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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
kinda think it would be a cool thing to try next season to get free bees.. where i am in the southern part of NJ i am surrounded by agriculture and all those farms are being commercially pollinated and i am sure i would catch a few when those hives go to swarm..
for those who have done this can you provide me with any pointers?
i made up a bunch of nucs this season to use as traps..
thanks
ant
 

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I haven't had any luck but then I don't ever really put much effort into it either.
A GREAT book on swarmimg is called "Honeybee Democracy" written by Thomas Seeley. He has done extensive studies on swarming and comes as close to describing what bees are looking for as I can tell, ie: size of cavity, location, height, facing direction, etc.
Library would be a good place to find it if you don't want to buy. Gives ya something top do in the upcoming winter months. ;)
 

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adamant, yes i catch swarms every year putting up swarm traps. :thumbsup: This is the way i go about it, i use a deep hive body, solid bottomboard, and i make a framed screen that i screw down over the top of the frames, and a telescoping top cover. I keep old dark frames of comb, and put 2 or 3 in the middle and the rest of the frames are wax foundation. (10 total). I look for a tree that has a fork 8ft. to 10ft. high that i can make a platform with 2x4's or any scrap lumber. (i use these same platforms year after year) i try to keep the entrance pointing to the south or east when i set the hive on the platform.For a lure i use 2 or 3 cottonballs with a few drops of lemongrass oil on them and push them in the entrance under the frames. In my area i put them out in mid may, your area may differ. The reason for the framed screen, is when a swarm moves in i can put a board across the entrance (i screw it down) and don't have to worry about the lid coming off when i take it out of the tree, and getting a face full of bees or down my shirt. :mrgreen:I only caught four swarms this year, but i didn't work to hard at it. Hope this helps. Jack
 

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We always lure swarms in the spring, pretty much just like Jack does. We've caught several but I've never had any luck getting them to stay.
 

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Try putting 1 frame of brood in the box with the swarm then they will stay, I also put the queen in a clip for a few days to make sure they think its home :D
 

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Swarm trapping is like fishing.If you set your trap where you have caught or seen swarms in the past that's a good place to start.
 

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zookeep, that's what Idee told me when I asked him! I haven't had a swarm to try it on, though. Maybe this spring :)

Adamant, I always put my bait hives in a shaded area if I can't get it in a tree. That seems to make a big difference for some reason. I've always had better luck in trees than on a stand, too. But, make sure that where ever you set it up is easy to get back down. :mrgreen: I'll never forget having to call my brothers to come help me get a nuc full of bees out of a tree!
 

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I've not had much trouble getting them to stay, i have lost a couple when i was using nuc's for swarm traps because the nuc was to small for the swarm, that's why i went to a full hive body. One way to get them to stay is to put a frame of brood in with them when they move in. Jack
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
PerryBee said:
I haven't had any luck but then I don't ever really put much effort into it either.
A GREAT book on swarmimg is called "Honeybee Democracy" written by Thomas Seeley. He has done extensive studies on swarming and comes as close to describing what bees are looking for as I can tell, ie: size of cavity, location, height, facing direction, etc.
Library would be a good place to find it if you don't want to buy. Gives ya something top do in the upcoming winter months. ;)
ordered it today..
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
brooksbeefarm said:
adamant, yes i catch swarms every year putting up swarm traps. :thumbsup: This is the way i go about it, i use a deep hive body, solid bottomboard, and i make a framed screen that i screw down over the top of the frames, and a telescoping top cover. I keep old dark frames of comb, and put 2 or 3 in the middle and the rest of the frames are wax foundation. (10 total). I look for a tree that has a fork 8ft. to 10ft. high that i can make a platform with 2x4's or any scrap lumber. (i use these same platforms year after year) i try to keep the entrance pointing to the south or east when i set the hive on the platform.For a lure i use 2 or 3 cottonballs with a few drops of lemongrass oil on them and push them in the entrance under the frames. In my area i put them out in mid may, your area may differ. The reason for the framed screen, is when a swarm moves in i can put a board across the entrance (i screw it down) and don't have to worry about the lid coming off when i take it out of the tree, and getting a face full of bees or down my shirt. :mrgreen:I only caught four swarms this year, but i didn't work to hard at it. Hope this helps. Jack
how far will 1 oz of lemon grass oil go when used in trapping swarms? i see all sizes for sale..
 

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brooksbeefarm wrote:
" The reason for the framed screen, is when a swarm moves in i can put a board across the entrance (i screw it down) and don't have to worry about the lid coming off when i take it out of the tree, and getting a face full of bees or down my shirt."
Is this the voice of experience or forethought speaking? Ahhhh wisdom, nothing like it! :mrgreen:
 

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1 oz. bottle of lemongrass oil will last a long time for me. I have four traps here at home, and will put new lures in every two weeks (cottonballs with 2 or 3 drops of lemongrass oil) I have caught as many as 3 swarms in one spot, when i catch one i wait a week and move them to one of my outyards 5 to 60 miles away and put up anotherone. :thumbsup: I'm going to put some swarm traps next year around some of these outyards, i hope there isn't anymore of those german black bees left around the Sac river where i'm going to put some. :eek: Jack
 

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I have used bait hives for several years. Last year I placed one in a friends back garden. He was fascinated when the scout bees started to show an interest in it. This turned to full apprehension when a swarm arrived. His next emotion was wonderment as the swarm moved into the hive and within an hour all was quiet with a few bees coming and going. When I collected the hive his regard for me as beekeeper had gone up several notches. He wants another one this year.
Here are some some of the benefits I perceive from bait hives. The bait hive is ready whilst you are at work/away. Less need to scrabble in a hedge to get a swarm out. Possible less walk aways to leave to the exterminator. Handy for catching a swarm for a newbee. With taking a swarm normally, there is always the question " Have I got the queen ?" When the wife rings to say that a swarm has come to the bait at home it makes the end of the workday a happy prospect. When a swarm arrives at home the neighbours may initially be terrified but when it goes into the box nice and controlled they understand you know what you are doing.
Now a couple of observations. I suspect that a bait hive away from the apiary is more successful. I use an old empty brood frame of comb as an attractant.
When I move an occupied bait hive to my home, I loosely block the entrance with grass. Whether its the extra time in the hive or the urge to unblock the entrance but it seems to reduce absconding. A tip I was given but never tried is to put a bit of Q excluder across the entrance when the swarm is inside. This is removed after a couple of days.
 

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barbarian writes:
Now a couple of observations. I suspect that a bait hive away from the apiary is more successful.

tecumseh:
this would conform to what we know of swarm psychology. a swarm seeks out a new home some distance from the original hive's location. not so far as that the swarm runs out of juice, but not so close as to encourage inbreeding either. I seem to recall that Wilson's Honeybee Biology gives some pretty good detail of dispersal distance <also seem to recall that much of this information was based on Seeley's work.
 

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Here's a trap at a church that had a problem.The building super was glad to have them land in the box instead of on the wall.
 

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tecumseh said:
barbarian writes:
Now a couple of observations. I suspect that a bait hive away from the apiary is more successful.

tecumseh:
this would conform to what we know of swarm psychology. a swarm seeks out a new home some distance from the original hive's location. not so far as that the swarm runs out of juice, but not so close as to encourage inbreeding either. I seem to recall that Wilson's Honeybee Biology gives some pretty good detail of dispersal distance <also seem to recall that much of this information was based on Seeley's work.
New guy question time.


If one has a trap set out for a while near their hives, and a hive is considering whether it should swarm or not, what are the chances that a trap would encourage the hive to swarm?
 

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I may be way off base here, but I don't think a swarm trap would either encourage or discourage them. If a hive is gonna swarm, they're gonna swarm. Having a swarm trap nearby would give them a place to go to, instead of disappearing over the horizon.
 
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