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This question is geared more toward my Ohio counterparts.....

With the recent weather we are having now, what do you all start to look for when setting out your swarm traps?

I did a quick run through of some hives the other day and one hive to have a decent number of drones and drone cells to my surprise actually. I did not see any evidence of queen cells however. With that said, are drones a good "bench mark" to use in timing for traps? What about "stuff" in nature such as dandelions blooming?

I know that time is getting near (and my work schedule will give me the time), just wondered what people look for.
 

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I typically start getting swarm calls here in early May. It can fluctuate a week or two either way depending on the weather. This year may be a little later due to the extended winter and late tree bloom start, but I would recommend putting out the traps around May 1st, or before.
 

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I had the same question, so I looked in the 'post your swarm dates' thread. It goes back to 5/07. As Mike said, it looks like things get going in early May, generally. If someone had the time, it would be cool to try and correlate those posts with temps and bloom dates (or gdd). I'm in Knox county also.
 

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What I have found to be a very dependable bloom cross reference to swarming in my area is Dandelion and Apple.

When Dandelion first starts blooming, a healthy overwintered colony will begin backfilling the brood nest in swarm preparation. A week or so later at Dandelion peak, there could be queen cells started.

At Apple blossom peak, a week or so after Dandelion peak, the swarms are flying.

This has been a pretty reliable cycle which begins within a 2-3 week calendar range, depending on early spring weather conditions. Once Dandelion start (typically mid April) the cycle timing seems to always be the same.

In 2012 we had our first Dandelion blooming on April 2nd. The last week in April the swarms were already starting up.
In 2011 our first Dandelion bloom was April 15th. Our first swarm was on May 4th.

It's a very predictable timeline. Once Dandelion begins to bloom, expect swarms to start up 2 - 2 1/2 weeks later. I've been tracking it since 2006 and it's been very consistent every year.
 
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