If you want bees what is better then “free” bees! Of coarse after a while you end up putting lots of money and time into them but whatever. Swarming is a hives natural way of reproduction. You had one hive to start now you have two, okay you get it. So as beekeepers we want to take care of more bees so we start by making the bees think they are swarming by splitting them. Splitting is taking bees out with the queen (usually) and putting them in a different hive setting, bottom board, deep, outer cover, or in a nuc, a box half the size of a deep. So now the bees think they have swarmed right? While if the bees read the same books as us yes, but sadly that is not always the case. Some bees will stay in the box thinking it is their new home some bees will swarm again and sometimes you don’t figure out that they are swarming till it has already happened. In those cases beekeepers will set up swarm traps to catch their swarm or possibly other beekeepers swarms.
Here we end up at a friends house who lives in a neighborhood were lots of beekeepers live. We asked her if we could put a swarm trap to catch those other beekeeper’s bees and she said yes. Now we looked for a good spot where it will not get played with, were the bees can pollinate (if possible), and where we can reach it easy enough.
Here are Mom and Dad putting up a Swarm Trap in the selected tree. Note the flooring over the top of the swarm trap. Hey, guess what it was free! We choose this tree because we could face it south, the tree had a branch low enough that we could easily reach it, and it was inconspicuous.
Dad carefully tightening the ratchet strap to keep the box secured to the tree.
Abigail helping Dad keep the stable while he deals with the ratchet strap.
Our first swarm trap up and ready to go.
We also put up a swarm trap in our yard because after all we are first year beekeepers and we do not want to loss valuable bees. We have seen bees visit the swarm trap but no swarms yet.