Saturday, September 24, 2022


Swarm are designed to journey. When a swarm lands, a beekeeper by no means is aware of how lengthy they may keep put. I’ve typically rushed out of the home to catch a swarm solely to have them go away within the time it took me to drive to their location. When you hope to catch a swarm this season, do not forget that time is of the essence! That’s why I prefer to preserve all the things I want in my automotive. Afterall, you by no means know whenever you’re going to get the decision to rescue some bees. Learn on to learn how to make your individual swarm-catching package.

The 5 Should-Haves for a Swarm Catching Equipment
1. A Nuc Field

I nearly at all times use a nuc field to catch swarms. I like this selection as a result of nuc packing containers are light-weight and straightforward to hold. Particularly in the event you screw the underside board to the nuc physique. Plus, they take up much less room in my automotive. I additionally love that the swarm can keep within the nuc field for awhile. This implies I would not have to distrub them proper after I catch them, I can wait till they’re established earlier than I switch the to full-size gear.

Massive Swarms Tip: The one time I don’t like to make use of nuc packing containers is for giant swarms. In these instances, I’ll use a full-size Langstroth field or two medium packing containers. Offering an acceptable sized field for the swarm will increase the probabilities that they may keep in your apiary.

Observe for High Bar Beekeepers

There are lots of Nuc Field designs for high bar bekeepers, from DIY plans to custom-made packing containers on Etsy. To catch a swarm I need to put in a high bar hive, I create a high bar nuc with a deep Langtroth Field and 9-10 high bars or place my high bars in a Nuc Field. I can do that as a result of all of my bars are 19 7/8 inches lengthy, which is the size of a Langstroth field. You may glimpse this methodology on this reel I made for Instagram about my first swarm catch of 2022. When utilizing a TBH nuc field, be sure the scale of the nuc match your full-size hive.

MacGyvering a Family Merchandise for a Swarm Catch

If you’re contemplating utilizing home items like buckets and cardboard packing containers to catch swarms, the swarm will must be transferred to a correct hive asap. The stress of transferring may trigger the bees to depart. For that reason, I  solely use home items to catch a swarm in a pinch.

Catching a Swarm for Top Bar

2. Protecting Gear

My package contains my ventilated bee go well with and nitrile gloves. Swarms are often docile by nature, however you by no means know. My go well with is like my seat belt. I put on it in case of worst-case situation. Swarm catches may also draw a curious crowd, so I additionally prefer to have it on to set an instance for non-beekeepers in attendance.

3. Swarm Lure & Bee Repellent

It’s helpful to have a lure , however right here’s the trick, I by no means spray it in my nuc field. Lures odor like lemongrass and immitate the Nasonov pheremone, a bee homing sign, however they’re VERY highly effective. Juts inserting the uncapped bottle close to the doorway is sufficient. When you spray it, the odor may initially entice the swarm, but when the odor is overwhelming it might additionally trigger them to depart it.

Bee repellents like Fischer’s Bee Fast assist when a part of the swarm tries to return to the unique location. Returning foragers, for instance, typically get confused about the place to go. Spraying a little bit of repellant on the unique spot can encourage foragers to maintain trying to find the hive elsewhere.

A swarm of honey bees hangs from a pepper tree in San Diego, CA.
 4. Ratcheting Straps & Duct Tape

You’ll need a method to safe your nuc field whenever you take the bees house. I take advantage of duct tape to safe the lid and to carry my entrance blocker in place. You may see how I take advantage of duct tape and an entrance blocker in this swarm catch video I made for Instagram.

If I’m catching a big swarm and utilizing a Langstroth field, I take advantage of ratcheting straps. Try my submit on transferring bees in the event you want details about this course of.

5. Primary Instruments: Pruners & a Sharp Knife

Throughout a swarm catch, you may end up reaching for pruners to take away branches and vegetation blocking a swarm. A knife additionally turns out to be useful for many issues, from chopping strips of duct tape to eradicating bits of comb the swarm could have began constructing.

Try my first swarm catch of 2019 or this eggplant swarm catch for example of how helpful pruners could be.

Swarm Catch from a Mallow Bush
Non-compulsory Objects to your Swarm Equipment

This stuff should not essential, however you may discover them helpful! You may learn extra particulars about them in an article I wrote for Holding Yard Bees.

  1. Ladder or sturdy step stool to achieve a excessive swarm.
  2. Entrance blocker to safe the hive field for transport.
  3. Body of comb in your nuc field to encourage bees to remain.
  4. White sheet unfold under the swarm to make bees that fall from the cluster straightforward to identify.
Need to see some extra swarm catches and the sorts of kits I carry with me?

Try a few of these movies.

Need to study extra swarm suggestions from me? Try my new on-demand streaming class Swarms & Splits.



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