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Discussion Starter · #61 · (Edited)
So far out of the 2021 six swarms I got I can classify them by size as (measured in extra deep frames):
#1 - large (about 6-7 frames; compatible to a Lang deep box)
#2 - large (about 8-9 frames; compatible to a Lang deep box)
#3 - medium (about 5-6 frames)
#4 - medium (about 5-6 frames)
#5 - mega (about 15-16 frames; compatible to two Lang deep boxes)
#6 - large (about 7-8 frames; compatible to a Lang deep box).

Every single one so far landed into a full-size hive or its equivalent (as pictured).
A full-size trap hive for me contains 5-6 frames in various shapes (usually cut-outs after honey harvest) and a follower board to limit the nest space, but the rest of the hive volume is fully accessible for the swarm too for any spill over bees.
So if I was running Lang equipment I'd setup my trap hives as pictured using full size equipment - this way a small swarm gets what it needs (a smaller cavity) and a large swarm gets what it needs too (a large cavity). This setup does it both ways.

64520


So this season turns to be good for me, just it started late and is running late too.
Nice large swarms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #62 ·
No more hits since the last one on 7/10th.
I think I will take down a couple of the stand-alone traps so that I don't need to monitor them anymore (and summer vacation is nearing).
Each one of the 7 bases still has a trap on site anyway.
No special monitoring for these is needed.

Whatever happens the next few weeks, this season was good already and met my needs.
 

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Despite having 7 traps out since feb & rebaiting every 2 weeks i was unsucessful in catching one. Next year ill have drawn comb & can spare a few frames to put in so hopefully will have better luck!
Congrats on your success!
 

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Discussion Starter · #64 ·
Despite having 7 traps out since feb & rebaiting every 2 weeks i was unsucessful in catching one. Next year ill have drawn comb & can spare a few frames to put in so hopefully will have better luck!
Congrats on your success!
Thanks.
Yes, I observe many starting swarm chasers not having luck (as I did myself at the beginning).

Just last night I made a shook swarm for a guy who was un-successfully trapping for a swarm for two years now.
I gave him dark frames, propolised rags, etc... No hits.
And yet my own hives/traps (really well seasoned, unlike his though) have been dragging the swarms down reliably, pretty much side-by-side with his traps.

And so, the well seasoned traps really do perform better at my place.

Anyway, my "student" (let me call him that) can play with his own bees now.
He's been trying hard and I convinced him to NOT buy the bees just yet.
He deserves a break. :)
 

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So far out of the 2021 six swarms I got I can classify them by size as (measured in extra deep frames):
#1 - large (about 6-7 frames; compatible to a Lang deep box)
#2 - large (about 8-9 frames; compatible to a Lang deep box)
#3 - medium (about 5-6 frames)
#4 - medium (about 5-6 frames)
#5 - mega (about 15-16 frames; compatible to two Lang deep boxes)
#6 - large (about 7-8 frames; compatible to a Lang deep box).

Every single one so far landed into a full-size hive or its equivalent (as pictured).
A full-size trap hive for me contains 5-6 frames in various shapes (usually cut-outs after honey harvest) and a follower board to limit the nest space, but the rest of the hive volume is fully accessible for the swarm too for any spill over bees.
So if I was running Lang equipment I'd setup my trap hives as pictured using full size equipment - this way a small swarm gets what it needs (a smaller cavity) and a large swarm gets what it needs too (a large cavity). This setup does it both ways.

View attachment 64520

So this season turns to be good for me, just it started late and is running late too.
Nice large swarms.
6 decient swarms good deal.
did you get any promising Queens?
Hopefully you can get some of those thru the winter for using in the spring for splits.

I only caught 3 this year, I am reeling in my traps this week to use in getting splits up to size, give comb and feed to get ready for winter. Some what out of gear, made 20 frames last night to feather in 1 or 2 per hive, and pull a frames of honey for the light ones.

GG

GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #66 · (Edited)
did you get any promising Queens?
I don't see any promising queens, GG.
Pretty much commercial stock, "US pollinator" grade.
Maybe one Carni, sort of.

Depending how many of my own survivor-line queens I have, will replace the swarm queens.

Gave one swarm queen to my "student" with his toy swarm.
Probably will OA treat his toy swarm one more time while brood-less; just to have him a better setup.

The captured queens will be moved into small holding nucs until late fall.
This is just for backup/support/comb building and/or to be sold for 1/2 price to those in urgent queen need (which happens every single fall).

I managed to OA dribble every single swarm I got this year (missed one - but did it later by splitting it).
So that is the experiment this year - how good is a single OA dribble if done on a brood-less startup.
 

