Beemaster's International Beekeeping Forum

BEEKEEPING LEARNING CENTER => RAPID BEEYARD GROWTH => Topic started by: TwT on January 13, 2008, 10:25:59 pm

Title: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: TwT on January 13, 2008, 10:25:59 pm
Swarm trapping can be lots of fun and there is plenty of room for experimenting and
increasing our knowledge. Back in the mid 80's I started a program at the Carl Hayden Bee
Research Center to develop an effective way to lure swarms into traps or boxes. The key
turns out to be the pheromone lure. Swarming bees use their Nasonov pheromone as their
main chemical cue to organize house hunting, and what I did was make a synthetic slow
release Nasonov pheromone lure that lasts about a year and is wonderfully attractive to
swarms. The trap itself, the location of the trap, the time of year and other factors are also
important. For European bees the best traps are the pulp based traps or old hive boxes.
Cardboard boxes, plastic boxes, buckets, etc. are not suitable nests for bees and the
bees recognize that. The result is very poor swarm occupancy in traps made of those
materials.
Until the pheromone became available, the best attractants were hive materials, especially
old combs, propolis, etc. Africans used hollow logs with bee materials inside quite
successfully to attract swarms. Part of our investigations were to determine just how
important pheromone was and whether we could “tweak” the system by substituting,
adding to, or deleting pheromone. In new clean traps, those with pheromone attracted 19
swarms; those without pheromone attracted only 4 swarms (Schmidt, J. Chem. Ecol. 20:
1053-56 [1994]). This clearly indicated that without pheromone most swarms were getting
away.
But what about old comb, and other hive products? A paper is just now submitted to
address that situation, but some of the results are summarized in an abstract in the Dec.
1990 issue of American Bee J. on p. 812. In essence, it turns out that if one compares
traps with pheromone as well as either an added old comb or that had housed a colony,
with traps lacking pheromone, but had an added old comb or had housed a colony, the
pheromone traps caught 13 swarms to the 3 of the traps with comb and no pheromone.
This ratio is no different from the “clean” test results of 19 to 4. Thus, old comb does not
enhance the attractiveness of pheromone.
But what about old comb in the absence of pheromone? In this case (although it took a long
time to attract enough swarms to get the numbers) the results were 11 swarms in traps with
comb to 0 in traps without comb. This shows that in the absence of pheromone, comb has
some attractiveness and is clearly better than nothing. The catch is that comb without
pheromone is still not terribly attractive relative to pheromone. Bees have a distinct
hierarchy of preferences!
A couple of other points. Comb does have the disadvantages of being attractive to wax
moths which make a mess, comb can have spores of foulbrood or other diseases, and in
some states it is technically illegal to have comb out where it can spread disease. Comb is
also expensive and valuable, something you might not want to lose.
The main problem with pheromone is its availability. Mann Lake does sell the pheromone
lures, as does Beemaster in Tucson (520 770-1463) and Fisher Enterprises (POB 1364,
Coupeville, WA 98239; 360 678-8401) and perhaps some others. It is simple to make.
The only problem is that the chemical suppliers will not sell the components to individuals
(some excuse about lawyers and liability is my suspicion). Thus, beekeepers are basically
stuck having to buy the pre-made lures.
Information on the lures is in Amer. Bee J. 129: 468-71 (1989). Ted Fischer brings up an
interesting observation. Often when a lure is in a trap, one will see clusters of a few to
several hundred bees that just “hang around” inside the trap for weeks. We see that also
and do not know exactly what it means. It could be either scouts that are so attracted to the
cavity and lure that they do not leave, or it could be that they got lost and stranded (their
swarm might have moved on) and have no place to go and are just naturally attracted to
cluster around their own pheromone. Maybe somebody has some observations on this.
Happy swarm hunting!
Justin O. Schmidt, PhD
USDA-ARS Carl Hayden Bee Research Center
2000 East Allen Rd., Tucson, Arizona 85719, U.S.A.
Office: 520 670-6380, extension 109 (voicemail) FAX: 520 670-6493
Email: joschmid@u.arizona.edu
For Bee & Pollination information on the World Wide Web Please visit us at
http://gears.tucson.ars.ag.gov/
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: JP on January 13, 2008, 11:55:09 pm
 Old hive locations, where comb is still intact such as in a wall void or ceiling, time and again attracts swarms to move in. In fact even if the hive is removed it is still attractive to swarms, that's why removing a hive is not enough security that the area will not get bees again. Bee-proofing is an absolute must! I have removed hives from houses that had hives in the same exact spot previously, because the area was not sealed properly. I have also removed hives from houses that have had multiple hives throughout the yrs. In fact, I will go out on a limb here and say that most structures that have hives will get them again. If not in the exact spot, a spot adjacent to where the previous hive was removed. With that said, I always use swarm pheremone in my traps and have very good results luring swarms. On swarm calls where the bees are on something like a wall, or umbrella, etc...whereby its not possible to shake them off, swarm traps with pheremone come in real handy. I usually just take handfuls of bees and place them in the trap, always on the look out for the queen. They usually go right in the trap within a short period of time. In summary, swarm pheremone in my experience is great in attracting swarms, but so are the components of old hives or hive locations, such as wall voids.

