Swarm catcher

Try posting here when needing or sharing information about the removal of honey bees from unwanted locations.

Moderators: Wally, Jacobs

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Wally
Guard bee
Posts: 1753
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 2:35 pm
Location: Randleman

Swarm catcher

Post by Wally »

I had a call from a member today asking what to do when you suspect your hive is going to swarm. He had never heard of a swarm catcher box, so after explaining it to him, I thought I would post it here for others that may have a use for it. You mount it on the entrance of your hive when you suspect a swarm. When it happens, the queen cannot get through the excluder, so the swarming bees return and join her. You then close the unit, move it to another hive and reopen it. They go into the new hive and set up housekeeping. The foragers can work through the excluder, but the queen is trapped, so they don't leave. After a few days, remove the catcher.

https://beezneedz.com/product/swarm-catcher/
reedyfork
Forager
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:09 am

Re: Swarm catcher

Post by reedyfork »

I had no idea this even existed - thanks Wally! A few questions:

1. Have you (or anyone else here) used this and been successful?
2. When exactly are you supposed to put it on? I wouldn't know what "signs" to look for. I've seen my hives swarm before, but really only during the act itself...
3. Thinking that the swarm intends to move far away, what's the likelihood you could move the swarm to an empty box and keep it in your own yard? Or would you have to plan on moving it away and housing the swarm somewhere else?
Wally
Guard bee
Posts: 1753
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 2:35 pm
Location: Randleman

Re: Swarm catcher

Post by Wally »

1.. I haven't. I learned of it after I retired from keeping.
2.. When you have multiple queen cells being built, or other signs.
3. That's why you leave it on the new hive until she has brood. Then they won't leave,
reedyfork
Forager
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:09 am

Re: Swarm catcher

Post by reedyfork »

Thanks Wally - I picked one of these up at Beez Needz yesterday, so will be excited to try it out. The one thing I noticed at first is that it must have been made/sized "universally", so will need a shim of some sort on the side when inserting into a 10-frame box.
Linda
Nursebee
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2020 5:18 pm
Location: Mersey Road, Greensboro

Re: Swarm catcher

Post by Linda »

Retired from beekeeping Wally? Not even just a few backyard hives. Very informative at Randolph meeting. Thank you and Mark. We learned options to deal with swarm cells before the hive swarms. Using the queen castle or nucs easy way to start new colonies. I have been diligent on checking my hives for swarm cells every 7 days. Is there a way I can tell they are settled on making honey as opposed to swarming. Pulling apart the hive every week is getting more onerous as I'm adding boxes
Wally
Guard bee
Posts: 1753
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 2:35 pm
Location: Randleman

Re: Swarm catcher

Post by Wally »

I won't say it is 100%, but if you tilt the second box back on the bottom box and check between the frames in the second box, you will see swarm cells 99% of the time if there are any in the hive.

NO, health will not let me work hives any more, so I just teach and help others.
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