Wednesday, April 16, 2014
My Newest Swarm Trap Design
After yet another emergency assent up on to the barn roof during 40+ MPH winds this morning I decided I was done with working outside today. Oh there was plenty that needed doing and I had planned on splitting a load of firewood for stacking and then moving some more wood chips but I just couldn't take the constant buffeting today. It wasn't especially cold but this year the wind is just really annoying me and I just don't want to be out in it much.
So it was back into the shop once again.
I finished cleaning up and putting everything back where it belongs. Why I even swept the floor for the first time in I don't know how long. Then the supervisor told me I needed to do something productive if I was going to hide inside all day. She then went and took a nap.
I decided to build another swarm trap.
Last year I banged together a couple of these stands that fit over the top end of a standard metal fence post and I had pretty good luck with them. If you use the seven foot posts you can get the traps a good distance up there and don't have to worry about cutting a tree branch. You can also use standard Nuc boxes as traps. Not to mention the entire thing stacks better than the tree style traps since you don't have all those hanger brackets sticking off them or the need for a tie down screw on the front.
Here's a close up of the base. It's just a PVC pipe wedged between two end pieces of a 2x6" bolted together and then a scrap piece of plywood placed over the top. I then attach a hook on either side for a bungy cord to hold the trap box onto the base. The PVC pipe is just the right size that it doesn't spin around on the fence post but if you used a larger diameter pipe you could always drill a hole and put a bolt in it to clamp it to the post as well.
The really cool thing about this trap is that I only have to smear the ant repellant stuff on the post to keep them out of the trap not all over the tree limb and I don't have to worry about limbs growing up and touching the trap allowing the ants another avenue of invasion. I could also just place an entire hive up there with one single box if I wanted to and just move the hive to the new location and put a new one up for each swarm, however I been using specially made boxes with smaller round holes so anyone looking will think it is an extra big bird house.
I caught two swarms using one of these stands last year so this year I built two more stands to see if they continue to work. No more trying to find just the right tree with just the right sized limb facing the right direction. Since there is no hanging pressure supporting the traps own weight I can also make the entire trap out of plywood which is much cheaper overall.
I do have to keep buying bungy cords though :(
If the wind is still blowing tomorrow I guess I will have to find something else to build. I could always use some more brood supers put together I guess.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!