Swarm Trap Built and Deployed

I decided to build a swarm trap and see if I could catch a feral colony, or at least the bees from one of my own hives if they swarmed.

I've read that using old equipment that "smells like a hive" helps encourage scout bees to select the trap as a new home. With that in mind, I pulled out one of my old nuc boxes from the garage.

I added a few frames of foundation only. Not sure if this is required, but I thought if some bees did moved in, they might draw wax on the frames instead of wild comb on the inside of the box.

Making Swarm Trap

I also read they like the smell of wax. I took a few chunks of bur comb and placed it into the box.

I don't know what is in the commercial swarm lure products, but I've read lots of people have good luck with lemongrass oil. This stuff is several dollars an ounce at the stores, so I found a seller on ebay selling it for a lot cheaper.

I used a medicine dropper and applied it quite generously around the landing board, and inside the trap.

Lemon Grass Oil

I've heard that swarm traps tend to work better if they're 10-15 feet off the ground, so I gathered some scrap wood and made a quick platform in a group of trees for the nuc to sit on.

The trees are a straight 100 feet from the front of the hives. My thoughts are if one of my hives swarmed, they might fly straight out and land in a cluster of trees near where the trap is.

If not, it's at least a convenient place for me to put it. :)

Below is an up close picture of the nuc/swarm-trap. I painted it white knowing it would probably spend quite a bit of time outside waiting for the chance to be scouted as a potential home by scout bees.

I'm excited to see if this works or not.

If you've used a swarm trap before, was it successful? Did you use any swarm lure?

Comments For This Post: (4) | Post Your Comments! Hide The Comment Form
Holly says...
Date:   April 25, 2012, 11:52 am

I have never used a swarm trap before so please let us know if it works!

Anonymous says...
Date:   February 16, 2013, 9:37 am

Did you have any luck with your swarm trap?

Chris (Show Me The Honey) says...
Date:   February 16, 2013, 10:28 pm

Good question. I posted an update towards the end of the summer about the swarm trap here. The trap ended up not catching any swarms at all. I think I'll place the trap back out again at the same location this year, and maybe one at my parents house a few miles away too.

PP says...
Date:   August 20, 2013, 12:39 pm

Great job, Chris.

I have read if you use a used frames (instead of new frames), that would help.
(some people recommend not to use combs as they invite comb moths..
The other thing you can do is make a queen lure by using an old queen that
you are retiring, Simply soak her in an ounce of rubbing alcohol.

Also, placing the trap atleast from a mile from your beehive is a better option.


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