Sincerely, JP
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: NWIN Beekeeper on January 14, 2008, 09:06:56 pm
Justin is no slouch at swarm trapping:


Schmidt, J O (1994) Attraction of reproductive honey bee swarms to artificial nests by Nasonov pheromone. J Chem Ecol 20, 1053-1056

Schmidt, J O, Thoenes, S C (1987) Swarm cavities for survey and control of Africanized honey bees. Bull Entomol Soc Amer 33, 155-158

Schmidt, J O, Thoenes, S C (1992) Criteria for nest site selection in honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae): preferences between pheromone attractants and cavity shapes. Environ Entomol 21, 1130-1133

Schmidt, J O, Slessor, K N, Winston, M L (1993) Roles of Nasonov and queen pheromones in attraction of honeybee swarms. Naturwissenschaften 80, 573-575

Schmidt, J O, Thoenes, S C, Hurley, R (1989) Swarm traps. Amer Bee J 129, 468-471


All of them are awesome reads if you can get your hands on them and don't mind distilling through the "white paper" jargon.
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: Farmdon on January 29, 2008, 08:31:25 pm
Should we assume that the lemongrass oil trick was  not tested? Only the real store bought stuff?

It seems prudent to rub a little beeswax on the frames. My bees kinda turn their collective noses up at my plastic foundation until I rub a generous amount of beeswax on them ......I know its not the same, but it may not hurt.
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: Moonshae on January 29, 2008, 09:25:05 pm
I'm sure counting on a few of the pulp traps this year...and I'm going to put out my nucs, too. Any stray swarms I can catch will only be a plus for me! I've got lemongrass oil, I hope that is sufficient.
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: Michael Bush on January 30, 2008, 07:51:50 pm
>I've got lemongrass oil, I hope that is sufficient.

In my experience it works just as well as the commercial lure.
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: Farmdon on January 31, 2008, 12:26:36 am
In terms of size, the swarm traps used seem to be anywhere from 5 frame nuc to single deep box.  I have noticed from my tree cut-outs (trees being cut anyway), that many are only the size of a 3-5 frame nuc. I wonder if I mix it up this year and deploy a variety of sizes (5 frame nucs and single deep) ...... what the results might be. My guess is that the entrance opening is an important factor, so that a small swarm might not past a s-t if it has an entrance they can defend. Maybe 5 framers around the wooded areas and full deeps around those pumpkin pollinator bees .... kinda match the house they are coming from.

I bought some cheap lemongrass oil last year. It's strong for a day or two anyway then begins to degrade. I'm still cheap however, so I will use it again this year.

The balance to all this talk is found in the fishing analogy. I have to fish where there are swarms moving. It was a tough year for me this past year because of the drought and late freeze. I am ready to have great results this year. I am also tired of that work thing getting in the way of my beekeeping ...... if I could only overcome that desire to eat, I could stop working and devote myself to taking care of my girls.
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: livetrappingbymatt on January 31, 2008, 05:10:25 pm
each season a few swarms are caught with commercial lures,in 5 frame nucs that have held bees( bee smell in wood) .Most will use the 5 frame bx but there are aleays some that refuse for these a 8 frame deep may be the answer?
trapping swarms is an interesting side line,some what like fishing ,trapping or even hunting.
traps placed near cutout sites will almost always produce 1 if not more swarms.
bob evans
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: Vetch on May 08, 2008, 07:26:45 pm
Should we assume that the lemongrass oil trick was  not tested? Only the real store bought stuff?

It seems prudent to rub a little beeswax on the frames. My bees kinda turn their collective noses up at my plastic foundation until I rub a generous amount of beeswax on them ......I know its not the same, but it may not hurt.

