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Author Topic: Swarm traps  (Read 4733 times)
taztiger
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« on: November 08, 2009, 04:57:34 AM »

Hi folks
Does anybody here in Oz use swarm traps?. I've never heard of anybody setting up traps for a random swarm. I've only heard of catching swarms by the usual call from distressed members of the public down here in Tassie.
taz
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SlickMick
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« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2009, 05:14:24 AM »

G'day Taz, I was going to build some this year but the pleas of distressed hosts to swarms meant I didn't have to go to that trouble. I was talking to a chap the other day who had his hive die out a year ago and he left it on his roof were it had been only to find 6 months later that he had a hive of bees again.

Mick
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
sas_marine@hotmail.com
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« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2009, 06:46:01 AM »

yer my knowledge on this subject is very minimal but i would also too like to know how it works, so if you do have the info, fill us in Tongue
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Koala John
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« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2009, 07:47:13 AM »

I try and keep some old buggered brood combs in an old empty hive somewhere up high on the off chance a swarm decides to move in. At a recent bee field day I saw some kind of pheromone for sale which I'd heard about but not seen before - it's supposed to be highly attractive to swarms, but I have never used it and didn't note who the supplier was sorry.
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SlickMick
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« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2009, 07:58:45 AM »

My best swarm traps are my mandarin and macadamia trees.. between them they have caught 5 swarms this year mostly from my own hives grin a couple small enough to make into nucs until I decide if I should combine them

Mick 
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
bud1
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« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2009, 09:05:28 AM »

i CATCH A GOOD MANY SWARMS AND ONLT USE LEMON GRASS OIL AND IF I HAVE SOME PROPLIS WILL MELT THAT INTO THE BOX
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danno
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« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2009, 08:52:47 AM »

I caught a doz swarms this year with 12 traps.  I made a few 3 frame traps this past year out of 3/4 inch pine ends and 1/4 luan tops, bottoms and sides.  They are very light.  I put 3 old black frames in them and a shot of lemon grass and set them from ground level to about shoulder level.  Hate ladders.  I place them in shade at field edges.  They start drawing scouts within hours of placeing and usually make catches within a week.
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Cindi
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« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2009, 09:05:55 AM »

Dan, well, isn't that just cool!!!  You must live in a very swarmy area.  Only seen a swarm around my area twice, and I caught them, smiling.  Not that I see everything, but I just don't think that there are that many hives around my area.  I did catch one this summer with a friend, but I don't think the queen lived, that hive wound up being queenless, sigh.  Have a beautiful, most awesome day, with health.  Cindi




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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Meadlover
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« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2009, 06:16:00 PM »

Hi folks
Does anybody here in Oz use swarm traps?. I've never heard of anybody setting up traps for a random swarm. I've only heard of catching swarms by the usual call from distressed members of the public down here in Tassie.
taz
taz,

I put my name on a swarm listing but have heard nothing in about 2 months so I am also very keen to set some bait hives, just not sure the best way to go about it yet, although from what I have read, use a chunk of old dark comb, and some lemongrass oil.
Another project to add to my ever expanding list......

ML
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SlickMick
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« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2009, 02:02:45 AM »

My best swarm trap is my macadamia tree, 2nd best is my mandarin tree.. between them they have caught 5 swarms this season.. all from my own hives grin

Mick
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
danno
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« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2009, 07:53:24 AM »

My best swarm trap is my macadamia tree, 2nd best is my mandarin tree.. between them they have caught 5 swarms this season.. all from my own hives grin

Mick
Thats a good number of swarms in one area so why not just put bait hives in those trees.  Small boxes with a few old frames in them.  Let them come to you.  No climbing! No cutting branches to get under them.  Not even a bee suit to catch them.  When you see a steady stream of bee's coming and going from your trap just show up in the morning before they start flying, screen the enterance and take them home.  Before taking the trap down I like to give them a few days in the trap so the queen will start laying and you got them.  Just open the trap at the new location pop the frames from the trap in a brood box with enough frames to fill it. 
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SlickMick
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« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2009, 02:50:32 PM »

You're right Danno, I have to be more energy efficient

Mick
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
Meadlover
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« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2009, 04:50:58 PM »

A question for anyone that has/does use bait hives/swarm traps.
I have read that many people use lemongrass oil - but how is this put in the hive? ie what is the delivery system?
I would think it would need to be put onto something that absorbs the oil, but doesn't have a huge surface area so that it doesn't evaporate too quickly.

