Honey Bee Swarm Basics

Honey bees naturally desire to build up their population and resources to a point where it is safe for them to send out a swarm, along with the old queen, and raise a new queen to carry on the colony in it’s current location. This swarming process, one we beekeepers like to stop in order to produce larger quantities of honey, is the very thing we swarm trappers rely on. No matter if you are trying to recoup swarms lost from your bee yard, someone else’s bee yard, or you are seeking feral colonies swarm trapping with Swarm Science Lures is the best way to fill your traps.

Swarm trapping is not luck, it’s science!

Yes, swarms can end up moving into random places making us think they will choose anywhere as their new homesite, but this is not so. These are the very small percentage of swarms we SEE, while the vast majority of swarms move into new homesites we never see. Thanks to Dr. Thomas Seeley and his extensive study of honey bee swarms we know how to maximize the number of swarms we are able to trap during swarm season. Last year, I was able to trap 10 swarms in 3 traps in my suburban neighborhood.

Why Swarm Science Lures?

Swarm Science is a swarm lure that will take your swarm trapping to the next level. Our swarm lure is a combination of the naturally occurring chemicals found in the Nasonov pheromone that honey bees release from their Nasonov gland to direct honey bees to the hive, and in this case to the new home site (your trap) chosen by the colony.

4 Steps to YOUR Swarm Trapping Success

1.) Pheromones: Using Swarm Science imitates the complex chemistry of the Nasonov pheromone honey bees use to attract swarms to new homesites. In addition to Swarm Science lure, old comb can also be added to your swarm traps.

2.) Placement: Place swarm traps 10-15 feet off the ground near the trunk of a tree.

3.) Trap Size: Trap must be 40L in size in order to have the best chance at attracting swarms (Two 5 frame deep nuc boxes stacked or one 10 frame deep box). One nuc box MAY be able to catch a swarm, but MANY MORE swarms will pass up this size trap than occupy it. The trap entrance should be toward the bottom and 1.5-2 square inches.

4.) Timing: Traps must be placed in early spring, a few weeks BEFORE the first swarm is spotted in your area. Scouts begin looking for new home sites even before the swarm leaves the colony. While swarms can be caught in summer and even fall, there are much few of them and these swarms are often smaller and are less likely to survive winter than spring swarms.

Swarm Science Swarm Lure