Too early for swarm traps?

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gwt_uk 

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Anybody having success with their swarm traps now the weather has warmed up? I’ve not had a sniff at mine although noticed a few more bees around the garden this past week. I’ll be renewing the bait tomorrow so fingers crossed for some activity soon...
No activity at all now. I have put one in my garden and one near my apiary.
 

Loxley 

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Anybody having success with their swarm traps now the weather has warmed up? I’ve not had a sniff at mine although noticed a few more bees around the garden this past week. I’ll be renewing the bait tomorrow so fingers crossed for some activity soon...
Nothing happening at either of mine yet,the odds are against us in this weather though.
 

Beebe 

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Anybody having success with their swarm traps now the weather has warmed up? I’ve not had a sniff at mine although noticed a few more bees around the garden this past week. I’ll be renewing the bait tomorrow so fingers crossed for some activity soon...
We've just had the best bee-day of the year so far, with plenty of hive activity and now some drones around. I have a stack of two shallow BS. boxes and a deep box, which contain some frames of old comb, a few of new foundation and some with wire and starter strips. They're handy by my hives for easy replacement and addition of frames and boxes when I inspect . Despite having five bait hives in various places, this pile, which is within three metres of my best hive, seems to be attracting interest from someone elses bees...mine are quite dark and some of these are more yellow.

I can hear some of the bees pinging about inside and they're closely checking it out on the outside. If they move in it could be quite messy inside as the frames aren't placed in any structured way. But I don't want to disturb it now,

Someone living about six miles away reported he'd had a swarm move in today, so I'm optimistic.
 

Erichalfbee 

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I can hear some of the bees pinging about inside and they're closely checking it out on the outside. If they move in it could be quite messy inside as the frames aren't placed in any structured way. But I don't want to disturb it
Big mistake. Get in there and sort the frames tonight before the bees make a real mess of the space
 

Beebe 

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Big mistake. Get in there and sort the frames tonight before the bees make a real mess of the space
Thank-you.
I've been out there and re-jigged the hive. The bees obviously like the space and height, so I've left it as three boxes with the deep now at the top. I've left the same frames which are a complete mixture, old and new and seem to have the right smell. I've kept the foundationless ones together; maybe five out of about twelve frames, mixed, shallow and deep. The bottom box is empty space and I've dummied the boxes with Celotex to create a "chimney" space. This is an Abelo with the newer type of undertray which seals quite well, but I've also taped some cardboard over the mesh floor.

I could make up more foundationless frames, but I've already messed about enough to put the bees off, so I'm reluctant to change the formula even more. Not such good weather forecast for tomorrow, but I'm home and will have fun watching.
 

drex 

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Fingers crossed for you. In future, rather than putting all the foundation less together, it might be better to alternate it with drawn or foundation frames. That way encourages straight comb building with no cross combing, which can get very messy.
 

Beebe 

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Fingers crossed for you. In future, rather than putting all the foundation less together, it might be better to alternate it with drawn or foundation frames. That way encourages straight comb building with no cross combing, which can get very messy.
Thank-you, and good advice, which in the normal run of things, I would follow. But it's a dilemma, without a definite answer in my opinion ....like most beekeeping things :banghead:. I'm trying to keep the space open so that the scout bees can measure the volume accurately. I've already compromised by adding a number of drawn and undrawn frames. I have heard of people getting swarms by simply using foundation, but it doesn't appear to be a recommended approach.

If the bees create their own version of a beehive, it may be a PITA, but the bigger priority is to get them in there. :)
 

BigAshW 

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I've seen a little activity at my traps, although to be honest I'm not sure I want to catch anything at the moment as I'd have to feed them to get through the next few weeks.
 

drex 

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Thank-you, and good advice, which in the normal run of things, I would follow. But it's a dilemma, without a definite answer in my opinion ....like most beekeeping things :banghead:. I'm trying to keep the space open so that the scout bees can measure the volume accurately. I've already compromised by adding a number of drawn and undrawn frames. I have heard of people getting swarms by simply using foundation, but it doesn't appear to be a recommended approach.