According to wikipedia, "Nasonov includes a number of different terpenoids including geraniol, nerolic acid, citral and geranic acid. Bees use these to find the entrance to their colony or hive, and they release them on flowers so other bees know which flowers have nectar. ...  Synthetically produced Nasonov consists of citral and geraniol in a 2:1 ratio."

Lemongrass oil is usually around 80% citral.  Some types of Citronella Grass oils are mostly geraniol and citronellol - I don't know if the citronellol would have a positive or negative effect.  Other good plant sources of geraniol include rose, rosapalma (a species related to lemon grass) and geranium oil (pelargonium). 

How does spritzing up with lemongrass grass oil before inspecting a hive affect the bees??
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: ikeepbees on November 09, 2008, 11:22:27 am
I'd sure like to hear everyone's experiences with trap placement and its effect on results (Justin?)

How much of a difference does it make? As I've mentioned before, I'm lazy! I want to put out a few traps this year, as I always have extra equipment lying around, but I prefer not to climb if it's not necessary.
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: Michael Bush on November 09, 2008, 04:30:37 pm
>How does spritzing up with lemongrass grass oil before inspecting a hive affect the bees??

It makes you VERY interesting to them.  IMO, not a good thing.
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: AaronP77 on February 17, 2009, 12:55:58 am
So that being said, as a newer hopefully soon to be bee keeper, ( $ is hard to come by right now) how can it be used to our advantage other then swarm lures?

>How does spritzing up with lemongrass grass oil before inspecting a hive affect the bees??

It makes you VERY interesting to them.  IMO, not a good thing.

Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: DayValleyDahlias on February 17, 2009, 02:17:11 am
I had 3 swarms come to my land last March, no lure, no traps...Just one colony of bees.  Wonder what this year will bring?
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: JP on February 17, 2009, 11:00:24 am
So that being said, as a newer hopefully soon to be bee keeper, ( $ is hard to come by right now) how can it be used to our advantage other then swarm lures?

>How does spritzing up with lemongrass grass oil before inspecting a hive affect the bees??

It makes you VERY interesting to them.  IMO, not a good thing.







I've had some get on my fingers, etc... Yes, you may have some investigating you but not a problem, as nasonov is an orienting pheromone. I would be more concerned spritzing with banana extract.


...JP
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: ArmucheeBee on February 17, 2009, 12:44:22 pm
I bought the Mann Lake lures, 2 for $3.99.  That's pretty good compared to $130 if I get two swarms.  I just built 5, 5-frame standard nucs for swarms.  I'm ready to go.  Placement is the only thing I am concerned about.  I did read a paper the other day stating 800 meters from the original hive was the average distance swarms picked for their new hive.  This was a great thread, thanks TwT.
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: JP on February 17, 2009, 01:17:00 pm
Stephen, 800 meters is a long ways. I would have some within 100 yards.


...JP
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: ArmucheeBee on February 17, 2009, 02:25:39 pm
I'll try to find that study and give a link.  I believe it was in California.  That was just the mean distance so some close some more than 2 miles.  I look for it and post it here.
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: JP on February 17, 2009, 03:52:49 pm
I'll try to find that study and give a link.  I believe it was in California.  That was just the mean distance so some close some more than 2 miles.  I look for it and post it here.

Some will fly further yes, a lot of it depends on how well the queen can fly. You definitely want traps within 100 yards of your own hives.


...JP
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: ArmucheeBee on February 17, 2009, 04:41:54 pm
Here's one, very mathematical looks at 250 m.  http://beheco.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/arl095v1

OK.  Found it.  It was on beesource.  http://www.beesource.com/pov/wenner/abjjan1992.htm   Here is the para. it was in:

"Swarms tend to move only when weather conditions are favorable; otherwise winds could lead to disorientation and temporary halts part way to the destination. European honey bees also do not normally move very far from their parent colonies. The average distance is about one-half mile (800m), but the scale is logarithmic and some move a much greater distance (Wenner, Meade, and Friesen, in press)."
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: JP on February 17, 2009, 07:30:12 pm
I would put some 1/4 mile away but many more closer in if you want to catch some of your bees.


...JP
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: snmyork on March 02, 2009, 10:22:21 pm
Where do you normally get the lemongrass oil and the swarm traps? I have built a top bar hive and want to put a swarm in it. I do have to put new bee in the Lanstroth hive that I have and will be getting packaged bees for at least one of them. I lost both of my hives this winter.
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: JP on March 02, 2009, 10:51:24 pm
Search the web for lowest price but  I bought some here http://www.glorybeefoods.com/gbf/Shop.cfm?Token=70.171.75.24:{ts_2009-03-02_18:45:59}-419333

You could also buy https://www.dadant.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=329

https://www.dadant.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=331

Or make your own, could even use a 5 gallon bucket.

