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Author Topic: building swarm traps  (Read 15356 times)
danno
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« on: March 12, 2008, 02:05:48 PM »

has anyone tried to build traps.  Manufactured traps are cheap but shipping doubles the cost.  If I was to build square luan boxes 13" wide by 14" tall with a bottom enterance would this work. They would be light enough to pull up in a tree with a rope.  After a bad fall three years ago my wife doesn't allow me on ladders anymore.  Maybe even coat the inside with melted wax using a roller and lure.
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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2008, 10:08:04 PM »

Build a duck box or Owl box. I find swarms in those all the time. Never ducks or owls. afro

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2008, 07:36:34 PM »

I build small boxes that will hold about 3 deep frames of old comb and a little extra space.  I hang them in trees and it works well.  Sometimes I use lure sometimes not.   
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2008, 08:08:13 PM »

I've built some out of plywood and some out of 12" sonatube.

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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2008, 10:08:21 AM »

Rob, nice job!!!  I bet the red colour really attracts the bees, hee, hee, lovely day in this great life.  Cindi
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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2008, 10:14:01 AM »

Rob, nice job!!!  I bet the red colour really attracts the bees, hee, hee, lovely day in this great life.  Cindi

Bees see red as black.

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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2008, 10:27:04 AM »

Since they are red and bees can't see red, aren't they invisible? Wink
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« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2008, 10:50:59 AM »

Since they are red and bees can't see red, aren't they invisible? Wink


Now Michael, you know they see them as black, come on. They were painted red so Rob could see them from 10 miles away!

...JP
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« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2008, 11:01:33 AM »

They where painted red because that is the cheap barn paint Lowe's sells grin
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« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2008, 12:37:01 PM »

Since they are red and bees can't see red, aren't they invisible? Wink


and so make for an excellent trap. they don't even realize they are trapped.
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« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2008, 10:44:47 PM »

Since they are red and bees can't see red, aren't they invisible? Wink


and so make for an excellent trap. they don't even realize they are trapped.

Most color blind people I know can tell you which shade of gray is blue fairly easily.  On the other hand, Red looks white to them.  Back in the late 50's and early 60's when Ford had those big round taillights my color blind friens couldn't tell which way a car was going.  Fords looked the same to them front or back at night.

Old Ice cream buckets ought to work great.
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« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2008, 08:07:57 AM »

Robo,
    I want to build some like yours but I want to put a removable frame of old comb inside the sonatube. What did you do?
Jim   
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« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2008, 11:18:00 AM »

there is something about the small round hole.

the bees i just cut out were accessing their hive through small holes in old concrete form plywood.  i have two hives that use vent holes rather than the bottom opening.  i think robos design is pretty good.
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« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2008, 11:53:28 AM »

Robo,
    I want to build some like yours but I want to put a removable frame of old comb inside the sonatube. What did you do?
Jim   

I took a 2x3 and cut it round on one side to fit inside both ends of the tube.  I dadoed a groove in the 2x3 to hold frames. 
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« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2008, 11:27:40 PM »

Rob, you haven't told us if your black sonjatube and black boxes caught any swarms yet, hee, hee,  Lips Sealed  Have a beautiful day to hold in the palm of your hand.  Cindi
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« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2008, 10:41:20 AM »

Still too early yet for swarms.   Saw my first pollen being bought in last week embarassed
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danno
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« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2008, 11:24:03 AM »

Rob what is the length and width of you sona tubes
As for your pollen I installed 5 packages sat night and they were bringing in pollen sunday afternoon. Very cool!!!
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« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2008, 11:36:48 AM »

Hi Danno,

I thought I responded to your PM on the size, but if not, I apologize.

The sonatube is 12" diameter and 22" long and has 3 deep frames in it.  I put a deep frame of old comb in the middle with an empty frame on each side.

rob...
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« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2008, 07:09:48 AM »

Here ya go danno, a photo of the inside showing the 2x3 with the dado that holds the frames.  I didn't have any deeps handy, so I just used the shallow to demonstrate.




rob...
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« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2008, 09:34:11 AM »

Oh, my kingdom to have the skills to build anything that involves carpentry, you are a fortunate bunch, beautiful and most wonderful day, Cindi
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« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2008, 10:41:12 AM »

Oh, my kingdom to have the skills to build anything that involves carpentry, you are a fortunate bunch, beautiful and most wonderful day, Cindi

Isn't that what you use and abuse your husband for?  grin

Sincerely,
Brendhan

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« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2008, 01:44:35 PM »

