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Bee trap, busy in the day, empty at night?

 
Jesse Dac
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Howdy! I have a bee trap up and have caught one good swarm and am going for my second. Two weeks ago, I was getting a lot of daytime activity, what looked like the last swarm I got, but after a full week of activity, when I transferred the trap to the hive, there were only a few dozen inside and they left a few hours later.

For the past week, I've gotten a ton of activity again in the daytime. But I just peeked inside (full dark outside) and there were only a few (less than 100-ish) moving around inside. The daytime activity is as much or more than the last swarm I got, but now it looks like another dud. The trap is loaded with used, empty comb on a frame.

Am I missing something? Do they just need more time? Do they rob the old wax and head home? Bees are confusing...
 
Mel Green
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Location: Australia
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fish forest garden urban
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Yes, unless a new queen sets up in your hive they will not take up home. You're spot on, the bees are busy in the day, but returning home at night.

You can buy starter queens where we live, to replace dead or missing queens in your own hive. Is that an option where you are?
 
Jesse Dac
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Possibly, we just got our farm, so I trying not to spend more money...

Is there anything else I can do to encourage the queen and the rest of the hive to scoot over my way? Or is that just up to her when they swarm?
 
tel jetson
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sounds like scouts are hanging around during the day but failing to convince a swarm to move in. if there is a swarm in the general vicinity, it could easily look like a colony has taken up residence. there could also be scouts from more than one swarm. it could also be scouts from colonies that have not yet swarmed but are preparing to. a fairly reliable indication that a swarm has moved in is bees fanning at the entrance with their Nasanov glands exposed. that looks like a bee facing the entrance with her posterior in the air and the last two segments angled down slightly and fanning her wings.
 
Pete Lundy
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Location: east central indiana
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You could try some attractants. They sell queen pheromone, or lemon grass or lemon balm are said to help.
I caught one out of two that I collected this year. I pretty much did the same thing. One stayed the other
left. The one that stayed I put in a nook (5 frame) the one that left was in a ten frame brood box.
I was thinking about this very question. One solution I came up with is a cage for the queen.
If you have a drawn frame, you could make a hardware cloth box to trap the queen and press into the wax.
This would keep her in the super for a few days and fill it with her pheromone. Haven't tried it, but
I heard the some people use this method to introduce a new queen. Might work.

Pete
 
Kevin Byrom
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Hi all, i have a simalar problem have just built my first top bar hive ,have uesd lemon grass oil as a attractant and have a feeder in there as well ,lots of activity through the day but nothing at night and no signs of any comb being built ,what am i doing wrong
 
tel jetson
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Kevin Byrom wrote:Hi all, i have a simalar problem have just built my first top bar hive ,have uesd lemon grass oil as a attractant and have a feeder in there as well ,lots of activity through the day but nothing at night and no signs of any comb being built ,what am i doing wrong


take the feeder out. from the bees' point of view, they're robbing, and swarms are not wont to move into a hive that is being robbed: too much competition.
 
tel jetson
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Pete Lundy wrote:You could try some attractants. They sell queen pheromone, or lemon grass or lemon balm are said to help.
I caught one out of two that I collected this year. I pretty much did the same thing. One stayed the other
left. The one that stayed I put in a nook (5 frame) the one that left was in a ten frame brood box.
I was thinking about this very question. One solution I came up with is a cage for the queen.
If you have a drawn frame, you could make a hardware cloth box to trap the queen and press into the wax.
This would keep her in the super for a few days and fill it with her pheromone. Haven't tried it, but
I heard the some people use this method to introduce a new queen. Might work.

Pete


Pete, I think your situation is different than Jesse's. when installing swarms in a hive, there's always a chance they won't like the hive and leave. there are ways to prevent that, including temporarily placing a queen excluder below the lowest box to prevent the queen from leaving. in Jesse's case, though, it doesn't sound to me like a colony ever moved in. in any case, it's much less likely that one would move in of its own accord and then leave.
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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