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Author Topic: Best approach for trapping a feral swarm?  (Read 3665 times)
joker1656
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« on: March 27, 2010, 10:10:37 PM »

Had a call regarding a bee tree.  Entrance is roughly 20 feet off the ground into a large oak.  Bees have been there for at least 5 years.  I assume that they would be considered "feral". 

I did not see that it would be feasible for me to undertake a trapout that far up.  I conversed with the homeowners and they concluded that they would leave the bees to continue their contribution to nature.  That was pleasing.

They also agreed to allow me to place a swarm trap on their property.  In the event that this colony splits, we felt that a swarm trap might prevent the "frightening" spectacle of tens of thousands of bees lighting on their fenced daycare play-yard. 

What would be the most fail-safe approach to trapping a swarm?  I am guessing that it is a bit/large amount luck.  I see the pheremones etc advertised, but wondered what experience the rest of you all have with them. 

Thanks!

Oh yeah, they couple that own the property want me to come back and talk to the little ones in their daycare.  They would like me to do a little "beekeeper presentation".  There have been a couple of "flybys" and a few of the little ones are quite worried.  It will be different, but fun....
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JP
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« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2010, 10:48:55 PM »

Use a deep or woodenware of your choice and set at 50' & 200' if possible. Bait with a smidgeon of lemongrass oil or place a swarm lure vial you purchased inside the hive along with a small piece of old comb.

Have the home owners check the hive at night with a red light (only). If a swarm entered, you will have bees on the bottom board at night.

Seal at night or early morning before daylight and transfer to your beeyard.


...JP
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joker1656
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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2010, 08:49:41 AM »

Thanks, JP.  Two seperate hives, one at 50' and one at 200', correct? 

Sounds simple enough..... even for me grin 

Just curious, what is your success rate in catching a swarm from a specific colony?
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JP
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« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2010, 05:03:36 PM »

Two or more traps.

I've had very good success once scouts get interested.

If your tree hive decides to swarm, I'd say you have an extremely good chance of catching one of its swarms.


...JP
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joker1656
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« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2010, 08:12:20 AM »

Cool!  Thanks for the help!
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joker1656
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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2010, 09:55:09 AM »

Sorry for more questions, but do the hives need to be a certain height, or can they sit on the ground?
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Highlandsfreedom
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« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2010, 11:00:10 AM »

This is my first year catching swarms in traps but I have heard that up about 10-20 feet really helps thats what I am doing with 1/2 of my traps and the other 1/2 are on the ground so I personally will be able to tell you next season. 
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JP
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« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2010, 11:25:55 AM »

If you can set the trap up off the ground this does seem to help.


...JP
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Jahjude
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« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2010, 12:52:50 AM »

Hey JP why'd u recommend they use red-light to check da hive at night,??
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JP
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« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2010, 02:28:55 AM »

Hey JP why'd u recommend they use red-light to check da hive at night,??

Red light, bees don't go to, nowhere nearly as much as a white light.


...JP
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Jahjude
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« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2010, 03:11:54 AM »

Oh ok,so any colored light that's not similar to white would bee suitable also rite?
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I've chosen understanding over knowledge-since knowledge is all about knowing where to find facts and understanding is knowing how to manipulate knowledge...I've also chosen knowledge over beliefs!! We all need to..
JP
The Swarm King
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I like doing cut-outs, but I love catching swarms!


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« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2010, 03:14:40 AM »

Oh ok,so any colored light that's not similar to white would bee suitable also rite?

Red light is best.


...JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

My pictures can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus
and
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My Youtube videos can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=JPthebeeman&aq=f

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Jahjude
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« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2010, 03:20:53 AM »

Got yah,will be sure to bare that in mind as all my flashlights are white lights,Thanks much
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I've chosen understanding over knowledge-since knowledge is all about knowing where to find facts and understanding is knowing how to manipulate knowledge...I've also chosen knowledge over beliefs!! We all need to..
JP
The Swarm King
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I like doing cut-outs, but I love catching swarms!


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« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2010, 03:25:15 AM »

I have one that has red, green and white. Red is best. You are welcome.  Wink


...JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

My pictures can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus
and
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My Youtube videos can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=JPthebeeman&aq=f

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heaflaw
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« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2010, 10:19:20 PM »

I read a study that said the most success with catching swarms was when the bait hives were 10 feet high with a small entrance.
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Grandma_DOG
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« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2010, 02:32:15 AM »

I read a study that said the most success with catching swarms was when the bait hives were 10 feet high with a small entrance.

that was before the advent of swarm lures. Now 2-10 feet is fine. 

I just caught my second swarm in a bait hive this week. 9 traps deployed and one caught one before I even put it up. While on the ground under my outdoor stairs.
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manfre
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« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2010, 01:50:53 PM »

I had 2 trap hives out. Both about 50' from my hives. One is about 4' up in a play structure. The other is 10' up on top of my shed. Both had swarm lures. The lure in the play structure was installed following the instructions. The one on the shed was installed by opening the vial and dumping the liquid out on to the frames and in the hive. I caught a swarm out of a tree above the shed. Put 3-4 lbs of bees in to the play structure trap that I moved to the ground in front of the shed. I left the lure in it and rubbed mint inside the box before filling with bees. In less than 2 hours, they left the box on the ground and flew up to the trap on the shed. So I guess that means swarm lure works.
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joker1656
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« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2010, 02:46:06 PM »

Quote
So I guess that means swarm lure works.

Is it best to dump the lure inside the box? 

Do swarm lures cause colonies to swarm more quickly? 
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manfre
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« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2010, 03:22:56 PM »

> Is it best to dump the lure inside the box? 

The directions for the swarm lures state that you should leave the unopened vial in the paper envelope and place that in the trap. I bought a few and didn't see the folded instructions sheet until after I dumped the first one in to the box. My guess is that the smell is a lot more intense, but fades away quicker. I set up 2 swarm traps after both my hives capped a dozen swarm cells each despite my attempts to prevent swarming. My advise is to follow the instructions because they were created by people with more experience trapping swarms. I dumped as an uneducated mistake that seems to have worked in this instance.

I'd like to hear feedback from someone with more experience that has dumped lure.

> Do swarm lures cause colonies to swarm more quickly?

Swarming is a result of the conditions inside of a hive. I haven't read anything to suggest that swarm lures would cause a hive to prep to swarm. It would be very difficult to test because of all the factors that result in swarming.
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Nathen
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« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2010, 07:10:55 PM »

I have one that has red, green and white. Red is best. You are welcome.  Wink

To throw a little physics in the conversation, red light has the lowest frequency (longest wavelength) of the visible spectrum.  The visible spectrum (for humans) ranges from red (lowest frequency, longest wavelength) to orange, yellow, green, blue, and ending in violet (highest frequency, shortest wavelength).  Not all animals can see the same portions of the spectrum.  Most insects, bees included, have smaller eyes that prevent them from seeing the long wavelengths of red visible light but also allow them to see beyond violet into the lower portions of the ultraviolet spectrum that are invisible to us.  Green light is higher frequency than red and is within their visible range.  White light is a combination of all visible frequencies from red to violet, so pretty much anything that has vision can see white light.
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-Nathen
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