Posts Tagged ‘Swarm trap’

Swarm season is here

As nighttime temperatures rise above 50 deg. F. for several days straight – the bees are able to start producing wax.  This generally coincides with some of the nectar flow in plants starting – and a big buildup of brood in the hive.

I received a call yesterday a.m. about a swarm that had been in a tree at a local Jalapeno Tree restaurant (about 10-15 miles away). The swarm had been in the tree since the day before, and the regional manager was afraid of customers being stung – they had tried getting someone through a local beekeeping club – but no response… I was there within the hour – knowing full well that if he called me at 11:30am on a calm, sunny day – that they could very well disappear before I got there.

Sure enough – as I pulled into the parking lot – my daughter calls out “I see them!”. I’m looking for the ball in a tree – but then she says – “They’re flying!”. Sure enough – a tornado whirlwind of bees is rising from the tree.. and I’m not even out of my car, yet.

I sent Amber around to the other side of the building to see if they were visible – and she indicated that the swarm had moved to the top of the other side of the building. The restaurant manager gave me access to the roof-ladders on the back of the building – and I made the climb – up 3 ladder/roof levels with the swarm box. At the top – they were flying, still. As I set the box down onto an a/c unit – the bees were already landing on and entering the box. It was an amazing sight!

I don’t recall ever having such an EASY swarm catch. This was a BIG swarm. They completely filled the 5-frame nuc. and overflowed it at first – as they were getting their bearings.

Image1  Image4








I returned later in the day, and screened the entrance shut, and lowered the nuc with a rope to the ground – and moved them to a nearby out-yard – where I went ahead and moved them to a full 10-frame Langstroth.Image6Image5Image9Image10Image11Image12

For those curious as to what I have in my swarm trap… I used 3-frames of drawn old-comb, 2 empty (foundationless) frames, and 2-3 drops of lemongrass oil under the lid of the box.

Swarm Call

Today is marked as the first swarm call for the Spring 2012 season.

When I received the call, a few bees (scouts) were coming in and out of the tree. By the time I got there, the bees were coming in – and it was looking like a tornado of honeybees. I quickly placed my swarm trap box in a good location – but the ladies had already decided that the tree was their new home.

Pics below… I’ll be doing a trap-out later this week on this colony.

I should be able to initiate the trap-out on Wednesday of this week.

Pollen Coming In – and Swarm Traps/Lures


This last weekend was beautiful in north Texas. Friday, I saw a variety of pollen coming into the hive – including a nice bright yellow-orange color; some was a pale yellow-white in color; and other -(presumably henbit) was a blood-red. The henbit has been flowering for the last 2-3 weeks, now. Daytime temps have been averaging 65-73 Deg. F. Night-time temps are still in the high 30’s to high 40’s range (appx 38-48 deg. F).

Since the ladies were so active, I also gave them some sugar water spring stimulant. They drank 1 quart of it in 1 day. Here’s the recipe I used:

Homebrew Spring Stimulating Feed (compare to Honey “B” Healthy)
Recipe was given via podcast by Don K (the FatBeeMan).

1 – Gallon – of 2:1 Sugar/Water Mixture

20-25 Drops – Wintergreen Essential Oil
15 Drops – Spearmint Essential Oil
5 Drops – Lemongrass Essential Oil

Blend oils (in a blender) about 5 minutes into about 1.5 cups of Sugar Water to emulsify it, and add to 1 gallon of 2:1 mix.

I also placed (2) of my 15 swarm lure/traps in East Texas. The scent I used was straight lemongrass essential oil. I put 4-5 drops of the oil onto a cotton-ball, placed the cotton ball into a SMALL ziplock baggie, and closed the baggie about 90%, then set it into the swarm trap box, along with 5 empty frames. Crossing my fingers that this works!

Swarm Traps Made

(Update 2/15/2013 – Over the last year – the number one search term linked to my site has been “swarm trap plans”.  Thusly – I’d like to link over to Rob’s set of downloadable plans for hive products.  Link here: Bushkill Farms Beekeeping Downloads )

( and now back to the original post – dated 1/24/2012 )

Last week, I started a quick little project that I saw plans for on The Swarm Trap Plans are easy to interpret, and the project went quickly!

Swarm Trap

Swarm Trap

I made 15 honeybee swarm traps. Each trap holds 5 “deep” frames. A pheromone lure will be placed in each trap, to attract a feral swarm to the box. Now – to paint them so they’ll last, and mark them with my identifying brand / label.


Back to beekeeping

December 31, 2011. It’s supposed to get up to 70+ degrees here in Richardson, so I’ll spend the beautiful day outside, building swarm traps for this upcoming spring.

The design is from Rob over at

I’ll tip up a glass in a toast for a bounty of bees this year!

Bee Removal Hotline

Dallas Area
469-251-2BEE (2233)
East Texas
903-484-4BEE (4233)

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 5 other subscribers

    Powered by WebRing.