 back as I needed some frames of comb, will get the rest back prior to the end of the month.

3 is about my norm, for a year. each was caught after a heat spell..

GG
 

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I had 7 traps out and caught 3 swarms, one trap did catch 2 so the spot matters.
I have pulled 3 back as I needed some frames of comb, will get the rest back prior to the end of the month.

3 is about my norm, for a year. each was caught after a heat spell..

GG
Do you typically pull them all by the end of July? I'm in norther IL, so likely comparable weather.
 

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Do you typically pull them all by the end of July? I'm in norther IL, so likely comparable weather.
bjorn,
I have 3 things going on at this time.
winter preps starting
getting ready for extraction and honey season.
the time it takes the bees to get enough winter stores is getting dicy.

so for 1 or 2 one could feed or give stores from another hive.
As I expand my early NUCs into full size hives, I need the frames and the boxes :) I use a 10 frame deep as my trap. I would rather all my comb be on hives by fall.
I notice that ants and such are slowly invading, I did use a 1/2 inch mesh this year and did not have mouse nests in the traps,so at some point the combs can get wrecked.
I also "prefer" the prime swarm with the over wintered queen, later swarms can be improperly cared for packages, less value to me but they would be fine for a starting person.

If you can feed them you can leave them longer, some what what your schedule is.
I have not caught a "quality" swarm from Aug 1st forward in a long while, so they seem to calm down and work on winter stores by then.

you should try all summer to see what your location offers. I tend to do the first 2/3 of the summer trapping, then the last 1/3 is extraction and winter prep.

GG
 

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I am definitely a small-time beekeeper in my 8th season. I have 3 hives from packages this spring. I recognize that package quality/success is a completely different conversation. My main reason to bait is to hopefully catch a feral colony or at least vary the genetics in my apiary. I have 8 traps out, but only one has attracted swarms this season. My traps are a deep box with one medium old brood comb and 9 empty frames. This is only my 4th swarm in 3 seasons. Any bees, especially free bees, are a learning opportunity for me at this point.
 

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agree free bees are a learning experience, I would think for you, keep them out till end of Aug.

yes they are some what slimm pickings here as well.

keep up the trying, you will get better.
 

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Discussion Starter #128
Do you typically pull them all by the end of July? I'm in norther IL, so likely comparable weather.
I have caught swarms in late August and still wintered them.
So have few traps out that late.
But, due to expansion projects, most traps are now needed in the nuc department.
 

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It's been a fun learning curve for sure. The first year my traps were just old bodies with one drawn comb. The bees moved in and started building some absolutely beautiful comb hanging from the lid. The boxes didn't seal well, so I was on a ladder at night stapling screen to every crack and crevice they could escape from so I could move them. I was only able to salvage a small amount of the comb and hang it in frames with rubber bands. I should have shot video... I'm sure it was quite comical to watch. Most of the bees just returned to the trap site the next day. Anyway, I now use frames, sealed boxes except for a closable(screened) entrance and relocate 5 miles away for a week or so. Moving goes much smoother now. I still get stragglers, but nothing like before.
Always learning...
 

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Discussion Starter #130 (Edited)
9/8.
20200725_121326.jpg
20200725_124630.jpg

6/9 - caught on the ground level.
So, yes, why climb.

I don't really have time to monkey about re-hiving this log hive - will let them be just like they are.
Whatever happens - the logs are supposed to be superior and all that.
The walls are two two inch wood; there is foam in the lid.
These bees should be set.
 

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Discussion Starter #131
September 2nd today.
I say the swarm season is over. :)

9/8 is the final tally of trapped swarms for me.

11 swarms collected in total.

The only small negative - one of the traps I kept out through the August became moth infested and they largely destroyed the combs.
Should have checker-boarded (comb-blank-comb).
But I just filled it up with old combs - bad idea in August.
 

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Sounds like you had a good season! I trapped six and collected three from the trees.
This is my first year, so I don't know if this is good or not. Our summer has been hot and dry and I have had to feed all my splits and swarms just to get them to grow.
 

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nice Greg and Crab414,
11, and 9 is a good amount.
I did hive one yesterday but it was a fluke IMO and will need a lot of help.
this last one has me at 4, almost 1 per month all season. Not many bees in the trees by my trap sites, Most if not all came from "managed hives"

edit on Rate,, 5 traps out 1 did catch 2, 1 from the trees and 1 trap caught 1 2 traps did NADA

GG
 

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I thought it was over a long time ago but we have a lot of bees in the top of a pile of dead brood chambers. No eggs when we checked a few days ago, so not sure what it is. I got about 36, but none at two sites where I needed one or two to replace losses. And the usual 10-15% loss out of those. So probably 30 that will go into winter. We Apivar them as soon as we find them. We have not harvested all sites yet, so might be surprised to find another one or two late incomers.
 

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10/11 for me this year. My previous best was 4.

One interesting catch was one from a trap that had been up for 4 years with no nibbles. The host called, saying he was seeing lots of bees in his pool this spring and asked why I was so excited. :)

It sounds like this year was a good one for many. On a somewhat related note, I've seen more splattered bugs on the windshield this year. Not like the old days, but more than usual.
 

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hmm more bugs
maybe less cars on the road splattering bugs, means more bugs survive. "thanks to covid"
Should be a good year for bug eaters then as well.

some lawn service places were shut down for a while, some golf courses were also shut down for a while.
some builders were also shut down, I see some building sites around here all weedy and over grown, nothing the dozer cannot fix but could add to the flower pool this year. for me the heat in mid summer was the issue for 3 or the 5 sites I have.

GG
 

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Discussion Starter #137
Sounds like you had a good season! I trapped six and collected three from the trees.
This is my first year, so I don't know if this is good or not. Our summer has been hot and dry and I have had to feed all my splits and swarms just to get them to grow.
9 is very good.
Last year I only caught 2.
 

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Discussion Starter #138
hmm more bugs........

GG
I say COVID is good for Nature.
Less pollution, less waste, less poison sprinkled around.
I hate it but I love it too.
LOL
 

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Finishing with 7 swarms. Of that 4 were from my own hives, ugh! I lost one on transport, the comb detached from bottom of the frame and flopped to bottom of the box. Not sure if the queen was killed or just fled. Never found her. Just caught another swarm a week ago and working getting it into shape for the winter. Love doing this. Turning out to be my favorite part of beekeeping although it's a lot of work.
Congrats everyone!
 
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