Too early for swarm traps?

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Karsal 

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I’ve just made another one 😂. Made from offcuts of ply I had..... in order to get it to the 40 litres I had to make it very long and narrow (as I was restricted by the offcuts I had). Should still work? Anyone had success with smaller traps, say 25-30 litres?View attachment 25281View attachment 25282
Yes Paynes poly nucs with the feeder cut out making 8 frames. 4 swarms in my back garden 2019 and just two last year.
 

Do224 

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Yes Paynes poly nucs with the feeder cut out making 8 frames. 4 swarms in my back garden 2019 and just two last year.
Fantastic, how did you bait them and what sort of locations were they in within your garden?
 

Beebe 

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Just noticed that a swarm has moved into the trap with the camera in I linked to earlier...

I noticed that had happened a couple of days ago. There was supposed to be a "highlights" edit, to show them moving in. I couldn't work out at what point it ocurred

I'm just completing some deep frames to fit in my fourth swarm trap; this one made from two BS. shallows with one set of frames.
 

Karsal 

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Fantastic, how did you bait them and what sort of locations were they in within your garden?
Just one old frame with drawn comb and seven frames of foundation. A cotton bud with lemongrass oil on rubbed around the entrance and popped just inside the entrance hole. Six foot up on top of our conifer hedge in the shade. one swarm arrived lunchtime one day and another to a new bait hive same location the following day same time!
 

Beebe 

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Bait hive number four. This is in an old garden just 50 metres from my hives. But it's also only 200 metres across a field from a relatively neglected apiary with three old WBCs. Although I hope it will seem very natural to the bees, especially when the shrubs leaf up, it's at slightly above waist height, hardly needed securing and therefore easy to remove. If it becomes occupied I also have permission to put it on a stand, as a hive, should I wish.

It's obviously made from two shallow BS. Nationals, but contains ten wired, deep frames with strips of foundation just four cells deep. I'm seeing a benefit of the often criticised, optional entry holes in the Abelo boxes. There is a dark old frame at the far end and some lemongrass oil in my patented, slow-release capsule. That's the cap of a "Fruit-shoot" drink, of which, courtesy of grandchildren, several million end up in our recycling box each week. I put a few drops on some tissue stuffed into the cap and then sealed it using very sticky aluminium tape. the good thing is that you can regulate the release by pulling the "teat" part more less out.

One more box to go. making the frames and getting all the bits together takes at least four hours each time. :banghead:
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Beebe 

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Love it - what are you using for the floor?
The floor and roof are identical 460mm squares of 25mm Xtratherm PIR with taped and painted edges; keeping things minimal and lightweight.
There is a crownsheet of translucent, ribbed vinyl which was bought as kitchen-drawer liner, but never used for that purpose. All the layers are strapped together. I've checked the first one I put up, a few weeks ago, for rain entry, but it seems dry. Although the roof has no overhang, it's no worse a situation than when boxes just sit on each other.
 

Ian123 

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Keep an eye out at friend’s houses for bees collecting water. Always a good sign/area for traps. Whilst we can only guess when we see bees on flowers how far they’ve traveled. I’ll assume they’ll be on the closest water source, It’s worked for me anyway!
 

Do224 

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Has there been any scout bee activity witnessed at all by anybody at their swarm traps this year....when it was a bit warmer a couple of weeks ago? Presume it’s too cold to expect to see any scouts at the minute, despite the sunny days?
 

Karsal 

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Has there been any scout bee activity witnessed at all by anybody at their swarm traps this year....when it was a bit warmer a couple of weeks ago? Presume it’s too cold to expect to see any scouts at the minute, despite the sunny days?
No scouts as yet visiting mine here in Lancashire. I did pick up a prime swarm middle of April last year which was a full month before the swarms started to be reported around here. Every year is different and with this cold snap I presume middle to late May this year.
 

Antipodes 

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I noticed that had happened a couple of days ago. There was supposed to be a "highlights" edit, to show them moving in. I couldn't work out at what point it ocurred

I'm just completing some deep frames to fit in my fourth swarm trap; this one made from two BS. shallows with one set of frames.
How long was it between scouts/bees investigating the trap and the swarm moving in?
 

Beebe 

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How long was it between scouts/bees investigating the trap and the swarm moving in?
Without trawling through around 400 hours of live feed I'm unable to say for sure. It looks like the trap was started about a month ago and the bees' interest was aroused about two weeks ago.
What was interesting was that in the days before full occupation, number of the bees apparently inspecting in the hive at any time seemed to increase exponentially.
 

Erichalfbee 

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What was interesting was that in the days before full occupation, number of the bees apparently inspecting in the hive at any time seemed to increase exponentially.
It's a fascinating thing too watch. I put a bait hive up in the garden every year and watch a succession of events before a swarm arrives. Often the activity can become quite frenzied only for it all to stop, the swarm having decided to live elsewhere or the beekeeper, having discovered what was happening, doing something about it.
If a swarm does arrive, it's usually five or six days of increasing activity until there are hundreds of bees there. All of a sudden it stops as if a switch has been thrown and within minutes the swarm arrives. Lovely to see; never tire of it
 
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