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Swarm Lures

Swarmit is a commercially prepared swarm attractant that mimics nasanov pheramone. It is a compound that is sealed in a small plastic tube and the vapour permeates the plastic at a very slow rate allowing a slow release of active swarm lure chemical over a four to six week period (depending on temperature). The swarm lure has an attractive action that is the equivelent of 5,000 worker bees fanning and scenting. During storage inside its foil sachet a saturated vapour equilibrium is set up between the air in the sachet and the air in the lure, thus the swarm attractant stays fresh in storage. I have used this product to entice swarms into skeps and boxes and have stored the plastic phial in a small glass jar with a metal screw cap between uses.

Swarm lure made from unwanted queens... This method came from Dee Lusby and was developed from an idea of Butler.

Dee's method... is to take unwanted queens, not old ones that are about to expire, but viable young or virgin specimens and steep them in a jar of alcohol. Dee comments "The alcohol really takes on a good color if left for years with queens submerged within. Also, we get more scouting bees with virgin queen lure and more drones in swarms that are eventually hived."

To use this "ticture of virgin queen" as a lure, it is dabbed on woodwork of bait hives... Three or four drops from an eye dropper when the bait hive is made up and a few more drops after six weeks.

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Written... 19 December 2001