Too early for swarm traps?

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gmonag 

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Hello all - I have put out my first ever bait hive in the garden. Used BB with an old brood frame in it. Half a dozen bees have turned up today showing a bit of interest and they are going in and out quite regularly.

Sorry if this is a stupid question but if I am lucky enough to catch a swarm what does it look like when it is happening i.e. do they arrive en masse and go straight into the hive? Or would they likely settle on a nearby tree or similar first?

Thanks
The first option. You can't mistake it.
 

gwt_uk 

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Either. I have seen both
Most go straight in but last years swarm hung about in a nearby tree for a couple of hours first
Thanks. So basically if they turn up and settle in a tree just leave them to it?
 

Beebe 

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I've already had a very interesting reply, direct from the titled owner of the estate. It was written very succinctly and graciously, but turned down my request.
:)
Although I haven't been allowed to set a bait hive on the land, I have been sent a very generous gift from the owner. It's not a book I have previously encountered and looks very interesting; I may have to post a review. I expect many of you could save me the job. ;)

20210424_174127.jpg
 

Do224 

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Although I haven't been allowed to set a bait hive on the land, I have been sent a very generous gift from the owner. It's not a book I have previously encountered and looks very interesting; I may have to post a review. I expect many of you could save me the job. ;)

View attachment 25655
Any sign of scouts at your swarm traps yet? I’m guessing the swarms will be a bit later for you up there (and me here in north Cumbria)
 

Beebe 

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Any sign of scouts at your swarm traps yet? I’m guessing the swarms will be a bit later for you up there (and me here in north Cumbria)
No signs yet, but judging by the stage my own hives are at, we are still a long way from swarming. I re-organised a hive today, which had too much honey left over from the winter, and I noticed they had made a reasonable patch of drone cells ready on one foundationless comb, so they are at least thinking about drones; that seems to be a good indicator of a maturing colony. Our fruit trees and wild cherries etc. are only just coming into bloom, so we are way behind the south of England where swarms are being reported.

PS. I had some drawn frames from last season, stored outside inside two hive boxes. I had sealed them top and bottom to avoid pest infestation. But I reconsidered today and put them on a proper floor with the entrance set very narrow. There seems nothing to lose by leaving this as my sixth bait-hive. I'll be in and out of it every week, re-using the frames elsewhere, so I'll soon spot any problems.
 

victor meldrew 

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Hi, new beekeeper here. I made some swarm traps and was wondering if it was worth putting them out yet or is it too early?

Thanks
A few drops of lemongrass essential oil on a cotton bud placed in an open ended freezer bag placed in the bait hive should stimulate scout activity!
works for me !
 

BigAshW 

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No signs yet, but judging by the stage my own hives are at, we are still a long way from swarming. I re-organised a hive today, which had too much honey left over from the winter, and I noticed they had made a reasonable patch of drone cells ready on one foundationless comb, so they are at least thinking about drones; that seems to be a good indicator of a maturing colony. Our fruit trees and wild cherries etc. are only just coming into bloom, so we are way behind the south of England where swarms are being reported.

PS. I had some drawn frames from last season, stored outside inside two hive boxes. I had sealed them top and bottom to avoid pest infestation. But I reconsidered today and put them on a proper floor with the entrance set very narrow. There seems nothing to lose by leaving this as my sixth bait-hive. I'll be in and out of it every week, re-using the frames elsewhere, so I'll soon spot any problems.
Amazing what a difference we have from one end of the country to the other isn't it?

Here in Essex I've had two swarm calls already and found eggs in queen cups in one of my hives today.
 

Do224 

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A few drops of lemongrass essential oil on a cotton bud placed in an open ended freezer bag placed in the bait hive should stimulate scout activity!
works for me !
Yep, got the lemongrass oil in there. Any scouting bees at your traps? You’re not too much further south than me...
 

