We are at the end of the swarm trapping season. Before leaving for vacation I retrieved several traps. As with all things in beekeeping I learned some things in the process and I will be sharing them with you. Many of these lessons required fixing or cleaning something so I won’t have a problem remembering… :\
First off think twice before you hang your traps in or near PINE TREES. Not all pines do this so it depends on the type. I don’t know my pine varieties very well, but some will leak sap/resin and others wont. Just be forewarned, don’t let this horrible sticky mess happen to you.
If you are using a strap to secure the box to the tree make sure you take a screwdriver. After hanging on the tree all summer the ratchets sometimes don’t release as well as they did before being exposed to the weather all summer. I use the screwdriver to work the ratcheting mechanism a little to loosen the strap up. Once you get them all home lubricate them a little bit and put the straps away in a dry place until next year.
All of the boxes still need to be opened and examined. I didn’t have time before I left. You can sometimes find evidence that a trap was occupied at some point, but the bees left for some unknown reason. This is important because you only want to continue putting traps in places you have had success. I also go through looking for any wax moth activity. In the event I find it the chickens will have a feast.
Have you gotten your traps down yet? If not you probably should be thinking about it.