DIY bee traps

DIY bee traps

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The bee trap helps the beekeeper catch roaming swarms. Due to a simple adaptation, the beekeeper expands his farm with new bee colonies. It is easy to make a trap, it is more difficult to find a suitable place for it and perch it on a tree.

What are bee traps used for in beekeeping?

Traps of any design are created with only one purpose - to catch a swarm of bees wandering through the forest. Swarming is beneficial and harmful. It all depends on how quickly the beekeeper reacts. If time is lost, the bees and their queen will leave the hive in search of new homes. For the beekeeper, this is a loss. Another beekeeper benefits. By setting traps, he will be able to catch the swarm and place it in his hive.

Important! Thanks to swarming, the beekeeper is able to increase the number of bee colonies.

What a bee trap looks like

The trap looks like an ordinary container. It can be of any shape: square, oval, rectangular and others. The material for the manufacture is usually wood or plastic. You can adapt a factory container to a trap, for example, a plastic barrel. An important element is the inlet and the presence of a damper. When a swarm of bees flies into a trap, it does not go back. Insects settle on the bait located inside the container. It remains for the beekeeper to close the flap and transfer the swarm to his hive.

The use of swarms in beekeeping

In fact, a swarm is an analogue of a trap, but it has differences in design. In addition, the device is multifunctional. If a trap can only catch a wandering swarm, then the swarm perform the following operations:

  • the swarm prevents the swarm from leaving the hive during the absence of the beekeeper in the apiary;
  • the swarm is removed from the tree a swarm that has accumulated in a ball;
  • the swarm serves as a temporary storage for bees in a cool room;
  • With a swarm, drones are caught, the queen is separated from the swarm, and the queen of the newly formed family is detained inside the hive.

Experienced beekeepers use swarms for other operations, which would require at least three apiary devices.

Important! The multifunctional swarm reduces the likelihood of injury to the bees and the queen.

How to make a DIY bee trap

To create a trap, you need to find or make a container. When choosing a shape and model, it is optimal to give preference to a vertical type design. When the trap looks more like a hollow, the bees will master it faster.

Dimensions and drawings of the bee trap

Do-it-yourself special drawings of a bee trap are not needed. The device consists of a container with an inlet and a shutter. A piece of fiberboard or plywood that blocks the entrance in size is suitable as a gate valve. Beekeepers come up with different ways to fix the flap. It usually rotates on a hairpin or hinges. For pressing, a spring is placed, the lever is adjusted to the handle.

It is more important to correctly calculate the size. The optimal volume of the trap for catching a large swarm is 40 liters. A container with a smaller volume will be able to catch a small swarm of bees. It is unreasonable to increase the volume of the trap more than 60 liters. The number of bees will not increase, and it is difficult to perch it on a tree. In addition, material consumption increases.

You can open the trap from plywood or fiberboard. One of the lids is provided for opening the bait.

Even an ordinary plastic bottle can act as a trap. Small containers for catching swarms will not work. Traps can only catch pests. To catch a large swarm, you will need a bottle of the appropriate volume, and you can take it from a water cooler.

Tools and materials

Depending on what kind of bee trap is supposed to be made, a tool and material are selected.

To assemble a plywood trap, you need:

  • plywood, slats with a section of 20x20 mm, non-soaking material for the roof, sheet polystyrene;
  • nails, hammer, pliers, jigsaw.

To assemble a plastic trap, you need:

  • a large bottle from a water cooler;
  • wire, scotch tape;
  • scissors, knife, awl.

It is imperative for any trap to need paint to paint the body.

Build process

A plywood trap for a bee swarm begins to be made from sheet cutting. Fragments are more convenient to cut with a jigsaw. The assembly of plywood blanks into boxes is carried out by joining at the corners with slats and nails. All joints are made tight. For the entrance hole on the front panel, cut out a slot in the form of a taphole measuring 100x10 mm. A latch is fitted from the bar.

The top panel will act as a roof. In terms of dimensions, it is larger than the box. Fixation is carried out with loops. The bait is loaded through the roof that folds to the side. From the inside, the walls of the trap are insulated with foam. The outside of the boxes is painted, handles or a carrying strap are attached. The roof and bottom are impregnated with linseed oil, upholstered with non-soaking material.

A primitive bottle trap is made in 10-15 minutes. First, cut off the neck with a small side part. The bait is placed inside the body. The cut element is turned over, and the neck is inserted into the main container. At the joints, holes are pierced with an awl, sewn with wire. The bottle is painted with water-based paint so that the plastic walls from the solvent do not melt. The finished trap is fixed with tape on a tree.

