Free Bees--Capturing a Swarm

We all like to save money, but when our bees swarm that is throwing money away.  Catching a swarm is saving the equivalent of a 3 lbs. box of bees.  You just have to have all your supplies ready to go.  You can purchase a swarm trap, purchase or build a nuc box; use pheromones/swarm lure or have some lemon grass oil to bait the hives.  By contacting your local fire department or agriculture agency to let them know that you are available to do swarm removals, you are also providing a valuable service and replenishing your apiary.  Also posting on Craig’s List and charging a fee is not unreasonable.

Have your supplies ready to go on a moment’s notice.  Include a bee suit, veil, gloves, brush, smoker, blanket, something to put the swarm into, spray bottle of sugar water/syrup, and something to secure the swarm container.  To do the job quickly, some people also use a bee vac.

Once you find the swarm, spraying them with a little sugar water, place the container under the swarm, then strike or shake the branch to enable the swarm to fall into the container.  If the queen falls in, the other bees will follow.  When most are in the container, place a lid and wait until dusk and take the container home.  Remember to secure the top and seal the entrance if you container has one.  If your swarm is not on a tree branch or in an unusual spot, you can brush the swarm into the container, cover it and go back to the apiary.  As long as you get the queen and most of the bees, you do not have to wait until dusk. 

If the swarm is high be careful and don’t fall or get hurt!!

 If you are successful at doing this, you will be very busy during swarm season and providing a valuable service to your neighbors and community and saving some money expanding your apiary.  There is much more information available and videos to give you more detailed information on swarming and trapping.