Swarm trapped 5/20/21

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Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:09 am

Swarm trapped 5/20/21

Post by reedyfork »

This is only my second swarm trap ever, so I thought I'd share the details with everyone (since whatever I did worked)... For me, the crazy part was that I put the trap out for the first time this past Sunday (5/16/21) at my parents' house in Hamilton Lakes, had scouts checking it out by Tues, had heavy scouting on Wed, and had the swarm move in on Thurs! Here's what I did:

Built a 4"-deep solid base out of 1/2" plywood and 1x4 sides
Drilled (2) 3/4" holes for the entrance (holes connected)
Put a "used" 10-frame DEEP box on top
Filled with 8 frames of MEDIUM foundation and 2 frames of old dark drawn combs (in the middle)
Rubbed inside of base and box with fresh oak coals from our firepit to mimic a lightning-struck tree cavity
Scattered bits of old wax, propolis, and dead bees on the bottom
Used one squirt of Swarm Commander on top of frames, and one squirt on/in the entrance
Added solid plywood lid and strapped it all together
Hung on a tree (entrance facing south) about 8' high

I plan to watch it until I see pollen coming in before moving it to a hive, and then very quickly put the trap back up! Not sure if it was the big volume that was so attractive, or the combination of all the other stuff I did, but this is going to be my new go-to swarm trap design.
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Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2020 5:18 pm
Location: Mersey Road, Greensboro

Catch 22

Post by Linda »

Give them room. I've been diligent on checking for QC and adding boxes as needed. Queen pheromone dissipates the more boxes you put on. Last week I just did a cursory check, not frame by frame. Of course they swarmed. Do we have a magic cubic yard number?
Well, hopefully I made lemonade. Colony still looked huge and I plucked a frame with QC and put in my new Queen castle. :D
Guard bee
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Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Swarm trapped 5/20/21

Post by Jacobs »

My hives did not throw any swarms last week, but my bait hives were actively scouted at the same time reedyfork's were. Given the closeness of his bait hive to mine, it could have been the same swarm. Activity at my bait hive stopped about the same time he reports the move-in in his. GOOD!

If I used my fingers and toes correctly, Thomas Seeley reports bees being more attracted to a 40l cavity over either a 10l or 100l cavity. This comes out to approximately 2441 cubic inches for the 40l cavity. A deep is approximately 2592 cubic inches.
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Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:22 am

Re: Swarm trapped 5/20/21

Post by royl »

That's really interesting. I have a swarm box that captures at least 1 swarm each year, sometime two. It is a 10 frame medium and a 10 frame deep. I only use medium frames in both. I'm still a new beekeeper and the things I noticed are:
-They like old comb
-they like solid bottom boards
-they like reduced entrances (I use a brick)
-they like the smell of lemon grass(essential oil or swarm commander)
-they don't like an over powering smell of lemon in the hive
-they favor older equipment (frames, supers, especially with propolis)
-they favor being slightly elevated vs on the ground (I keep mine around 5ft off the ground)
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