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Luring a passing Swarm of Bees!!!

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Today I was busy building a swarm trap, which isn't really a trap as the bees can leave any time. So it really should be called a swarm lure. We see it as a way to save a passing swarm by providing a suitable home for them. A swarm in the wild will usually die if a suitable new home can't be located.

The trap is essentially a small hive box that holds six full frames. We also put a small plastic bag with tissue in it. On the tissue we placed a few drops of lemon grass oil, we have heard this is similar to the queen pheromone and can attract scout bees from a swarm.

Scout bees are sent out from a swarm to locate a suitable new home for the swarm, once a new place is located the swarm then moves en masse to the new location.

Swarming is a natural part of the bee’s life and is used to increase the bee’s survival. Unfortunately the bees don't locate a new home until they have left their old one.

We will hang this up in a nearby tree and see if we manage to attract a swarm. I made the box out of old pallets and other leftover wood. So it's definitely a work of functional art :).

I got the idea for lure from this YouTube video have a look if you get a chance:-

We will keep you posted if we have any success with the lure. Meanwhile here is a picture of New Zealand Wood Pigeon that landed in a nearby tree.

Gary Fawcett

Gary enjoys designing new kiwimana products which we sell through our on-line shop.He is passionate about saving the Bees and encouraging urban beekeeping.Gary loves to write about issues that affect the Bees and our environment.He is also into tramping/walking in the beautiful New Zealand bush.

8 thoughts on “Luring a passing Swarm of Bees!!!

  1. Nice camo bait hive

    1. Thanks Greg, hopefully the Camo will stop kids throwing stones at it 🙂

  2. Where can i buy the lemongrass oil?

    1. You can buy it at most Chemists, its used for Aromatherapy.

      If you can find any give me a shout and I can pick you up some.

      See ya…Gary

  3. So how many swarms did you catch this season?

    I’m the guy in the YouTube video, OutofaBlueSky. Saw that you used my swarm design and wanted to know how you faired for you swarm season. Oh, and I finished my book on swarm trapping, too.

    1. Hi McCartney,

      Happy New Year!!!

      Thanks for the feedback and thanks for sharing your video.

      We ended up catching two swarms from the trap over the swarming season, which is coming to an end here in New Zealand.

      We would have got more but we didn’t have the lure out in the wild because we were collecting so many traditional swarms (Around eight) and we couldn’t build hive boxes to keep up with them all. We must get better prepared over our winter and build some more boxes :).

      I will check out your new book. We will definitely be building some more swarm lures over winter. We will make the lids easier to take off on the next version.

      Thanks…Gary

      1. So the single trap caught 2 over the season? Excellent ratio.

        Be sure to use all screws in future traps. I learned that the traps are dynamic structures and nails pull apart. If nothing else, Make sure you use screws on the lid.

        Happy new year!

        1. Hey McCartney! Im a big fan. I love your youtube videos. I have caught about 20 swarms over the past 3 or 4 years with your design of swarm trap. I sold a lot of honey the past few years. You’re right about catching more than you know what to do with. I sold out last year. Sold about 15 hives. This method is brilliant. don’t buy bees.

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