If the bees create their own version of a beehive, it may be a PITA, but the bigger priority is to get them in there. :)
When I set up a bait hive I use a national brood, which is close to the optimum. On the side opposite the entrance I put in an old drawn comb, for attraction. I then put in a couple of foundation less frames, in case I do not notice they have moved in for a day or two. As soon as I realise they are in the box, I will put in full complement of foundation frames, sometimes with a QE under for a couple of days. In my experience they rarely abscond though, once they have decided to move in.
Brace comb is an unnecessary hassle
 

holmbee 

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Fingers crossed for you. In future, rather than putting all the foundation less together, it might be better to alternate it with drawn or foundation frames. That way encourages straight comb building with no cross combing, which can get very messy.
I made a mistake last year putting all foundationless frames in the bait hive. A large prime swarm of (I suspect ligurian type) bees quickly filled the box and was a real mess to sort out as frames merged into each other as they were not drawn out straight. This year they are alternate with drawn and foundation frames.
Michael
 

hemo 

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Yes they need a guide to follow on how to do it with frames.
 

Do224 

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I made a mistake last year putting all foundationless frames in the bait hive. A large prime swarm of (I suspect ligurian type) bees quickly filled the box and was a real mess to sort out as frames merged into each other as they were not drawn out straight. This year they are alternate with drawn and foundation frames.
Michael
How quickly did they make a mess....presume this is only a problem if the bees have a period of time between moving in and being re-housed?
 

Beebe 

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How quickly did they make a mess....presume this is only a problem if the bees have a period of time between moving in and being re-housed?
I think you may agree with my point made earlier in the thread....

If the bees create their own version of a beehive, it may be a PITA, but the bigger priority is to get them in there. :)
 

Do224 

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I’ve just been out to check the swarm traps as I do every day. They’ve been up since the start of April and I’ve not seen a single bee at them......until today. This is what greeted me this afternoon!


Sorry the footage isn’t great, I didn’t want to disturb them. Do you think there’s a reasonable chance of an imminent swarm? There must be a few dozen bees at the trap in the tree.....There are also three other traps in the garden, two of which have a few bees at them. Excited! 😆

I was planning on rebaiting the traps today as the last time that was done was about three weeks ago. Should I do that tonight or just leave well alone?
 

E&MBees 

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I’ve just been out to check the swarm traps as I do every day. They’ve been up since the start of April and I’ve not seen a single bee at them......until today. This is what greeted me this afternoon!


Sorry the footage isn’t great, I didn’t want to disturb them. Do you think there’s a reasonable chance of an imminent swarm? There must be a few dozen bees at the trap in the tree.....There are also three other traps in the garden, two of which have a few bees at them. Excited! 😆

I was planning on rebaiting the traps today as the last time that was done was about three weeks ago. Should I do that tonight or just leave well alone?
Beautiful blackbird song in the background! I haven’t had much experience, but I would leave well alone. They are working on what they see now. Birds are the same with feeding stations. If you change things it takes them time to adjust and gain confidence again.
 

gwt_uk 

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I’ve just been out to check the swarm traps as I do every day. They’ve been up since the start of April and I’ve not seen a single bee at them......until today. This is what greeted me this afternoon!

they look very interested in the tree hive! Keep us posted!

Sorry the footage isn’t great, I didn’t want to disturb them. Do you think there’s a reasonable chance of an imminent swarm? There must be a few dozen bees at the trap in the tree.....There are also three other traps in the garden, two of which have a few bees at them. Excited! 😆

I was planning on rebaiting the traps today as the last time that was done was about three weeks ago. Should I do that tonight or just leave well alone?
 

Beebe 

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I’ve just been out to check the swarm traps as I do every day. They’ve been up since the start of April and I’ve not seen a single bee at them......until today. This is what greeted me this afternoon!

At last! It's surely that sudden change in temperature and sunshine? These ones are choosing you....you'll smell OK to them. ;)
 

Do224 

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At last! It's surely that sudden change in temperature and sunshine? These ones are choosing you....you'll smell OK to them. ;)
I’m trying not to get my hopes up but.... 😃
 

Do224 

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Well after all yesterday’s activity there’s no sign of any scouts again today....I’m guessing it’s either too cold again or they found somewhere they preferred?
 

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