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I see lots of activity (on the warmer days, ~over 50 degrees F) among my several hives now. Red maple, sweet-breath-of-spring, henbit, ornamental plums/cherries and some other things are blooming.

That said ... when would be a good time to set out the traps? I hear usually that March is the time, locally. Can it be a function of weather (warm late-winter)? Would early swarms have less chance of success, or is that totally depending on variables like queen status, mite load, swarm size, etc? We can still get snows and really cold, dank weather in March (and cold, into April), so .... I'm a little shaky on time-frames here.

Thx much for any input ....
 

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In my experience earlier is better than later. I always shoot for all traps out by April 1st. Our big swarm season is usually last week of May into first week of June. I would have to check my note for an exact date but we have caught swarms during the second week of April. I like them out early so the bees have a chance to find them and to catch any of the early swarms. I'm a good bit north of you. Just my experience 馃槈.
 

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I'm finishing my traps right now. I will start putting them out this weekend. I will have all of them out before 1 March. I'm 3 miles from the ocean so about as eastern as you can get. Don't wait or it will be too late. Earlier is better for sure.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Whereas last year the swarm season here never got off the ground (0/7)*, I think we will see early swarming this year due to the unseasonably warmer weather we have been having of late. I plan on getting my traps out around April 1st. Two years ago, I was catching swarms (2/3) begining of May.

*I am not counting the 2 summer/fall swarms I captured that were issued by my own hives this past year..
 

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I am in zone 8 here in south Arkansas and have seen a few swarms in February.I have some capped drones in one I know and a few are brooding up really good so we will start having swarms in March.
 
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