I’m a newbie but I baited and caught a swarm in a wooden nuc hive, regular low opening with frames inside. The frames just had starter strips at the top. I used swarm commander. I had the bait nuc set at about shoulder height in the backyard. In hindsight, I should have put it where I wanted the hive to stay as I then had to eventually do a short move. Once I baited the nuc it took about a month before the swarm moved in. I was checking every day for the first few weeks then sort of gave up on it. One morning I saw all these little specs backlit by the sunrise from the kitchen window. I was pretty excited! Beginners luck We have had a swarm or two pass through before so I wanted to give it a try before procuring through other means while waiting for my flowhive to arrive. Also in hindsight my hive would have been more advanced buying a package but the season was a write off with the drought anyway.
I just put one in. Scouts measure the size of the box by flying around inside it. If it is too crowded, they may not choose your trap.
Have you had luck with a brand new frame or a drawn comb frame probably work better with additional scent?
I think to attract a swarm to a trap is much more successful if you put a very light smear of lemon grass oil on the floor of the trap, add a built out frame and a couple with wax foundation. Don’t overuse the lemon grass oil as too much seems to be a ‘turn off’ to bees. Plastic foundation will not attract bees as you will find else where with the hassles to get bees using Flow Frames in the forum.
Make a trap to attract bees to not only come to it but to stay.
Thanks all . I will give it a try this weekend.
An old brood frame seems to work best.
Beware of catching a swarm from your own hive !!! Think about it… A hive doesn’t usually swarm without a reason so good hive management is a priority over setting swarm traps up.
If you do catch a swarm keep it away from your hive, even if you have just one as your profile says. A swarm may bring a disease that will wipe it out and kill your own hive as well, so keep it separated till you know what you have caught. Don’t assume anything with a trapped swarm.
I caught my first swarm 5 days after I placed out trap. Used an 2 old brood frames and some swarm commander. What excited for me and my kids to pull up to on the 4 wheeler.
Good on you Eric, a great sense of achievement than just buying a nuc. Give the swarm time to settle and check for a good brood pattern.
I think we need to look at a swarm trap from the point of view of a scout bee. A scout bee from a large primary swarm would probably dismiss a 5 frame nuc box, in my view. I’d be thinking along the lines of the same volume as 2x 8-10 frame supers combined.
A large primary swarm would probably fill one 10 frame super, then the second super is for the colony to expand & grow into, which I’m thinking the scouts would be taking into consideration.
Guess what @JeffH? My favorite bee researcher has actually studied this question!
Tom Seeley found that scout bees from primary swarms prefer a volume of 40-45 litres when given a choice of sizes. That is the equivalent of approximately one 10-frame Langstroth deep box. I don’t remember which book he described the study (probably Honey Bee Democracy), but the study is definitely published in a research journal too, so it was careful research.
I also did it with the enjoyment and help of my 5 and 7 year old kids. We had a blast. I’ll give it another day or 2 before I take down out of tree. Would you guys suggest re queening a swarm typically?
I’ve never set up a swarm lure. On reflection, 2 deep boxes might be a bit too big. I remember reading about the 40 litres, I think it was you that posted a while back. A 10 frame deep bee box out the back caught what I reckoned was a primary swarm a few years ago. It had a migratory lid on it.
We were given a bird nesting box where a colony had moved in. The internal volume wasn’t all that big, therefore it only lured a smallish swarm.
As you’ll see in the video, it wasn’t a big swarm.