Can anyone enlighten me?

Thanks

ML
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annette
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« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2009, 06:28:13 PM »

Cindi

Is that you doing the cutout???
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SlickMick
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« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2009, 04:44:06 PM »

Hey ML you can borrow my trees. Got another swarm in the macadamia yesterday

Mick
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
Cindi
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« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2009, 10:24:45 PM »

Annette, yup, that be me  cheesy cheesy cheesy  C.
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
danno
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« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2009, 07:54:11 AM »

a question for anyone that has/does use bait hives/swarm traps.
I have read that many people use lemongrass oil - but how is this put in the hive? ie what is the delivery system?
I would think it would need to be put onto something that absorbs the oil, but doesn't have a huge surface area so that it doesn't evaporate too quickly.

Can anyone enlighten me?

Thanks

ML
For a deli. system I use a couple of methods.  Being a K9 trapper for the last 30+ years, year ago I picked up a large box of small plastic vials with caps.  They are about 1 1/2 inch long.  I put a squirt of oil in them, they push a cotton ball in.  All I do is uncap and drop thought the entrance.  I have used just plain cotton balls and in a pinch just a pc of cloth.  I also give the trap a squirt on the front by the entrance
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Meadlover
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« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2009, 03:33:12 AM »

Hey ML you can borrow my trees. Got another swarm in the macadamia yesterday

Mick

I'd love to take you up on that offer Mick! smiley
After the SHB invasion I have some empty hives and some empty spots on our hive stand.

ML
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Meadlover
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« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2009, 03:38:30 AM »

For a deli. system I use a couple of methods.  Being a K9 trapper for the last 30+ years, year ago I picked up a large box of small plastic vials with caps.  They are about 1 1/2 inch long.  I put a squirt of oil in them, they push a cotton ball in.  All I do is uncap and drop thought the entrance.  I have used just plain cotton balls and in a pinch just a pc of cloth.  I also give the trap a squirt on the front by the entrance

For a deli??

Thanks for that Danno, I already have some plastic test tubes for my yeast culturing from my other hobby of brewing, so I will give it a try.
You say just a squirt - is that a couple of drops of essential oil or a full 1mL (30th of an ounce) ?
Thanks

ML
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danno
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« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2009, 07:41:42 AM »

For a deli. system I use a couple of methods.  Being a K9 trapper for the last 30+ years, year ago I picked up a large box of small plastic vials with caps.  They are about 1 1/2 inch long.  I put a squirt of oil in them, they push a cotton ball in.  All I do is uncap and drop thought the entrance.  I have used just plain cotton balls and in a pinch just a pc of cloth.  I also give the trap a squirt on the front by the entrance

For a deli??

Thanks for that Danno, I already have some plastic test tubes for my yeast culturing from my other hobby of brewing, so I will give it a try.
You say just a squirt - is that a couple of drops of essential oil or a full 1mL (30th of an ounce) ?
Thanks

ML

I dont fill the vials but do put more that just a couple of drops in them.  Its very strong smelling stuff and the bee's sniffers are way better that mine.  The vials may be unnecessary because the bee's seem to find the traps fast but I want to know that they are putting out sent for a couple of weeks if needed.
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Meadlover
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« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2009, 06:04:16 PM »

Excellent, thanks for the info Danno, I have got together a couple of test tubes, some cotton wool, a bottle of lemongrass oil, and some old OLD OLD dark comb.

I do have 1 question on using dark old comb - the frames I have are from a past SHB infestation (have been hosed out and frozen). Will any residual smell of the SHB/slime/possible fermentation repel the bees?? I have HEAPS of old dark frames that I took out of the infested hives. Are they good for swarm traps or should I just melt them down?

Last thing I need to do is work out the best container to put it all in.
Any suggestions anyone? I was thinking of making a plywood box that will fit 3-4 frames.

ML
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danno
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« Reply #21 on: November 25, 2009, 07:48:25 AM »

Excellent, thanks for the info Danno, I have got together a couple of test tubes, some cotton wool, a bottle of lemongrass oil, and some old OLD OLD dark comb.

I do have 1 question on using dark old comb - the frames I have are from a past SHB infestation (have been hosed out and frozen). Will any residual smell of the SHB/slime/possible fermentation repel the bees?? I have HEAPS of old dark frames that I took out of the infested hives. Are they good for swarm traps or should I just melt them down?

