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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 19th year of beekeeping in April 2024. Now there are more than 1300 posts on this blog. Please use the search bar below to search the blog for other posts on a subject in which you are interested. You can also click on the "label" at the end of a post and all posts with that label will show up. At the very bottom of this page is a list of all the labels I've used.

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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here.Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Swarm Trap Success or Honey Bee Democracy?

Tonight when I got home, I noticed bees flying in and out of my swarm trap!  Miracle of miracles.

So now the $64,000 question or at least the $85 (cost of a package) question is how do I know if these are scouts or if a swarm has moved in?

I stood there for 15 minutes and bees continually flew in and out.  I know from reading Thomas Seeley's Honeybee Democracy that they send more and more scouts to determine if a place is the place of choice for the swarm….but with only this one entry way, how will I know?

If they start to build comb, it will be like tearing apart a skep to get the bees!

I tried slightly lifting the hive but it was light as a feather - which makes me think these are scouts, but then a pound of bees might not feel like much up in the air like this.

Here you can see the whole trap.

Anyone have any ideas about how to determine if it's a success and has trapped a swarm?

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  1. I would say wait till evening and then listen to see if you hear buzzing? Also, if you have a red flashlight, you could peek in the hole at night to see if they are still in there or went home.

  2. How exiting! I have put out an 8-frame box on top of the garage, with some lemongrass in, but nothing so far.

  3. Thanks, Cassandra - I went out and don't hear after-dark buzzing but at least I know the swarm trap was in the running as per the democratic process all the way up until dark. Maybe it will be elected tomorrow!

  4. Linda,

    I too made some 8 frame deeps into swarm boxes with lures. A few days later 6-8 bees were checking them out all afternoon on a sunny day. You'll see in a few days the were perhaps scouts.

  5. I counted 30 bees at a time at the end of the day today 7:45 PM. We'll see what happens tomorrow - maybe nothing but it's nice my swarm trap has at least been in the running!

  6. Linda,

    Might have bees in there. When the sun left the scene so did the bees at our traps. Good luck! I have a barn cut out to do, my first by myself.


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