Fishing for bees

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

beesLast year, I helped my friends build a bee hive for there yard. However, when spring came, they missed the window to purchase a nuc/package. Instead, we decided to build a few super-simple swarm traps.

These traps are literally a paper pot screwed to a piece of old plywood. All, but one of the holes were taped up and a bit of slumgum was thrown inside. We also planned to use some lemongrass (a common attractant), but never got the chance… Total cost per trap was about $2.

First swarm

Less than 24 hours after hanging the tap in their tree, a large swarm landed on the outside of the trap.

By that evening, when we moved it to the hive, the trap was filled to the brim with bees. They had already started to build comb.

Two days latter, the bees were already bringing pollen into their new home.

Second swarm

Once the bees were moved, we rehung the trap in the same spot.

About 3 days later, I got a call saying that it had caught another swarm! This one was a bit smaller. We moved it to my house. I had to improvise a quick hive to put them in.

It will be interesting to see how this one does in comparison.

Update 5/22

Both swarms are doing well. I the one at my house into a real hive yesterday evening. They are already building beautiful comb on the foundation-less frames. I also managed to photograph the queen. This is the first definitive queen sighting in the 2 years that I have been keeping bees.

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