The 10 Best Bee Swarm Traps

Imagine a planet where there is very little vegetation; a planet where fruits and vegetables are nearly a thing of the past and everyone is fighting for their next meal. It almost sounds like an episode of the Hunger Games; however, if the bee population continues to decline, the planet that was just described will be our reality.

Trapping bee swarms is one way that we can keep our bee population from declining. Continue reading to learn more about the important role that bees play in our lives and the best traps for attracting a swarm. 

10 Best Traps for Catching Bee Swarms:

For those of you who are not into do-it-yourself projects and would rather save time by purchasing a pre-made bee swarm trap, the following list is for you. This list is comprised of the best types of traps recommended to set out for catching swarms of bees or removing burrowing bees that are causing damage to your home or property.

1. East Coast Bees – Honey Bee Swarm Trap

East Coast Bees – Honey Bee Swarm Trap

If you are looking for a sturdy, hassle-free box to attract your bee swarms with, this is a great option. This bee swarm trap mimics the design created by the famed “bee-hunter” Thomas Seeley. Its simple design allows beekeepers of all levels to easily attract scout bees.

Additional features include:

  • 5 foundationless frames
  • Adjustable entrance reducer
  • The ability to easily convert the swarm box into a nuc
  • Tie-down straps available for purchase at check-out
  • Treated with swarm lure before shipping

2. Mac’s Best Brothers Natural Wood Carpenter Bee Trap

Mac’s Best Brothers Natural Wood Carpenter Bee Trap

Carpenter bees, while helpful as pollinators can be very destructive to your home and property. These traps are designed specifically to trap these wood-burrowing buzzers and prevent them from destroying more of your home.

Additional features include:

  • Corks are included to plug holes that may be close to the area where you hang the traps
  • Made in the U.S.A
  • Pleasing design made from natural wood to complement any outdoor area
  • Sturdy and easy to assemble
  • This trap mimics the natural nest of the carpenter bee
  • Will not attract honey bees

If you are suffering from carpenter bees, check our article about best carpenter bee sprays!

3. Mac’s Carpenter Bee Traps – Set of 6

Mac’s Carpenter Bee Traps – Set of 6

These carpenter bee traps are designed and manufactured by the same company that makes the Best Brother Natural Wood Carpenter Bee Trap which was previously mentioned in this article. The difference is the slightly smaller size of the traps and jars, but the results are the same.

Additional features include:

  • Comes pre-treated with a swarm lure
  • Designed to look like a real carpenter bee’s nest
  • Designed to specifically trap carpenter bees and not honey bees
  • Keeps wood burrowing bees from destroying  your beautiful home
  • Made from high-quality, weatherproof materials

4. The Interceptor – Honey Bee Swarm Trap

The Interceptor – Honey Bee Swarm Trap

This highly sought-after honey bee swarm trap is handcrafted with care and attention to detail. Every trap is glued and stapled for extra sturdiness.

Additional features include:

  • Comes fully assembled
  • Designed to be lightweight, but sturdy
  • Extra deep telescoping lid that does not require weights for wind
  • Includes hanger, landing pad, and screws for easy mounting
  • Plenty of ventilation with a 1 ½” louvered vent
  • Sanded and ready for paint
  • With proper maintenance, it will last for years
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5. The Interceptor – Honey Bee Swarm Trap – Complete Kit

The Interceptor – Honey Bee Swarm Trap – Complete Kit

This is the same honey bee swarm trap as above; however, it has a few added benefits that will really increase attraction for a honey bee swarm.

Additional features include:

  • Real beeswax coating on the interior and frame foundation
  • Swarm lure
  • The addition of beeswax increases the attraction for scout bees
  • This complete kit includes 5 frames

6. RefuBees Reusable Swarm Trap

RefuBees Reusable Swarm Trap

If you are tired of finding swarms of honey bees building a nest in the tiny crevices of your home every spring and are looking for a  way to trap them, then this environmentally safe, reusable swarm trap is just what you need.

Additional features include:

  • Each trap holds up to 6 medium plastic or wood frames
  • It is easy to assemble and hang
  • It is reusable, stackable, and environmentally safe
  • This bee swarm trap is made in the U.S.A
  • This kit includes 2 bottles of swarm lure
  • This kit includes 2 straps, 4 nuts, and bolts
  • This kit includes 6 plastic frames
  • This trap is designed to last for years

7. Blythewood Bee Company – Refubees Swarm Trap

Blythewood Bee Company - Refubees Swarm Trap

If you are in the market for an easy way to trap honeybee swarms in the springtime, this trap will be a great addition to your property and will keep the bees from setting up shop in inappropriate places.

Additional features include:

  • It is light-weight and only weighs 4.6 pounds
  • Made from a high-quality, extra-strong, food-grade textured plastic
  • This bee swarm trap is made in the U.S.A
  • This trap can hold up to 6  medium frames (not included)
  • This trap is easy to assemble and comes with everything you need to put it together
  • This trap will last for years

8. TOPINCN Portable Black Bee Cage Swarm Trap

TOPINCN Portable Black Bee Cage Swarm Trap

This convenient portable bee cage swarm trap is great for catching bee swarms so you can easily move them to a more appropriate home.

