Monday, January 12, 2015

Swarm traps

The first two deep hive bodies I built had a few imperfections that rendered them unusable to use in a hive.  But many lessons were learned.

However they will work for use as a certain type of swarm trap that has been churning in my mind recently.   Our house has seen more than it's share of swarms due to the "jungle look" style of landscaping I've employed.  Bees seem to love it here.  In July of 2007 one swarm arrived just hours before 200 people were to show up at our home after our son's funeral service.

Back then I knew nothing about swarms or bees other than we knew that we could not allow a large swarm of bees only 2 feet away from the walkway to our front door.  So our other son, my wife and I spent several hours before the funeral in a mad frenzy to disperse the swarm using a garden hose and I'm embarrassed to admit... wasp spray.  It took awhile but we did manage to clear the way for the many guests who were to arrive in a few hours.  I sometimes think that maybe it was our son's way of keeping us busy before the funeral to take our minds away from the grief.

Since then, several other swarms have shown up and several hives were even formed in the jungle so this is prime honeybee catching real estate.   The swarm traps have 1" openings on the side and the box is basically a deep brood box with a floor and top on hinges.  Also a 4" piece of 3/4" lumber with a 2 1/2 " hole above the trap is for hanging on a tree branch.

I gathered some old comb from old hives on the property as well as a couple pieces of discarded hive that I was given at the Tampa Bay Beekeepers apiary on Saturday.  Putting pieces of comb inside the hive as well as a cotton ball with lemon grass essence and a little beeswax will attract scout bees that are sent out before a swarm forms.  Might even add a little queen pheromone to the mix as well.

The only thing still needed are some frames and foundation to go into the traps.  Still trying to decide which frames to use.

No comments:

Post a Comment