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Acquiring a Swarm

 
Emily Cressey
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Location: Lynnwood, WA. USA
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Hi all,

I live in an urban area, and there are many people around here advertising to remove swarms for free on craigslist, bee club sites, etc.

Has anyone actually acquired a swarm this way, or is it better to put up a bait hive in my giant cedar tree high up off the ground.

I have never seen a honey bee swarm in this area. How do you know if these "wild" honey bees are out there and whether it's worth the effort - vs just buying a package or nuc.

Thanks,

Emily
 
Patrick Mann
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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I think the best way to find out is by putting out some swarm traps. I made 5 swarm traps out of 5 gallon flower pots and place them around my neighborhood. Fingers crossed - forecast is for warm weather next week and we might be seeing the first swarms of the season.
 
tel jetson
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Location: woodland, washington
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Emily Cressey wrote:Has anyone actually acquired a swarm this way, or is it better to put up a bait hive in my giant cedar tree high up off the ground.


do both: spread the word that you're after swarms and set out bait hives.
 
Emily Cressey
Posts: 45
Location: Lynnwood, WA. USA
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Thanks guys - do 5 gallon pots work as bait hives? That would be much easier to use than making my own bait hive with questionable carpentry skills - what do you use for a roof/lid? Do you have any pics of what it looked like when you put it up? Climbing the tree is the next big fun part...

Emily
 
tel jetson
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Location: woodland, washington
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Emily Cressey wrote:Thanks guys - do 5 gallon pots work as bait hives?


that would work. you would want to check them frequently, though, as any comb built before transfer would make things more complicated, particularly if any eggs are present.
 
tel jetson
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Location: woodland, washington
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Emily Cressey wrote:Climbing the tree is the next big fun part...


just remember that if things go well, you'll have to climb that tree again, and with a box (or pot) full of bees. when choosing a spot to place a bait hive, please keep your own safety in mind.
 
Emily Cressey
Posts: 45
Location: Lynnwood, WA. USA
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Hmmm - good point about climbing the ladder with the hive in tow.

I have a big cedar tree in mind - the only one in my yard big enough to support the weight of a hive... I would have to put the bait trap on the Southwest side... don't know if it would get enough sun, but it would certainly be easy to keep an eye on - I can see it from my deck.

Emily
 
Patrick Mann
Posts: 302
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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Emily Cressey wrote:Thanks guys - do 5 gallon pots work as bait hives? That would be much easier to use than making my own bait hive with questionable carpentry skills - what do you use for a roof/lid? Do you have any pics of what it looked like when you put it up?


I basically followed these instructions (but used something other than foamed urethane to plug the excess holes). Combining two 5 gallon pots yields approximately the preferred 40 liter volume.
http://beekeeperlinda.blogspot.com/2012/03/making-homemade-swarm-trap.html
 
Emily Cressey
Posts: 45
Location: Lynnwood, WA. USA
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That looks great Patrick - my parents USED to have a ton of these, probably been trashed now. I like that they would be MUCH LIGHTER to put up on the tree than a Wooden box.

Emily
 
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