Too early for swarm traps?

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Do224 

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This is what was happening around my bait hive immediately before my own bees headed out in a swarm. Since that issue has now been sorted there have been no visitors at all; obviously I have been anticipating the arrival of my own bees. :banghead: So I suspect your bees have been similarly sorted.

I'm not giving up on acquiring new blood though, and I'm sure you won't. The temperature being on the rise seems to favour swarming, but when they need to swarm they will.

Yeah that’s the kind of activity I was getting. It’s strange how the disappearance of the scouts coincided with the cooler weather though, but maybe it’s just coincidence.
 

hemo 

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Better that a bait hive catches yours rather then you lose them.
 

Do224 

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The sun is out and there’s heavy scouting again today. Must have just been the weather that put them off yesterday which is interesting. It’s not really any warmer today but is much brighter and more settled.
 

gwt_uk 

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My
Bait box at 16:00 this afternoon, approx 18 Celsius and bright and sunny. Activity has been like this all day after seeing no bees yesterday. Similar activity to this on Tues and Wed. They seem to really like to congregate around the entrance.

View attachment 26485
the bees at my bait hive are behaving in exactly the same way. I opened the hive up the other evening when there were still quite a few inside and they were nibbling on a bit of old brace comb
 

Do224 

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My the bees at my bait hive are behaving in exactly the same way. I opened the hive up the other evening when there were still quite a few inside and they were nibbling on a bit of old brace comb
That’s good to hear, I was starting to think I might have made the entrance too small and that was why they were bunching around it. I haven’t refreshed the lemongrass oil in weeks but I’m reluctant to open it up to do that in case it puts them off. Suppose with that much activity there’s no need to add extra bait anyway...?

Are you anticipating an imminent swarm or do you think they could just go on scouting like that for ages? I’m assuming the bees start scouting at the same time they start building swarm cells and then scout for the period up until the swarm cells are capped at which point they swarm....

I’ve got five other bait hives around the garden and they just have one or two bees at them. It’s interesting that they’ve presumably checked all the traps out and decided which one they prefer.
 

gwt_uk 

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That’s good to hear, I was starting to think I might have made the entrance too small and that was why they were bunching around it. I haven’t refreshed the lemongrass oil in weeks but I’m reluctant to open it up to do that in case it puts them off. Suppose with that much activity there’s no need to add extra bait anyway...?

Are you anticipating an imminent swarm or do you think they could just go on scouting like that for ages? I’m assuming the bees start scouting at the same time they start building swarm cells and then scout for the period up until the swarm cells are capped at which point they swarm....

I’ve got five other bait hives around the garden and they just have one or two bees at them. It’s interesting that they’ve presumably checked all the traps out and decided which one they prefer.
don’t think there is a swarm imminent at the hive yet. They have been behaving like this for many weeks. Will leave them to it and see what happens!
 

Do224 

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don’t think there is a swarm imminent at the hive yet. They have been behaving like this for many weeks. Will leave them to it and see what happens!
Really? I thought this was pretty intense scouting and suggested an imminent swarm.....from what I’ve seen on YouTube that is 😂

I was in b&q today and spotted these 45 litre boxes. They’re pretty solid and have a decent lid. At only £9.50 I decided to have a bash at making one into a bait hive.....22mm entrance hole and a couple of pieces of wood glued to the sides to support an old frame of comb with some swarm lure pinned to it. I drilled four tiny drainage holes in the bottom corners just in case

9C6B712C-F70F-462B-BB17-940E28F76532.jpegA28F073F-C34C-47A2-941C-AA680C289F77.jpeg
 

Erichalfbee 

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Blooming good try that
Put it in the shade or it will cook inside
 

Do224 

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Blooming good try that
Put it in the shade or it will cook inside
Yeah I did wonder whether it might get too hot. Anyway, I decided ‘in for a penny, in for a pound’ so I got the ladders out and whacked it about 6 metres up in the middle of a leafy tree...couldn’t quite get it south facing, probably south west.

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Do224 

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One of my bait hives is still getting tremendous attention....it’s been like this for most of the week. Is it odd that the bees are grouping around the entrance so much....or normal? They do go in and out as well but I’ve been wondering if the frames which are right behind the entrance are putting them off? Maybe a design flaw on my part. Do you think I should open the box up and remove the frames from behind the entrance hole to give a clearer flight in? Or should I leave well alone and I’m fussing over nothing? The frames are empty, they just have a one inch starter strip at the top...

07146A78-14C7-42C6-867C-08701C7C913E.jpegView attachment 8497F394-5884-44D3-BF02-CBBC36A88203.MOV
 
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Gilberdyke John 

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Really? I thought this was pretty intense scouting and suggested an imminent swarm.....from what I’ve seen on YouTube that is 😂

I was in b&q today and spotted these 45 litre boxes. They’re pretty solid and have a decent lid. At only £9.50 I decided to have a bash at making one into a bait hive.....22mm entrance hole and a couple of pieces of wood glued to the sides to support an old frame of comb with some swarm lure pinned to it. I drilled four tiny drainage holes in the bottom corners just in case

View attachment 26486View attachment 26487
Just a suggestion. You could extend the supports across the width of the box and add a set of empty frames with starter strips. It'll make life easier when it comes to transferring into a hive
 

Do224 

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Just a suggestion. You could extend the supports across the width of the box and add a set of empty frames with starter strips. It'll make life easier when it comes to transferring into a hive
I’m running short of frames etc. now so having to make do with what I’ve got.....but yeah I definitely see your point!
 

Do224 

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Been knocking together yet another bait hive today.....this one is a bit odd as I’ve got limited scraps of wood to work with. Basically a box on legs with thin strips of pine along the top to give the bees something to draw wax from. I might not be able to check this one all that regularly so I’m hoping these pine strips will prevent a total mess if I’m lucky enough to catch a swarm. I’ve left a gap to fit a single old brood frame.....I’ve no dark old brood frames left and I don’t think this one looks ideal as it probably has honey/pollen residue in it but it’s all I’ve got. I’m guessing there may be a bit of robbing....any thoughts? Am I ok to use this frame along with some swarm lure?

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drdrday 

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I’m running short of frames etc. now so having to make do with what I’ve got.....but yeah I definitely see your point!
I'd echo Dani's comment to stop worrying and just leave them alone.
But I'd also say that you don't need to include all of those frames in the box if your bait hives are easy to check regularly. I've only had two old frames of brood comb in each of my bait boxes. This means there's very little to obstruct their measuring up of the space, and if you're able to keep an eye on when a swarm arrives you can move them into a box full of frames before they start building that much comb.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Yes I have three frames in mine. A wired starter strip against the wall, an old comb and another starter.
 

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