Last thing I need to do is work out the best container to put it all in.
Any suggestions anyone? I was thinking of making a plywood box that will fit 3-4 frames.

ML

cant answer the SHB question because we dont have a problem with them this far north.  you can make the traps out of ant material because the wont be exposed to weather as long as hive boxes.  I like luan because it is made with water proof glues and is only 1/4 thick.  The ends I use 3/4 pine because it gives me something to nail the luan to
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mick
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« Reply #22 on: November 26, 2009, 03:47:11 AM »

I bought some "swarm lure" vials from a local online site a coupla years ago. Could have been swamp water for all I know, didnt do jack.

Noting beats a bottom board, 8 frame deep with some honey and fresh foundation and a lid I am reliably told.

Then again theres that tinny bastard from down Gippsland way that has them seek him out.

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SlickMick
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« Reply #23 on: November 26, 2009, 04:46:08 AM »

Micko, here is a pic of todays swarm in my favourite swarm trap.. my mandarine tree.. caught 4 this season all from my own hives.. not bad eh!



It was 2' deep by about 12" wide and about 6" thick... more than filled a styro brocolli box

Slicko
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
Meadlover
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« Reply #24 on: November 26, 2009, 04:16:52 PM »

Then again theres that tinny bastard from down Gippsland way that has them seek him out.

Bastard!
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Meadlover
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« Reply #25 on: November 26, 2009, 05:00:01 PM »

Great pic danno. I think I might buy some thin plywood to make a few swarm traps up. Dam! another project to add to my ever expanding list!

Nice pic too Mick. Those bees of yours certainly seem a bit "swarmy".

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #26 on: November 26, 2009, 07:35:35 PM »

An eight frame deep would work fine.  Some old comb helps.  Lemongrass essential oil is the most effective and is cheaper than the vials they sell.  Old queen juice (dump your old queens in alcohol and use a few drops of the alcohol) added to it make it even better.
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Michael Bush
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SlickMick
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« Reply #27 on: November 26, 2009, 07:59:52 PM »

G'day Mick, nice to have you sticking your beak in around this bit of the forum

Slicko
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
Meadlover
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« Reply #28 on: November 26, 2009, 08:09:33 PM »

An eight frame deep would work fine.  Some old comb helps.  Lemongrass essential oil is the most effective and is cheaper than the vials they sell.  Old queen juice (dump your old queens in alcohol and use a few drops of the alcohol) added to it make it even better.

Thanks Mike. Due to the previous SHB infestation I might just put some old frames and Lemongrass oil inside one of the now empty hive boxes and see what happens.

A couple of questions in regard to using old dark comb:
1. Will they attract wax moth, and if so how do you manage it?
2. Are previously SHB infested frames OK after being rinsed out?

Thanks

ML
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #29 on: November 26, 2009, 08:25:32 PM »

>1. Will they attract wax moth, and if so how do you manage it?

I don't have a problem with them here if they are dry (don't have anything in them or on them) until well after swarm season is past as the wax moths aren't around much here until late July and the primary swarm season is from about the first of May to the end of June.  But you can spray them with Bt (Certan, Xentari, etc.) if you like.

>2. Are previously SHB infested frames OK after being rinsed out?

I've never had SHB infested frames but from what I hear they leave a mess and a smell, so I don't know if that would deter bees or not.  I have no frame of reference with which to answer the question with any surety.  But my guess would be that since bees often abscond when this happens in their hive, that it would be risky to expect it to attract bees.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #30 on: November 26, 2009, 10:35:02 PM »

Thanks again Mike.

>2. Are previously SHB infested frames OK after being rinsed out?

I've never had SHB infested frames but from what I hear they leave a mess and a smell,

Yeah I guess the residual smell is what I am concerned about. I have the same way of thinking that if the bees left a hive because of the SHB, it certainly wouldn't be a good, or reassuring smell when looking for a new hive.
If that's the case I guess I'll melt down all of my previously SHB infested combs  Undecided

ML
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« Reply #31 on: March 17, 2010, 09:41:58 PM »

Would it matter if you used new undrawn comb? I'm starting out so don't have any reserves yet? luckily, through work, i have ready access to lemongrass essential oil!
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Meadlover
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« Reply #32 on: March 17, 2010, 11:17:39 PM »

