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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Phoenix, OR
    Posts
    38

    Default What do you use for a swarm capture/transport box?

    My first swarm I used a couple cardboard boxes because that is what I had on hand. Used a medium sized box to shake the bees into and then placed that box inside a larger box for transport. Figured that in case some bees got out of the inner box I would still have the larger one to keep them from buzzing around in my jeep.

    Now I am taking a spare deep and am thinking of screwing a piece of plywood to the bottom of it. Would put in a few frames and make a lid with latches on the side to hold it shut during transport. Will drill some tiny holes in the lid for ventilation.

    This sound like a plan? What do you guys use?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,603

    Default Re: What do you use for a swarm capture/transport box?

    I use a regular 10 frame deep with the bottom board stapled to it, and the entrance screened off. I use a migratory top with a 2 3/4 inch hole covered with screen wire.

    I place three drawn brood combs against one side, then two frames of foundation. This leaves the space where five more frames should be.

    Use a ratchet strap to hold until I move them.

    After moving, I remove the screen from the front and remove the screen from the top and place a 1/2 gallon jar filled with sugar syrup. Feed them about one gallon sugar syrup, then discontinue feeding.

    Leave them alone for at least one week. Then check just to see if queen is laying. Add the additional five frames at this time.

    cchoganjr

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Forsyth, Missouri
    Posts
    179

    Default Re: What do you use for a swarm capture/transport box?

    I have cardboard nuc's with frames -straps- screen -duct tap -vale & gloves in all of the car's, & one nuc and a full deep in the truck + straps- screen -duct tap -vale & gloves.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Grayson, KY
    Posts
    275

    Default Re: What do you use for a swarm capture/transport box?

    Plastic tote like what you store cloths in.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    fairfield,ohio
    Posts
    640

    Default Re: What do you use for a swarm capture/transport box?

    I run all mediums, I put them in the box they will live in. If they are in a spot I can't shake them in, I use a robo style vac and suck them into the box they will live in. Either case saves from transfering bees. Cleo, Do you run migratory lids, if so how do you like them?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,603

    Default Re: What do you use for a swarm capture/transport box?

    Yes, I run migratory lids with the hole for feeding, using a mason jar. (quart, half gallon or gallon jars) When Winter comes I put a piece of screen over the hole, then put a telescoping cover on. If I get a few warm days in February, I can remove the telescoping cover, remove the screen, and feed without breaking the seal on the hives. If it turns cold again, just put the telescoping cover back on until the next warm day.


    Several years ago I made a half dozen swarm catcher boxes (everybody wanted one), that are very light for use when a normal 10 frame box with frames is too heavy. It has a sliding top made with Masonite Board and screen on one side. It is very light. I can shake or brush the bees in the box, then slide the slide and a bolt goes through the handle to keep the slide from opening during travel. I still use them occasionally, especially if the swarm is high in a tree or some other object. I will try to get a photo or two today and post.

    cchoganjr

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    fairfield,ohio
    Posts
    640

    Default Re: What do you use for a swarm capture/transport box?

    Thanks Cleo, I have wondered about winter with them. I do like the idea of being able to scoot the boxes close together for warmth. Sorry guys didn't mean to get off the subject of the post. Lot of good info here on swarm retrieval.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,606

    Default Re: What do you use for a swarm capture/transport box?

    I made what was called a yankee nuc by the source I got the idea from. basically a 5 frame nuc box with plywood screwed as a top and bottom. a small hole 1/2 inch or so is drill near the bottom edge of one end for an entrance. this is plugged when it time to transport. otherwise the top is taken off to captrue the swarm. then placed on loosely until all the bees find their way in. Screw the top down tight oncve teh bees have settled down plug the hole and away you go.

    I caught one swarm last friday that would never have fit in a 5 frame box so I did the same sort of thing with a ten frame box. worked like a charm. The nice thing is I can bring it home loosen the bottom piece of plywood and put a couple of shims under the bottom edge to open up a make shift entrance on the ten frame box. This keeps the bees well for a few days. The nuc box I can just stack on more nuc boxes if do not have time to put a hive together for them. I do have to keep in mind that they only have that tiny entrance and if it get hot it may be a problem for them. I will loosen the top and make a gap there if needed. But 5 frame nucs are easy to set up if you already have the bottom board etc. so usually getting them set up with a proper bottom board and cover is not a problem. they just set on top of any hive I have in the apiary for a couple of days.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,064

    Default Re: What do you use for a swarm capture/transport box?

    I also use a ten frame medium hive set up. So much easier to shake into, add five more frames, strap and go.
    Once we get to the apiary, set down, remove strap and leave alone for a couple of weeks.
    I have two hive set ups in the truck/trailer starting in May and take them out in Sept.
    We collect swarms and remove hives in structures.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    548

    Default Re: What do you use for a swarm capture/transport box?

    About 1/3 of the time I'll find a swarm in a tight enough cluster, mostly early or late in the day when they are cool and not flying, that I'm able to trim branches and ever so gently set the whole cluster, branch and all, inside a cardboard box for transport. Not shaking them off the branch works really nice because you get 99% of the bees in the box and it eliminates a trip back after dark to bring a hive home.

    The other 2/3rd's of the time I end up installing the bees in a hive at the location and returning after dark to pick them up.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,643

    Default Re: What do you use for a swarm capture/transport box?

    For drop in clusters I use a large screened chlorine bucket or screened five gallon bucket, for a tangled swarm I use a Bushkill vac. Anything to avoid the return evening pickup. The Bushkill vac avoids loss of control over the bees both at the pickup and delivery ends. They are under my control as I vac them into the screened vac, and they are already boxed when I lift them off the vac, never left to fly into the air.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,603

    Default Re: What do you use for a swarm capture/transport box?

    Here is a photo of one of the swarm catcher boxs that I made several years ago. I made several and gave to friends. I normally use a regular 10 frame deep with 2 or 3 drawn combs, and two frames of foundation if I can. If the bees are high or just not able to use a regular box, I use this catcher. It is light and has a slide made from masonite. One person can operate it easily. Shake or brush the bees into the box, then slide the slide, place a bolt through the handle so the slide cannot come loose during travel.

    When I get them home, I place the catcher on the stand, with the slide facing up, screen down. I place a bottom board that has no bottom (just sides and landing board), then place a deep that has drawn comb and foundation on top, then a migratory feeder top. Then pull the slide, bees will move up to the comb. Couple of days later, lift the deep and pull the catcher box and bottomless bottom board out and slide a regular bottom board under the deep.

    Swarm Catcher Box.jpg

    cchoganjr

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    3,998

    Default Re: What do you use for a swarm capture/transport box?

    Keep a nuc box in the car all summer. Its nice because you can let them sit a couple weeks without disturbing them.
    Dan

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,603

    Default Re: What do you use for a swarm capture/transport box?

    KQ6AR.... The only reason I do not use nucs for catching swarms, is, nucs are quite often too small for a decent size swarm and the bees may abscond after being in the nuc for a day or so. Swarms with 4-10 pounds of bees is common, and, a nuc just isn't large enough for them to stay in that small an area.

    I don't like to disturbe a swarm for a few days after placing it on a stand, so, I start with a 10 framer so they will know they have lots of room

    If you put a big swarm in a nuc you will need to move it into something larger, or, put a second nuc chamber on the nuc box fairly soon after placing them on your stand.

    cchoganjr

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