I realized recently that I hadn’t scheduled How I Hang a Swarm Trap for publishing yet. If you are interested take a look at it and get some traps out there.
A lot of beekeepers think that the swarm season is only about a month in the early spring, but I have caught swarms all throughout the summer. If you are just getting your traps ready and up don’t think it is too late.
I take issue with the old adage, “a swarm in July is not worth a fly”. That July colony may not produce a honey crop for you this year, but if it overwinters they may produce one the following. If the July colony fails to overwinter odds are you will be able to harvest some of the brood combs for next years swarm traps. That’s worth something to me!
It all depends on the focus of your operation. Are you focusing on honey production alone or are you looking for bees that can overwinter? I believe you can pursue both goals. I heard an interview on a bee podcast once. The guy said something that we all need to remember. “Dead bees don’t make honey”. I am sorry I cannot remember who it was. I believe that if you focus on keeping colonies that can consistently overwinter then you can select for honey production. More on that in the future when I publish my Principles page.
In closing I had a couple of traps that were 50 miles from my house last year. I didn’t get them down by mid July. Both caught swarms in the first week of August. One overwintered and one did not. The surviving colony though light this spring has been making serious headway. The other one supplied dark comb that I am using in swarm traps.
The moral of the story is I DON’T CARE IF IT IS MAY 7th, you still have time to make some traps and get them up!!! Good luck!