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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
It's worth trying, but honestly I already have quite a bit of stuff outside, and zero interest. The occasional bee (3 today) on that bit of old comb.
It is worth trying.
Scouting in my backyard slowed some and I remembered this trick from last year.
So I climbed under the porch and pulled some of these boxes out even though bees found them already.

Yes - it works. For sure drags many more bees this way.
Just the volume of the wax/propolis scent when hit by sun is so heavy so that the plume spreads around much wider - more bees catch the sniff of it.
 

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Possible swarm incoming. Into a deadout 50 feet from my hive. What appears to be some hundreds of bees acting quite defensive. Pretty sure it isn't robbing because they had worked this hive clean a long time ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Pretty sure it isn't robbing
Very easy test - just set some frame with honey residue out next to the hive.
You should see that the bees are not really interested in the honey frame - then not robbing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Not counting this one - sheesh!
A little swarm without a queen.
I think the bee owner woke up and intercepted the swarm before it took off.
But about a frame worth of bees did make it into my trap.
I waited few days, finally gave up and took the queen-less bees as a boost for one of my splits..

But anyway - this is another good demo how I catch the bees directly on the ground.
No climbing.
 

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Greg,

I ended up catching 4 swarms this year. from 4 traps. 3,0,1,0 were the counts from each.
At least 1 was my own, at least 2 were not, so could not confirm or deny 1 of them.
first was from Orchard bees put near me. I plan to re queen that one.

The 18 swarm control splits did end with 17 good laying queens, So I am happy about that math.
So I added about 20 hives , had 11 losses last winter.

Should go into winter close to 40 hives.

fall preps will take longer this year as I have 1 more yard.

GG
 

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Got one. My own hive swarmed into a deadout. Nice test, since I have a half dozen different traps scattered around. The dead out is two deeps, with three frames open in the center of the lower deep, 50' away from the hive, facing north, in full sun, sitting on the ground level..

The others varied from 5 frame nucs to one about the size of a deep a little bigger than one deep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
I am getting this hunch that the wide spread "working from home" trend in suburbia is not good for the suburban swarm trapping.

Just as we speak, I have another massive scouting cloud in my backyard - the second day now.
Well, I get this feeling this one will fail too.
Very likely the bee owner somewhere is "working from home" (just like me) and most likely will intercept his/her bees leaving on them.
Sniff.
 

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I am getting this hunch that the wide spread "working from home" trend in suburbia is not good for the suburban swarm trapping.

Just as we speak, I have another massive scouting cloud in my backyard - the second day now.
Well, I get this feeling this one will fail too.
Very likely the bee owner somewhere is "working from home" (just like me) and most likely will intercept his/her bees leaving on them.
Sniff.
Last year when I was getting all those crazy swarms, my wife would hear them and wake me up. I sleep days and work nights, so generally home most days. About 3PM seemed to be the prime time for swarms to issue.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
About 3PM seemed to be the prime time for swarms to issue.
Yep; pretty much if nothing landed between 3pm and 5pm - the day has been lost.
So today is lost too.
Wanna bet someone intercepted their swarm again (the same direction/the same type of bees too - generic "US pollinator" type). I am pretty sure I know the source too by now. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 · (Edited)
5/8
July 4th celebration started for me just about 11am!

And this one is a monster of about immediate 2-deep equivalent.
Need to transfer this asap as they will not fit into 40 litre boxes (hidden inside the brown mega-hive).
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 · (Edited)
5/8
July 4th celebration started for me just about 11am!

And this one is a monster of about immediate 2-deep equivalent.
Need to transfer this asap as they will not fit into 40 litre boxes (hidden inside the brown mega-hive).
Well, this is instead a monster. :oops:
I have never seen before such big ones.
Ended up refactoring this babe into two units - 16-frame unit (pretty much full) and 7-frame unit (very full) - pictured.
The 7-framer seems to be queen-less at the moment (to be confirmed) - if true, I will at once use it to raise me few queens of my own line.

So indeed to think of it - someone lost 2-deeps worth of bees, fully packed.
Maybe they completely absconded, I will never know.
But for sure someone was sound asleep.
I got two for the price of one.

Also this makes full sense to me now why they kept ignoring my smaller 40 litre boxes and kept zeroing onto the large monster hive (even though it contains two autonomous smaller boxes inside).
Somehow they judged this to be all a single big cavity and went for it.
Also a demonstration that truly 40 litre traps are too small - you want to catch the big ones, either make 60 litre traps OR use the full-size hives for trapping.

I caught swarms into my large long hives before, but this time around two long hives in the backyard were used for storage (honey frame storage) so I had the plugged up.
Who knew a huge swarm was on the real estate market this year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 · (Edited)
While ago I stated how one keep swarm landed by keeping them wet.

Well, this time around I did keep them down, just as soon as I realized they were not going to fit into the trap sitting behind the brown wall. So while scrambling around for the alternative options I kept them shaded, cool and wet.
When I relocated all the bees hanging outside into the 16-framer and was able to look behind the brown wall - there were even more bees hanging everywhere inside. Got them all too very wet and the cool shower was very well received too.

Took me two days to finally complete the refactor - I need 2-3 day break away from these bees....
Then need to check the queen status, fix any comb issues they may have created and do the OA dribble to clean them up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
6/9
Nice one - 7 extra deeps frames packed and spilling over.

I actually added one more location again - so back to nine.
Just a very convenient location on my way to the grocery store, in a suburban forest opening - I figured I got nothing to loose and I have vacant traps still standing about at home.
I don't feel optimistic about this addition (but I was wrong before and the location is just too convenient not to try it).
 

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nice catch Greg

your comment:
Also this makes full sense to me now why they kept ignoring my smaller 40 litre boxes and kept zeroing onto the large monster hive (even though it contains two autonomous smaller boxes inside).
Somehow they judged this to be all a single big cavity and went for it.

Is spot on, need a big trap for the big swarms.

the best swarms I caught this year were in a deep of comb with an empty deep or medium under it. 60-70 litre

a 2 deep swarm would be from a hive of 2 deeps with 3 mostly full medium supers, or 2 deep supers. IE about double.

I have 10 or so that big and I do worry about them swarming.

GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 · (Edited)
I want to know your reason for OAD (oxalic acid dribble). A few years ago I decided on OAV. I haven't looked at discoveries in the past 3 years.
OAD is -
Cheap.
No expensive/complicated equipment needed (expecially important when you have many out-yards).
Well tested by now.
Safe (for me) - to the degree of working with common household chemicals.
If done correctly is very effective - brood-less cleanups.

If not a brood-less cleanup it becomes a repeat hassle I would rather avoid and every additional treatment adds additional contamination I don't need.
So I am trying to catch OR create a brood-less colony status, and only then do the OAD - this is my 2021 test of clean (re)starts.

Disclaimer, for sure need to wear nitrile gloves and wash your hands well after application.
I was careless and apparently got some my 2.5% solution on my thumb through a hole in a leather glove (bad idea) - in few day an area of skin peeled off as after a minor chemical burn (acid it is). So it is best to have nitrile gloves on and always have plenty of water to rinse off well any suspect areas after working with OA.

From my experience working with harsh chemicals in the past, we rinsed ourselves with water all the time (open skin areas).
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
Is spot on, need a big trap for the big swarms.
Yep.
So pretty much every full-size hive I have vacant is a trap for me.
Some of the 40-liter hives I use for storage as we speak because I had plenty of full-size traps out.
For as long as I have enough big traps set out, I am good.
 
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