Quote Originally Posted by JWChesnut View Post
Whalers

Queens are an incredible deal. At $20, they cost far less than the gas used to chase an uncertain swarm. They are highly reliable, scheduled, delivered to your doorstep, far better genetics and much easier for an inexperienced keeper to successfully employ.
One queen will cost considerably more than 20 dollars, unless you can pick it up from the breeder next door (shipping.) And "far better genetics" is an assumption not always borne out in reality.

I put up 3 swarm traps, caught one swarm, got a queen and lots of bees, and the three swarm traps cost me less than the queen I bought from BeeWeaver. No gas money involved. Swarms have certain desirable features. For one, you know it probably came from a colony healthy enough to reproduce. For another, you get an ideal mix of bees (caste-wise) for starting a new colony. You don't have to take any resources from your other hives to start a nuc with your new queen.

Nothing wrong with bringing in good genetics, but a common theme among those who have succeeded in treatment-free beekeeping is that they have used swarms extensively in making increase. There's probably a good reason for this.