Trapping Swarms on Public Land?

Basic beekeeping, this is beekeeping after the first winter until about the third or fourth year. You are a beekeeper, but you still have a lot to learn. Talk about normal everyday beekeeping here.
kygreer
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Location: Ft Collins, CO

Trapping Swarms on Public Land?

Postby kygreer » Thu May 11, 2017 3:58 am

Does anyone have stories (good or bad) of hanging bait hives along the sides of rural roads, in parks, or along trails?

We have about 20 miles of nice bike trail that runs along the river here and I'd bet it would be prime for catching swarms. Not to mention all the roads that run in county lands. Seems like it'd be easier than knocking on a bunch of doors each time I want to hang/replace a trap. Of course I'd try and make it out of general sight, but Ft Collins isn't exactly a small town... and people here like their bike paths!

I'm using 2 warre boxes on top of eachother (about exactly 40 liters, ~$5 in materials and probably 45 min per trap) so it's not the end of the world if they get stolen, but I'd rather not. I'd like to just go out and hang a dozen traps around town and replace them whenever I want without having to knock on doors...

Do people do this? Anyone have first-hand experience getting them stolen or taken down? Would you put your contact info on them? Any tips? Thanks!

moebees
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Re: Trapping Swarms on Public Land?

Postby moebees » Thu May 11, 2017 4:11 am

I don't have personal experience but have read several discussions about it on forums and there are people that place them on highway right of ways in rural areas. Dr. Leo in the Missouri Ozarks does this. One problem in those areas is people shooting them up. That probably would not be a problem along a bike path. I would think you might get push back from whomever maintains the bike path you are thinking about doing this. Might be a good idea to get permission.
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

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Dustymunky
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Re: Trapping Swarms on Public Land?

Postby Dustymunky » Thu May 11, 2017 5:22 am

There is alot of goodwill towards bees. Seems everyone wants to "help the bees" or "save the bees". I would suggest asking permission before placing bait hives on property you don't own. I bet you would get a decent percentages of yes answers if you take the time explain the bait hive benefits. I just kind of cringe when i hear that people put bait hives up on property they dont own. Seems that could cause negative will toward beekeepers.


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kygreer
Freshman Beekeeper
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Location: Ft Collins, CO

Re: Trapping Swarms on Public Land?

Postby kygreer » Thu May 11, 2017 12:01 pm

Ha! True I don't think people will be shooting them up from the bike path here
Good point about keeping up the goodwill. Though, I see city and county land as all of our land as far as access goes (unless it's posted). I wouldn't just hang traps on private property. perhaps I'll give the city a call and see if they mind - they might be on board with 'saving the bees.' Then I'd only have to worry about the yahoos

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GregV
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Re: Trapping Swarms on Public Land?

Postby GregV » Thu May 11, 2017 2:17 pm

I am doing it as we speak.
The county parks give me official permission to place traps in all county parks (second year in a row; with approved signage stapled to my traps).

On the other hand, my own city denied the similar access to the city parks (again, second year in a row).
My own city even does not want to change the rules so to allow more than ONE hive for smaller properties (I have the change proposal tabled by them).
This is because the city consul has anti-bee members pushing back.

In both cases (county and city) I wrote emails to proper directors with my proposal (with detailed explanation of the swarm traps and the benefit they provide - preventing feral bee swarms moving into human structures).

County parks director took to the idea easily and without looking over his shoulder much.
The city parks director was the other way (but clearly, he is very much aware of the current city politics).

So we have both: anti-bee and pro-bee forces; the anti-bee forces are pretty much motivated by AHB hysteria floating around (this is in Upper Midwest, mind you); but to be fair, the pro-bee forces are also largely misguided by these pop-culture ideas of "saving bees" without much understanding the details.

PS: I also have traps/hives on private properties and in one community garden;
I initially scouted out desired locations along my daily commute and/or by looking at Google maps;
then I approached whomever was the owner of the location - most all agreed to let me in.

moebees
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Re: Trapping Swarms on Public Land?

Postby moebees » Thu May 11, 2017 3:28 pm

Though, I see city and county land as all of our land as far as access goes (unless it's posted).


True but that doesn't mean it is open to every use imaginable or what any individual decides they personally would like to use it form. If that happens those public lands that belong to all of us soon are ruined. Placing swarm traps is more than simply access.
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

kygreer
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Joined: Wed May 10, 2017 1:50 am
Location: Ft Collins, CO

Re: Trapping Swarms on Public Land?

Postby kygreer » Mon May 15, 2017 4:57 pm

I like your approach, Greg, and will send off some emails to the parks directors and see what happens. I'm doing pretty well with swarm calls already this year (7 caught now), but don't have many bait hives up so I gotta get the ball rolling!

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GregV
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Re: Trapping Swarms on Public Land?

Postby GregV » Mon May 15, 2017 5:03 pm

kygreer wrote:I like your approach, Greg, and will send off some emails to the parks directors and see what happens. I'm doing pretty well with swarm calls already this year (7 caught now), but don't have many bait hives up so I gotta get the ball rolling!


Good luck!
Do emphasize the public benefit from your trapping (prevention unwanted swarms from moving into buildings).
This should work many times.

You have it good; I am yet to catch a swarm this year (I did see bees checking at least one of my public land traps).

kygreer
Freshman Beekeeper
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed May 10, 2017 1:50 am
Location: Ft Collins, CO

Re: Trapping Swarms on Public Land?

Postby kygreer » Mon May 15, 2017 9:50 pm

Try posting a wanted ad on the craigslist 'for sale' and also 'services' section. Get some good bee swarm photos (Mine has a guy with a bee beard, and some other swarm photos) so people know what to look for. Put however far you're willing to drive and if you live in an area with decent craigslist activity, I bet you'll get some calls.

Mine basically says "I catch swarms for free and will bring a six pack of beer for the party." 5-10 bucks of beer for a swarm seems worth it and people are psyched. Often people don't even want the beer, but it makes the ad stand out! Good luck


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