“You don’t even have bees yet and you’re already trying to trap a swarm? Surely, you can’t be serious.”
Why, yes. Yes we are. Call us ambitious. Call us stupid. Call us cheap. Just don’t call us Shirley.
But after reading up extensively on building your own swarm traps, we decided to give it a whirl. Spending over $100 on a package of bees that could potentially die over the winter had us figuring out ways to save and this seemed like a good idea. We really aren’t expecting much activity, so we will be pleasantly surprised if there is a good turnout. We have extra hives built and ready just in case. We wanted to have them on hand anyway in case we have to split our hives later on.
We made six traps to place out on a couple of family member’s properties. So stick around, we will post any success or failures we have in the process!
Here are some pictures of the swarm trap building process:
*Note: We will be using both lemongrass oil and bee pheromone lures in the traps. You would normally use frames with existing comb, but because we are new to beekeeping we are starting with brand, spanking new foundation.*
One thing our family is starting this year is our very own apiary. We are starting with two packages of bees that should be arriving sometime late April. We are all very excited and nervous, but more anxious than anything else. The Bishop Household is not one for patience most of the time, and that is one key component of beekeeping. Fail.
Here’s the thing, we purchased our two hives last summer. And our bees in January. So you can see why we are getting a little antsy. Not to mention this winter seems to be taking its sweet time leaving the Northeast and we are all getting spring fever. So yesterday, on the coldest and windiest day of 2015 so far, we brought up the hives and frames and started to put in the foundations. A form of wishful thinking on our part and long with that spring fever I was talking about.
Steve adding the foundation
Now we didn’t get all of them done, just two of the hive bodies. That’s a lot of work inserting those suckers! Just ask my thumbs who are still sore today… But all that work was fun and just makes us pine harder for spring.