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Author Topic: swarm traps- need suggestions  (Read 5704 times)
contactme_11
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« on: November 18, 2008, 06:17:32 PM »

In the spring I am planning on setting out a few swarm traps. I plan on building some basic ones from scrap wood and use the bait that dadant sells, hanging them around 10' in trees. My question is: Where to locate them? Near an open field or body of water? Woods? I know some areas where there are hives in pastures, etc. I probably could place the traps within a mile of these. Thoughts?
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BjornBee
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« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2008, 06:41:05 PM »

Sounds like you have the basics down.

I would like to reccomend a book called "Swarming - Biology, Prevention, Control and Collecting" from A.I. Root Co. It costs $5.00 Order by calling 1-800-289-7668

This small book is a collection of articles published in Bee Culture over the years and has references to many studies about swarming by such names as Bonney, Morse, Ott, and others.

It details everything from placement, to building traps, and gives you information as to what will give you the best chances of success with swarm traps. It is well worth the money.
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BenC
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« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2008, 01:25:03 AM »

Don't place them in the middle of woods, put them along the edge of the treeline.  If there is a tree, structure, or formation that "stands out" from the surroundings it's probably a good spot- in other words, ask yourself what might a bee choose as a landmark and put the trap there.  Chose locations that hives are known to exist or where forage is abundant.

     - Those are all tips I've heard or read and try to abide by, if only out of respect for the persons who told me.  In reality I don't know if it really matters.  Most swarms I've lured in were with traps containing old frames/comb in them as well as the "official" lure stuff.  I get many, many more calls for swarm collection than I do gather filled swarm traps, and I put out plenty of traps every year.  Good luck.
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danno
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« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2008, 08:09:45 AM »

Take a look at Robo's traps.  They are cheap, easy to build, very light and they really work.  All I use is lemon grass oil for lure

http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,13766.15.html
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ArmucheeBee
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« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2008, 07:28:16 PM »

How close or far away should traps be from your own hives?   Is there a chance of luring out your own hive with the store bought lures?

I had a swarm to mass on a limb above some cutout comb I was feeding in the middle of our field this fall, it was my first wild swarm capture--I loved it and man can they build some comb fast.  Really neat to be able to handle them up close and be able to breath normal without them going ballistic on me.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2008, 08:35:16 PM »

How close or far away should traps be from your own hives?   Is there a chance of luring out your own hive with the store bought lures?

I had a swarm to mass on a limb above some cutout comb I was feeding in the middle of our field this fall, it was my first wild swarm capture--I loved it and man can they build some comb fast.  Really neat to be able to handle them up close and be able to breath normal without them going ballistic on me.

Swarms have been known to go as far as two feet away into a deadout hive, next to the hive issuing the swarm. With that said, studies have shown that when given a choice of traps at intervals of distance, bees prefer something around 300 to 400 meters from the hive.

No, you will not encourage swarming by having swarm lures in the area.
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« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2008, 08:48:47 PM »

"Swarms have been known to go as far as two feet away into a deadout hive, next to the hive issuing the swarm."
 I have a small one (5 frames) that did exactly that. I have another one that is strong now that came from a hive 20' away. It also went into a box that had comb in it also. No lure in either other than empty comb.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2008, 07:21:49 AM »

"Swarms have been known to go as far as two feet away into a deadout hive, next to the hive issuing the swarm."
 I have a small one (5 frames) that did exactly that. I have another one that is strong now that came from a hive 20' away. It also went into a box that had comb in it also. No lure in either other than empty comb.

This past year, like rast, the best place I caught swarms was on the farm where I store extra equipment in an open pole barn. I caught two swarms in last years dead out equipment. And of all the equipment to choose from, they picked some of the nastiest wax moth riddled comb. But they did a nice job!   grin
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contactme_11
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« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2008, 05:47:50 PM »

Has anyone tried the pheromone lure that brushy mt. sells? How does it compare to dadants?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2008, 06:14:42 PM »

>Has anyone tried the pheromone lure that brushy mt. sells? How does it compare to dadants?

I think they are all the same.  I've bought them from Brushy Mt., and Mann Lake.  I don't think I bought Dadant's but I bet they all come from the same source.  I find that lemongrass essential oil works just as well and is much cheaper.
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« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2008, 06:47:50 PM »

How close or far away should traps be from your own hives?  


I've had a swarm land between two of my hives in an empty super and it wasn't even from the 3 hives I had in the yard.

« Last Edit: October 09, 2009, 09:43:39 AM by Robo » Logged

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Cindi
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« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2008, 07:31:39 PM »

Rob, ha, now isn't that funny.  Too bad there wasn't some frames in that box, tipped the right way, bottomboard and lid eh?  That would have made for an easy swarm catch.  Beauty.  Wonderful day in this great life, health.  Cindi
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« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2009, 10:58:23 AM »

I doubt it sets any type of record or anything, but I had a swarm move into an empty hive body with an inner cover lying on top of it that was on the ground about 6-8 inches away from the opening of the hive it swarmed from.

Puting them into a hive was easy, they started building comb on top of the inner cover, so I just put the inner cover on top of a hive body with frames in it, put a telescoping cover on top of that, and walked away.

