Friday, February 15, 2013

Swarm Traps

Papa Bear and I completed six swarm traps today and got two of them hung. I dunked both ends of a Q-tip in lemongrass oil and tossed it into the hole in the bottom of my trap.

I had searched the internet for different ideas on making swarm traps and decided this was something I could do by myself if I had to but Papa Bear helped me and it made the work go faster.  The ones we made cost less than $6.00 each to make. 

 I ordered this one.  With shipping cost and the lure I paid almost $30.00 for this one.  Big difference! Same principle.

A case of 25 fiber pots from the Greenhouse Megastore was $60.99 including shipping and I will make 12 traps.  Surely I can catch at least one swarm with these put up around the homestead.  I am so paranoid my bees are going to swarm and I want to be the one who catches them!  Before we got our first hive I would see several swarms a year go overhead so maybe I will get lucky!

One can of Great Stuff to seal the the holes on the pots was $4.99.  This is a one time use can so make sure you are prepared to seal all the holes once you start using it.  Oh and the can warns you to use gloves.  Better make sure you do that.  I had a glove on one hand and needed it on both.  I am still wearing a small layer of pulp on my left hand!  You will also need some wood screws.  1 1/2 to 1 5/8 works great. We already had some on hand so I didn't purchase any new but you'll need about 4 per pot.  The directions I found also used long cable ties for the hanger but since I have a million miles of baling twine, I just took 3 and braided them to use for a hanger.

 Use the Great Stuff to seal all four holes on one pot which will be your top and  three holes on another pot which will be your bottom.  Here are mine all ready for the next step.

 We took turns spaying a light coat of polyurethane paint on the outside of each one to make them last a little longer.

 Drill two holes in the top of the pot for your hanger.  This is the pot where all four drainage holes are filled.

Run the hanger through the holes 
Since I used braided twine I tied a knot in the top.  I can untie this and adjust it if necessary. 


 Join the top with a bottom pot (you should have one hole that is not sealed in the bottom) Use wood screws spaced evenly around the pots.

 Six waiting to be hung!  I am so excited to see if these work!  More bees, more hives, more honey!

Yesterday, Papa Bear made me a robber screen for my little nuc.  I don't know if he felt sorry for me or the bees.

I had got up before daylight before the bees started flying.  I was still suffering from the virus from hell but I still managed to stuff the entrance with dead grass.

 Once it warmed up I felt sorry that all my little bees were trapped inside so I took a little queen cage and cut the back out of it and duct taped it to the entrance hole.  That's when Papa Bear read Pioneer Preppie's advise and made me a screen.  They are my heroes.


  1. Thats a good looking robber screen. I usually just leave the entire top open but the extra entrance is better overall like he has it. They work miracles.

    I make my swarm traps out of wood with a hanger on the back that just goes on a limb. From what I read the bees prefer a size a bit larger than a brood chamber. I make them and put two regular frames with some comb drawn out already and the lemon grass oil.

    My bet is you will catch some swarms but have some woodenware ready to go or you might catch more than you bargained for :)

    1. Got three brood chambers ready. Bought the wood for supers last week. Just got to get the table saw out from under a bunch of junk that's been piled on it. I have been reading a lot on using a medium super for the brood chamber. In my area it would probably mean two and a colder area using 3. It sure would make things a lot simpler to have everything a uniform size.

    2. I used to think that as well. I started off thinking I would use all mediums but then I didn't. I try and not disturb the brood chambers and I don't harvest anything out of them and although they weigh more it is easier to only need to remove one brood chamber rather than four when rearranging etc. In the end I doubt I think it all comes out about the same although per square inch the larger chambers are less expensive.

      I doubt the bees care so whatever fits your style is the best.


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