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Author Topic: Swarms, their frequency and catching them  (Read 1070 times)
Pond Creek Farm
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« on: March 04, 2008, 09:08:54 PM »

This swarm string has been very exciting, interesting and compelling at the same time.  The outdoorsman in me loves the idea of luring a swarm and then caring for them and the land in the process.  I have seen only a few swarms in my life and at that time stayed far away due to fear.  Now, I want to find one and figure out how to bring them to my farm. I would prefer luring one to my farm and keeping them in my bee yard.  What are the odds of bring a swarm to you?  When they come what is the best way to entice them?  Is the best strategy simply placing a super with frames and lemon grass oil and then hoping a scout bee happens by?  Should this super be placed in the existing bee yard or someplace else on the property?

One of things that got me into thinking about bees was when a swarm was on the buidling I work at and the other tenants demanded that the owner spray something on them to kill them so that they would not sting.  He refused and soon a beekeeper was there to remove them.  I thought that was very cool. The nature of my practice does not allow me to simply run off and capture swarms, but I sure would like if one came along to my place to provide a home.

Brian
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Brian
deejaycee
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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2008, 09:39:58 PM »

I'm in a bit of a privileged spot here swarm-wise. 

Smack-dab in the middle of a major fruit-growing region where we have thousands of hives built up to pollination strength early in spring and then put into the orchards at high densities.  A lot of the hives are also run by a couple of very large outfits who take generally good care of their hives, but run on a 'critical mass' type philosophy and don't necessarily pay close enough attention to the individual hives to prevent swarming, and who aren't too concerned with picking them up when they happen - they just don't have the time.

Bonus for me:  healthy, productive bees who just need a house to set up in.  grin

It's probably going to depend a lot on where you are.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2008, 09:53:36 PM »

On a nice warm day sit out some sugar water (if there isn't a flow going on) and see if any bees come to visit. If a lot of bees come around then you know there are some in your area. Next, sit out swarm traps. You might get some eventually.
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NWIN Beekeeper
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« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2008, 10:27:23 PM »

I'm with Jerry, but I'd do it the opposite way.

First I would set out the swarm traps.

Then while I waited for the swarms to come, I'd share a little sweet drink with the girls - the bees that is.

You might want to think about what comes next, because like a child, there is a lot of responsibility that comes after the arrival.
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Pond Creek Farm
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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2008, 11:01:53 PM »

Being a bit new at this game, I must admit that what comes after a swarm comes is a mystery to me.  I have assumed, perhaps wrongfully so, that I would simply put on hive bodies to allow them to grow ( and try to keep them from swarming again).  It seems, however, that this might be a futile effort to control nature. I suppose I will see as my hives mature.  So either way, I am setting out swarm traps either before or after I guage the attractiveness of sugar syrup to the local population.  What exactly is a swarm trap?  Is this something to buy or build? If they come, then what? (please forgive me if I am asking silly questions)
Brian
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Brian
Cindi
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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2008, 11:39:46 PM »

Brian, I can't answer your questions very well, so I won't go there.  But you said "forgive for asking silly questions", uh uh.  Nope.  There are not any silly questions in beekeeping.  We all were new beekeepers at one point in our lives or another.  We all need to ask these questions for peace of mind, to become a skilled beekeeper.  So, please, you must never think any question you ask to be dumb, silly or anything of the like, ask any question that you want, if you don't get an answer that satisfies you, ask it again, perhaps in another way.  Have a great, wonderful day, Cindi
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2008, 07:46:43 AM »

>What are the odds of bring a swarm to you?

It's like fishing.  It's location, location, location and lure.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesferal.htm#baithives
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Ken
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« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2008, 06:05:30 PM »

And fishing is what it is,thats why they call it fishing not catching!! cheesy cheesy
Swarms may bite or may not at your swarm trap.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2008, 10:50:09 PM »

I lost a swarm last year because it came in to check out a nuc I had just split off another hive.  I didn't have any more made up equipment and they didn't hang around and wait, they left for a different zip code.  This year I'm ready, once again I'm back to my old practice of keeping a bait hive in the bee yard.  Sometimes nothing comes, sometimes I fill it and several more. 
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Pond Creek Farm
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« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2008, 11:50:11 PM »

That answers a question I have.  It is acceptable and advisable to set up a biat hive in the bee yard? That is where I have mine set up, but I was not sure if I should set it up away from the other bees and then move any swarm that I caught.  I feel better.  I was wondering if I should set them up here and there and then run the traps.

Brian
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