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So that is the experiment this year - how good is a single OA dribble if done on a brood-less startup.
GregV:

Glad to read that you've been able to follow-through with your stated goal for the year. I will be interested to see how you fare this Winter to give you another point of reference going forward, especially with some promising 'survivor stock' genetics in the mix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #68 ·
GregV:

Glad to read that you've been able to follow-through with your stated goal for the year. I will be interested to see how you fare this Winter to give you another point of reference going forward, especially with some promising 'survivor stock' genetics in the mix.
Will see, Russ.
I will do my best to hold the line and only do this one change and nothing else.
So far I have 12 units that should go into the winter if things hold (discounting any temp nucs).
 

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Sorry, my first post was so crammed together I deleted it. Below it is posted in what I hope will be a more readable format. (I'm no English major so please excuse the syntax and punctuation)
Also I wanted to offer this information to the forum; I've started putting my traps in our deerstands!!!
The hunters don't use them for nine months of the year, and I have kicked ass using this method!!! (See writeup below)
Good luck everyone! I never expected to catch any swarms in August, but it's been such a strange year here in Texas.
 

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Just joined the site. I'm near Moody Texas. I wanted to post this before I went to work. I will start at the begining of the thread and read through for sure!
Here is my story;

If it hadn't happened to me I wouldn't believe it!! I have caught 13 swarms this year.

Last night I took swarm number 11 and moved it from the stand to the bee yard. While I was there last night moving the bees I checked my other trap, nothing.
So yesterday (August second) I took the swarm trap from my back yard to put in the hot spot. I swung by the other trap to check it on the way to put up the trap I brought from home. It had bees in it!!!!! (I was just there last night!!!!)

Well, I sat there watching them for awhile not believing my luck, then I went to put up the other trap.
When I pulled up in my UTV I was talking to my mom on the phone. As soon as I pulled up I had a bunch of bees flying all around me. I told my mom I had to get this trap hung so maybe these bees would check it out.
When I went back to get the trap out of the bed there were already a bunch of bees swirling around it. Well, I didn't have my suit so I said the hell with it I'll take the hit!
So I picked up the trap and carried it up the ladder to the deer stand. When I got to the top of the ladder there was a cluster of bees in the fork of the tree!!!! I got the retaining strap over the box but I had bees all over me and couldn't get it strapped down! (I know what your thinking, dummy, they aren't aggressive when they are swarming! I was stung on both wrists in a matter of seconds!)
I climbed down and drove back to my truck to get my bee jacket. I was back in about 5 minutes and bees were all over the upper lid and the bottom and moving in and out of the trap. I tied it down and left them alone. I went back about 30 minutes later and there was a beard at the top of the trap and one at the bottom, with bees flying in and out.
I leave for work tomorrow and will be on the road for 8 days. I can't wait to get home from my trip. If they stay I will have caught 13 swarms, to include 2 in one day. This season is off the rails!!!! (Two swarms in one day!!!)

Great to be here, I look forward to learning from this forum. At the start of the year I was down to two hives after the big freeze. I have 16 hives now. Unbelievable what I have learned in 4 years. I would say I have made every mistake possible, but I'm sure there are many to go as is I'm making them everyday.

Good luck to everyone.
P.S. This fills every hive I have. My daughter has a trap in her yard and if she catches a swarm they will have to stay in the trap until I can get some more hives built!! (It's OK, my traps are 7 frame Layans)(I use Layans Horizontal hives built with Bee Boy Bills directions based on Dr. Leo's design)
 

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Discussion Starter · #71 ·
September 2nd.
Pretty much done for the year.
There are STILL swarms posted on our local board - but I am not chasing them.
Letting others to have a share of free bees too.

6/9 success this season for me - good result with minimal effort and lazy attitude.
 

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ok I will add in my results.
had 3 early in the spring, 1 I am sure was mine, 1 I am sure was not mine (yellow bees) 3rd a maybe, they are all D+D+M+M at this point (in 8F) all drew 16 frames of foundation.

2 more late,, one early Aug, will need to feed, and one mid july, small, now at 10F also need to feed.

Plan to add the uncapped honey back as 1 10f medium at 3/4 full this week. some supers have frame 1 and 9 only partially capped, I set them all in a box and give to the swarm.

So 5 for the year, had 5 traps out, at 3,1,1,0,0 on a per location basis. plan to leave all queens intact, in 4 , I have not even seen the queens, somewhat a don't care till they make spring,, last 2 swarms have not inspected, verified 1 frame had brood is all.

Also officially out of gear.....

GG
 

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In the spring I put out 5 boxes. 1 in our yard about 75 yds from the hives,1 at my parents backyard 20 miles from here. 2 in a couple co-workers backyards. 1 at work. And 1 at a neighbors house about a half mile away. Caught 4 swarms in April and May. Caught one swarm in the yard in early July. So 5 in 6 spots. All spots but one produced a swarm. I think the 6th spot would have as well if my co-worker and I could have gotten our schedules together when he first described what sounded to me as scouting.

Strangely we’ve caught 4 here in the yard in the last 2.5 weeks. Including 1 yesterday at about 9:30 AM. Pretty sure none of the 4 came from our hives. That makes 9 in 6 spots. 😁
 
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