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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Good Afternoon!

Placed a swarm trap Sunday and was excited to see bees in and out that afternoon (Thinking it was a little early). I rained hard all day Monday - when I checked today, saw 20 or 30 bees in and out and 50-100 bunched up at the (outside) seam of the roof - I assume a swarm has moved in (but I am absolutely new to this and don't know what I'm looking at).

I do have hives ready (Top Bar)... If this is a swarm, how long do I have before it is a mess of fresh comb (there was nothing inside). Should I hive them tonight, or wait a few days?

Pardon my ignorance but wasn't really expecting bees until I picked up packages in April.

Thanks in advance!

IMAG0151.jpg
 

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Wow! That was quick. I am 70 miles south of you. I need to get the rest of my traps out!

I am going to let some of the more experienced beeks tell you how long you need to leave them in the swarm trap. If you are worried about them absconding whenever you transfer, some have said that you can put a piece of Queen Excluder on the entrance. But, I would listen to some of the real swarm trappers who post here about that.
 

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If you think they have moved into the trap, then you need to move them into a hive as quickly as possible to minimize the disruption.

What I always like to do is to go pick up the trap just after sunset. Once the sun is down and the sky is still a bit light. Foraging or scout bees will always go home at night. If there are still bees inthe trap after sunset, then they have moved in, and I take the trap and go.

I take the trap out to my bee yard and set it on the stand where the new hive will go and come back the next day and cut out the bees and put them into my hive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all for the direction...

Just walked down with the kid and it definitely seems inhabited - not just a few scout and foraging bees.

Unfortunately, I cannot do it tonight. Will plan on tomorrow late (but expecting thunderstorms, arghhh). The rain won't bother me - will it them?

Is it generally best to leave them in the trap for a few days (relocated to the position of the final hive) as opposed to transferring them ASAP to the hive?

Thanks again,
Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
How about some details of your cardboard concrete form tube trap.
Planning to assemble a few more over the next few days and will take pictures

... just a 1x4 18" long with a 5 gallon bucket lid screwed to it for the bottom/floor, half of a home depot 12" concrete form stacked on top (24" of a 48x12" form), then a 20x 20 piece of plywood on that. Holes in either end of the 1x4 and two near the edges of the plywood top allow a few feet of rope and gravity to hold it together and in place. Hope this it'll make it easy to open/take apart tomorrow.

Lacking any comb, baited with some potion found on the internet... roughly 2 parts olive oil, 1 part beeswax and 10 drops of lemon grass essential oil. hung by a rope over a limb, about 12 ft high, sun half the day, shade in the afternoon. Took only a small amount of this and rubbed it on the inside and out.

After convincing myself that the entrance needed to face southeast, twist in the rope left it faced exactly northwest.
 

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I had thought I was going to do was leave them for awhile. I have only caught 3 swarms. What I did was move them the very night I got them. I read the other day that you should move them the minute you can and not wait cause other scouts may convince them to leave and so basicly hiding the bees from those scouts is good. I waited till darkness. The one I didn't move right after they moved in I wish I could have because they had built a little comb that collapsed when I did move them.

So buy my getting lucky on the very few that I have gotten, I am going to move as soon as I can cause I have had luck doing that so far. I had nothing to give them but an empty box and so when I transfered them the next day to thier permanate home, I put two drops of lemon grass oil in the bottom of the box I put them in.

Just saying what I have did and not saying it is best.
gww
 

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If it's a trap without frames I would move asap, mostly because I don't like grafting comb. Another reason is if you replace a trap fast enough, chances are you will have another swarm following up in that spot.

If it's difficult to know they are there, I would check at night. If their is a lot of bees you definitely got them.

Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
After seeing (again) hundreds of bees this morning, I took the trap down this evening to find it empty - a few delicate pieces of comb and one dead bee.

Gonna try a few more traps on the same right-of-way and see what happens. Cobbling the together now, will have pics soon.



disappointed, but inspired, not discouraged,
Thanks all for the advice,
Joe
Joe
 

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In my opinion it sounds like the scouts are really liking your trap and location. I would keep it up and wait it out... My first swarm trapped last year did something similar. Hundreds of bees checking the trap out. They waited to move in 18 days after exhibiting that behavior.... Normally when i see that many bees a swarm isn't far behind.

Gl, hope you get them!
 

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I'm going to move my swarm trap as soon as I confirm that the swarm is in there as I'm only moving it 150yds. I leave the entrance open that first night right?
 
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