Beekeeping can be an exciting practice. But, it needs plenty of preparations to set up the hives and reap the fruits.
One of the essential things after putting up the hive is getting the bees to build up the colony. This is where a bee swarm trap comes in.
A bee swarm trap is a simple tool that is designed to catch swarming bees. These traps come in various designs and sizes to suit different situations.
Below are reviews of the best bee swarm traps that you can buy today.
The Best Bee Swarm Traps
1. East Coast Bees Honey Bee Swarm Trap
This swarm trap is an excellent alternative to package bees. It is ideal for beginners looking to save on buying a starting colony.
- Fully assembled design
- Pre-sprayed lure
- Five foundationless frames
- Adjustable entrance reducer
- Tie-down straps
The design of this swarm trap makes it one of the best for beginners. It comes fully-assembled and is pre-sprayed with swarm lure to attract bees. The kit provides excellent value for money with the included frames.
The trap is sturdy and comes ready to use, which is convenient for beginners in beekeeping. With the strap in the package, hanging this trap is easy and quick.
2. Yuniroom Bee Cage Swarm Trap
The swarm trap comes in high-quality materials that are eco-friendly and safe for the bees.
- Waterproof construction
- 3-layer steel wire
- Attached hanging loop
If you are looking for a simple bee swarm trap, this is one of the best. It withstands the elements, and the design is easy to figure out. It has a soft loop at the top that you can use to mount it on a tree branch.
Additionally, it has three layers of steel wire that prevents bees from escaping. With the design of the bottom, you can tie it up and close after catching a swarm.
3. RefuBees Swarm Trap
With this trap, you do not have to worry about assembly. It comes ready to use, and you only need to mount it on the most favorable location.
- Assembled design
- Easy set-up
- For both plastic and wooden frames
- Durable construction
The trap includes six plastic frames, two bungees, four nuts, and two vials of swarm lures. It is super easy to set-up and mount hence suitable for beginners. The best thing is that it works well with both plastic and wooden frames.
It is important to note, however, that the swarm trap only works with medium frames.
4. Hilitand Swarm Trap
The trap comes in the design of a cage that is safe for the bees and the environment.
- Waterproof quality
- 3-layer steel wire
- Closable bottom
- Easy to use
You can trust that the swarm trap will hold up well in the outdoors. The materials are waterproof, windproof, and withstand any weather conditions. One thing that stands out with the design is the closable bottom. Once the bees are inside, you can tie up the bottom and close it.
The loop at the top comes in handy to mount the trap or hang it on a tree branch. The three layers of steel wire prevent large numbers of bees from escaping making the trap even more effective.
How to Use a Swarm Trap
Some bee swarm traps come assembled while others require you to put parts together. If yours comes in separate parts, you only need basic tools to assemble. Most models come with manuals that you can follow for an easy installation process.
The next step after putting the trap together is baiting it and adding a lure. The most common bait for swarm traps is old honeycomb, whether it has honey or not. The type of lure you use will determine how attractive the trap will be. Lemongrass lures are ideal since they mimic queen pheromones.
Once the bait and lure are in place, you need to hang up the trap at a distance of about 10 to 15 feet above the ground. You can use a pole to mount the trap, but a branch on a tree works even better.
Ensure the entrance to the trap is clear for easy trapping. Also, check the trap every few days for a swarm of bees. If you find any, transfer them into a beehive immediately.
How to Build a Bee Swarm Trap
You can build a swarm trap using readily available materials and simple tools. You will need:
- Good quality wood
- Drill, nails and a few screws
- Wire to hang the trap
- A cutting saw
- Galvanized metal sheet
- Measuring tape, square tool and spirit level
Before you start building the trap, it is essential to understand the ideal measurements. An effective trap should be about 9 inches high, 10 inches wide and about 20 inches long. These measurements are just a rough idea to guide you on the size of the trap you should make.
Steps to Follow When Building the Trap
- Gather the materials and lay them on your work station.
- Measure and cut your pieces accordingly — four pieces for the sides, one for the top and another for the bottom.
- When cutting the top piece, ensure it is removable and watertight to keep the trap moisture-free.
- Use the drill, nails, and screws to attach the sides, front and back boards on the bottom piece.
- Tighten the screws and ensure all the pieces are correctly assembled.
- Cut out the entrance from the front board. Ensure the hole is small enough to prevent birds but large enough for bees to pass through.
- Using a wire, hang the trap on a branch or your preferred area. Ensure it is strong and stable, yet easy to undo once the trap has a swarm of bees.
Where should you put a bee swarm trap?
A bee swarm trap works well when set above the ground. You can use a pole to mount the trap or hang it on a tree branch.
What do you put in a bee swarm trap?
The most common thing to put in the trap is old frames with combs and a little honey. However, if you a beginner, you can use lemongrass lures and buy combs to use as bait in the trap.
When is the best time to put out bee swarm traps?
Usually, most swarming occurs just before spring or during spring. It is the best time to set out the traps. At this time, bees tend to survive more, and the conditions are quite favorable.
How do you remove the swarm trap from the tree?
If the trap has attracted bees, it is essential to use a bee smoker to keep them calm as you un-mount the trap. Smoke the entrance and leave it for a while before carrying the trap away. Immediately transfer them into the hive and smoke more if needed.
Using a bee swarm trap is an effective way of growing your colony or introducing a new one into a hive. The above traps are great examples and have proven to work well for most beekeepers.
With the tips above, you can use a trap to attract a swarm of bees and grow your apiary.