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Would you be ticked off if you found someone elses swarm box across the street in a tree from your apiary? This is based on not knowing about it first?
 

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Just make sure you split any hive that's getting ready to swarm. Make sure you give the old queen some open comb when you split.

I would agree that putting a swarm box across the street is a little bit "in your face". It doesn't make for a good relationship with your fellow beekeepers. If the owner of said box lives on that property and already has some hives, then I could see his reasoning. He may be trying to capture swarms from his own hives.

If the owner of that swarm box has hives, you could just put out your own swarm box.
 

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This scenario has been discussed many times here on Beesource. Discussions have gotten a bit heated. The main issue seems to revolve around whether or not you feel you own the swarms that issue from your hives. There is also the (erroneous in my opinion) perspective that the presence of swarm traps in the vicinity of a hive somehow encourages that hive to swarm. Then there are the minor (in my opinion) issues of what's ethical and what's not, getting permission, etc.

It's all largely irrelevant to me and not an issue worth getting upset about. The solution is to put your own swarm traps out and get on with business. It's my responsibility to keep my hives from swarming, or not, and the presence of a swarm trap, my own or someone else's in the vicinity, has nothing to do with it. I also believe swarms tend to move further from the hives they've issued from rather than closer i.e., I'd expect a swarm to ultimately take up residence a mile or more from their old home, rather than moving right next door. Perhaps other folks have an opinion on this question?

I also suspect many hives swarm when the beekeeper isn't around to see it and they're never the wiser. I suspect some of mine have and I *know* one of them has, I saw the swarm cells and I watched a virgin queen emerge. Swarming isn't a death sentence for the hive that swarms by any means and unless you happen to notice the break in brood rearing, or observe that your marked queen is suddenly gone, you're likely to never know it swarmed. Depending on when the hive swarms you might or might not notice an impact on your honey production.

I am reminded of one beekeeper's approach to swarm control that I've read about- book a 3 week vacation on a cruise ship for the month of May.

So the real questions become, if a swarm issues from your hive in the middle of the woods and nobody is around to see it, did it really swarm? And if it did really swarm, who "owns" the swarm? And the ultimate unanswerable question, does it make any noise?
 

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If the trap is placed in an open obvious location then I think that it's a pretty tacky move. Not a good way to make friends in the neighborhood.

However, with that said, if my colonies are throwing swarms and I am not making splits or aggressively implementing swarm control methods, then it makes sense to me that this person should have a right to capture it rather than letting it set up its home in the wild. I am going to lose the swarm either way, unless I put out my own traps.

But, they should at least set their trap up out of sight away from your apiary and keep the peace.
 

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I have no problem with it. I didn't ask their permission when I put hives on my property and I certainly didn't seek permission for my bees to forage in their yard so who am I to tell them what they can do on their side of the fence? Besides, if I do my job correctly and prevent swarms-they will soon get discouraged and move on to greener pastures. How many have had a swarm move into empty equipment in their yards? Did you travel to the neighbor and offer their bees back to them?

David
 

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There is alot of "assuming" in the responses. It did not say who owned the property, whether it was the one who placed the trap, etc.

I guess I would ask the property owner myself if he placed the traps. If he knew nothing about it, I would be taking them down. After all, I know most of the nieghbors to my properties, and they respect me, as I respect them. And the farms that I have hives placed, know thier nieghbors, etc.

It goes back to the fundemantal question of how it got there. For me, without knowing about it or the property owner knowing, I ask myself "What mentality of a person does it take to "target" another persons apiary for collecting swarms from my hives. He did not ask me, he did not ask my blessing, he did not know if I have my own boxes out, he did not know if I would be offended.

Certainly any additional swarm boxes as close as across the street, does compete with my boxes. Studies have shown that bees will normally travel 300 to 900 meters to select a new site. This of course takes into account that ample sites are available for them to choose from. With dwindling natural sites, bees will use whats available. They may go a mile, they may go 10 feet. Certainly additional boxes in the area decreases the chances of your own boxes capturing them.

