Swarm are designed to journey. When a swarm lands, a beekeeper by no means is aware of how lengthy they’ll keep put. I’ve usually 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. In the event you hope to catch a swarm this season, keep in mind that time is of the essence! That’s why I prefer to maintain every part I would like in my automotive. Afterall, you by no means know if you’re going to get the decision to rescue some bees. Learn on to learn how to make your personal swarm-catching package.
The 5 Should-Haves for a Swarm Catching Package
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 bins are light-weight and straightforward to hold. Particularly should 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 shouldn’t have to distrub them proper after I catch them, I can wait till they’re established earlier than I switch the to full-size tools.
Giant Swarms Tip: The one time I don’t like to make use of nuc bins is for big swarms. In these instances, I’ll use a full-size Langstroth field or two medium bins. Offering an acceptable sized field for the swarm will increase the probabilities that they’ll keep in your apiary.
Notice for High Bar Beekeepers
There are a whole lot of Nuc Field designs for high bar bekeepers, from DIY plans to custom-made bins on Etsy. To catch a swarm I wish 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 certain the scale of the nuc match your full-size hive.
MacGyvering a Family Merchandise for a Swarm Catch
If you’re contemplating utilizing home goods like buckets and cardboard bins to catch swarms, the swarm will have to be transferred to a correct hive asap. The stress of transferring would possibly trigger the bees to go away. For that reason, I solely use home goods to catch a swarm in a pinch.
2. Protecting Gear
My package contains my ventilated bee go well with and nitrile gloves. Swarms are normally 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 state of affairs. Swarm catches can even 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 useful to have a lure , however right here’s the trick, I by no means spray it in my nuc field. Lures scent 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. In the event you spray it, the scent would possibly initially appeal to the swarm, but when the scent is overwhelming it may additionally trigger them to go away 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, usually 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.
4. Ratcheting Straps & Duct Tape
You have to a way to safe your nuc field if 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 on 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. Take a look at my submit on shifting bees should you want details about this course of.
5. Fundamental Instruments: Pruners & a Sharp Knife
Throughout a swarm catch, you would possibly end up reaching for pruners to take away branches and vegetation blocking a swarm. A knife additionally is useful for plenty of issues, from slicing strips of duct tape to eradicating bits of comb the swarm could have began constructing.
Take a look at my first swarm catch of 2019 or this eggplant swarm catch for instance of how useful pruners might be.
Optionally available Gadgets in your Swarm Package
These things aren’t essential, however you would possibly discover them helpful! You may learn extra particulars about them in an article I wrote for Protecting Yard Bees.
- Ladder or sturdy step stool to achieve a excessive swarm.
- Entrance blocker to safe the hive field for transport.
- Body of comb in your nuc field to encourage bees to remain.
- White sheet unfold under the swarm to make bees that fall from the cluster straightforward to identify.
Wish to see some extra swarm catches and the sorts of kits I deliver with me?
Take a look at a few of these movies.
Wish to study extra swarm ideas from me? Take a look at my new on-demand streaming class Swarms & Splits.