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Author Topic: What to Offer for Bait Frames  (Read 473 times)

Offline Kwalt

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Re: What to Offer for Bait Frames
« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2020, 08:55:23 pm »
Are wasp a problem with occupying swarm traps?

I just uploaded a 15 second video of a small swarm moving into a swarm trap and evicting the wasps. It?s freshly uploaded so the quality of the video may not be the best.



I?ve removed mud dauber nests before also.  I believe if the bees want the place they would quickly outnumber the wasps.

Kevin

Offline Kwalt

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Re: What to Offer for Bait Frames
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2020, 10:59:43 pm »
I'd like 4 bait frames and wonder what to offer for them.

FatherMichael, my first year someone gave me one old brood comb. I split it into 3 pieces and rubber banded them into 3 frames to put in my three traps. I filled the rest of the bait hive with foundationless frames.


Offline CapnChkn

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Re: What to Offer for Bait Frames
« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2020, 12:26:27 am »
FatherMichael, I would look in your hive.  You could go into the brood area, check for empty frames of drawn comb.  Older, darker comb is more attractive, but it all smells like a hive.  You only need a piece of it, but I save old frames and use one, on top and in the middle of my traps, along with frames of both wax sheets that I use as foundation, and/or wax strips as starters.

The reason the brood comb is attractive to the swarm is they will think this was a successful hive for a colony of bees before.  The comb allows the queen to start laying immediately.  I've seen beekeepers just chunk a piece of old brood comb in the bottom, but they'll just fasten that in there.  It could be attached to the top bar of a frame (or top bar from a TBH) and the bees would build off that.
"Thinking is like sin, them that doesn't is scairt of it, and them that does gets to liking it so much they can't quit!"  -Josh Billings.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: What to Offer for Bait Frames
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2020, 07:42:26 am »
Are wasp a problem with occupying swarm traps?
I have mostly Mudauber problems here ar the farm. I often find that if a mud dauber has moved into a swarm trap,  the bees don?t use it. That being said, I have found mud dauber nests on frames with capped honey. The bees build around it and will not touch it. Even a plasticell frame with just the mud from a removed nest is not covered or cleaned up. They just stay away from it.
Jim Altmiller

Offline FatherMichael

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Re: What to Offer for Bait Frames
« Reply #24 on: February 13, 2020, 11:37:08 am »
Thanks, guys, for the great feedback.

I thought that a fully drawn/used frame of comb in the baith hive would both attract a swarm and give them a head start.

The brood break helps the parent colony with mites.

But if the swarm started brood rearing right away ...

???

Offline CapnChkn

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Re: What to Offer for Bait Frames
« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2020, 06:46:07 am »
FatherMichael, I can't help with Varroa.  The problem here is attracting a swarm.  They've stopped feeding her and stopped her laying to slim down for the flight anyhoo.

Dr. Tom Seeley has a lot of good science concerning swarms.  From my experience, they don't worry about the trap being full of combs.  The scouts will start looking when things are warm enough.  I have had one swarm, though I would guess they absconded, on March 1st.  We were still getting frost at that time.



They will start looking up and down all the branches of trees around, and will mark promising cavities.  If you use Lemon Grass Oil, or the very expensive Swarm Commander, it will tell the scouts there is something interesting here.  LGO has two compounds, Geraniol, and Citral, that are found in the Nasanov's gland.  This is what bees mark food sources, interesting things, and you will see them fanning to send this scent when they want the rest of the colony to come home.  These compounds say, "It's here!"

Using too much of this is as bad as not using it at all.  But I've seen bees get all excited over a cotton pad saturated with the stuff, and hang out in the bait hives like they were going to swarm.  Once they know the hive is there, you don't need to keep marking it as "here."  You can tell, because there will be a half dozen bees that will hang around it for weeks at a time.  They will go back to the colony and tell the other bees that there's "a really cool" place, come look at it.  Then things will go into a contest the other workers will vote on.  Every swarm trap isn't going to be accepted, even if everything is done right.

They don't like other bugs.  I've had them hanging around, then come back a few days later to check, only to see the trap abandoned.  Taking it down, I find ants have taken over, or wasps.  They sure don't like a spider that's brown and has the same shape as a black widow here in the deep south.  Sometimes I actually see black widows in the traps.  I have yet to do any more testing, my hypothesis is the higher I hang the trap, the further from the usual range of these invaders they'll be. 

For the ants, I make a bait of jelly, and borax, or peanut butter and borax.  I am diabetic, so I take the needles off the spent syringes, and fill them with this stuff, the protein for the wood ants, the jelly for the others.  1/8 inch opening cut into the cap that they come with.  It seems to work.

It takes a little practice to tell the difference between scout bees looking things over, and a swarm.  I still get fooled.  Scouts will fly out the entrance, circle around the outside of the trap, then go back in.  A swarm moved in will have the bees go straight in and out.

I tend to go out to "tick country," looking for the toughest bees I can find.  I can't say how successful I've been at getting them, because these "gansta" city bees have accosted my pretty wood bees, and kept me from getting things done for some years here.
"Thinking is like sin, them that doesn't is scairt of it, and them that does gets to liking it so much they can't quit!"  -Josh Billings.

Offline FatherMichael

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Re: What to Offer for Bait Frames
« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2020, 07:19:59 pm »
Thanks, Capn!

Haven't finished the video yet but was struck by the "most important" graph that Dr. Seely presented.  The best home chosen by the swarm was not the one farthest away from the parent colony.  Gives me hope for the known locations I have in mind.

It makes sense that the area covered by a finite number of scouts is greatly increased by the distance traveled.  Closer X attractiveness > further X attractiveness, all else being equal?