South UK -When to put out Swarm traps ?

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Buzzo

House Bee
Joined
May 19, 2019
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Location
Sussex England
Hive Type
National
I know its a bit early , but when are you planning to put out your traps ?

last year waited until 1 May, but thinking thats too late.


B.
 
If you look on this forum there’s reports of the odd one end of March, there’s a flow with decent weather at this time and large expanding colonies can become honey bound fast. Beginning of April is good around me. I think it was muswellmetro that reported 1 around the 20th of March going down some bit of London high street, there’s a surprising number from more central parts as well.
 
My current thinking is probably very early April, but I'll see how the weather goes. If we have a miserable late winter/early spring then I might leave it until later. Given that the Met Office are predicting that 2023 will be hotter than this one and one of the hottest ever, I'm expecting snow :D

James
 
I have one in every apiary as I use it as an early warning system to see if any of my colonies are sending out scouts. I started putting them out mid march last year and got the first scouts 1st week of April but they weren't from my hives and they didn't move in.
I think my first swarm this year was mid April.
 
I don't use them these much these days, because I don't need them, and you never know what nasties they might bring. When I used them I put them out early, sometime in February. This follows observation of interest through March. You are giving the scouts plenty of time to locate and examine them. You often see several weeks of increasing interest. The other thing I don't do is put old comb in them. Just 1 piece of nice comb is all you need. I believe they prefer starter strip to a filled-out box anyway, as they like to cluster straight away.
 
It varies every year - who can really predict when bees (and the lack of attention of beekeepers !) will lead to them ro decide it is time to swarm. The only advice is to put your bait hives out as soon as you see any signs of swarm preps in your own bees - at least then you will know that the bees think it's time to swarm .... whether it's the weather, the available forage or the beekeeper that is causing it ... you will have to work that out.

If you are clever with your beekeeping you can increase you colony numbers from a known source without waiting for the lottery that is a swarm. I'm not knocking swarms as a source of free bees ... just that I view them as a bit of added value rather than something I rely on.
 
If you are clever with your beekeeping you can increase you colony numbers from a known source without waiting for the lottery that is a swarm. I'm not knocking swarms as a source of free bees ... just that I view them as a bit of added value rather than something I rely on.

Certainly true, but in addition capturing a swarm means it doesn't become a pain in the bum for someone else when it decides to occupy their roof space or chimney, for example.

James
 
It varies every year - who can really predict when bees (and the lack of attention of beekeepers !) will lead to them ro decide it is time to swarm. The only advice is to put your bait hives out as soon as you see any signs of swarm preps in your own bees - at least then you will know that the bees think it's time to swarm .... whether it's the weather, the available forage or the beekeeper that is causing it ... you will have to work that out.

If you are clever with your beekeeping you can increase you colony numbers from a known source without waiting for the lottery that is a swarm. I'm not knocking swarms as a source of free bees ... just that I view them as a bit of added value rather than something I rely on.
Can also be a Trojan Horse too. Only one swarm I caught this year survived.
 
That’s a pity
Do you know why?
One queen failed - poorly mated I think, the other had CBPV so weakened and then waspmageddon. One that I caught & gave to a fellow beek also didn’t make it I heard. Shame as it was a lovely big prime swarm
 
current thinking is probably very early April, but I'll see how the weather goes
its a bit early
Yes, go by the weather and not the calendar.

Few years ago there was a swarm up near Alexandria Palace (North London) in January, and a couple more near Woodford (East London) in February/March.

Spring arrived early that year and bees made the most of it.
 
One queen failed - poorly mated I think, the other had CBPV so weakened and then waspmageddon. One that I caught & gave to a fellow beek also didn’t make it I heard. Shame as it was a lovely big prime swarm
Don't be despondent - swarms are doomed to fail, even the good book says that (okay - I lied about that, but I've got a few brownie point in the bank after the Christmas service) in all the years I've collected swarms (although I've never proactively chased them) I can honestly say I can count the 'gooduns' one one hand (and that's one with a few digits missing after a misunderstanding with a chemical explosive fuse 😁 )
 
I know its a bit early , but when are you planning to put out your traps ?

last year waited until 1 May, but thinking thats too late.


B.
When it comes to setting out traps, the specific timing will depend on a number of factors, including the type of trap you are using, the climate in your area, and the specific pests or diseases you are trying to monitor for.

In general, it's a good idea to set out traps early in the season, when the weather is still cool and the bees are less active. This will give you a better chance of catching any pests or diseases that may be present. Some beekeepers start setting out traps in late winter or early spring, when the weather starts to warm up.
 
In general, it's a good idea to set out traps early in the season, when the weather is still cool and the bees are less active. This will give you a better chance of catching any pests or diseases that may be present.
How does this work, please?
 
When it comes to setting out traps, the specific timing will depend on a number of factors, including the type of trap you are using, the climate in your area, and the specific pests or diseases you are trying to monitor for.

In general, it's a good idea to set out traps early in the season, when the weather is still cool and the bees are less active. This will give you a better chance of catching any pests or diseases that may be present. Some beekeepers start setting out traps in late winter or early spring, when the weather starts to warm up.
He’s asking about swarm traps not trapping pests! I’ve not heard of traps for diseases……….
 
You won't know until the first review, in any case it is highly unlikely that it will happen before mid-March.
In the 1st revision, write down which are the hives that are ahead (those that have more frames with brood than the average). These will be candidates for early swarming. The presence of drones warns you just in time (a week or two later).
 

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