Effective Traps To Catch Bee Swarm

Effective Traps To Catch Bee Swarm

Emma Downey

Emma Downey
Gardening Expert

Updated on 12/4/2022

You may have witnessed thousands of bees flying around in the air and wondered what they were doing. Let us be the bearers of bad news: they are in the process of looking for a new place to call home. This post is on how to catch bee swarm, so keep that in mind as you read it.

Bees generally swarm in spring. However, it is possible to observe them crowding even during the summer or the fall. They will emerge from their hive as a buzzing cloud, which will then land on a branch, post, or even underneath a roof.

swarm-of-bees-on-a-tree-branch

Even though the sight of a wild swarm of bees might make some people nervous because they believe the bees are getting ready to sting anyone who gets in their way, you should know that stinging is not at all on their minds. They are brimming with happiness and excitement as they look for a new place to nest.

Furthermore, you may be able to capture them and provide them with a new home in your garden if you do so. In addition to that, you are going to receive some honey and wax as a bonus.

bee-hive-with-wax-and-honey

If you are new to the hobby of beekeeping (get it? ), or if your natural curiosity has improved, read on to learn more about swarming and how it affects bees.

We have also provided a list of the top swarm traps and bait hives for your convenience. In addition to that, here is a simple guide on how to capture a swarm of bees.

What Causes Bees To Form Swarms?

The primary reasons why bees swarm are related to space and reproduction. You might find the first reason hilarious since their colonies are already so densely packed that bees hardly appear to want “space.”

small-swarm-of-bees-on-a-branch

It's a well-known fact that bees congregate in large colonies. But when their colony grows beyond the capacity of their hive, they decide to split into two or more groups.

When a colony of bees swarms for reproduction, the bees reproduce as a unit. That is, they want to increase the total number of settlements, as well as the number of hives, etc.

swarm-of-bees

In some cases, the bees will leave the existing hive altogether, which is interesting to note. This is referred to as absconding and should not be confused with swarming. Bees will leave their packs if they are deprived of food or water, are infested with parasites, or are bothered by humans or other animals.

Bees Swarming Signs: How To Recognize Swarming Bees

 Bees swarming is a beautiful phenomenon that anyone, beekeeper or not, can witness. Swarming bees can be identified by their characteristic behavior, indicating that the bee colony in question is strong and doing well.

bees-swarming

In most cases, swarming occurs in the spring, typically during the warmer parts of the day. In this regard, bees exhibit a high level of intelligence; they are aware that if they swarm in the spring, there will be sufficient time to store food for the coming winter.

Take note of the following indicators to determine whether or not a colony of bees is about to swarm:

  • You will see a lot of activity near the entrance, consisting of worker bees flying in and out of the hive. This is a sign of high activity. Additionally, there will be a significant population of workers and drone bees.

highly-active-beehive-entrance.

  • When most of the cells in the hive are occupied, or when all the cells are settled, the worker bees will want more space on the combs to rear their young. Therefore, they decide to swarm. Additionally, the current hive has reached a point where it is too crowded for them to store any more honey or pollen in it.
  • Idle worker bees: sedentary behavior can signify that swarming is imminent in a colony. Bees do not bring much food into the hive, nor do they cause it to grow.

idle-worker-bees-on-the-hive.

  • The older queen bee must also leave with the swarm if the colony decides to swarm. This is due to the larger size of the queen bee. To travel extensive distances, the queen must reduce her size. To what end? Before swarming, worker bees limit the amount of food their queen consumes.
  • The construction of queen cups is as follows: If you find that your bees are building queen cells, you can be sure that they are getting ready to swarm. These cups are where the current queen bee will lay her eggs to produce a new queen bee for the older hive

How To Avoid Being Stung When Catching A Horde Of Bees

Even novice beekeepers may succeed with this strategy, even though it appears risky and audacious at first glance. Therefore, if a swarm of bees has landed on a nearby branch, wall, pole, or other covered areas, you should not be afraid to try it and show some bravery.

safely-catching-bee-swarm.

Before you attempt to capture a swarm of bees, check that you are adequately prepared and have your protective gear at the ready.

