I am beginning to realize that I have a problem. Every time I see weathered bee equipment I have an incredible urge to build a Swarm Trap. I am powerless to overcome it….. I’m addicted! I am quickly becoming the crazy-cat-lady of swarm traps! If you haven’t experienced the joy of trapping swarms you may not understand my addiction. There is no negative consequence to submitting to peer pressure here. If you try it and have success you will become hope-FULLY addicted to trapping swarms.
Just like many others in the northern hemisphere, I’ve been making the rounds picking up equipment from dead-outs. Every time I see that a colony has failed I am eyeing the equipment to see how many more years of service I might be able to expect. When I started beekeeping I was on a shoestring budget and was buying every piece of cheap, used equipment I could find. Looking back, the time I spent making those boxes sturdy and sound was a pretty big waste because even after retrofitting many of them just don’t have that much production life left.
Luckily the time was not a total loss because many of these boxes are still prime candidates for Swarm Traps. Recently I retrieved the wooden-ware from 1634 and 1517. 1634 had two deep boxes that were in really good shape and will be used this year, but 1517 had a top box that has no business on a production colony. I purchased this box back in 2012 along with 19 others from a very good old beekeeping friend. The price was right and I’m glad I got them, but there are some that I don’t feel good about using anymore.
Even though I have over 50 traps, I just can’t stand to have hive-ware taking up space when it could be out doing something. I did some digging and found that I had one more rickety old inner cover and a telescoping outer cover. I had everything I needed to get my fix of building ONE MORE TRAP! Don’t worry…. I can quit any time.
If you have any old equipment like this it only takes about 15 minutes to complete one of these traps. Even if you do not have entry discs, a closure device can be easily made from a canning lid or flat piece of metal. These traps can be deployed easily and your spouse won’t be talking to you about all the old equipment you have stashed around the place.
I have seen many people building swarm traps for this season on social media.
Are you ready?