Additional features include:

  • A loop on top easily attaches to a pole or rope for hanging in higher places such as trees
  • It is designed to last for a long time
  • This bee swarm trap is made from high-quality and environmentally safe materials so you can feel confident that you are reducing your carbon footprint
  • This trap can be easily closed with a drawstring once the swarm is caught for transport
  • This trap is designed with 3 layers of wire to prevent bees from escaping
  • This trap is easy to use
  • This trap is waterproof and windproof so you don’t have to worry about taking it in and out during inclement weather

9. Blythewood Bee Company – Wood Pulp Honey Bee Swarm Trap

Blythewood Bee Company - Wood Pulp Honey Bee Swarm Trap

This is a natural-looking, waterproof swarm trap that is a great way to trap honey bees. When you are ready to remove the bees from the trap, simply unscrew the bucket from the base. This honeybee swarm trap looks so natural that you won’t know it is there unless you are looking for it.

Additional features include:

  • It is made from high-quality, waterproof fiber material
  • This bee swarm trap is recommended for beekeepers who have a few years of experience
  • This bee swarm trap will last for years
  • Using this bee swarm trap will save you from spending money on buying honey bees by trapping your own bees.

10. Walfront Black Bee Cage Swarm Trap

Walfront Black Bee Cage Swarm Trap

If you are having trouble with bees making their homes in or around your home, this trap will help you to capture, secure, and transfer a swarm of bees to a more appropriate location. This trap is easy to use and works great.

Additional features include:

  • Easily attaches to a pole or tree with a convenient loop on the top of the trap
  • Made from high-quality, environmentally safe materials
  • The bottom of the bag can be drawn closed once the swarm is caught for easy transportation
  • This trap is waterproof and windproof so you don’t have to worry about taking it in and out during inclement weather
  • Three layers of wire to trap bees in and keep them from escaping

Trapping Bees Serves Multiple Purposes

Approximately 90% of the world’s food production requires bee pollination; therefore the thought of our bee population declining can be very scary, to say the least. That is why it is so important to maintain and continue growing the population of bees that we have.

Bee swarm trap

There are many factors that contribute to the decline of the world’s bee population. Some scientists believe that a great part of the decline is caused by climate change. Climate change can alter the way the plants smell and throw the timing off for when a bee usually pollinates.

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Other proposed influences to the decline in the bee population include:

  • Breeding/Queen bee issues
  • Habitat loss from human development
  • Insecticide usage
  • Parasitic infections that lead to compromised immune systems
  • Poor nutrition/lack of variety of plants to pollinate

Interesting Fact: Today there are over 20,000 different species of bees in the world. Of those 20,000, approximately 4,000 reside in North America.

To battle this issue, the use of bee swarm traps has been adopted as a way to maintain and increase the world’s bee population. Bee swarm traps serve multiple purposes. They can be used by honey beekeepers to conserve and increase the population that they already have.

They are also effective for removing swarms of burrowing bees or honey bees that are trying to take up residence in the small crevices of your home or other inappropriate areas.

Honey bees can be expensive to purchase, so the use of bee swarm traps is a great way for farmers and honey producers to save money while helping to save the honey bee population.

Catching bee swarm in tree

Bee Swarm Traps – How They Work

When it is time for a colony to reproduce, established bee colonies will raise a new queen bee that will eventually be sent to the new hive once it has been established by the scout bees.

Scout bees are sent out to find a location for their new colony. When they begin their search they will usually build a small bivouac to stay in until they find the perfect location.

Contrary to the name, swarm traps are not a trap as they do not trap the bees but rather create an environment that is desirable and suitable for a new colony to move into; many beekeepers call them “bait hives”.

Bee swarm traps work by attracting the scout bees that have been sent by the queen bee to find a home for the new colony.  Bee swarm traps are typically made more attractive to the scouts by adding bee swarm lure to the swarm trap.

Most bee swarm lures have lemongrass as a primary ingredient because it gives off a similar smell as the queen bee’s pheromones which attracts the scout bees more quickly than a swarm trap that is not baited.

Be careful not to use too much swarm lure as it can have the opposite effect and you will not attract any scouts if the smell is too strong.

Expert Tip: Once you see that scout bees have shown interest in your swarm trap, stay away from it for at least a few days. If you disturb the trap, the bees may change their minds and go look for another location.  

How to Construct a Simple Bee Swarm Trap

Constructing a bee swarm trap is very simple and most times can be accomplished with things that you already have laying around your property. Many people use:

  • Flowerpots
  • Old buckets
  • Sets of drawers, and more

There are many variations in style and materials that can be used; however, using the following materials is an easy and inexpensive way to get started.

