Friday, May 23, 2014
This is a picture of a swarm trap I have out close to my West apiary. Someone set a metal gate post in the entrance drive that is hollow with the top about 8 or 9 foot above the ground. That's about perfect height supposedly for a swarm trap so I just screwed on an extra bit of 2x4 and drop it down inside the pipe.
I have never caught a swarm in this particular trap but yet this is the busiest swarm trap I have out. Every time I go and check it I am convinced it has caught a swarm and when I open the top there are maybe 40 or 50 bees inside. I just don't know what the deal is with this trap.
I have seen the same thing once before almost three years ago with a trap I had at the end of my hay field. Bees coming and going, guards at the entrance etc. but when I pulled it down there was maybe 50 or 60 bees in there. Yet that trap only did that once and has since caught many swarms, this particular trap keeps doing the same thing every season.
Here is a close up shot of the entrance hole. Now wouldn't ya think a colony had moved in there? Now bees will guard a potential new home from other scouts from different swarms but typically a swarm will make up it's mind and move in a day or two tops. These bees have been guarding this trap for four days at least now.
This morning I drove the truck up next to the pole, put on my suit and climbed up on the tool box to lift the lid and what do I find inside? About 30 or 40 bees tops.
I can't explain it and if it only happened once I wouldn't care but it seems to be a common state for this particular trap for some reason.
My other irritating bee problem is this picture of the tube. There is a colony inside the wall of this house. The crack you see between the siding is where they were getting in and there was a hole right under where I placed the tube and bracket they were using. I put the shim pieces in to seal up some other holes they used as well.
The trouble is the bees instead of using the tube exclusively now can also wiggle under the siding from the gaps. I guess I am going to have to cut some 1x4's up and seal up that crack completely thereby forcing the bees to use that tube. Once I do that I can then force the bees to come and go through a hive box I will affix on the end of that tube in the hopes the queen will eventually move out into the box.
Basically the bees are not beeing very cooperative this week.
I am also beginning to think swarm season maybe delayed longer than I thought. I have seen no action at my other traps except for that one small swarm last week.
I guess this Winter was just hard on em all.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!