I believe Bjornbee also sells swarm lure http://www.bjornapiaries.com/index.html


...JP
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: cundald on March 02, 2009, 11:27:30 pm
 :?How much lemongrass oil do you use and how do you use it :?

Cundald
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: JP on March 02, 2009, 11:33:30 pm
:?How much lemongrass oil do you use and how do you use it :?

Cundald

Its good if you can put in something like a vial to contain it, it will last for a few yrs at least in a vial in the fridge.

It doesn't take much a dab will do you. In a pinch you could put some on a sponge inside a small snack size zip lock bag.


...JP
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: fermentedhiker on March 02, 2009, 11:36:33 pm
What's on the inside of those swarm traps?  I mean do they take Langstrom frames or do you have to essentially do a cutout once they are established?  It seems odd that the three major suppliers that carry it all fail to describe it in ANY depth, just how great a trap it is.
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: ArmucheeBee on March 03, 2009, 08:59:44 am
The suppliers are the problem in my view.  If you use one of those brown pots, then it would be like a cutout.  If you use a nuc like the posts are talking about on other threads (search) with frames inside then you just take it down and there you go.  Ready made nuc hive and you do not have to move them until they build up the nuc frames.  Do a search on swarm traps to get more info.  We had one just last week.
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: Keith13 on March 03, 2009, 09:08:58 am
What's on the inside of those swarm traps?  I mean do they take Langstrom frames or do you have to essentially do a cutout once they are established?  It seems odd that the three major suppliers that carry it all fail to describe it in ANY depth, just how great a trap it is.

Whats on the inside?

Nothing

Keith
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: JP on March 03, 2009, 10:06:42 am
The commercial ones are ridged on the backside of the lid, starter strips if you will. Some people like to install them horizontally, I like to hang them upright with the hole at the bottom.

The idea is to check them frequently so you don't have to perform a cut-out. Sure, you will have some built comb even after a few days, but its not difficult to get the bees out, you could even use a little beequick if you need it, just don't ever spray it directly on the bees, it could kill them. Just use a little squirt.

Here's a couple I had fun with (http://img113.imageshack.us/img113/2179/cimg0021.th.jpg) (http://img113.imageshack.us/my.php?image=cimg0021.jpg)

(http://img113.imageshack.us/img113/1969/cimg0022.th.jpg) (http://img113.imageshack.us/my.php?image=cimg0022.jpg)

(http://img26.imageshack.us/img26/5414/dscn2124.th.jpg) (http://img26.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dscn2124.jpg)





...JP



Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: ArmucheeBee on March 03, 2009, 01:35:15 pm
JP

do you just shake them into another hive--I assume?  Do you then have to keep that hive closed up for a couple of days so they will not go back to the swarm trap?  seems like a lot of bee stress, is it?  extra steps if you will.
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: snmyork on March 03, 2009, 07:51:37 pm
Hey JP in the pictures you posted are those the pot shaped one. Just curious because they lokked like more of a bag. If it was a bag were did you get them. I have seen the pot shaped one at Dadant.
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: JP on March 03, 2009, 08:35:21 pm
Hey JP in the pictures you posted are those the pot shaped one. Just curious because they lokked like more of a bag. If it was a bag were did you get them. I have seen the pot shaped one at Dadant.

Same ones from Dadant.

Quote from ArmucheeBee "do you just shake them into another hive--I assume?  Do you then have to keep that hive closed up for a couple of days so they will not go back to the swarm trap?  seems like a lot of bee stress, is it?  extra steps if you will."

I like to go in and catch the queen w/ a queen catcher and set her on top of the hive you want to set the swarm up in.

You can then shake or dump the bees in the new set up. It really helps acceptance if you add a frame of honey and a frame w/ bee bread from another hive in the new set up.

If you have a brood frame to spare from another hive, you could add it as well and the acceptance level goes to near 100% then.

Then, let the queen out and she should march staight on in.

None of this is stressful to the bees.

