This year I am keen to expand our apiary. A dozen hives would be nice.
I purchased a pack of five swarm lures to try out. Although I have since learned that lemongrass essential oil works quite well too. These lures are attached to the bottom of a frame so it is close to the entrance. They contain lemongrass oil and queen pheromone and claim to be 50 to 80 percent successful if swarms are in the area. They cost $15 for 5. If I get one swarm from the them I will be happy.
I setup a spare hive on the balcony which is about 7 feet off the ground, not far from where I caught a swarm a few weeks ago.
Three or four frames of foundation or better still a frame or two of drawn comb and the trap is ready to set. Once a swarm moves in I can fill up the box with frames.
I made three swarm/nuc boxes also. They are the same size as a 5 frame nuc, so they will be useful for splits, queen rearing also. I saw a couple of youtube videos on making these from scrap timbre. I decided to make them dual purpose and used new timber.
Another Possible Split
This hive might be getting ready to swarm. But I am not sure. There is no queen excluder on this one and two frames of brood in the super. There was an empty queen cell on a frame in the super.
I will check the brood box more thoroughly in a day or so when the weather improves. In the meantime I will post on the beemaster forum and see what others
If all my swarm traps succeed and I split the strong farm hive I could go from 2 to 10 hives this Spring.
It sure is a lot of work making up all those new supers and frames!