Basic Supply List

  • A piece of tree branch (approximately 6” long) for a perch at the entrance
  • A top made from a piece of scrap plywood
  • Cork
  • Cotton swabs
  • Couple chunks of old honeycomb or small chunks of rotting wood
  • Drill, drill bits
  • Medium-sized plastic trash bin
  • Rope for hanging the trap and attaching the top to the trash bin
  • Screws (for mounting perch and honeycomb or other lure materials)
  • Swarm lure

Basic Construction Instructions

  1. Near the base of the bin, drill three holes close together so that it creates an opening that is approximately 1 ½ “. Next, attach the perch under the entrance hole. This will give the bees somewhere to land.
  2. Drill two through the top of the plywood large enough to slide your rope through.
  3. Drill two more holes through the top edge of the trash bin, so you can connect the rope through to the top to create a hinge.
  4. Drill one more hole on the opposite side of the plywood and trash bin to run another piece of rope through so you can “lock” the top in place. When you want to check your trap simply untie the single rope and flip the lid back.
  5. Next, attach a small piece of old honeycomb or rotted wood chunks to the inside of the trap with a screw. These materials help the trap to smell more like a used hive and are more likely to attract a swarm.
  6. To bait the trap, you need to drill a hole large enough for a cork to fit in snuggly. Drill a small hole in the cork where you can stick the cotton swab. Coat the cotton swab in your bee swarm lure and stick the cork through the hole so the swab is inside the trap. Refresh your lure every few weeks to keep it smelling attractive.
  7. You can use whatever materials you wish to mount your trap. A simple rope run through holes in the bin, wrapped around the tree, and hooked to a nail for extra support is sufficient.
Swarm of bees

Best Locations for Placing Bee Swarm Traps

If you are trying to collect swarms of bees that are damaging your home or building honey hives in the wrong areas you want to use a trap that is easily accessible so you can move the swarm once they are “caught”. 

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When trying to attract swarms that are causing damage to your home or property it is important to place them near the areas that you don’t want them to take up residence so you can lure them away from those spaces and into a trap.

Once they enter the trap and begin to establish a new home you can simply seal it and move them to a new location. Many farmers and beekeepers will gladly take a swarm off of your hands because that reduces the amount they have to spend on buying bees and increases the pollination of their crops.

Attracting Honeybee Swarms

If you are in the business of collecting honey and wish to attract honeybees it is recommended that you place your traps between 6 feet – 10 feet from the ground along the border of your property or in areas where you have seen swarms in the past.

Scout bees tend to locate the bee swarm traps more easily if they are along fens rows or the edge of the tree line.

Interesting Fact: Honey bees were not introduced to North America until the early 1600’s when they were brought across the pond by the Europeans.

Bee swarm

Frequently Asked Questions About Bee Swarm Traps

When is the best time of year to put out bee swarm traps?

The best time of the year to set a bee swarm trap is in the late spring, usually in April or May, because this is when everything begins to bud and the pollen is out. Sometimes there will be a second swarm in the early summer.

Where should wild bee swarm traps be placed?

Wild bee swarm traps can be placed anywhere that you have seen a swarm in the past or along the edges of a tree line or fence row. If you have issues with bees damaging your property you can place the traps in those areas to attract them to the trap and relocate them.

How many bee swarm traps should I have?

You can have as many or few as you like. It depends on how much space you have and what your needs require. It is recommended to have multiple traps on your property in case they prefer one location over another.

What features should I look for in a bee swarm trap?

When purchasing a bee swarm trap you want to look for traps that mimic what a bee would look for in nature. Choose traps with durable, high-quality materials that will last for years.

Can bee swarm traps be reused?

Yes, in most cases bee swarm traps can be used for multiple years depending on the type and quality of the material used to construct them.

Are there other ways to attract bees?

Yes, many people plant gardens specifically to attract bees for pollination. Bees are highly attracted to the following types of flowers:

  • Beebalm
  • California Poppies
  • Dandelions
  • Echinacea
  • Evening Prim Rose
  • Snap Dragons

Also, you can check our article about the 10 best flowers for bees.

Do I need protective gear when handling the bee swarm traps?

It is not always necessary to have protective gear, but it is recommended, especially if you plan on making beekeeping a regular activity. High-quality gloves, jackets, and face veils will protect you from potential stings.

Do bee swarm traps attract wasps and hornets?

Typically wasps and hornets are not attracted to bee swarm traps, but it is not unheard of for them to move into one. Wasps and hornets will attack bees,  especially once the honey is ready; it is important to set wasp/hornet traps on your property if you are having issues.

Pro tip: If you wish to trap wasps/hornets, but not honeybees,  use apple juice and vinegar as a lure in your trap. Honeybees do not like the smell of the vinegar, but wasps/hornets are attracted to it.

The Buzz About Bees – Conservation is Key

Hopefully, after reading this article you have learned how important bees are to the survival of those who inhabit this planet. Take a proactive approach to the declining bee population by doing your part to conserve the steadily declining population of bees in the world. Trapping and relocating bee swarms to areas where they are most beneficial will ensure the survival of this necessary species.

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