Swarm Traps that catch bee swarms under them

2013
01.17

A fellow beek from Poland read my swarm trapping book and built a trap. It caught bees, but under it.  I’ve seen this happen before.  I’m interested in seeing if we, as a beekeepers, can figure out the common denominator of why.

polish trapHas anyone else built a trap that caught bees under it?  How large was your entrance hole?  How large was the swarm?  How big was the trap?

I’m looking to see if there is a trend. In his photo, and from his video I see a undersized hole and a huge swarm.

If anyone else has caught a underslung swarm, please comment below with the:

  • How large was your entrance hole? (i.e. 1″ diameter)
  • How large was the swarm? (ie. small/medium/big/huge/it-carried-off-the-trap)
  • How big was the trap? (about 6 frame / 8-frame / 10-frame (langstroth)

thanks!  Doing my part to save the world, as we all should.

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3 Responses to “Swarm Traps that catch bee swarms under them”

  1. Richard noel says:

    Hi Mcartney, I had a similar experience last year.
    A beautiful swarm landed on my five framed dadant nuc but just wouldn’t go in. They stayed there for a whole day. Next morning I tried to brush them off in to the nuc, when they took to the air. I managed to catch them when they landed in a shrub about 5 minutes later. Amazing experience. I think queens rely on scout bees to check out possible new sites for colonisation! In my case I don’t think the queen liked what she found when she arrived on site. My fellow beekeepers report similar rare events with their swarm traps.
    I will try and include a picture if I can’t I wil send it to another address of yours.
    Hope it’s of some help in our understanding.

  2. mjname says:

    Has anyone tried just leaving a two inch wide board out of the bottom? Seems like it would be less scary and claustrophobic than a traditional swarm trap. Also if the top of the trap was arranged like a top bar hive with some comb already in place…when retrieving the swarm trap you could just slide in the missing board and cart them down to their new location.

  3. grant king says:

    I had that happen on a trap that I had just set. I set it on a Sunday night and the next morning there were scout bees going in. Wednesday night the swarm was there. On Friday night i saw they were drawing out comb on the bottom. The next morning i got out the beevac and dumped them inside where they stayed. The trap was a 6 bar top bar trap with a 1″ hole. The swarm was a little smaller than a soccer ball cut in half. The only thing i could figure is maybe the lemongrass oil was too fresh for the queen to want to go in. I took the qtips out and dumped the bees in and they immediately started wotking because the next week there was capped brood inside. I still have the hive and they are doing well.

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