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Jan le Roux

NZBF Old brood comb frames in Swarm Trap

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I have just built my first Swarm Trap, but I am only starting with beekeeping this year, so I do not have any old frames with comb yet.

 

How important is it to put frames with comb in a Swarm Trap? Can I use new frames with wax foundation instead will it make the Swarm Trap less attractive?

 

//Jan

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apparently old comb is very attractive.

but it's not the only thing to attract them with. wax foundations are good and some lemon grass oil(is it, right?). old comb can also contain high levels of nosema spores and afb and all sorts of germs so it's nice for a swarm to start of fresh. there was also some add for swarm lure stuff here a few days ago?

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Hi @Jan le Roux welcome to the forum. Convention here is to use undrawn foundation for swarms. This is to encourage the swarm to consume any honey stores they may be carrying along with any disease that might be in that honey. I rub old brood comb into the walls of the swarm box along with a couple of drops of lemongrass oil.

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I have used Bait Hives / Swarm Traps for several years. There are several factors which can affect the success of a Bait Hive.

 

Scout bees go out searching for a new home for the swarm or potential swarm.

 

I believe that smell causes the scouts to check out an area. Old brood comb, Lemon Grass Oil and pre-used beekeeping boxes have the right smell. With a freshly made Bait Hive one dodge I would use, would be to rub the surfaces with a block of beeswax. I load my bait hives with one frame of old brood comb and one of foundation. My bait hives are externally checked regularly so if a swarm moves in I can quickly add more frames of foundation.

 

After a few weeks of no interest, I like to watch the scout bees checking out the box interior and doing orientation flights around the box. I live in hope that they like what they find and no alternative plan occurs to stop them moving in.

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For your own piece of mind, please use foundation, as @Rob Stockley suggests above, roll the wax on nice fresh and thick, roll a bit on the sides of the box too. I've seen more scout bees around fresh smelly wax, than old comb. I use full depth boxes not nucs, cos sometimes they're just too small. I've had swarms move in and seen the bees building comb around eggs as they are being laid. Gotta love the drive in a swarm hive. We never, ever feed a swarm either. Citrus blocks are amazing for swarms.

 

Using old comb may seem a good idea, but could result in a world of pain.

 

Good luck with your swarm catching.

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I've read it here before, but can't find it. Is that stuff that's left over in the solar wax melter any good as a swarm lure? You know, dead bees, propolis etc

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Slum gum, the bits that are left behind when the wax melts, yip, tried that too. Even tried to turn it into fire lighter with wood shavings!

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Slum gum,

Thanks @Bron . That's the name I was looking for . ;)

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I have just built my first Swarm Trap, but I am only starting with beekeeping this year, so I do not have any old frames with comb yet.

 

How important is it to put frames with comb in a Swarm Trap? Can I use new frames with wax foundation instead will it make the Swarm Trap less attractive?

 

//Jan

Best results in trapping last season I had with @Stu 's HBH. Just used a few drops on some cotton in a Nuc with foundation only. Works a treat! (y)

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Thanks all. I will only use foundation and I found a recipe using wax, olive oil and some lemon grass oil that I will test. I will report back if I had any success.

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