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Author Topic: Dangers of swarm traps???  (Read 751 times)
RangerBrad
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« on: April 04, 2009, 11:28:34 AM »

I Have three acres and am receiving my first 2 packages of bees later this month. to in stall in 2 hives I've purchased. I am also thinking of setting up a swarm trap on my place to catch a wild swarm. Is this okay? or could it negatively effect the purchased bees I'm installing? All advice is appreciated. Thank's, Brad
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WOB419
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« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2009, 12:45:40 PM »

A captured swarm should not have an affect on your packaged bees. 

With any captured swarm I would gauge how defensive they are and if they are too defensive I would consider requeening.  Also, in general I would consider requeening it in August as you do not know how old the captured queen is and August is a great time to requeen. 

Any time that a hive is weak it has the potential to be taken over by bees from a strong hive, so watch your packaged bees carefully to ensure that they stay strong and don't get over crowded.  If you put honey supers over them this year do not use a queen excluder until the comb in the supers has been drawn out.  About 50% of the time the bees will not move through a queen excluder unless there is drawn comb above them.  If that happens the hive can get over crowded and swarm which is particularly bad in the first year of a hive. 
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iddee
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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2009, 02:55:33 PM »

I would never requeen a swarm from an unknown source unless they were mean. That is the best chance you will ever have of getting a mite resistant strain of bee. Watch the swarm's progress and if there is a reason to requeen, do so. Otherwise, leave it alone. If it is loaded with mites, if it doesn't produce well, if the queen doesn't lay a decent pattern, if they are mean, requeen. Otherwise, keep the feral genetics.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2009, 06:55:31 PM »

A swarm trap will not incite your bees to swarm.  It just offers a place if they do.  If you catch a swarm, you'll just have two hives in your yard.  I have about forty.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Pond Creek Farm
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« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2009, 08:44:49 PM »

Michael, out of curiosity, how many swarms do you typically catch with your traps and how many of them survive to become established hives?
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Brian
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« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2009, 11:00:04 PM »

>Michael, out of curiosity, how many swarms do you typically catch with your traps and how many of them survive to become established hives?

I haven't had much time to do them lately.  When I was actively doing swarm traps I'd say I got about one in ten.  But then it's location.  Once you know where you are getting them and not getting them, you move the traps that are in unproductive places and put them new places or known productive places.  It's like fishing.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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