Placement of trap near feral colony

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kdolan
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Placement of trap near feral colony

Postby kdolan » Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:20 am

I have found a very healthy looking colony high up in a tree and am wondering for next spring where to put a trap to try and catch a swarm from this colony. Any ideas of how close to the tree or any other suggestions?

moebees
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Re: Placement of trap near feral colony

Postby moebees » Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:23 am

Dr. Tom Seeley has found that feral colonies tend not to locate close to one another so I would not put a trap too close. If possible I think it should be at least a couple of 100 meters away. But I would also put out more than one if possible.
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

kdolan
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Re: Placement of trap near feral colony

Postby kdolan » Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:57 am

Thx moebees for your reply. If placing more than 1 trap around a " hotspot", how far apart would you place them?

moebees
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Re: Placement of trap near feral colony

Postby moebees » Sun Sep 03, 2017 2:35 pm

I don't know if that is as important as the distance from the feral colony but I would not put them right next to each other. I guess it depends on how many traps you want to put up and how much room you have available to space them. But I would try to have them at least 100 meters apart. If the land is available and 2 traps maybe have them in opposite directions. I would just work with the resources like available locations and number of traps. But even if requirements dictated that I could only have them 30 meters apart I might do it anyway if there were unique trees or something to hang them on because they do seem to prefer certain trees.
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

kdolan
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Re: Placement of trap near feral colony

Postby kdolan » Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:30 pm

Moebee I have tonnes of space and numbers of traps so I will probably try a few different spacings and trap heights on trees. You mentioned they seem to prefer certain trees - what trees seem to be favourites? I also know that this bush has more than one feral colony as I caught a small swarm earlier this year and it is really doing well and I am going to take some honey off this fall with lots left to overwinter - I sure love feral swarms!!!
Also do you use frames in your traps and are they foundationless

moebees
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Re: Placement of trap near feral colony

Postby moebees » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:01 pm

I don't know that they prefer a species of tree but they seem to like isolated trees. Lone large tree in a field. Also fence line or windbreak lines of trees.

My traps hold 7 deep frames and I use foundationless but the center frame is old brood comb. The traps are deep enough that there is considerable empty space below the frames. I will try and post a picture if I can one transferred to a computer that I an post here. I know some people put foundation in traps and it seems to work but I think empty space is better.
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

moebees
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Re: Placement of trap near feral colony

Postby moebees » Mon Sep 04, 2017 3:51 am

This is the trap I build. The pf100 frame is just to give a perspective on size. Like I said I use foundationless frames in the trap. There is a 3 inch hole in the bottom and one in the lid for ventilation and feeding. When the trap is in the tree they are closed with a plastic knock out.
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outside of trap
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inside swarm trap,
IMG_20170228_161907069 (2).jpg (1.9 MiB) Viewed 258 times
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

kdolan
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Re: Placement of trap near feral colony

Postby kdolan » Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:28 am

Moebees great pix thx. Do you find the space below the frames gets comb built in it if left long enough or is that space purposely to give the bees the sense of space? I use a 10 frame deep for my traps and this year used all plastic foundation in the 10 frames. Out of 12 traps I got 2 swarms but had scouting at all traps. I think the the bees did not like the lack of perceived space caused by the solid frames discouraged a lot of potential swarms.
What size is your entrance hole and is that a nail in it to discourage mice or birds? Have you had problems with mice? How long do you leave your traps once a swarm has made its home in your trap.
Sorry for all the questions but I am learning lots about trapping swarms and your pics are helpful.

moebees
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Re: Placement of trap near feral colony

Postby moebees » Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:29 pm

Yes the space below the frames is to add the sense of space and to add actual space to get to the 40 liter ideal as determined by Dr. Seeley. They probably would build comb there if you left it long enough but that would probably take at least a month depending on the size of the swarm. If they ever do it is pretty easy to cut off and rubber band into another frame. But they won't until they get the other frames built out. With an old brood comb as the center frame they will follow the comb guides and build in the frames perfectly. I should post a picture of my foundation less frames. The 10 frame deep you are using is pretty close to the 40 liter ideal. You can try an old brood comb in the center and the rest foundation less. Just make sure you hang it level side to side so they build straight down. My traps are spread all over the place so I never know when the bees enter. I just look for pollen coming in and lots of entrance activity before moving. Off the top of my head I think the entrance hole is 1 1/4 inches. Yes the nail is to deter birds. Mice could go around it easily. Haven't had issues with mice. I see some guys staple large size hardware cloth over the hole and that would probably deter mice. Questions are not a problem. We are all learning together.
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