Don't wait too long or you wind up with this (http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/8876/dscn2227.th.jpg) (http://img205.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dscn2227.jpg)
(http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/2253/dscn2224.th.jpg) (http://img205.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dscn2224.jpg)
(http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/1074/dscn2237.th.jpg) (http://img205.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dscn2237.jpg)
(http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/2644/dscn2238.th.jpg) (http://img205.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dscn2238.jpg)


...JP









Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: Cindi on March 03, 2009, 08:43:11 pm
JP, some pretty nice pics you got going on there.  In one of the pictures I see frames leaning up against a box.  Is that elastic bands that are on the frames?  Used to hold the comb in the frames?  Quite the interesting stuff going on there.  We just don't have that much hot weather for those incredible amounts of swarms that you guys got going on way down south where bananas grow, smiling.  Elaborate for me here, please, you know how I need to know.  Have that most wonderfully awesome day, great health.  Cindi
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: JP on March 03, 2009, 09:29:14 pm
Cindi, they are rubber bands I used to secure the combs from the swarm trap, so that I could transfer those combs into a hive body.


...JP
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: ArmucheeBee on March 03, 2009, 10:27:28 pm
JP

What do you do with all those swarms?  sell em?
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: JP on March 03, 2009, 10:47:05 pm
JP

What do you do with all those swarms?  sell em?

I mainly hook friends up with them. I currently have 6 friends plus myself that I donate hives to.


...JP
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: fermentedhiker on March 03, 2009, 10:58:14 pm
Thanks for the pics JP, makes it crystal clear.  I've just been debating about getting some as an insurance policy on my potential failure to preempt a swarm from my hives, or to build something along the lines of what Robo showed in another thread recently using sonatubes built to take Langstrom frames.
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: JP on March 03, 2009, 11:25:00 pm
Your welcome. Good luck catching swarms!


...JP
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: snmyork on March 05, 2009, 06:17:09 pm
JP how early have you seen a swarm? I lost my hives this winter and i live in SC. I just got home from work and I glanceed at my hives and a hive box leaning on the outside of a deep super. Tons of bees around the one leaning on the deep. It just seems early for a swarm around here. It has just warmed up after the snow we had earlier this week. We did take pictures. Any ideas?
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: JP on March 05, 2009, 11:51:58 pm
JP how early have you seen a swarm? I lost my hives this winter and i live in SC. I just got home from work and I glanced at my hives and a hive box leaning on the outside of a deep super. Tons of bees around the one leaning on the deep. It just seems early for a swarm around here. It has just warmed up after the snow we had earlier this week. We did take pictures. Any ideas?

Do you have any honey left in those boxes? Either robbing or swarming has occurred and they've moved in, check them when you get the chance.

I removed one this February 27th that's pretty early, but I really thought I'd see them sooner than that. I was thinking mid Feb but the weather wasn't conducive, it was on the 27th though, 84 degrees.

Early March is when we usually see swarming here in south east Louisiana.


...JP
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: joker1656 on May 31, 2009, 09:00:36 am
Maybe there is another thread where this question might be more appropriate.  Sorry, if there is.  But, when doing a cutout, how can you determine the expanse of the colony?  I have two fairly simple ones (so they sound and look now) to do, and I want to make any "incisions" as small as possible. 

This is my first year keeping bees, but I have caught 6 swarms.  I have passed, besides those 6, several other calls on to friends.  I know most beekeepers, at least around here, advise against tackling cutouts.  I guess I will give it a go and see how it turns out. 

Very interesting info in this thread.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: RZRBCK BEE on April 03, 2010, 08:14:31 am
>I've got lemongrass oil, I hope that is sufficient.

In my experience it works just as well as the commercial lure.


It smells the same to me.
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: Superdog on May 18, 2010, 03:58:26 pm
I've had a dead out catch a swarm before....  don't think it cam from my hives.  But other than that one, I have never had luck with traps.  I keep trying tho.  Maybe there just aren't enough bees around here.  Although I do get swarm calls.  Let said earlier in this thread.  Its like fishing.   
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: ArmucheeBee on May 18, 2010, 10:52:17 pm
I have had a trap up 200 ft from my hives since last April (1 year).  One of my hive swarmed last week and they went to the trap.  I took them down put them in a new box with new frames and one frame of brood and they are smoking!  I love traps.  Mine had one old frame with old comb in it and 4 top bars (it's a standard size nuc trap).  In two days they built out half the top bars and filled them with nectar.  I waited 2 days then checked to see if she had eggs, she did!  So I took it down.  If she had no eggs I was going to leave them another week so she could get mated.  I love traps.
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: harvey on June 14, 2010, 12:35:05 am
I made two bait hives this year out of plywood the same size as a ten frame deep.  I also used a ten frame deep and screwed a plywood top and bottom on it.  I bought pheremone from Dadent.  I also got some lemon grass oil.  I put two old drawn frames and eight foundationless frames in each bait hive.  I put the pheremone inside the hive and put a few drops of lemongrass oil on a couple frames.  I also put a few drops on the outside of the bait hives near the entrance.  I just used rope and hoisted them up into trees about fifteen feet.  So far I have caught three swarms this year.  Two rather large ones and one so so.  I just brought the third one home tonight!  I will be putting this bait hive back out tomorrow!  Went from one hive this spring to three when I bought two packages, then so far caught three swarms in the bait hives and was called to take one down from an apple tree!   These bees are a lot cheaper than the packages!!!   A lot funner to aquire too.  
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: dennis2021 on September 13, 2010, 04:06:55 pm
I love fishing, this sounds like fun. I am setting my first 2 traps this week, I will keep updating as things happen. I am going to use a deep with a few frames of foundation and the rest foundationless. Any suggestions/ideas?

