Too early for swarm traps?

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Beebe 

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Placed within one mile of the Ring of Brodgar Circle Ley-Line and fifteen miles from the confluence of six of Scotland's major ley-lines.....I give you my fifth and final swarm-trap of the year. This one is more experimental, containing three frames of new foundation in addition to the old frame and seven, wired and empty frames.

This area was an apiary for an old geezer many years ago; will the collective memory of the bees have been passed down the energy fields?????

20210418_111349.jpg
 
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pargyle 

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Placed within on mile of the Ring of Brodgar Circle Ley-Line and fifteen miles from the confluence of six of Scotland's major ley-lines.....I give you my fifth and final swarm-trap of the year. This one is more experimental, containing three frames of new foundation in addition to the old frame and seven, wired and empty frames.

This area was an apiary for an old geezer many years ago; will the collective memory of the bees have been passed down the energy fields?????

View attachment 25523
Bend up a couple of wire coat hangers and check it out ... feel the force - you can narrow it down to a specific point in the apiary ...
 

Do224 

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Lovely and warm up here in Cumbria today and quite a few bees in the garden. Anybody witnessed scouting at their swarm traps yet?

Mine have been up a couple of weeks now so I’m debating whether I should be renewing the lemongrass oil.....how often would you guys recommend I do that? I’m conscious that it’s pungent stuff and I wouldn’t want to overdo it as I guess that could be counterproductive?
 

Erichalfbee 

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I don’t bother with lemongrass but I guess you could just put the odd dots on a few top bars every couple of weeks. None at the entrance though.
I find painting the inside with propolis works well and doesn’t need refreshing.
 

Boston Bees 

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Lovely and warm up here in Cumbria today and quite a few bees in the garden. Anybody witnessed scouting at their swarm traps yet?

Mine have been up a couple of weeks now so I’m debating whether I should be renewing the lemongrass oil.....how often would you guys recommend I do that? I’m conscious that it’s pungent stuff and I wouldn’t want to overdo it as I guess that could be counterproductive?
3 swarm traps, not a single scout yet.

No QCs seen either.

West Yorkshire

But it won't be long.....
 

Beebe 

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Lovely and warm up here in Cumbria today and quite a few bees in the garden. Anybody witnessed scouting at their swarm traps yet?

Mine have been up a couple of weeks now so I’m debating whether I should be renewing the lemongrass oil.....how often would you guys recommend I do that? I’m conscious that it’s pungent stuff and I wouldn’t want to overdo it as I guess that could be counterproductive?
.
None seen around mine yet, but someone three miles away posted a video of bees at his bait hive on Saturday
I spotted a hidden, new apiary of four hives within half a mile of my most remote trap; the white-suited beekeeper was the giveaway....increases the odds. :)
 
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W0otz 

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Anybody witnessed scouting at their swarm traps yet?
As a beginner I've got 2 empty hives sat on a stand waiting for the 1 overwintered nuc I've ordered to get started. I figured what's the harm in baiting them while I wait, and if I catch a swarm then that's the second hive filled. A couple of weeks back I covered the OMFs with a sheet of cardboard, put a few drops of lemongrass oil on the cardboard, filled the boxes with foundationless frames, checked the leylines, installed the matchsticks and crossed my fingers.

I went to top up the lemongrass oil today and as I lifted the crownboards each hive had a single bee fly out so... maybe scouts?

Of course knowing my luck I'll either get nothing, or I'll get a swarm move into each hive the day before I'm told my nuc is ready and have no room for the nuc!
 

Do224 

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I don’t bother with lemongrass but I guess you could just put the odd dots on a few top bars every couple of weeks. None at the entrance though.
I find painting the inside with propolis works well and doesn’t need refreshing.
Argh I did put a drop or two of lemongrass oil at all the entrances when I first put the traps out......have I messed up??
 

Ian123 

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Argh I did put a drop or two of lemongrass oil at all the entrances when I first put the traps out......have I messed up??
No your fine I’ve done that and they’ve worked.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Argh I did put a drop or two of lemongrass oil at all the entrances when I first put the traps out......have I messed up??
No it will wear off. Queens don't like lemongrass so I just figured out it might be best left out of the entrance but it works for Ian so take your pick
 

Newbeeneil 

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Argh I did put a drop or two of lemongrass oil at all the entrances when I first put the traps out......have I messed up??
I normally put a dab on the entrance with the thought I'm trying to attract scouts not a queen, who as Dani says, isn't supposed to like lemongrass. I normally put some dabs on the top bars and a couple on the front and I always get a few swarms each year.
 

Do224 

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I normally put a dab on the entrance with the thought I'm trying to attract scouts not a queen, who as Dani says, isn't supposed to like lemongrass. I normally put some dabs on the top bars and a couple on the front and I always get a few swarms each year.
By a ‘couple on the front’ do you mean on the front of the trap i.e. on the outside somewhere? I was originally intending just to put a couple of drops by the entrance every couple of weeks rather than open the boxes up and put more inside as wasn’t sure if it was a good idea to disturb the box....

I wonder what the general success rate of a swarm trap is....I know it will depend on siting location and proximity to bee colonies etc but what proportion of everybody’s traps catch a swarm each year (not including swarms suspected of being from your own hives)?
 

Erichalfbee 

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By a ‘couple on the front’ do you mean on the front of the trap i.e. on the outside somewhere? I was originally intending just to put a couple of drops by the entrance every couple of weeks rather than open the boxes up and put more inside as wasn’t sure if it was a good idea to disturb the box....

I wonder what the general success rate of a swarm trap is....I know it will depend on siting location and proximity to bee colonies etc but what proportion of everybody’s traps catch a swarm each year (not including swarms suspected of being from your own hives)?
Mine on the potting shed succeeds every year. One year we put two boxes of different sizes up there and they both got swarms. Another on top of a field shelter near the apiary scores similarly. Others I have put up in different places over the years have failed completely so get your dowsing rods out. 😉
 

Do224 

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Mine on the potting shed succeeds every year. One year we put two boxes of different sizes up there and they both got swarms. Another on top of a field shelter near the apiary scores similarly. Others I have put up in different places over the years have failed completely so get your dowsing rods out. 😉
So what’s your betting I’ll get a swarm in one of my six boxes in the garden 😛?
 

Markthebuilder 

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Yes old black comb in each along with a couple of drops of lemongrass oil on some cotton wool.

From what I’m understanding the issue with too many bait hives within a small area is that I may be ‘splitting the vote’.

I suppose I’m thinking of it like this.......say I’ve got 120 scout bees at my six traps and (for arguments sake) let’s say they like each trap equally, so 20 bees like each trap. They’ll all fly back to their nest and tell the others and so each of my traps gets a ‘vote of 20’ (instead of one single trap getting a vote of 120). So....,then some other bees (let’s say there’s 50 of them) who have been scouting out a mediocre old tree trunk also fly back to the nest to tell the others that they like their tree trunk. Tree trunk wins with 50 votes as my traps only had 20 votes each....whereas if I only had one trap it would have had a vote of 120 and won.

Complete rubbish or plausible??
Only if you leave the correct trap up ....if you leave the wrong one up it won't get any votes.
 

Loxley 

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I don’t bother with lemongrass but I guess you could just put the odd dots on a few top bars every couple of weeks. None at the entrance though.
I find painting the inside with propolis works well and doesn’t need refreshing.
Dani, just out of interest, how do you paint with propolis? What do you dissolve it in to make it fluid? I've heard of people making a tincture with alcohol, is it like that?

Just thinking I'll give it a try but not sure how!
 

Erichalfbee 

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Dani, just out of interest, how do you paint with propolis? What do you dissolve it in to make it fluid? I've heard of people making a tincture with alcohol, is it like that?

Just thinking I'll give it a try but not sure how!
I use meths. A tip I picked from pargyle. I keep a jar into which al the scrapings go. It looks messy with wax and bits of bee in the bottom but it does the job.
The current jar has isopropyl alcohol. I bought a large bottle to make up hand sanitiser with aloe Vera gel and have plenty left.
 

Do224 

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I use meths. A tip I picked from pargyle. I keep a jar into which al the scrapings go. It looks messy with wax and bits of bee in the bottom but it does the job.
The current jar has isopropyl alcohol. I bought a large bottle to make up hand sanitiser with aloe Vera gel and have plenty left.
I’ll be going all out with the propolis method next year (assuming I’ve been able to catch my first colony to collect the propolis from this year)....I’ve just had to make do with what I’ve got for the traps this year as I’m completely new to beekeeping. I managed to beg some old brood frames, so I’m hoping that should help along with the lemongrass oil, in lieu of propolis
 

Loxley 

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I use meths. A tip I picked from pargyle. I keep a jar into which al the scrapings go. It looks messy with wax and bits of bee in the bottom but it does the job.
The current jar has isopropyl alcohol. I bought a large bottle to make up hand sanitiser with aloe Vera gel and have plenty left.
Great, I have a small tub of propolis scrapings so I'll mix it up and give it a go! Thanks!
 

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