I'm planning on building swarm traps out of plywood this winter. I had a few questions I'd like to get thoughts on from you good folks.
1) How far away from a feral colony do you suggest placing swarm traps? I've read that somewhere around 100 feet is ideal.
I don't think it really matters. I have seen swarms move into a tree less that 25 feet away from the parent colony. I have also ad hives that swarmed into empty equipment that was only a few feet away.
2) How high should I place the swarm trap?
Again, not important. If there is no chance of anyone messing with the traps, put them low enough that you don't need to use a ladder. Otherwise just put them just high enough to keep out of trouble.
3) How many swarm traps should be placed in a given area?
Depends on how often you will be checking them, I often put two in each location only because it can take me sometimes up to a month to get back and check.
4) Anybody got any ideas, or links to building a larger scale swarm trap? Should I bother?
Don't know how big you mean by larger scale. I have found 30L to work well for me, any bigger and they become more of a hassle for me.
5) Should I build some smaller traps (20 liter) to catch smaller swarms?
I wouldn't bother building "smaller" traps, my experience has been they will pick the larger trap -> http://beevac.com/swarm-traps/
If you plan is to leave the ferals to collect swarms each year, which is what I would suggest, I would stay away from the Hogan method. Let the feral colonies decide how much resources they can afford to give up. You are walking a fine line when you are the one deciding how much to take and you put the feral colony in jeopardy of perishing.