BTW, Scott(Hardwood) was telling me the other day that if you need to pinch a queen for any reason to put her in a film canister with a little rubbing alcohol. Then you can use a cotton swab or something apply, the alcohol evaporates then you have queen scent left behind. Scott may chime in a add his two cents here, but sounds like a good addition to the trap.

I think this is a cool way to get bees, and as mentioned above, its all about knowing where to cast your bait.

So with that being said, other than the traps you can buy, what are others using as traps, how and where are the mounted or located?
Any helpfull hints?
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: Keskin on January 25, 2011, 05:24:52 pm
We are using Melissa Officinalis fragrance and/or oil (In Turkish its name is "ogulotu" -swarmgrass-), We also putting a few drops propolis solution on the outside of the bait hives near the entrance and we put one or two old drawn frames.
I think the most efficient way is hang them up into trees about three meters. In my apiary, I hang nucs to the four directions and I catch my three swarms and two extras...
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: Midwest WI on April 12, 2011, 07:11:04 pm
Last year was my first year keeping bees and the one hive I had died out in February.  Anyway, I have three packages on order for this year and last weekend I decided that I would make some swarm traps out of scrap lumber that I had laying around to see if I could expand some more this year on the cheap.  I was also gifted a bunch of lumber from another guy so that helped out quite a bit too.  I ended up with (13) 6-frame (deeps) trap boxes.  The boxes are basically like a nuc only that they hold (6) frames instead of (5)I'm trying a number of different lures, trap locations, etc and writing down my experiences doing this to see if I can find that certain criteria are more attractive to swarms.

All of the boxes I made have sliding doors with ventilation screen so that I can just shut the doors once they are hopefully inside the traps.  This is going to be fun!  :)
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: GWDawg1 on April 24, 2011, 01:27:55 pm
I havbe 4 trapsup with LGO as bait, going to 8 traps soon.
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: donaldsharpeusaf on June 17, 2011, 10:05:45 pm
I can't wait to try this stuff.  I have never trapped a swarm.  I have retrieved several, but I just think it would be extremely cool to catch them for free... 
BTW, this is my first post.  I have spent hours already just reading.  I am really enjoying myself...
Donald
 :-D
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: Midwest WI on June 21, 2011, 07:59:44 pm
Last year was my first year keeping bees and the one hive I had died out in February.  Anyway, I have three packages on order for this year and last weekend I decided that I would make some swarm traps out of scrap lumber that I had laying around to see if I could expand some more this year on the cheap.  I was also gifted a bunch of lumber from another guy so that helped out quite a bit too.  I ended up with (13) 6-frame (deeps) trap boxes.  The boxes are basically like a nuc only that they hold (6) frames instead of (5)I'm trying a number of different lures, trap locations, etc and writing down my experiences doing this to see if I can find that certain criteria are more attractive to swarms.

All of the boxes I made have sliding doors with ventilation screen so that I can just shut the doors once they are hopefully inside the traps.  This is going to be fun!  :)

