Honey bee swarms, they are a spectacular sight to witness. Thousands of bees swirling in the air like a well coordinated ballet. If you've ever had the privilege of witnessing a swarm at the onset you know the sense of awe that it inspires. You also know the sense of dread as well...These bees are great! I don't want to lose them.
So your bees have swarmed and are some twenty feet up into a tree on your property (or neighbours) what is the best method to catch them? Well, there's a variety of ways to accomplish this task, some are scary and dangerous (IE. Climbing a tree with a bee box in hand) and others are quite ingenuous! I have often heard it said among beekeeper circles that to be a great beekeeper one needs to be part botanist, entomologist, carpenter and engineer. When we get ideas like this sent to us, it makes me strongly believe in those qualities.
This Swarm Catcher Jug has to be one of the most brilliant and useful beekeeping tools I have seen. Check out the video of it in action below:
(Video Credit: Certified Master Beekeeper Karen Thurlow, New Brunswick)
So how exactly do you build one of these?
It's actually not as complicated as you'd think which is why I think this tool is absolutely great. It's easy to build, easy to use and prevents beekeepers from climbing trees and potentially having a disastrous fall or injury.
- Cut the bottom off a 5-gallon water jug.
- Take a paint roller handle and cut off the metal end close to the plastic handle, the part the roller slips onto.
- Put the handle inside the neck of the bottle, the hole to attach the roller handle at the neck of the bottle.
- Cover the bottleneck hole with painter's tape, have the end of the handle flush with the neck, the tape helps the handle stand up in the center of the neck.
- Fill the neck with epoxy and let harden.
- Attach a painter's pole to the roller handle so your 5-gallon
jug is on the pole.
Have you designed or seen any other types of tools that make beekeeping life easier? If so feel free to share the ideas with us! Great ideas that make things easier are best shared.