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Author Topic: Swarm Traps  (Read 1437 times)
rober
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« on: September 06, 2012, 11:01:02 AM »

I know it's the wrong time of year but i have some questions abour swarm traps. I've located several bee trees in the last couple of years. since there is always the possibilty of these hives swarming i'm going to place swarm traps near these trees & 1 in my own apiary.
reading up on the topic i've found info on size & heigth recomendations. what i'm wondering tho is how close is too close? in a large tree can you place the trap on the same tree? anyone have any experiences that they can share? how about input on the design of your traps?
 also-once the swarm has landed how far do the scouts travel to find a new home? i had 2 swarms that did not stay put this past spring & i'm wondering whether they are still in the neighborhood.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2012, 11:29:04 AM »

In studies that were conducted placing swarm traps at spaced intervals, bees chose on average a swarm trap located about 900 meters from the parent colony.

Since many times locations are limited in available housing, bees have traveled much further than this, and have also settled in unused equipment setting in the same beeyard.

Size and height are but two criteria the bees use in determining where they will settle. On this page, you can read about other advice to make your traps more enticing.
http://www.bjornapiaries.com/equipmentmanagement.html

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rober
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« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2012, 12:10:00 PM »

what might be the minimun distance be? or how close is too close? 2 swarms that i caught this spring were within 50' of the hives they came from. as far as the traps i'm using 8 frame boxes with mixture of frames containing foundation & old drawn comb. since they are unprotected i'm treating the wax with BT to fend off the moths. i plan on using lemon grass oil & ho-made queen pheremones as lures.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2012, 01:32:31 PM »

rober,
When you say you caught two swarms within 50 feet of the hives, are you saying you; 1) You caught two swarms with a trap. or 2) You caught two swarms by knocking them into a box?

Almost all swarms land and regroup within 100 yards and eyesight of the original colony. So yes, all swarms will be found close by in your own beeyards. But this is from where they send out scouts and decide to fly to the new location.

That location may be a quarter mile away, or a trap located in a tree next to your hives. It all depends on how many locations they find and which they decide upon.

IF GIVEN A CHOICE, bees will select one away from the beeyard. And one with as many items as noted on the list of the link I provided.

So the point is to make the traps as desireable as possible. They may move into a swarm trap or head off to greener pastures. The more traps they have to choose from, the better your odds. the more other locations they have that fit the criteria, the less likely you will have to catch a swarm.

My main yard over at the farm, has little trees or structures in the area. I caught about 10 swarms hanging on bushes this year. I also caught 4 swarms that moved into equipment 25 feet from a row of hives and under roof of a pole barn.

I would not be putting ANYTHING on the comb, which might deter bees. You might be protecting the comb, but you might also be limiting your chances of a swarm.
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rober
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« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2012, 01:52:13 PM »

the caught swarms were were on tree limbs not in traps & were within 50'-100' of the hive that they came out of. i was asking about how far the scouts travel because i'm curious as to where the 2 swarms that did not stay might have gone. i've been scouting the area looking for them. i'm also looking for personal experiences. i read & understood & appreciate the data that you ( bjorn ) provided but we all know that the girls have a habit of doing other than what's expected.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2012, 09:48:47 AM by rober » Logged
BjornBee
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« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2012, 03:26:26 PM »

As stated, bees prefer something about 900 meters, if available housing is located. If they find nothing within that range, they may fly off at half mile intervals, land, send out scouts, and repeat that process over and over. Sometimes they stay so long in one position, and due to no sites being found, they will even start open air colonies.

They could be 100 meters, or two miles away. It all comes down to what cavities they found.
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AllenF
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« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2012, 10:02:20 PM »

The traps on my back porch have always caught the most bees numbers wise over the years.  Rail is 12 to 15 foot above the ground.   And the hives are in the woods 75 to 125 foot away from the porch.   
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bernsad
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« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2012, 05:27:32 AM »

As stated, bees prefer something about 900 meters, if available housing is located. If they find nothing within that range, they may fly off at half mile intervals, land, send out scouts, and repeat that process over and over. Sometimes they stay so long in one position, and due to no sites being found, they will even start open air colonies.

They could be 100 meters, or two miles away. It all comes down to what cavities they found.
Bjorn,
Is that research available to read, that sounds interesting? Do you have a link or can you point me in the right direction please?
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BjornBee
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« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2012, 06:00:42 AM »

As stated, bees prefer something about 900 meters, if available housing is located. If they find nothing within that range, they may fly off at half mile intervals, land, send out scouts, and repeat that process over and over. Sometimes they stay so long in one position, and due to no sites being found, they will even start open air colonies.

They could be 100 meters, or two miles away. It all comes down to what cavities they found.
Bjorn,
Is that research available to read, that sounds interesting? Do you have a link or can you point me in the right direction please?

The 900 meters comes from a book by Dewey Caron called "Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping" ISBN: 1-878075-09-8 (After checking the book, the range selected by most bees was closer to 600 meters.) BTW..the furtherest that a swarm was recorded in his study being mentioned was 45 hundred meters. That's out there.

The other information comes from a host of material over the years. I do not mark many of the things I mention. But two books that cover swarming in particular are "Swarming: Biology, Prevention, Control & Collecting" ISBN 0-936028-09-2 which covers many research studies from the likes of Roger Morse, Richard Bonney, and others. Some of the studies they participated in were from Cornell University, which actually has much material available on the subject in their archives aned can searched.

Another book by Tom Seeley "Honeybee Democracy" ISBN 978-0-691-14721-5 coveres these points and is worth reading.



 
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bernsad
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« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2012, 01:26:15 AM »

Terrific, thanks Bjorn. I've been looking at Thomas Seeley's book and wondering whether to get it, you've just made up my mind. I'll keep and eye out for the other ones as well.
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minz
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« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2012, 03:33:57 PM »

Excellent info.  I was scouting trap locations this last week and guessed that the swarms on the shipping cranes are coming from the ‘wildlife area’ they are 1 mile apart.  I am thinking of a trap on a side street half way between the two locations.  Not much there other than a couple of pine (but same situation my largest swarm capture this year).
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duck
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« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2012, 12:08:54 AM »

if you know where the hives are at, place 4 or more traps around the hive.. its like more fishing lines in the water.
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