One of my typical 80 year old friends introduced me to catch boxes on a swarm call in 2015. For years I had strapped hive bodies to bottom-boards for swarm retrievals. It was always a pain. New equipment was slick, things wouldn’t stay lined up, the bottom boards moved sometimes… That’s a thing of the past. Swarms stay in them better, and that’s only the start of the benefits of Catch Boxes.
Gordon had a weathered deep that was sound, but NOT good enough to be out on a hive. He screwed an old bottom board to the deep. Now it’s one piece and easy to handle. I place 1 old brood comb and 9 foundation-less frames along with a baggie treated with LGO, (my standard swarm bait) in it. This BOX is a multi-purpose tool for beekeeping. Every beekeeper should have one in their vehicle for swarm runs as well as covertly attempting to catch bees anywhere you park. See: Trapping on the DL When you roll up to a swarm with this box you have old comb on hand. In my experience old comb in a swarm magnet. It can mean the difference in one staying and leaving. I have these stashed at different hive sites and trapping locations using them as Swarm Traps on the ground. If I get a swarm call and don’t have a box with me, I can pick one up in route.
Use old ratty inner and outer covers for catch boxes. Every older beekeeper I know has many of these squirreled away. If you know any such keepers, ASK THEM ABOUT THEIR OLD JUNK. Go through all your stockpiled “worthless” equipment and find GOLD! After this season I am going to paint them all one color so they are easily distinguishable from other equipment. Now they are easy to spot because they’re all so UGLY. You will be seeing pictures of them I’m sure. I am still using a ratchet strap to hold the lids on while on the move, but searching for an alternative, just haven’t decided on one yet. When deployed as a swarm trap I use a brick or rock to keep the lid on.
They aren’t pretty, but they’re as nice as they need to be. Beekeeping equipment can be expensive. The more you can safely re-purpose and recycle discarded or second hand equipment through your apiary the easier it is to keep your expenses low. Go through your equipment. Do you have the materials to scrape some of these together? Before you make em research how to limit spread of diseases when using old bee equipment. There are plenty other places on the internet that discuss charring as well as other methods. GET OUT THERE… and get something going.
Do you have questions?