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Re: Placement of trap near feral colony

Postby GregV » Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:56 am

Here from a guy who is pretty good at it:

Proximity to swarming colonies — it surely helps to know the location of bee trees and bee yards. But do not put the trap too close to the existing colony. Winston (The Biology of the Honey Bee) cites studies suggesting the good range from several hundred feet to 1 mile from the hive. My traps on bee trees or right by a bee tree never worked. But swarm traps positioned as little as 50 or 100 ft from the known colonies were repeatedly occupied.

http://horizontalhive.com/honeybee-swar ... atch.shtml

As long as a baited trap is within a kilometer or so from the target swarm - they will find it.
What is more important - good bait.
Because they must find it AND choose it too.
It really sucks where you see the scouts at your trap and they don't take it (at least three of my traps this year did not get chosen; I saw it).

Both of my really well used traps (former hives) each scored a swarm (100% hit chance; just standing on the ground, that simple).
Remaining 10 traps scored just one swarm between them (10% hit chance).
Last year I had 0% hit out of 6 traps - I had brand new traps (even freshly painted); sigh. :oops:
Pretty much same locations too.
The real numbers are probably similar to these.

For the next season I am priming my traps really, really well - many are being used as nucs as we speak.
Will also incorporate well used old bee hive pieces into he traps.
I saw a youtube video where a guy claims near 100% success and attributes it to his priming the traps keeping splits in them (for at least a couple of months).

kdolan
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Re: Placement of trap near feral colony

Postby kdolan » Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:01 pm

Gregv, thanks for that important piece on distance from feral tree hive. Also wondering what you mean by "priming ", your traps? I assume you mean having bees in them previously or using old comb and rubbing it inside the trap. Anything else you would do, I like the idea of using nucs that had bees in them this year. Unfortunately that won't help me for this spring but worth remembering. I will be treating my traps that captured swarms as valuable resources this year.
As to your numbers of success , I have only started trapping this year and got 2 swarms out of 10 traps so not too bad. Yours at 10% is obviously real and I am researching how to improve my success so your comments are very welcome to me

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Re: Placement of trap near feral colony

Postby GregV » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:53 pm

kdolan wrote:.... Also wondering what you mean by "priming ", your traps? I assume you mean having bees in them previously or using old comb and rubbing it inside the trap. Anything else you would do, I like the idea of using nucs that had bees in them this year. Unfortunately that won't help me for this spring but worth remembering. I will be treating my traps that captured swarms as valuable resources this year.
As to your numbers of success , I have only started trapping this year and got 2 swarms out of 10 traps so not too bad. Yours at 10% is obviously real and I am researching how to improve my success so your comments are very welcome to me


:) Well, 2 out of 10 means you have 20% success; not bad, actually.
Better than mine 0% last year, for sure.
So, this year I had total success 3 out of 12 traps (just 25%).
But with that, my really well "primed" traps had 100% success rate.

The "primed" just means "well used by bees".
My new traps had black combs and I also applied slumgum liberally on the inside walls - did not help much (just one out of ten hit).

So whatever the bees leave behind when the use the hive - THAT stuff ought to attract them really well (combination of propolis, pheromones, debris, etc). With that, I like my approach even better now where I built a fleet of small 40-liter hives that I use in many function - nucs/traps/frame transport boxes/storage boxes/work tables. By now almost all of my little hives have been well primed. I have been doing this on purpose lately - if I can, I deliberately re-hive a colony just so to prime more unused hives. :D
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moebees
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Re: Placement of trap near feral colony

Postby moebees » Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:38 pm

What size is your entrance hole


I said I thought they are 1 1/4 inches but they are 1 1/2 inches.
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."


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