Many things are "legal", and people have a right to do many things. I am very leery even if I have a "right", so as not to offend another, or somehow be percieved as stepping on one's toes. I personally may have a right to place swarms across the street of another persons apiary, but I would never do it myself. It bothers me when the next person could not see the potential bad will, and would proceed to target another persons yard.

Of course if the person across the street owns bees, or its the land owner himself is placing the boxes, I see no problems.

Most of these past discussions have been in the context of one beekeeper targeting another beekeeper, without regards to property ownership.
 

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This gets to the root of "being a good neighbor". "Good" is broadly defined. Years ago, we had apple trees that hung over a fence into our neighbors yard. They cheerfully picked up and picked off loads of apples. They even baked apple pies or crisps for us once in a while. But, when deer began eating the apples, and then their shrubs, we were accused of luring the deer with our apple trees. No, we didn't agree to pay for damages but it certainly put a chill on the relationship.

I wouldn't be ticked off but I'd feel that my neighbor was trying to leech off of my resources without talking about it. My measure of their character would be reduced but I'd also remember that bees are wild things. If, in spite of my intervention, they decide to swarm and ultimately become "kept" by someone else...even my neighbor...than that's the way things are.

I'd rather have a swarm catching neighbor than a swarm killing one.
 

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>Years ago, we had apple trees that hung over a fence into our neighbors yard. They cheerfully picked up and picked off loads of apples.

Interesting. They were within their rights oddly enough as your tree was encroaching on their property. They would have been entitled to cut off anything hanging over the property line, without your permission. I'm not saying you're not entitled to be chagrined, at the very least, especially when they turn around and harrass you about deer being attracted by the apples they were helping themselves to. That took nerve!

>I'd rather have a swarm catching neighbor than a swarm killing one.

Amen.
 

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>>>"I'd rather have a swarm catching neighbor than a swarm killing one."


I'd rather have a good nieghbor and have one that wouldn't do either of the options. In rationalizing one against the other, it appears that one could be giving excuses not only for the nieghbor, but perhaps self-justification for one's own rationalization. I would not do either one. No rationalization needed. ;)
 

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While we talk about good relationships, lets consider our own responsability along that line. If as a beekeeper I fail to manage my hive in a manner that my neighbors don't have to put up with frequent swarms, why shouldn't they allow someone to put up swarm traps. Remember, the swarms that issue from our hives don't have to take up residence in our empty boxes, or hollow trees. They might easily decide the best location is in the wall of a neighbors house or in his tool shed. If I found a swarm box across the street from one of my yards I would think this was a strong hint to get my act together and work a little harder on my swarm prevention management.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The reason I asked the question, was because I built 15 swarm catching boxes this winter and had been thinking about where to put them. Deep down, I felt like it would be unethical to target another beekeepers apiary without them knowing, and on the flip side depending on the exact circumstance it could in-fact bee legal. In the past I have only placed swarm boxes in my yards, never anywhere else, so this winter I decided I was going to branch out come next bee season.

I have found that beekeepers, for the most part are great people. As a matter of fact I have never personally met a beekeeper I didn't like. Knowing this, combined with my upbringing, I just struggled with the issue. I even thought, how would I feel if another beekeeper came to me and asked me if they could put swarm boxes in some proximity to me. It left me with an uneasy feeling; one that was like, "they are trying to rip me off." I thought, am I being selfish; maybe I am.

Oh, I apologize if I created a stir, I had no idea about previous posts as I am new here, as of Dec. '06. I was thinking of doing a search, but it seems everytime I try the function it doesn't work for me. Maybe I need to wait longer when I try searching...it just seems to get caught in an endless loop.

I suppose that I will just ask my rural, non-beekeeper friends if I can stick one swarm box in each of their back yards, and have them keep an eye on them for me and call me if there is any activity.

Thanks for all your thoughts. Best Regards, Jeff
 

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Setting traps across from a bee yard seems a little cheeky to me. A more subtle effort would be more polite.
I remove swarms as a part of my business. One home owner has paid several hundred dollars over the years to have hives removed from their home. The swarms have nested in eaves, attics, walls, and even under the hood of a tractor.
There are, to the best of my knowledge, no beeks within miles of them. But there is an outyard with a half dozen hives a half mile away.
Traditionaly a beek was to "claim" a swarm from his hives by alerting his neighbors and making his ownership known. Unclaimed swarms were free for the taking if the landowner permited.
I have never looked for the beek and asked them to remove a swarm. We aren't talking about stray cattle here, but about something more along the lines of the apple tree mentioned before.
If you wish to keep them take care they don't fall across the fence so to speak.
 