If only all swarms were this easy.
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jdpro5010
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« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2009, 04:34:05 PM »

I am not experienced in "trapping" swarms, but I have read a lot about it. I believe that if you know where that special tree is where all the swarms land every year, that that would be a good place to start.  I have a tree that every year it seems I collect a couple of swarms off of.  That is where my first trap will be located.  Then I will start the quess work about the others. grin
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specialkayme
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« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2009, 05:46:42 PM »

I am not experienced in "trapping" swarms, but I have read a lot about it. I believe that if you know where that special tree is where all the swarms land every year, that that would be a good place to start.  I have a tree that every year it seems I collect a couple of swarms off of.  That is where my first trap will be located.  Then I will start the quess work about the others. grin

I wish I knew of any "special trees". It would make things alot easier for me.
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bailey
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« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2009, 09:06:05 PM »

i was very successfull last year with swarm trapping.
here are the areas that i did well with.

best was an oak tree that sits next to a bayou about 300 yards away from a known hive site.

the next best was in my back yard 15 feet away from my hives. i have gourd racks for purple martins in the back yard next  to the apiary. we had at the very least 10 swarms show up in the gourds.
i then placed a trap hanging from the rack with lemon grass oil in it and caught another 5 swarms.

these swarms were from wild hives in my area.

the next place that scored well was hanging from the church roof in town. the church has a hive in the brick columns at the roof peak.
this trap was only 1 foot away from the hive.

the combination of a water body with an oak tree in the open scored very well. the oak tree next to the bayou is the first place i am hanging a trap this year.

Bailey
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« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2009, 08:14:03 AM »

I am not experienced in "trapping" swarms, but I have read a lot about it. I believe that if you know where that special tree is where all the swarms land every year, that that would be a good place to start.  I have a tree that every year it seems I collect a couple of swarms off of.  That is where my first trap will be located.  Then I will start the quess work about the others. grin

I wish I knew of any "special trees". It would make things alot easier for me.
You dont need a special tree to be successful.   Use a good design (like Robo's sona tubes) with a good lure (like lemongrass oil) and a couple of old dark combs.  Keep it off the ground. The books say about 10 ft but I place mine within reach without a ladder.  Put it in a shady spot and if they are there they will find it.  I plan on setting out several on a friends property this spring.  He has a comb honey apiary just down the road but last year I just put them back in my woodlot and catch was 100%.  I left them out for at least a week after I new they had worked and let the queens start laying.  Popped the frames out, dropped them in nuc's and took them to a new location for the summer.
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ArmucheeBee
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« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2009, 09:54:02 AM »

danno

I went to Robo's site, but what are sona tubes--did not see them? 

Really excited about swarm traps after having a swarm come into the yard last year--great workers.  They built out 3 mediums at the end of september.  I already have some areas staked-out in neighbors' yards to put the traps. 

I plan on using nucs for my traps.  I don't see a reason to build additional traps and then transfer over to nucs after catching them.  Just take down the nuc and go home!!  Unless the "sona tubes" look interesting.
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danno
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« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2009, 11:26:15 AM »

ArmucheeBee
Sona tubes are the cardboard tubes that they pour concrete in to form pillars.  They come in many sizes but the one to get is 12".  They are about 7.00 at Lowes for 6' X 12".  You get 3 traps out of each.  They are very light but strong.  This makes them easy to get up in a tree.  The link below shows a pic with a small frame because that is what Rob had handy but they hold up to 4 deep frames.  I leave the swarm alone for a week + so the queen has started laying.  All you have to do is remove one end, pull the frames out and drop them in a hive body.  Here is a link to a post Rob made on them
http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,13766.15.html
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specialkayme
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« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2009, 01:03:22 PM »

I am not experienced in "trapping" swarms, but I have read a lot about it. I believe that if you know where that special tree is where all the swarms land every year, that that would be a good place to start.  I have a tree that every year it seems I collect a couple of swarms off of.  That is where my first trap will be located.  Then I will start the quess work about the others. grin


I wish I knew of any "special trees". It would make things alot easier for me.

You dont need a special tree to be successful.   Use a good design (like Robo's sona tubes) with a good lure (like lemongrass oil) and a couple of old dark combs.  Keep it off the ground. The books say about 10 ft but I place mine within reach without a ladder.  Put it in a shady spot and if they are there they will find it.  I plan on setting out several on a friends property this spring.  He has a comb honey apiary just down the road but last year I just put them back in my woodlot and catch was 100%.  I left them out for at least a week after I new they had worked and let the queens start laying.  Popped the frames out, dropped them in nuc's and took them to a new location for the summer.


That is my plan, although I have no experience building or setting swarm traps. I hope they are successful. However, if you knew of a tree where bees swarmed to every year, that would make things a whole lot easier, that is my only comment.

ArmucheeBee
Sona tubes are the cardboard tubes that they pour concrete in to form pillars.  They come in many sizes but the one to get is 12".  They are about 7.00 at Lowes for 6' X 12".  You get 3 traps out of each.  They are very light but strong.  This makes them easy to get up in a tree.  The link below shows a pic with a small frame because that is what Rob had handy but they hold up to 4 deep frames.  I leave the swarm alone for a week + so the queen has started laying.  All you have to do is remove one end, pull the frames out and drop them in a hive body.  Here is a link to a post Rob made on them
http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,13766.15.html


I went to Lowes to get the supplies, and the tubes there were about $11.00 for one 12"x4' tube. I don't know if my area is out of wack or what, but that makes the price about $10 per trap (one 4' tube can make two traps, plus the cost of the lumber to attach to it). Not a big deal, but it doesn't make them super cheap, at least from my perspective.

Anyway, I plan to set one up about 20' away from a few hives I have at my home, and another one in the woods near my gf's place (just hoping I get lucky). I've been looking for a third place to set them, maybe a friend's place, who knows. Again, just hoping to get lucky. If I can spend $10 and get a free swarm, why not? Anyone think I'll be sucessful with my 'random' placement of swarm traps?
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