Author Topic: swarm traps  (Read 16895 times)

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Offline Marty68

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swarm traps
« on: January 15, 2014, 11:37:19 pm »
i don't have any drawn out frames to start a swarm trap. is it ok to use regular empty frame or would it be worthless to even try it. just trying to stop my bees from getting away if i don't catch it before they swarm.

Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: swarm traps
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2014, 11:46:23 pm »
I dont use drawn frames in swarm traps. if I did the wax moth would have a field day in them. I use empty foundation-less frames, commercial Swarm lure from Mann Lake AND OR lemon Grass Oil. Started with about 7 boxes, now have a dozen or so and have never been skunked. Usually catch at least four swarms, my record is five in one season. Swarms are comb building MONSTERS!  I would use whatever I had for frames..   I am sure Robo will chime in. If he doesn't, go to his bee vac site and then click on the swarm box link to check out what he does. Good info there!
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Offline Slowmodem

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Re: swarm traps
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2014, 12:09:54 am »
A swarm knows it's going to have to start from scratch wherever it lands.  So they stock up on  provisions, ready to start drawing comb as soon as they can.  I have heard a swarm called a comb building machine.  So empty frames will suffice.  I tried a "flower pot" swarm trap that was basically an upside down flower pot with a lid with a hole.  A swarm moved right in and built comb and seemed right at home.  A container with a good lure should be all you need.  (oh, there has to be bee activity in the area, too)
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Offline rrog13

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Re: swarm traps
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2014, 05:59:14 am »
In addition to what’s been said above, I also melt down any comb trimmings I have after doing an inspection.  I drip that around in the inside of the bait hive and frames,  instead of using a fully drawn out frame.  This way, I don’t have to worry about wax moth going in and destroying it. Not sure how much it helps but……..couldn’t hurt.

Offline Marty68

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Re: swarm traps
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2014, 08:34:51 am »
thanks for the info on it. now i won't have to worry about losing a swarm when it comes time. i will set out a cpl of hives.

Offline GLOCK

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Re: swarm traps
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2014, 08:47:36 am »
What about SPM {swarm prevention management} or do you all just let them swarm ?
Can't get any real honey that way.
Say hello to the bad guy.
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Offline blueblood

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Re: swarm traps
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2014, 08:50:15 am »
I use old comb from cutouts and rubber band them in frames and place q-tips doused with lemon grass oil in a plastic baggie.  I have not had problems with wax moths in them.  But, If I did, I would just throw the comb out.

Offline Robo

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Re: swarm traps
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2014, 09:00:07 am »
I have found there is no commercial lure equal to the power of old drawn comb.    Spray the old frames with Bt and wax moths are not an issue.   If you have no old comb,  or can't find a local beek to give you some,  then lure is your next best option.   Even an empty box without lure has some appeal,  so don't just write off putting up swarm traps because you have no old comb.   Don't put foundation in the trap, only  foundationless if you put frames in.   I haven't studied it enough to prove to myself that foundation is a deterent,  but my gut feeling is that it is.   Bee don't necessary look at foundation as help,  by nature they build comb from scratch.  So I believe they would see foundation as walls breaking up the cavity.   Here is my experience with swarm traps (not updated with my lure vs. comb testing last year)

http://beevac.com/swarm-traps/
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Offline Moots

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Re: swarm traps
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2014, 09:09:40 am »
Like Blueblood, I use an piece of old comb attached to a frame via rubber-bands.  I also use lemon grass oil as a lure, I place it in a plastic pipette.  I picked up on this technique from the gentleman that sold me my original Nucs when I got started...

You can buy plastic pipettes online fairly cheaply, or if you know anyone that works in the medical field or a lab, they can probably hook you up for little or nothing.  Use the Pipette to suck up some LGO, squeeze out most of the excess air, clamp it off, and seal it shut...I use a soldering iron.  If air doesn't re-inflate the bulb, you know you have a good seal.  The smell of the LGO will permeate through the plastic and maintain it's effectiveness for months, if not longer.

Here's what they look like...

Offline Barbarian

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Re: swarm traps
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2014, 06:41:52 pm »
I'm with Glock on this thread.

There seems to be lots of posts about catching swarms and much less about how to prevent swarming. In UK beekeeping classes, much more time is spent in explaining how to stop a colony from swarming rather than how to catch a swarm.