You will require the following tools and equipment:

  • a container made of wood or cardboard
  • sheet or fabric of a light color bed
  •  sheet
  • The shears and the bee brush
  • Lemongrass essential oil and sugar syrup
  • Garments de protection
    Follow these steps to safely capture a swarm of bees after you have prepared the necessary equipment. It doesn't have to be risky to be interesting!

Step 1: Identify The Location Of The Swarm

bees-swarming-on-the-top-branches-of-a-tree.

At first, the swarm will look pretty chaotic, with bees flying around in large circles and buzzing about. They will inevitably come to rest on a nearby branch, fence, or pole, where they will cling to one another for support.

Remember that this clinging behavior is only temporary and that the scout bee will be searching for a possible new home. Therefore, if you want to recapture the swarm before it departs for its new home, this is your best opportunity.

Step 2: Conduct An Evaluation Of The Swarm

cutting-off-the-branches-with-bees-swarm-on-a-ladder.

Examine the map to determine the precise location of the cluster. Proceed to the next step if the object can be reached easily from where you are standing. On the other hand, if it is situated at a high level, you will most likely require using a stepladder to access it.

A swarm of bees can weigh up to 5 kilograms. If you intend to climb up a ladder to put it in your container, you will need to exercise extreme caution.

A word of advice: Before moving forward, check to see that the swarm has calmed down.

The Third Step Is To Put On Your Safety Equipment.

wearing-protective-beekeeping-gear..

Bees are at their most docile and vulnerable state just before they swarm, and this is because they do not possess any honey or hive to guard while looking for a new location.

Considering that, it is prudent to put on your protective gear, including a bee suit and a veil, before attempting to deal with the swarm.

The Fifth Step Is To Capture The Swarm.

obtaining-the-bee-swarm-from-the-tree.

Prepare yourself to capture the swarm as soon as you have all the necessary gear and supplies. Applying some sugar syrup to the hive will help keep the bees together in one cluster.

Now, try to transfer it to the cardboard or wooden container you have. Give the branch a sharp jerk if the swarm is hanging from it so the bees will fall into your box. Be sure to use the bee brush to gently transfer the bees into the container if the swarm is perched on a stationary surface.

If, on the other hand, the swarm is located on the ground, sprinkle some oil made from lemongrass on the box to entice the bees. After you have successfully placed the bees inside the box, be sure to seal it and store it in a secure location.

A helpful hint is to ensure that the box has a small hole where stragglers and returning scouts can enter.

Installing The Swarm In The Hive Is The Sixth Step.

placing-the-swarming-bees-onto-their-new-hive.

Installing the recently captured swarm is the last step in the process. Within the next twenty-four hours, you must carefully transfer it to an empty beehive. You have successfully collected a swarm of bees at this point.

Regarding catching a swarm, the proverb "A picture is worth a thousand words" has never been more appropriate.

Take a look at the video that has been provided below to get an idea of how to incorporate a swarm of bees into your hive:

How to catch Bees

Various Methods For Capturing A Swarm, Including Bait Hives, Bee Swarm Traps, And More

You are now aware of the phenomenon of bees swarming, how to recognize the signs of a swarming situation, and how to safely recapture a swarm. Now that we have that out of the way, let's talk about a few products that will come in handy when dealing with a multitude.

Bee Swarm Capture Devices

Bee Swarm Capture Devices

Any watertight wooden container with a small entrance at the bottom of one of the walls can be used as a swarm trap.

A swarm can be safely and effectively captured using this method. To attract bees, you need to do nothing more than raise it a few feet off the ground and add a few drops of lemongrass essential oil.

The Oil Of Lemongrass

The Oil Of Lemongrass

Oil derived from lemongrass is the primary component of nearly all swarm lures, and it does an excellent job of luring bees into swarm traps where they can be captured. Because it imitates the pheromone that the queen bee emits to attract scout bees, this oil has the desired effect.

Nuc Box

Bees will use a nuc box, a nucleus box, as a temporary home. It doesn't take up much space, can be folded up, and isn't heavy. Please use it to secure the swarm in a container before transferring it to a hive.

A nuc box is something that some beekeepers will use to house a smaller version of a bee family. However, once the bees have reproduced to the point where they cover 80 percent of the nuc frames, they will have to transfer the colony to a full-sized hive.

