Get Ready for the Swarm Season!
Swarming is Nature’s way of rebuilding the honeybee population, and indeed, a swarm of bees is a magnificent sight! If you are a beekeeper, however, you may want to prevent losing half your hive, and you may even want to catch a swarm or two from other hives.
It’s kind of like fishing…you know they’re out there, but catching them can be a bit tricky. These swarm boxes will increase your chances!
Our Honeybee Swarm Traps are designed to both attract bees and provide a gentle means of introducing a bee swarm to a new hive – one that minimizes injuries, mortalities, and confusion.
- Same outside dimensions as Warré hive boxes (they will sit right on top!)
- Pull-out (drawer-like) roof and bottom to allow access
- Magnetic closures to prevent roof and bottom from falling completely out (optional)
- 4 removable top bars that can be transferred to a Warré hive box (include triangle bottoms coated with beeswax)
- Entrance hole designed to prevent birds or mice from entering
- All joints glued and nailed for durability
- Inside of box left completely natural
- Weather protection: outside of box painted with Linseed Oil or exterior varnish
- Handles on outside of box to facilitate carrying
- Extra backing board to make it easier to hang (with pre-drilled holes) (can also be set on stand)
- Stable, sturdy, strong! Can hold a heavy load of bees!
Our Honeybee Swarm Traps are built to accompany a Warré hive, which means they simplify installation of the bees immensely! Both the top and bottom pull out like a drawer, giving you several options for bee capture and installation, depending on your circumstances. They come with removable top bars, so if the bees start building comb, you can simply take the bars out and place them directly into your Warré hive.
Different Methods of Using the Honeybee Swarm Traps:
- Hang in a tree or set in a place where bees can find it. Location is important! Facing south or east and without a lot of nearby obstructions or commotion is good.
- If you already have a swarm, place the box close by and they will often move right in!
- If they are hanging on a branch that is easily removed, you can block the entrance hole (Duck Tape works great for this), open the top of the box, cut the branch, and gently set it in. Close the box and you are good to go! (You may want to remove the top bars.)
- If a bunch of bees drop on the ground, you can open the bottom and set the box on top of them. Bees will naturally move up into the box.
- To install the bees, simply set the swarm box between two regular hive boxes on the Warré hive. Keep the bottom closed at first. Open the top, allowing the bees to move upward from the swarm box and into hive box. Later, open the bottom to allow full access, and after they are settled in, remove the swarm box completely.
- If they have been in the box long enough to build comb, simply remove the bars and place into your Warré hive.
In our most recent experience, we placed a branch holding a swarm into the box, but a number of bees also fell to the ground. We took a second swarm box and set it over the grounded bundle. We installed the main swarm box as described above and then placed the second box at the entrance. We put a white sheet from the swarm box on the ground up to the entrance of the hive. The bees in the second box soon went up to be with the rest of their colony. We gave them overnight to settle in and then removed the swarm box from the hive. No fuss! No muss! No chaos!
- Many will advise hanging a swarm box high in a tree; however, by our experience, we have found swarms near – if not touching – the ground! We’ve even seen them wrapped around fence posts! So don’t risk getting hurt trying to climb down a tall ladder with a box full of buzzing bees unless you absolutely have to!
- A few drops of lemongrass oil in the hive is a powerful attractant! You can also put a few drops on a napkin or ball of cotton and seal it in a plastic bag to make it last longer. (Lemongrass oil not supplied with box).
- A swarm “trap” is really a misnomer. The bees are not trapped. They are free to come and go unless you block the entrance.