Swarm trap time!

Honey bee swarm trap Reading PA
Just a few of my stacked nuc swarm traps.

I’m not playing around this year. Last year, I was so busy chasing swarm calls, and working, that I got way behind on putting my swarm traps up. I managed to get about 20 traps up, but I got them up late, and only caught 6 swarms in my traps. I also used alot of single 5-frame nuc boxes as traps. All of my swarm calls were for swarms over 5 lbs, so none of these would have went into a nuc. A few of them were over 10 lbs and didn’t even fit into a single 10-frame deep. This year, my swarm traps are a minimum of one nuc and one medium. The rest are 8 and 10-frame deeps with a drawn brood frame, and the rest foundationless frames. 3 drops of lemongrass oil on a cotton ball in a Ziploc bag under the lid (probably not necessary as this is all heavily used equipment). And I’m getting them out early to all the places I picked up swarms last year. Meanwhile, many newbies and second and third year beekeepers are receiving their southern packages (again). When will people learn that bees are free with just a little effort? They already have everything they need, except in most cases, patience. Good luck to all my fellow swarm trappers out there! Any questions? Let’s talk in the comment section!


Author: brucelovesbees

I keep honey bees in Reading, Bernville, and Fleetwood, PA without treatments. I love to garden and observe Wasps, Bumble bees, and ants. I also raise mealworms for my Eastern Spotted turtle and myself.

15 thoughts on “Swarm trap time!”

  1. Oh man. We are those 2nd year newbies waiting for our packages. We have one hive remaining for a trap but didn’t have the patience or confidence to rely on trapping alone to replace our colony we lost last year to small hive beetles. Fingers crossed our 2 packages work out well and a third colony makes itself at home in the third hive. We’ve learned and prepared better this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey neighbor, did you know that you can make swarm traps out of a lot of stuff? 5 gallon buckets work well, coated with beeswax on the inside and a hole drilled in the lid placed in the shade. You could get a bunch of these together for cheap, and fast. Hit up all your friends and family to put one in each of their yards. If you need help transferring them to a hive, just let me know. I love doing that stuff.


      1. Thanks so much. I didn’t know you could use buckets! I will certainly keep that as an option! I’m so glad I networked with you from that (bee) hornet post!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks for the post! I’m hoping to start bee keeping and I live in Ephrata. Any special places to hang a swarm trap? I live on 3/4 acres and there’s a farm just down the road, so I was gonna put out swarm Trapper to right here at my house, being that I have the farm down the street and also have an empty field that’s probably two or three acres right next to me that’s probably going to have a bunch of wildflowers. Any suggestions

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Definitely put one up at your place. But try to have several, and put them at other locations further away. It’s like fishing. Cast a wide net. I’m giving a presentation tonight at Montgomery County Beekeepers association about swarm trapping. 7pm in Skippack, PA.


      4. Hi my name is Steve and I have honey bees and I’m thinking about moving to pa . so my question is are there any laws in pa about honey bees ? Or do u no where to get that information ? Any information will help thank you

        Liked by 1 person

  2. My traps are a lot like yours. I use two 5 frame nuc boxes strapped together as you do. I have heard that one loses the larger swarms if the traps size is too small. Maybe that’s true but I’m too old to struggle with a 10 frame deep and medium strapped together up in a tree. So I leave at least one full size in a bait hive proven “hot spot” each year. A couple advantages people neglect to consider when capturing swarms with bait hives: 1) Unlike capturing a clustered swarm, colonies captured in bait hives chose the hive. A swarm will sometimes abscond after being hived – rarely does this happen with bait hive captures. And 2) bait hive captures almost always do well afterwards I believe because of less trauma incurred in the capture when compared to swarm captures. In the end it’s all fun. Hey, it’s fishing for bees!

    Liked by 1 person

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