Would it matter if you used new undrawn comb? I'm starting out so don't have any reserves yet? luckily, through work, i have ready access to lemongrass essential oil!
Undrawn comb? Do you mean a sheet of foundation?
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OzBuzz
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« Reply #33 on: March 18, 2010, 02:41:31 AM »

Yeah sorry, undrawn comb doesnt make much sense does it because foundation doesn't become comb until it's drawn out... afro
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« Reply #34 on: March 18, 2010, 05:20:27 PM »

OzBuzz,

I was reading something recently where someone had tested a heap of different swarm traps, and the result was basically:
Pheromone worked best
Lemongrass oil worked almost as good as pheromone (considering it's cost/volume it's very cheap in comparison!)
Old comb was a little better than using nothing
New comb/foundation/wax was questionably better than just the empty box.

I am going to use lemongrass oil, and a chunk of old comb if I have it, otherwise I will just use a few frames with starter strips, and rub a bit of wax onto them plus some lemongrass oil.

ML
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OzBuzz
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« Reply #35 on: March 18, 2010, 07:09:41 PM »

Its definintely something that interests me and i can see myself having a play in swarm season! I'm just going to buy some swarm boxes, put some fresh foundation and frames in there, some lemon grass oil and see what happens. I'm thinking of setting up two in one location:

1) With new foundation and Lemongrass Oil
2) With new foundation and pheromone

What i find interesting is that the scouts are attracted to Queen Phermonone? why would that be? I mean they have a queen with the swarm who has her own pheromone.

I live in a suburban area but near me there is a river with lots of native vegetation along side it - hopefully there are some feral hives that like my boxes better than other alternatives. I'm going to put a few boxes in a couple of different places and see what happens. I'll keep the forum updated on my results...

So far Slickos mandarin/macadamia tree is winning hands down  grin but - mandarin is citrus and lemongrass has a lemon smell - it might be that citrus compound that is attracting the bees? interestingly both mandarin oil and lemongrass oil contain limonene
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harvey
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« Reply #36 on: March 18, 2010, 10:03:55 PM »

Hello All,   This will be my first year trying to build and use a swarm trap.  I am going to build the boxes out of light wood with the top and bottom screwed on,  the size of a ten frame deep.  I have some neat locations to try.  One is where a guy use to have twenty hives but let them all go to rot.  Literally the boxes were left till they started falling down on there own.  They are in an old woods with a lot of big and some dead trees.  Might pick up a ferral swarm there.  I also have a section of woods near me that is full of wild cherrie trees.  will put one there.  Over on the farm next to me is an old apple orchard where the trees have not been tended for at least thirty years.  I will put one there in the corner of the woods.  I want to put one at my fathers just cause and another one down the road about two hundred yards from where another guy has two hives.  He lost half a dozen hives last year to swarming or whatever he is not sure.  Maybe one of his swarms stuck around somewhere.

   Question:  I only have one hive and it seems to be going gang busters in two deeps right now.  Can I pull empty frames from them.  I would like to pull five so I would have one drawn new frame for each swarm trap and put nine other frames in with starter strips.  Back to my one hive.  If I pull five drawn frames that are empty, will this help in regards to them thinking of swarming?  This is a swarm I hived last year. 
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OzBuzz
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« Reply #37 on: March 21, 2010, 07:55:00 PM »

Question:  I only have one hive and it seems to be going gang busters in two deeps right now.  Can I pull empty frames from them.  I would like to pull five so I would have one drawn new frame for each swarm trap and put nine other frames in with starter strips.  Back to my one hive.  If I pull five drawn frames that are empty, will this help in regards to them thinking of swarming?  This is a swarm I hived last year. 

Why not just build a four or five frame nuc box? I'm assuming the 10 frame box you're proposing to build isn't what the swarm will stay in? Two five frame nucs will give you twice the catching capacity as one ten frame...

I'm a newbie but i'm guessing if you pull five drawn frames and replace that with five undrawn frames your hive won't want to swarm (they wouldn't want to swarm if you left the five drawn frames either) as they see this as room that would need filling... you won't have a swarm until every frame is chockers and ther is simply no room left. Correct me if i'm wrong but you should be managing your hives sufficiently so that they don't swarm - not encouraging a swarm. Split before they swarm...
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harvey
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Location: Lapeer Michigan


« Reply #38 on: March 21, 2010, 10:03:59 PM »

I would correct you if you were wrong cept I aint smart enough about these bee's yet to know much other that what I have read here!   I appreciate all the help I have gotten here,  from everyone!   
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