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--I built 15 swarm catching boxes this winter and had been thinking about where to put them. Deep down, I felt like it would be unethical to target another beekeepers apiary without them knowing,--(Jeff)

Consider this:

When buying queens, it is a good practice to get references, and do your research to find the best stock.

What makes another beekeepers hives so desirable that one would want to target his swarms? Are they acclimated to your area? Winter survival? Are they mite resistant? Do we know anything about his bees? Is it worth the effort to target these bees if there are better bees to be had? Are they being supported by the use of treatments to be kept alive?

Consider also, that beekeepers that are most vigilant about the health and performance of his bees would likely also be more prone to have some of the better stock,,, but these beekeepers as vigilant as they ares would also likely be implementing effective swarm control measures. (These beekeepers would not get mad if you told them you were targeting their swarms, because they are confident of their abilities)

Conversely, a sloppy beekeeper that is not capable of implementing effective swarm control, IMO are also more likely to have an ineffective breeding and selection program. (These beekeepers with incompetent abilities would tend to get mad if you told them you would be trapping their swarms)


What you could do is: Tell the beekeeper straight out “you will be trapping his swarms“, if he gets mad, that may indicate he as poor management practices and his bees would reflect this. If he doesn’t get mad, and even gets a ladder and helps you put up some traps. Then this would be more suggestive of a beekeeper with good management practices and good bees reflecting this.


IMO, consideration to target remote ferals would be a good idea for the bees that are more resistant and best acclimated to your area which is a prerequisite for long term sustainability and productivity.
 

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Why get upset? Just check the trap every day, and reclaim any swarm of yours you find. Afterwards, be sure to leave a thank you note for the loan of the trap with a jar of honey inside.
If I were using me beekeeping powers for evil, I'd just hose the trap down with bee-go.
But that would be bad....mmmmmmKay?
(Apoligies to South Park)
;)

J.R
 

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I've always been of a mind that swarms were fair game, in a sort of "losers weepers, finders keepers" sort of way. If you can't keep the bees in your boxes then too bad, ha ha.
But there are situations when it pushes the envelope. We had an increase yard which we tried to run with too few boxes and had quite a bit of swarming there. The landowner actually put boxes right next to our yard and caught many of these swarms, he admits to over 10 of them. While some swarms don't want to settle too close these sure didn't have any problem with the neighborhood, just the crowded conditions we didn't alleviate in time.
While some might be outraged, and, as someone else noted, it was a bit cheeky and in-your-face on his part, I figure these bees were going to swarm no matter what he did and they were better off in his boxes than on a fencepost somewhere or in someone's house eaves. Either way we would have lost them if we didn't happen to show up and find them ourselves.
Another situation, we have a small beekeeper on land adjacent to one of our larger yards, he's about 1/2 mile from our yard. He made sure we were OK with this and now jokes about having smarm boxes on the corner nearest our beeyard, hoping to catch swarms of ours. I say, more power to him, at least any swarms find a good home.
Moral of the story, if you want the bees to stay home better keep them happy.
Sheri
 

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Cartman er, I mean John,
If I was using my beekeeping powers for evil, I would toss a few frames laced with some AFB along the road near his apiary. Or perhaps some sugar syrup laced with poison, or perhaps lighting up the sky with a midnight apiary bon-fire, or perhaps dumping some.....boy this could be fun.... :D
 

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Sheri, Obviously if the next land owner over wants to do some trapping, I think all can agree, there is nothing wrong with that. I think most of these discussions, and yes this(thread) also, involves making swarm traps, driving through the country side, and targeting other beekeepers known locations. Thats the so-called "cheeky" part.

NOTICE...If you happen to buy the place next to mine, I'll help you set up the traps. If you drive in from outside the area, I'll burn your traps. And the next time you go to check them, don't be surprised if you accidentally drive over some nails..... ;)
 
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