Well, I got my first call today that one of my traps had a swarm move in on Sunday so I'll be checking it out tomorrow to see what's inside!
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: msblackwolf on June 23, 2011, 01:59:44 pm
No luck with my bait hives yet, I'll keep fishing though. :)
I am using lemongrass oil drops on a Qtip and some dark old drawn comb. Should I be renewing the lemongrass oil at some point?
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: AllenF on June 23, 2011, 10:57:54 pm
Yes
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: qa33010 on July 05, 2011, 06:14:03 pm
Does it count if I accidentally caught two swarms this year in a nuc that wasn't set-up for anything and a hive box I set out to clean and prepare for a cutout?  Both had one frame each with some brood comb in it.  I'm assuming the brood comb is what did it.
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: ncbeeman on August 24, 2011, 01:10:42 am
Bees are funny creatures. Back in the 70's ( boy am i dating myself) I was nailing together hive bodies and frames in my garage. To keep the area in the garage uncluttered I stacked the completed hive bodies in the drive way ( you know where this is going). after a few hours work my wife asked if i had brought some bees home. I asked her what she was talking about. She walked with me to the drive way and sure enough 3 stacks of the hive bodies had bees in them. Go figure :-P
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: tedlemay on January 06, 2012, 12:13:02 am
Does anyone know if there is any information about swarms and their direction of travel? Do they tend to travel any certain direction? IE north south east or west?
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: KD4MOJ on January 09, 2012, 10:02:44 am
I am using lemongrass oil drops on a Qtip and some dark old drawn comb. Should I be renewing the lemongrass oil at some point?

I read it somewhere (maybe JP) and I tried it.... put the lemongrass oil in an old pill bottle... drill a few small holes... and put a cotton ball in there with a few drops... helps it last longer... doesn't evaporate as much as if you just put some drops in the bait hive.

...DOUG
KD4MOJ
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: jredburn on April 04, 2012, 11:27:33 pm
I read your article with great interest but was left wondering what the formulation was that you developed.  Is it available?
I tried your email and it is not a valid address, according to my mail program.
Regards
Joe Redburn
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: SkepWrangler on April 18, 2012, 06:01:26 pm
I am using lemongrass oil drops on a Qtip and some dark old drawn comb. Should I be renewing the lemongrass oil at some point?

I read it somewhere (maybe JP) and I tried it.... put the lemongrass oil in an old pill bottle... drill a few small holes... and put a cotton ball in there with a few drops... helps it last longer... doesn't evaporate as much as if you just put some drops in the bait hive.

...DOUG
KD4MOJ

Here are some tips (from my experience and surveying tech literature) on how to get the Nasonov scents to release continuously and at rates favorable to persuading scout bees to buy into the lure.  BTW, see also the works by Dr. Tom Seeley at Ithaca, especially Honeybee Ecology good info on the bees' process of scouting out viable nest sites.
1. Enclose the pheromone in polyethylene.  Most of the commercial swarm lures I have seen have been the little vial (~1.5" long) sold as disposable centrifuge specimen vials.  Even a zip lock baggie (also polyethylene) will be better than open lures/swabs/droplets.  The citral and geraniol are sufficiently volatile to penetrate the walls of polyethylene, even rigid PE like the vials.  (To prevent Nasonov migration/diffusion, use polypropylene. )
2. Place the bait hive high off the ground.  3 meters is a good height.  Not sure why this is a good height, but it seems to have to do with the ability of the scout bees to find the cavity/trap and report on its favorability, compared to other sites they scout out.
3. Use a shady spot.  When placed in full sun the temperature inside the box/trap/bait hive will cause more rapid diffusion of the pheromone than necessary.  This will make the lure last longer, without impairing its effectiveness.

Of course, use the other common sense rules, like put the traps in locations where scout bees are likely to look, such as under the eaves of buildings (or what the common swarm locations are for your locality.)

And now an editorial comment: I expect that as Africanized genes increasingly infiltrate the pool of genes in managed hives, there will be increasing tendency for swarms to issue from apiaries.  There will also be an increasing frequency of swarms from feral colonies.  Each area that becomes affected by swarms which are hybridized with AHB genes will have cavity preferences and different other behaviors, for example, greater tendency to issue multiple, smaller swarms.  Again, hybridizing differently in one area than another.  These seems to be the lessons from Mexico and the Southwestern USA.

