Mr. Roy Stark, a beekeeper, shared his early success story about his swarm traps, “Those two swarms were caught a few days ago. First of the year . Based on the weather I think that next week swarm season will really kick in. I use Swarm Commander™ [swarm lure] spray to attract the field bees. I use one frame of old comb to seal the deal. Bees love that aroma coming from that old comb.”
“I currently have 3 hives that have bees going in and out of the trap. That’s a great sign indicating interest. If enough bees approve, they will move in. We have 19 traps out currently. Our goal this year is to catch 20 swarms. All our traps are placed at eye level, and we NEVER have a problem catching swarms. I scoff at YouTube™ videos showing beekeepers placing traps 15 to 20 feet in trees. Who wants to fall off a ladder at that height? I am going to forward a pic of a trap that was placed on top of a flower [pedestal] last year. It was 24 inches off the ground. I wanted to prove to other bee keepers that a trap does not need to be 15 feet in the air.”
Mr. Roy also made these recommendations for successfully trapping honey bee swarms, “The three most important things are 1) space(volume) in the trap, 2) at least one frame of old comb, and 3) the use of Swarm Commander™ at the entrance of the trap. You also need to place bees near where bees are. In the off season I use a GPS to map out where known bee yards are. Yes, I place traps near where other bee yards are. Within a mile! I have great success talking to farm and ranch owners to allow me to place traps on their property. I get no’s occasionally but mostly I get yeses. I place traps along tree lines and along fence lines…. One thing that I have come to believe is that beekeepers are some of the friendliest and helpful people in the world.”
Please send your beekeeping questions and pictures to Keith Hawkins, Area Horticulture Agent (AHA), (337) 284-5188 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Also, you can be on the “beemail” email list by emailing your request to the address above.
“This work has been supported, in part, by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Renewable Resources Extension Act Award, Accession Number 1011417.”
“Mention of trade names or commercial products and services in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute endorsement by Louisiana State University AgCenter.”
Figure 1. Roy Stark and his swarm traps.
Figure 2. Successful swarm trap.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture