Swarm timing in Wisconsin?

Discussion in 'Swarms, Cut outs, and Trap outs' started by TomHudson, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. TomHudson

    TomHudson New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm in southeastern Wisconsin, just north of Milwaukee. I've had swarms of bees the last few years but never had the right setup to catch 'em. Now I have a hive box with frames and wax foundation a friend gave me and I added a super on top with frames and plastic foundation, and put it up on the balcony where the bees moved in once before and tried to again last spring (I have since foamed all the gaps shut). I'm using some Mann Lake swarm lures to see if I can entice 'em into moving in. I figure that should be a big enough space for a swarm to find attractive -- what do you think?

    I also set up a couple of those bucket-shaped swarm traps in some trees, about 8 feet off the ground, also with swarm lures in them.

    So I'm wondering if someone out there in Wisconsin, Minnesota or northern Illinois can give me a rough idea of when I can expect to see scout bees around. Seems to me I usually see scouts flying around my eaves in late April into May, and last year we had a swarm later in spring as well.

    I think I'm ready for them and I hope to be able to set up a nice home for them so they can help pollinate my home orchard. Any suggestions appreciated!
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Forgive my ignorance of your location (I'm up in Canada) but if I am correct you are somewhere in the Northeast. I would think that by the end of April and most of May and even into June are your prime swarm weeks. Remember the old "Swarm in May" etc. etc.
    If you are ready now you are well prepared. Good luck.

    By the way, welcome aboard the form :mrgreen:
     

  3. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Hello Tom and welcome to the forum :wave:

    A swarm in May is worth a load of hay,
    A swarm in June is worth a silver spoon,
    A swarm in July ain't worth a fly.

    At least that is the way I have always heard it. Seems like the swarms have started a little early this year around here, not real sure about as far north as you are.
     
  4. TomHudson

    TomHudson New Member

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    @PerryBee: Yeah, I'm actually in the north central US. I posted on this forum last spring when I was trying to catch a swarm, but didn't manage to entice them into the hive box. I think maybe this year, with the larger box up where the bees were before, and where they tried to get in last year, this could do the trick.

    It's just starting to warm up here and we're starting to see insect activity so I was wondering how soon we might start to see swarms. I have my fingers crossed.

    BTW, I spent a couple of weeks up in Nova Scotia in 2009, in Halifax and Peggy's Cove -- Really nice area! Enjoyed a couple of the breweries in Halifax (Garrison in particular), great stuff.
     
  5. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Hey Tom:

    Peggy's Cove is less than an hour from me on the South Shore.
    Garrison, Propellor, Keiths, they're all good! :mrgreen:

    I would think you should probably be keeping an eye open for swarms starting in May. Up here I figure about the same.