To my jaundiced eye this is one of the differences between the UK attitude and US.

Perhaps we should have a thread on Swarm Prevention ?   :D
" Another Owd Codger "

Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: swarm traps
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2014, 07:01:45 pm »
I'm with Glock on this thread.

There seems to be lots of posts about catching swarms and much less about how to prevent swarming. In UK beekeeping classes, much more time is spent in explaining how to stop a colony from swarming rather than how to catch a swarm.

To my jaundiced eye this is one of the differences between the UK attitude and US.

Perhaps we should have a thread on Swarm Prevention ?   :D

 thats because this is a SWARM TRAP thread, not a swarm prevention thread??
   I like free bees, hopefully everyone else ignores them and concentrates on preventing their hives from swarming  ;D
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Offline iddee

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Re: swarm traps
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2014, 07:11:17 pm »
I think they both need to be taught. Swarm prevention is good, but not perfect.
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Offline Marty68

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Re: swarm traps
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2014, 09:38:07 am »
Either way I would like to learn both.  Any thoughts on starting a thread on both

Offline jb63

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Re: swarm traps
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2014, 09:58:19 am »
I fully agree with Robo about old drawn comb.My personal experience was that I pressure washed,bleached, new frames and painted a previously productive box. I didn't catch anything for two yrs.Then my neighbor loaned me some old comb and bam, I caught like five swarms.
I don't know.It was like that when I got here.

Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: swarm traps
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2014, 10:11:02 am »
I wish I could use old comb. The ONLY thing it has resulted in is a massive wax moth infestation..  I think once the wax moth starts, its more of a deterrent to the bees than an attraction.. so that means you have about two weeks to catch a swarm before the comb needs to be tossed in the burn pile.
   Anyone know how detrimental BT might be to luring a swarm?
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Offline Robo

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Re: swarm traps
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2014, 12:13:12 pm »
I wish I could use old comb. The ONLY thing it has resulted in is a massive wax moth infestation..  I think once the wax moth starts, its more of a deterrent to the bees than an attraction.. so that means you have about two weeks to catch a swarm before the comb needs to be tossed in the burn pile.
   Anyone know how detrimental BT might be to luring a swarm?

I use Bt on all my swarm trap comb and comb still beats lure hands down.
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Offline Slowmodem

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Re: swarm traps
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2014, 04:00:20 pm »
I wish I could use old comb. The ONLY thing it has resulted in is a massive wax moth infestation..  I think once the wax moth starts, its more of a deterrent to the bees than an attraction.. so that means you have about two weeks to catch a swarm before the comb needs to be tossed in the burn pile.
   Anyone know how detrimental BT might be to luring a swarm?

My experience with BT is that the bees don't know it's there.  They just go about their business.  I haven't tried it in a swarm trap yet, but will this spring.
Greg Whitehead
Ten Mile, TN
Beekeeping at 26.4 kbs

Offline Leather Jim

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Re: swarm traps
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2014, 10:31:06 am »
I use a bit of old black brood comb rubber banded into a frame. Place that frame all the way to the back of the box. The rest of the frames are empty foundation less ones. Then some lemon grass oil. I've had good luck, about 50%, I'm currently building more traps. I want to put out 30 this year.

Jim

Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: swarm traps
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2014, 12:18:16 pm »

   Thanks Robo!  I will get some ordered and give it a try.
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Offline efmesch

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Re: swarm traps
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2014, 04:35:37 pm »
What about SPM {swarm prevention management} or do you all just let them swarm ?
Can't get any real honey that way.
It really depends on what you do with the swarms you catch.  They need not be used to start a new hive.  They are very effective in strengthening an established hive that is either not strong enough or that needs to have its queen replaced.

Often I will take two or three swarms and unite them to make one strong hive that will produce an abundant crop in its first season. 
The easiest uniting is done by the newspaper method.  O:-)

The excess queens can be used in replacing other old ones or (after mating, if not mated before swarming) held in a queen bank for later use.

What I'm trying to say is that, beyond the pure pleasure of capturing swarms, when managed properly, they can be a real blessing for the beekeeper.

The one bad side to counting on capturing swarms is that they don't always get caught,  and then you're in a pickle, busy cursing yourself for not having managed your bees in a way that prevented the swarms' moving out from your hive.  :sad:  :'(