Monday, August 29, 2011

Swarm Traps and Bait Hives, The Easy Way to get Bees for Free

Many of you that follow my blog have seen that I have been working towards becoming a beekeeper. I feel that as many of us as possible should either become beekeepers or at least set up a bee box as a natural home for bees just to help them survive. They are having a hard time making it right now and a large amount of our food is pollinated by the bees. I have assembled two hives and am preparing to obtain bees this coming spring. One thing that a beginning beekeeper becomes painfully aware of is the expense of getting into beekeeping. Hives are expensive, equipment is expensive and bees are real expensive if you buy them. When I say expensive they start at around $70.00 plus shipping for just a small package of bees and queens are around $20.00 each and up. I have had several people that wanted to help me get started offer me bees for $125.00 to $250.00 here in the Central Texas area. I was not quite sure how much they really wanted to help me get started or if they just wanted to sell me bees. One real friend generously offered to give me a split off of one of his hives this spring, but the drought may make sure there are not enough bees to split off of many hives.

I have been hearing about people that trap wild bees and set them up in hives but it sounds like a hit and miss chance of trapping a swarm and it must be at just the right time, just the right trap and you need to use these special expensive pheromone baits etc. Some have tried to be very helpful with information and others have acted like it was some sort of black magic and that only special people should know the secrets.  I have been reading all sorts of books trying to learn everything I can before I get my own bees and also trying to find out how all this really works and why this hobby can be so expensive. I was at our recent Williamson County Area Beekeepers Association Meeting and heard this guy talking about a new book he had written about trapping bees. I did not get a chance to talk with him as there were around 120 people there and I had to be elsewhere, so I filed the information in the back of mind. Later I contacted McCartney Taylor by email and inquired about doing a book review of his new book. McCartney graciously supplied me an eBook copy to review and I found the answers to inexpensive bees are right there in the pages along with the facts and secrets to make sure one is successful in obtaining a wild swarm. In fact McCartney calls it “The Easy Way to get Bees for Free”. They might not be totally free but it is as close as you will ever come to free bees. The book covers the how-to of building your own swarm traps, where to put them, what to bait them with and what time of year to have them set and in place. The book even covers just setting the bees up to pollinate your gardens and flowers if you do not wish to be an involved beekeeper. Below is a copy of the Contents of the book and gives you an idea of how complete and involved is the information included in the pages of this book. I would class this as a must have book for both the amateur and professional beekeeper.

The book is available in EBook or a printed version and can be purchased at the following links. Tell McCartney that Wild Ed sent you.

Printed Version


Both available here

The book can also be purchased through and other book stores.

Table of Contents



   What Is in It for You?

1. Why Trap Swarms?

2. Trees

3. Biology of Swarming

4. Swarm Names

5. History

6. Alternatives to Traps — Catching Swarms

7. Building a Swarm Trap — The Hanging Box Type


   Buy an 8 Frame Deep

   Bonus Nuc

   Scrap Wood Option

   Re-purpose Broken Equipment


   Top Bar Hive Option

8. Baiting a Swarm Trap

   Lemon Grass Oil: Our Secret Weapon

   Commercial Swarm Lures

   Use Old Comb


9. A Note for Non-Beekeepers: The Hands-Free Beekeeping Method

10. Times for Swarms .

   When to Build Your Traps

   When to Deploy Your Swarm Traps

   How to Hang Swarm Traps

11. Safety 3

   Africanized Bees


   Checking Swarm Traps


   Removal Methods

12. Using GPS

13. Legality



14. Disease

15. Location, Location, Location!

   Sun Is Bad

   Fence Lines

   Lone Trees

   Building Roofs

   Tree Lines

   Deep in Forests

   Urban Terrain

   Abandoned Houses


17. All Good Things Must End

18. GUTS!

19. Advanced Topic: A Business Model

20. Swarm Trapping for Public Service

21. Questions and Answers

22. Feedback!

   Want to Be in My Upcoming Swarm Trapping DVD?

23. Disclaimer

For those of you that have made it this far I have a special surprise. McCartney Taylor also has a website and blog with tons of free information on beekeeping. Stop by and take a look it will be worth your while. The information available there would take many years of experience to obtain so take advantage of McCartney’s hard work. You can even sign up to have beekeeping videos sent to your email for free.

McCartney also has numerous YouTube videos for the beginning beekeeper that will put you way ahead on your knowledge as a beekeeper.


Abby LaGatella said...

Thank you. I made it this far and got the links. :)

Michael said...

I've studied Macartney Taylors You Tube videos and read his book. I also have been inspired to add a few tricks of my own. Last year I had around 70 traps put out and caught 19 swarms with them plus I got 9 "phone call swarms". I think if we ever get the "perfect" Spring time (not too rainy or too dry), my average will rise. 2012 was my 3rd year trapping swarms. It's addictive.

Wild Ed said...

Great, glad you are catching some swarms. ED