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Free Bees

Everybody appreciates a freebie! But what about free bees?! Nowadays beekeeping can be pretty expensive. A hive setup can run you upwards of a couple hundred dollars. Just the bees themselves often cost more than $100!  But lemmie tell you, in spring and summer there are whole swarms of bees out there flying around looking for a home. If you set up the right sized box in the right place, you may find it brimming over with bees one day.
That’s what I did last year. The experts tell us that the box most likely to attract a bees swarm is basically any dry wooden box with a volume of about 10 gallons with a two-square-inch entrance towards the bottom of one wall.
They call this a “bait hive” or “swarm trap”. If it has some old honeycomb in it and the smell of propolis (resinous bee glue) all the better. Well, I had an empty hive body with lots of the resinous propolis on the walls. I put a couple frames of old comb in it and a dab of swarm lure pheromone that I bought from the bee supply store.
They say the optimal height for this contraption is 12-15 feet. And its best to locate it in a fairly open area not close to other hives since swarms are looking to settle in new territory.
I didn’t really want to climb onto a roof with this hive so I set it on our wood pile at about 6 feet. A couple weeks later I noticed a few bees investigating the entrance of the hive–,the next day a few more bees, and the next, an entire swarm came pouring in! I moved them to my bee yard. They built up during the summer and now, almost a year later, they are doing well.
For more details about swarm catching check out Dr. Leo Sharashkin’s website:

Speaking of bees if you’d like to take advantage of the
Go to my Products Page here
(Sale ends June 21 Solstice)

Swarm Tree, Of Honeybees, Honeymoons, and the Tree of Life (book) $15 ($3 off)
Sail On, Honeybee, Adventures in the Bee Yard (CD) $10 ($5 off)


Honeybee Fly Around Song Todd at age 13 singing about honeybees and dancing around (and on) the bee hives.
Poplar Appeal – UNC-TV Celebrating the tulip poplar tree as a source of honey, baskets, and many other things.

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