Friday, March 8, 2013

Swarm Trapping

As each year passes I try to grow my apiary. A real simple way to do this is swarm removal but there is another way to catch swarms without even being there. Swarm traps, These traps are usually baited with old brood comb,  lemon-grass essential oil, and maybe even queen lure.  I personally use all of these ingredients with my traps.

  Once a colony decides it's going to prepare to swarm. Scout bees begin looking for a new cavity to move into. A baited trap can lure many scout to it to check out the environment. If all of her needs are met then she will return home to tell the colony about the find. They will look for a few key features in a new home.

1. Trap to be of at least 40 liter (10 frame deep)
2. A 1" entrance hole
3. 6 to 10 feet off ground
4. Baited with Old brood comb, Lemongrass oil, Queen lure

  Some people choose to use a container that is easier to maneuver over a deep box. There are a few options available on today market.  After all it can be a little tricky to get a 10 frame deep 6 to 10 foot off the ground and secure it to a tree. I started using a 10 frame boxes and they worked so I have just stuck with them.

 Another important key in swarm trapping is the location of the trap. A honeybee uses landmarks to identify their location. Try to stay with in these guide lines. Think like a bee, what would stand out as a reference point to you? This is where you place your traps.

1. Edge of pastures
2. Along water ways
3. Tree lines
4. Fence rows
5. Near bee trees (Feral colony)

  Don't be a afraid to experiment with different location. You will learn hot spots. For instant I set traps last year not knowing if I would catch any swarms. Within a month after setting them I had caught a huge swarm. I transported the swarm to a new location. I had reset the trap and within 2 weeks had small capture. Probably from a different colony or maybe a after swarm. But either way I consider this to be a successful location and will try it again this year.

Swarm Trap Setup Tutorial

Make your own Swarm  Lure

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