Cindi, you sound the way my wife used to sound when we were first married.  Now she's a fair carpenter, a better welder than I ever was (I'm now a Quadriplegic), operates our bulldozer (when she can get me off of it), our excavator (still trying to figure out how I can operate it), our hay baler, and does so many other things she never dreamed she was capable of.  You just need to say I can do this and try.  If you mess up the first time, so what!  I seldom ever get anything right the first. Just keep trying.  Just wear your safety equipment and be careful with power tools.  Just yesterday my 30 year old son was cutting some lumber for new hives and cut up sides for four boxes before I measured and found they were exactly an inch to short.  So we cut them up for ends, no big deal. YOU CAN DO IT. Smiley
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« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2008, 03:52:19 PM »

Good day all, I have been lurking here for a while now. I am wanting to try and build some swarm traps, and I was wondering if maybe a person could use a 5 gallon bucket. It would be something similar to the sonotube. A bucket with a lid and a couple of frames inside.
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« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2008, 04:04:02 PM »

Good day all, I have been lurking here for a while now. I am wanting to try and build some swarm traps, and I was wondering if maybe a person could use a 5 gallon bucket. It would be something similar to the sonotube. A bucket with a lid and a couple of frames inside.

The bees don't like the plastic 5 gallon buckets.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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« Reply #24 on: April 26, 2008, 04:39:30 PM »

Would it be possible to line the inside with cardboard. It would be easy to cut a box and form it to the bucket.
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« Reply #25 on: April 26, 2008, 04:58:30 PM »

I don't think you can fit standard frames in a 5 gallon bucket.  I've never tried plastic, so I'd take Brendhan word.  Perhaps the cardboard lining might help,  and don't forget the lemongrass.  It's a crap shoot anyway, so give it a try.
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« Reply #26 on: April 26, 2008, 09:44:23 PM »

Robo In general I like your idea but I have a idea. If you would cut the top area out  just over size to your frames. Then  put a hinge on the piece you cut out and a hook on the othe side to keep it closed you can lift out the frames. more like a normal box. When you are ready to harvest the bees you can just open up the box and lift out the frames. Just something for you to think about. I hope this makes sence.
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« Reply #27 on: April 27, 2008, 12:03:06 AM »

Redneck, welcome to our forum, so nice that you have stopped lurking and decided to join us, hee, hee.  You will find this forum a great place to ask your questions, you have already begun.  All the questions get answers, one way or another, all questions are important.  When you have a spare minute or two, tell us a little bit about yourself in the greetings forum.  We love to hear what new members are up to, and everyone has a story or two to tell.  Welcome, enjoy your stay with us, and have that beautiful and wonderful day, Cindi
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« Reply #28 on: April 27, 2008, 07:52:57 AM »

Robo In general I like your idea but I have a idea. If you would cut the top area out  just over size to your frames. Then  put a hinge on the piece you cut out and a hook on the othe side to keep it closed you can lift out the frames. more like a normal box. When you are ready to harvest the bees you can just open up the box and lift out the frames. Just something for you to think about. I hope this makes sence.
My smokepole

I follow you.  I don't see why it wouldn't work if you can figure out how to seal up the cuts you make to prevent water from getting in and swelling the cardboard.  I just wanted something I could throw together quickly.  The other thing is that you would probably have to add some wood support around the cuts to keep the cardboard from warping.  This would also add weight to the whole set-up.  Once you start cutting into the sonatube, it looses rigidity real fast.  Good thinking though.

rob...
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« Reply #29 on: April 27, 2008, 08:30:38 AM »

You know the old saying duck tape baling wire and paint. grin
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« Reply #30 on: June 04, 2008, 07:50:04 AM »

star foam minnow bucket work good tape top down drill are cut hole in have your lure in tie rope to handle and host it up
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« Reply #31 on: June 04, 2008, 10:18:30 PM »

Just build a nuc out of scrap,add some old brood comb,lemongrass oil, set it out and hope for the best. Who dosen't need a nuc ?
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« Reply #32 on: June 09, 2008, 01:54:56 PM »

Being new to beekeeping I appreciate Rob sharing his plans for the swarm traps.  I'll pick up the sonotube tonight.  If I don't have old comb to use, what can I substitute that will attract bees.  Also, where is the best location to hang these traps?

Thanks  Kevin huh
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« Reply #33 on: June 09, 2008, 03:18:18 PM »

If I don't have old comb to use, what can I substitute that will attract bees. 
Lemongrass oil is a good lure
Quote
Also, where is the best location to hang these traps?

Where the bees will find them Wink

Actually 12-15ft up in a tree is as close as you will get to a general consensus with beekeepers if there is such a thing.

rob...
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« Reply #34 on: June 10, 2008, 03:40:14 AM »

If I don't have old comb to use, what can I substitute that will attract bees. 
Lemongrass oil is a good lure
Quote
Also, where is the best location to hang these traps?