Swarming for bees with your own hands

There are many varieties of swarms. Beekeepers make devices in the form of a cone, pyramid, rectangle. Hinged covers with a long cable are used as mechanization. Having installed such a swarm on a pole, it is convenient to shoot a swarm of bees hanging high on a tree.

For novice beekeepers, it is optimal to focus on a rectangular design. The presented drawings of a swarm for bees with your own hands will help you make a device.

The swarm consists of the following parts:

  1. Fine mesh gate valve. Plexiglas, thin plywood or fiberboard are suitable for the damper.
  2. Side front struts to move the valve.
  3. Front cross member. The element provides top fixation of the valve.
  4. Plywood walls of the swarm, bottom and ceiling. The two side walls can be made from mesh.
  5. Handles for carrying and fixing the swarm. On the outside of the bottom there is a retainer that holds the latch open or closed.
  6. A 20x35x100 mm boss is installed on the ceiling from the inside of the swarm, and only the bracket comes out. The boss helps the swarm to gain a foothold.
  7. The roof of the swarm.
  8. Upper trims.
  9. Back trims.
  10. Bottom planks.
  11. Front strips.

The do-it-yourself swarm frame is assembled from the upper, lower, rear and front strips. The optimal size of the structure is 235x280x400 mm. The overall dimensions of the swarm will slightly increase due to the thickness of the plywood sheathing and additional elements.

The connection is carried out with cloves. Joints for reliability are coated with PVA glue or sealant. The mesh is fixed to the frame with planks. A limiting self-tapping screw is screwed on the upper jumper, which helps to fix the valve in the closed state. The finished swarm is stained and weighed. Knowing the weight is necessary to determine the weight of the caught bees.

Pole for catching swarms of bees

When the swarm leaves the hive, the bees circle over the apiary for a while. If you do not miss the moment, they can be caught. The beekeeper makes the simplest device. He attaches the old frame to a long pole and lifts it, trying to direct it into the thick of the swarm. The bees settle on a frame with a pole. The beekeeper needs to carefully lower the device, shake off the swarm into the swarm.

Attention! The pole attachment is used only for catching its emerging swarm.

How to catch a swarm of bees

To catch bees in a trap or swarm, you need to know when and where to place them, what to put for bait and many other nuances.

What frames to set in bee traps

Honeycombs are the best bait for traps. Old dark colored foundation works best. The smell of wax lures bees. If the size of the trap allows, a whole frame is placed inside. Honeycombs are taken only from a healthy bee colony. For disinfection, they are placed in a freezer for 2 days.

When to set bee traps and swarms

The swarming period of bees lasts from the last spring month to mid-July. Swarms and traps must be prepared no later than May 25th. The swarming process usually ends on July 10th. There is a late swarming in September. Usually the period is short. Bees fly in small swarms weighing up to 1.5 kg.

You can learn more about catching bees from the video:

Where is the best place to set traps and swarms for bees

In order for bee colonies to be trapped, you need to know where it is best to place them. Experienced beekeepers have a number of proven rules:

  • The optimum height from ground level is 4-6 m. A tall tree is ideal. Bees choose a place away from wet soil and honey thieves.
  • The trap must be visible to the bees. If it is difficult for the beekeeper to notice it from 30 m, then insects will not see it either.
  • Trap in the shade. Bees will not fly inside a house red-hot under the sun.
  • Trees are chosen conspicuous, and not in the thickets of the forest. Optimal - growing on a large meadow or the outskirts of the road, planting.
  • The minimum distance from the apiary is 30-50 m. To catch wild bees, the trap is brought as close as possible to their habitat.
  • The chances of catching a swarm of bees in the area of ‚Äč‚Äčabundantly flowering honey plants increase. There is little forage on pastures and in coniferous forests; swarms do not appear here.
  • Bees cannot live without water. You can catch a family at a distance of 100-200 m from a river, a pond, or an artificial reservoir.

The light color of the trap helps to lure the swarm. It is believed that the inlet should be directed to the south. However, experienced beekeepers assure that the direction of the entrance is not so important in comparison with the observance of proven rules.

Advice! Bees are often attracted to the same place. If a swarm was caught on a tree, then an empty trap or swarm is again placed in this place.

How to catch bees in an empty hive

You can catch a swarm not only with a trap or a swarm. An empty hive will do the job optimally. The house is suitable only for a single-hull. To lure the bees into an empty hive, 6 frames are installed inside. More will take up a lot of space and the swarm will not fit. If there are not enough frames, they will not attract bees.

It is very simple to catch roaming swarms. The beekeeper fixes the hive and does not touch it. There is a chance to scare off the bees if the scouts have already visited the house. After the family has settled, the hive should not be touched in the same way. The bees must get used to the new home, only then can it be transferred to the apiary.

