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 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. When you hope to catch a swarm this season, do not forget that time is of the essence! That’s why I prefer to maintain the whole lot I want in my automotive. Afterall, you by no means know while 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 Equipment
1. A Nuc Field

I nearly all the time use a nuc field to catch swarms. I like this feature as a result of nuc containers are light-weight and simple to hold. Particularly if you happen to 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 gear.

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

Notice for Prime Bar Beekeepers

There are loads of Nuc Field designs for high bar bekeepers, from DIY plans to custom-made 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 possibly can glimpse this technique 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 items like buckets and cardboard containers to catch swarms, the swarm will should 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 consists of my ventilated bee swimsuit and nitrile gloves. Swarms are often docile by nature, however you by no means know. My swimsuit is like my seat belt. I put on it in case of worst-case situation. 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 putting the uncapped bottle close to the doorway is sufficient. When you spray it, the scent may initially entice the swarm, but when the scent is overwhelming it may 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, 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.

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

You will want a method to safe your nuc field while you take the bees dwelling. I take advantage of duct tape to safe the lid and to carry my entrance blocker in place. You possibly can 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. Take a look at my put up on shifting bees if you happen to 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 plenty of issues, from chopping strips of duct tape to eradicating bits of comb the swarm might have began constructing.

Take a look at my first swarm catch of 2019 or this eggplant swarm catch for instance of how useful pruners may be.

Swarm Catch from a Mallow Bush
Elective Gadgets to your Swarm Equipment

These things are usually not obligatory, however you may discover them helpful! You possibly can learn extra particulars about them in an article I wrote for Protecting Yard Bees.

  1. Ladder or sturdy step stool to succeed in 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 beneath the swarm to make bees that fall from the cluster simple to identify.
Wish to see some extra swarm catches and the sorts of kits I carry with me?

Take a look at a few of these movies.

Wish to be taught extra swarm ideas from me? Take a look at my new on-demand streaming class Swarms & Splits.


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