Where the bees will find them Wink

Actually 12-15ft up in a tree is as close as you will get to a general consensus with beekeepers if there is such a thing.

rob...

Notice he says 12-15' is the general consensus with beekeepers, if there is such a thing!

Hey, hang 'em 12-16' Rob don't know what he's talkin' about! grin Kiss


...JP
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« Reply #35 on: June 14, 2008, 01:44:18 AM »

[Notice he says 12-15' is the general consensus with beekeepers, if there is such a thing!]
[Hey, hang 'em 12-16' Rob don't know what he's talkin' about!]

They're both on crack, try 10-12', save some rope.
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« Reply #36 on: June 16, 2008, 01:13:38 PM »

Now in this 12 - 15 or 16 ft off the ground, where do you start measuring from the dirt or the top of any roots sticking out?
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« Reply #37 on: June 19, 2008, 01:41:27 PM »

I agree with HAB that you can do whatever you set your mind to. But, for those who think they are not handy enough to scrap together a wooden swarm trap, you can use a cardboard box. Just find one the appropriate size. Cover it with plastic if you like, or not. Or, coat the outside with beeswax if you have some extra laying around. No need to paint. If you want to get fancy cut a couple of pieces of 1" x whatever and attache to the ends of the box, inside, for a frame rest.

As for an attractant, I have not tried this, but in my collection of old antique bee hunting boxes I found some bottles of anise oil- I guess that was used as bait for hunting bees back in the day. Might work as a swarm lure as well. I'll have to try that myself sometime and see if it works.

Cheers,

EKW
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« Reply #38 on: June 19, 2008, 02:25:19 PM »

I wouldn't use anise oil because it is the best attractant for  raccoons.  I have been useing it in my 16 yr old ADC business for a species specific bait.  Oh it also is one of the best lures for bears
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« Reply #39 on: June 19, 2008, 02:52:14 PM »

I'm a carpenter and joiner.  But, I don't make my swarm traps.  I use the styrofoam boxes that tropical fish are shipped in to pet stores.  Pop in a hole.  Lay in a few frames and presto!
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« Reply #40 on: June 21, 2008, 07:30:08 AM »

That old dark comb that you throw out is perhaps the best swarm lure of all, can put a lil lemongrass for good measure.


...JP
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« Reply #41 on: June 21, 2008, 08:37:28 AM »

Aw, come on JP, you're letting out all the secrets.

Off Topic:  BTW, I pulled out around 100 pounds of that old black stuff yesterday, about 150 pounds of new white stuff, and about six pounds of bees.  Those girls had swarmed themselves down real small.  I have two more calls in the same neighborhood.  Want to make odds on the genetic line of these girls?
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« Reply #42 on: June 21, 2008, 11:58:20 AM »

Aw, come on JP, you're letting out all the secrets.

Off Topic:  BTW, I pulled out around 100 pounds of that old black stuff yesterday, about 150 pounds of new white stuff, and about six pounds of bees.  Those girls had swarmed themselves down real small.  I have two more calls in the same neighborhood.  Want to make odds on the genetic line of these girls?

Its no secret, try putting some of that old black comb in a bait hive in your beeyard and see how the bees check it out, you'll probably get a swarm to move right in, maybe yours, or a feral one, but they like the dark goods for sure, like totally, like I turned valley right there, whoa, that was scary! Wink

Yeah, that one hive was probably supplying the entire area with bees.


...JP
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« Reply #43 on: April 13, 2009, 11:08:03 AM »

I've been getting a lot of requests for more details on the sonatube swarm trap.  So here are a few more pictures and comments.

Here is one after bringing it home.  This particular swarm was in the trap for about a month.  The cardboard became soft from the moisture and the bees had chewed a hole in the sonatube below the entrance.   It did not get soft from the weather (outside was sealed) but from the moisture inside the hive.





Since the frames had shifted to one side, the bess had built comb on the cardboard, and the trap was toast anyway, I decided the best method to get them out was cut open the sonatube.



One interesting thing, was that although I had sprayed the frames with Bt and the swarm was strong,  there was wax moth larvae living in the debris on the bottom.  You can also see where the bees where chewing the cardboard.



So my take on the sonatube traps are unless you are very timely with your inspection and remove them quickly, consider them a 1 use trap.

I have come up with a more economical ($2-3), hopefully more durable, and perhaps better,  design but don't have it documented well enough to share at this point. Wink

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"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


danno
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Gender: Male
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Location: Ludington, Michigan


« Reply #44 on: April 13, 2009, 12:57:50 PM »

Mine got soft last year also.  I left the swarms in them for a extra week so they would start raising brood.  This year I am going to try painting the inside with wax.  I have a few hundred plastic frames to paint so the wax will be hot.  Even if they are one time use the ends can be reused.  Thats where most of the construction labor is
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