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Swarm trapping can be fun. For beekeepers it satisfies the same urge fishing does for fishermen. A lot of care goes into choosing and selecting the equipment and bait in hopes of finding the right combination which will most closely match the criteria the bees are looking for in a new home.

After several years of swarm trapping I think I have my preferred trap design down pat. A double 5 frame nuc, with old propolised frames only in the upper box (one frame with old comb, and four with starter strips coated with beeswax), bottom box is empty, bottom board with small screened drainage hole is attached, 1 1/4″ entrance hole with bird excluder (nail) and with closure disk for quickly closing the entrance for moving, main entrance blocked (screw used as handle if it needs to be removed), ratchet strap holds it all together. It’s not heavy and easily to transport. I’ll place this now and bait it with my secret recipe scent attractant in about a month. Placement of traps are 75 to 200 yards away from the main bee yard and along tree lines. Height is best at 12 – 15 ft. but I’m not keen on lugging ladders through the woods so I keep them at manageable heights. Scout bees will give the swarm trap a through inspection with points given for correct cavity size, correct entrance size, odor, dryness, height, and location. The more of these you satisfy the more points you earn and the greater the likelihood they will choose the trap.

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