Catching swarms is not as easiest as you would think. The main problem is that you are hoping for a swarm to find and chose your box for a new home. If you know of a location where swarms are know to have passed through before then your chances do improve.
By the book swarms look for:
1. 1.5 cubic feet of space (about the size of a standard deep hive box)
2. Located 12 ft. of the ground.
3. With an entrance facing South or South/East.
4. The entrance not exceeding 1 1/2â in diameter.
I have placed swarm traps before and they sit all season with no results. You can check some of the beekeeping suppliers for swarm traps. They also sell swarm lures, that contain queen fairmones to help lure swarms to your trap.
I'd build mine out of wood- it will last longer and be alot stronger, nothing like trying to pick-up a cardboard box w/about 5-10lbs of bees frames and honey only to have it fall apart on you. plans can be found at www.beesource.com I use 5-frame nuc boxes for mine.
I use an old home made hive body that somebody gave me. It has an attached floor and a small front opening. I stuff the opening with paper towels and bungee cord a top on. I just picked up a swarm from under a bird bath this afternoon.
I have caught them and put them in a coleman cooler when I was in town and saw one hanging in front of the barber shop.
Sorry Justgojumpit---- if you try to keep bees, eventually you will get to stand by helplessly and watch one leave despite all your efforts to encourage them not to.
We don't own them, we just sort of herd them in the direction we want and try to keep them happy enough to stay. It is a very humbling event to know that you cannot even controll a bunch of bugs.... :haha:
As a lure you can also use LEMONGRASS OIL it contains the same pharimones that are found in swarms (so I'm told) I've had lots of scout bees checking mine out. And it cost me about $6.00 for 4oz, got it at a health food store, didn't have to wait on the mail
Just the other day a swarm flew by. Luckily we could hear them coming and took cover low to the ground and near the chickens. We are in AZ and on the lookout for killer bees. Other than not running, what should we have done to avoid them?
Sparkie- I find cardboard too flimsy and wooden boxes too heavy, so I made a few swarm boxes out of 3/4" pine framing and covered with 1/8" luan that I pulled out of my scrap lumber pile.
I use these as swarm traps as well. I use commercial pheromone and it works really well for me.
This year was crazy for swarms around here (Florida). I turned down 30 calls because I was too busy to go collect them. I took all the calls that were near home and easy to get to. Two of the swarms absconded, but I still wound up with 14 new hives and/or nucs which I sold. I wasn't working my bees much this season due to family obligations, and I had a couple of pallets of old hive bodies sitting around. I took 4 swarms out of the stacks of boxes- I've never had that happen before!
Hank there is no killer bees they are Africanized they are no worse than a mean dog just more of them as i live in the first county in the united states that the Africanized bees entered into, and having worked hives with beekeepers down here i am ,no expert but they are not rabid killers killing for pleasure. they are just a more aggresive type of honey bee. remember the media hype and movies thats the image bee keepers want to shed. not purpetate.
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