Happy hunting.
SkepWrangler
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: SkepWrangler on July 01, 2012, 05:28:20 am
Regarding the distance discussion, there have been several studies, whether in academia, or seasoned beekeeper and others.
Here is a link to a Dr. Tom Seeley presentation regarding how swarms decide on their optimum hive:
http://breeze.cce.cornell.edu/p1vpc8e0m5w/?launcher=false&fcsContent=true&pbMode=normal (http://breeze.cce.cornell.edu/p1vpc8e0m5w/?launcher=false&fcsContent=true&pbMode=normal) This URL is a video that launches in Adobe Connect from your web browser.  Much of it is quite basic, but it is, I believe, a great companion to the Dr. Justin Schmidt material cited in the first post of this discussion.  The video is about an hour long.
I note that, this spring, a 15,000-bee swarm took up a tree branch that was intertwined with a chain link vehicle gate. (The gate to an apiary had been opened such that it was pressed against the tree branches, so when the bees took up their swarm cluster position, the chain link gate ran right through their cluster, about 5 feet off the ground.)  Rather than disturb them, we set up a swarm trap about 4 feet away.  I simply rolled a large trashcan there, about 48" high, placed a medium super there with empty plastic frames, plus one frame of drawn comb and a pheromone lure.  Surprisingly, it took them 3 days until they decided to occupy the box.  Had it taken longer, we would have needed to close the gate. I'm confident they would have re-constituted the cluster and carried on scouting out potential cavities, but I'm glad I didn't put them through the exercise. 
Two things I gather from this:
1. They didn't accept the super-conveniently-located, super-well-provisioned cavity until they had gone through the whole process of comparing various potential sites and had reached consensus on the close one, and
2. They were only in so much of a hurry to make their decision.
A little more background: They came to the area as a cut-out from an exposed hive hanging from a tree branch ten feet off the ground.  100% of their brood comb, including new eggs in fresh comb were installed into the box in which the colony was placed.  They abandoned the box, leaving all their brood unattended.  Because they were a cut-out, and little of their honey was available to them, they had little honey to take with them as a departing swarm. The branch/gate on which they temporarily settled was only 50 feet from the box they abandoned.  They are now prospering--explosively building comb and rearing brood.
Happy Swarm trapping,
SkepWrangler
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: Jim 134 on July 01, 2012, 05:55:00 am
I read it somewhere (maybe JP) and I tried it.... put the lemongrass oil in an old pill bottle... drill a few small holes... and put a cotton ball in there with a few drops... helps it last longer... doesn't evaporate as much as if you just put some drops in the bait hive.

...DOUG
KD4MOJ



   bud1...

  Use old pill bottles and drill 1 small hole (the smalls you can find) in at so the lemongrass oil on cotton ball doesn't evaporate as fast...some times he put in old comb. He been do this for the past 7 years or so  

  

        BEE HAPPY Jim 134
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: max2 on December 22, 2012, 05:39:46 pm
I put out 12 swarm traps this year. Some with lures, some with Lemon Grass Oil. Large ones, smaller ones. Some high, some low. Result - nil!

Last year I had the same result but the year before I had a better response.

My observations: I did pick-up about 20 swarms and about 60% stayed. Lemon Grass in the box definitely helps. It is possible that by collecting the swarms after they settled they never had a chance to make a trap their home.
I will keep trying again next swarm season BUT will also do my splits earlier to reduce the number of swarms.
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: jpmeir on March 03, 2013, 08:42:07 pm
Do you place swarm traps near your hives, 100 ft, as a preventive measure?  Is this an a best pratice for bee geeks? I'm new and in my second year. This year I"m going to try to catch swarms by placing them in areas where GF and I have seen bees on our land, but JP recomended way back in 07 to leave a trap about 100ft from hives. 
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: Moots on March 03, 2013, 08:50:13 pm
Do you place swarm traps near your hives, 100 ft, as a preventive measure?  Is this an a best pratice for bee geeks? I'm new and in my second year. This year I"m going to try to catch swarms by placing them in areas where GF and I have seen bees on our land, but JP recomended way back in 07 to leave a trap about 100ft from hives. 

I think the thought process is that bee yards tend to attract bees, therefore, it's a good location.  You also have a chance of catching one of your own hives swarming...Sort of a win/win situation.  Since a swarm trap does't encourage swarming, yet merely offers a home to an existing swarm, there's no real downside.

That's my understanding at least.
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: jpmeir on March 04, 2013, 09:06:20 pm
That makes sense, thanks for the input
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: hummelkurt on March 20, 2013, 11:19:15 am
JP JP JP JP, I WAS YOU TUBING THIS MORNING....TYPED IN HIVING A SWARM, I THINK.......THERE WAS JP....JP.....OMG,,,,JP......BUSY MAN. LOOKED AT A BUNCH OF EM....COULDN'T HARDLY STOP...KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: Swarm Trap Study Results
Post by: Moots on March 20, 2013, 11:29:40 am
JP JP JP JP, I WAS YOU TUBING THIS MORNING....TYPED IN HIVING A SWARM, I THINK.......THERE WAS JP....JP.....OMG,,,,JP......BUSY MAN. LOOKED AT A BUNCH OF EM....COULDN'T HARDLY STOP...KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!!!!!!!

They don't call him "the bee man" for nothing... :-D

I've watched quite a few myself, I need to find more time to watch more of them...Always well done and entertaining.