How to get bees out of a hollow

You can catch wild bees with a swarm or plywood hive by removing the nest from the hollow. The procedure is best done in the morning in clear weather. Worker bees fly away at this time for nectar.

To open the tree trunk and relocate the family, you will need tools and materials:

  • ax;
  • saw on wood;
  • smoker;
  • buckets;
  • swarm or light plywood hive with frames;
  • wooden splinters;
  • scoop;
  • threads, rope, gauze;
  • small plywood sheet.

It is optimal to cut an old tree with a hollow. The log is laid on the ground in front of the swarm or hive, installed on a stand. Letok turn to the hollow. At the level below the taphole near the hollow, two cuts are made in 30 cm increments. The wood is split with an ax. For accuracy, more cuts are made and again split in order to expand the hollow to the maximum.

When access to the combs appears, the bees are treated with a smoker. Work is performed in protective masks. A sheet of plywood is laid on a log, and a structure of splinters and an empty frame is erected on top. Honeycombs are cut out inside the hollow, placed in an empty frame, more splinters are placed on top and tied to the lower splinters located under the frame. The honeycomb is firmly clamped.

For the resettlement procedure, it is still better to use a hive instead of swarming. The honeycomb is immediately placed in the house. Smoky bees in the hollow are selected with a scoop, poured into the hive. When the uterus is inside the house, the remains of the scattered swarm will fly to her on their own. The worker bees will transfer the remaining honey from the hollow to the hive. Now you just have to wait until the end of the process. In the evening, the hive with the caught new family is tied with gauze, transferred to the apiary.

How to trap a swarm of wild bees

A swarm of wild bees is of particular value. Insects are hardworking, wintering better. Families have good productivity.

To catch wild bees, use the same traps or swarms. First, they find their habitats. The device is tied with a rope on a tree. Place it in the shade. Find a fruit tree optimally. A long rope is tied to the flap. When the wild swarm is inside, the latch is closed from the ground by pulling on the rope. The catching principle is the same as for regular bees.

How to watch out for a swarm from a hive

The fleeing swarm from the hive brings a loss to the beekeeper. Sometimes beekeepers solve the problem by cutting one wing of the queen. The queen will not be able to fly out of the hive, and with her the whole family. However, the emerging uterus falls to the ground, where it can get lost or die.

To prevent the swarm from leaving the hive, it is easier to detain the uterus itself, to prevent it from leaving the house. A matkolovka is installed on the notch. In fig. 1 the device is made in the form of conical caps with holes. The queen that crawls out will fall into the mattress and will not be able to fly away.

In fig. 2 shows an example of the installation of a prefabricated dividing grid. It is optimal to use a metal mesh, since the uterus often crawls through the cells of the plastic device.

How to transplant a swarm of bees from a trap or swarm into a hive

A swarm caught in a swarm or trap is left in a cool place. A hive is being prepared for a new family:

  • the house is opened for airing and warming up under the sun;
  • the inner walls of the hive and laps are rubbed with freshly picked mint;
  • a foundation is installed in the hive at the rate of 3 frames per 1 kg of bees;
  • additionally put frames with an open bottom brood, half filled with honey up to about 1.5 kg;
  • a syrup feeder is installed as additional food.

They put dry in the nest. For her, determine the central place, and the sides are taken away under the foundation. In the absence of brood frames, they are replaced with honeycombs soaked in mint syrup.

The swarm is transplanted into the hive in the evening in two ways:

  1. The captured family from the swarm is simply poured into the hive through the open lid. Bees attached to the walls are shaken off with light blows to the body of the swarm.
  2. A gangway is made from a sheet of plywood. They are installed between the hive entrance and the swarm turned upside down on one of the sides. The optimal dimensions of the arrival gangway for shaking off swarms are 100x70 cm.The second indicator can be reduced to 50 cm.

The gangway transfer is considered the best. It is easier for a beekeeper to verify the presence of a queen and find it.

Conservation of late caught swarms of bees

From the end of August there is a chance to catch a late swarm. He is usually small. The captured family is placed in a hive with five frames, where it hibernates. After successful wintering, in 2 years from the late swarm up to 5 families will turn out. However, the disadvantage of such a capture, beekeepers note the viciousness of insects. The bees sting, keeping them away from the apiary within a radius of more than 100 m.


A bee trap will be beneficial if you know how to use the device. Not a single professional beekeeper can do without a swarm. The inventory is made based on their experience and tips from avid beekeepers.

Watch the video: How NOT to deal with a in-ground WaspHornet nest (January 2023).

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