Do224 

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No signs yet, but judging by the stage my own hives are at, we are still a long way from swarming. I re-organised a hive today, which had too much honey left over from the winter, and I noticed they had made a reasonable patch of drone cells ready on one foundationless comb, so they are at least thinking about drones; that seems to be a good indicator of a maturing colony. Our fruit trees and wild cherries etc. are only just coming into bloom, so we are way behind the south of England where swarms are being reported.

PS. I had some drawn frames from last season, stored outside inside two hive boxes. I had sealed them top and bottom to avoid pest infestation. But I reconsidered today and put them on a proper floor with the entrance set very narrow. There seems nothing to lose by leaving this as my sixth bait-hive. I'll be in and out of it every week, re-using the frames elsewhere, so I'll soon spot any problems.
Thanks for the insight....I’ve not got any bees yet so it’s hard for me to know what stage colonies are at up here. Really keen to finally get started with beekeeping this year so hoping for an early-ish swarm in one of my traps!
 

pargyle 

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Although I haven't been allowed to set a bait hive on the land, I have been sent a very generous gift from the owner. It's not a book I have previously encountered and looks very interesting; I may have to post a review. I expect many of you could save me the job. ;)

View attachment 25655
Well ... it will be an interesting read ... it's from the Biodynamic Association - to some extent centred on the writings of Rudolph Steiner ...

" The biodynamic approach to keeping bee colonies differs fundamentally from conventional beekeeping, and is based on respecting their natural lifestyles. We call this ‘bee-centred' approach Natural Beekeeping - which, as practiced by the Natural Beekeeping Trust - is a much more sustainable alternative. It is practiced in several countries, including the UK. Our bees are in crisis and we have to find a more humane way to go forward where bees come first.. "


Let us know how you get on with it ....
 

victor meldrew 

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Yep, got the lemongrass oil in there. Any scouting bees at your traps? You’re not too much further south than me...
Only baited a lure hive a couple of days ago !
Sunny , air is carrying a little chill but there were a couple of bees sniffing around about 11am.
Scouts start earlier than some people think and some colonies have already made their choice before they swarm !
 

Beebe 

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Well ... it will be an interesting read ... it's from the Biodynamic Association - to some extent centred on the writings of Rudolph Steiner ...

Let us know how you get on with it ....
I've dipped into it a bit. It's prefaced by David Heaf, which will indicate something to some people. The principles come from somewhere in the realm from which the concept of ley-lines comes from; personal experience causing the human mind to see a "linked" pattern of events which come without any scientific proof of being related to the outcome. But having said that, most recommendations of how to conduct your beekeeping are drawn from experience rather than developing from hard facts.

I must start a new thread specifically about the book and the ideas which it contains; much of it consists of complex and meandering ways to explain techniques which crop up regularly in "mainstream" beekeeping. But a few management ideas are new to me and have already made me question some fixed ways which have set in already.....so overall, a valuable book. :)
 

Erichalfbee 

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I've dipped into it a bit. It's prefaced by David Heaf, which will indicate something to some people. The principles come from somewhere in the realm from which the concept of ley-lines comes from; personal experience causing the human mind to see a "linked" pattern of events which come without any scientific proof of being related to the outcome. But having said that, most recommendations of how to conduct your beekeeping are drawn from experience rather than developing from hard facts.

I must start a new thread specifically about the book and the ideas which it contains; much of it consists of complex and meandering ways to explain techniques which crop up regularly in "mainstream" beekeeping. But a few management ideas are new to me and have already made me question some fixed ways which have set in already.....so overall, a valuable book. :)
I must say the Biodynamic control of varroa through “ashing” I had to look up and it’s a revelation.
There’s a recipe here from another site
 

Beebe 

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Have you read my link?
I have done so now and see there is a reference to homeopathy. But I'd already looked at and dismissed all the pages of the Matthias Tunn book which deal with that subject since it's obviously not based on anything other than a firm belief in their own firm beliefs.
 

drex 

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Each to their own but my belief is it is total BS. Their invented special nomenclature made me laugh. I see they also promote regression of cell size, which I believe has been debunked by the scientists.
 
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