Bee Vacuum

Bee Vacuum

A bee vacuum consists of a lengthy hose that can recover bees from virtually any environment. Use the vacuum to remove the bees from the specific location and place them in the designated container. You won't be able to hurt the bees' wings or kill them in the process, but you can still capture them.

Bait Hives

A hive that has been cleaned out and left empty in the hopes of luring a bee swarm is called a bait hive. It functions in a manner very similar to a swarm trap and can be set up high in a tree or in another similar location. Installing bait hives a few weeks in advance of the approaching swarm season is recommended.

Bee Smoker

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The majority of beekeepers will make use of a bee smoker. It is a specific hand-held device with a nozzle for directing the smoke in the desired direction. It is built to produce smoke, which serves the purpose of calming the bees.

When the bees have settled down, it will be much simpler for you to move them back into the hive and work on it or make repairs to it.

Bee Brush

Bee Brush

When the time comes to transfer the bees from the swarm to their new home in the box, you'll find a bee brush handy. The bristles are gentle, and the handle is made of natural wood. Remember that bees do not enjoy being brushed, so limit your actions to only one or two firm strokes.

Important Questions Regarding Swarming Bees

 The sight of bees swarming is one that never ceases to amaze. 

However, it's also an exciting thing to consider. At first, you will notice tens of thousands of bees flying around and buzzing in their hive.

After roughly ten minutes, this buzzing cloud of bees will begin to disperse, only to eventually reassemble themselves into the shape of a cluster.

bees-swarming-on-top-branch

Although there are still some mysteries surrounding swarming bees, we have answers to most of the questions that are asked of us regularly.

Read these interesting, frequently asked questions about bees swarming if you are considering beginning beekeeping or if you are just a naturally curious person who has a lot of questions about bees in general.

What Steps Should Be Taken If Bees Swarm?

What Steps Should Be Taken If Bees Swarm?

First, if you happen to come across a swarm of bees, try not to freak out or worry too much. Bees are typically very docile and unresponsive when swarming, and they are only looking for a location appropriate for establishing a new colony.

If you have some experience as a beekeeper, you should be able to safely catch the swarm by following the steps that are outlined here. In any other case, contact local beekeepers or pest control agencies to help you capture the swarm.

What Could Be Attracting Such A Large Number Of Bees To My Home?

Such A Large Number Of Bees To My Home?

Bees select a location for their nest that is warm and dark. If you see swarms flying around your home, it's likely because they are looking for places to nest, such as hollow trees, utility boxes, chimneys, walls, or any other area that has a cavity.

The swarm is directed to a location that provides easy access to both water and food by the scouts. However, there are times when bees cannot locate suitable nesting sites and will instead construct hives beneath the overhangs of your home or in other unusual locations.

When In The Year Do Bees Typically Start To Swarm?

When In The Year Do Bees Typically Start To Swarm?

The swarming season for bees occurs in the late spring. At this time of year, bees begin their reproductive process and search for new locations to establish their nests. Between April and May, you will notice that bees are constructing most of their colonies.

Swarming can happen at any time, but it is most common in the summer and fall. On the other hand, these swarms are smaller, resulting in a lower chance of surviving the winter.

How Can You Tell If A Swarm Of Bees Is About To Take Place?

There are a significant number of clues to look for. The bees will begin hoarding large quantities of nectar and pollen, the beehive's space will become increasingly congested, and there will be an increase in the colony's number of bees.

If you see the bees building queen cups, you can be sure that they are ready to swarm at any moment.

Make Friends With The Honey Bee Swarms

Make Friends With The Honey Bee Swarms

The swarming of bees provides a window into the beauty that exists in the natural world. Because of the bee's hard work, we can indulge in the delectable honey and beeswax that drips from the comb.

And, of course, there is the food we consume, the pollination of which would be impossible without bees.

However, for many people, the thought of a swarm of buzzing bees the size of a basketball is the stuff of nightmares. Some people even consider calling an exterminator or starting a fire underneath it as a possible solution. Don't. It is time to cultivate friendly relations with the bee swarms.

rehoming-bees-swarms.

A swarm of bees can be safely removed and re-homed. And even if you know nothing about bees and beekeeping, you can still do your part to save the swarms. Call your local beekeeping agencies to rescue it. 


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