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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 one old propolised frame and four empty frames with starter strips in the upper box. The bottom box is empty and the bottom board has a small screened drainage hole is attached. A 1 1/4″ entrance hole with bird excluder (nail) and a with closure disk for quickly closing the entrance for moving. The main entrance is blocked (a screw used as handle if it needs to be removed). Finally, a ratchet strap holds it all together. It’s not heavy and easy to transport. I’ll place this now and bait it with my secret recipe scent attractant. 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 thorough 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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