Swarm trap plans-quick, easy and cheap
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    Carroll County, MO, USA
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    Default Swarm trap plans-quick, easy and cheap

    For those of you looking to build some swarm traps read this. This year i searched high and low for good swarm trap plans to maximize the use of materials and minimize costs. After a lot of research, I finally decided to just draw up my own. I read Tom Seeleys Honey Bee Democracy and took some notes and ideas. I wanted a trap that was as close to 40L as possible, that would hold frames to make transfer easy, be taller than wide to allow for a fewer number of frames to be used by traps while also making it easier to hang. I also wanted something that i was able use nuc tops on, that way i could dual purpose some of the equipment. Finally i wanted something that if all went to crap and i was short equipment i could cut down to make 5 frame nucs. After a lot of rough attempts, I finally came up with these plans. After a trail run i enlisted the help of my friend troyheckman on beesource to draw them on sketch up so i could share them. They are super simple, cheap and consist of relatively straight cuts. You can make 12 traps from three sheets of plywood or 7.5 from two. I go to home depot and have them precut sheet one to 16"-40"-40", sheet two is cut to 40"-36"-remainder. I then finish them on a table saw. Inside dimensions measure out to right 37L. I then drill a 1.75" hole 2" from the bottom in the center of either the side or face. I tried to make them a little larger but was unable to achieve such little waste. I assemble with glue and staples. My cost using home depot lumber is just under $6.50 including lids. To get 12 traps you will need 2 sheets of sheet #2 and one of #1. Everything is color coded off the final diagrams.




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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    ElDorado,Arkansas,USA
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    1,611

    Default Re: Swarm trap plans-quick, easy and cheap

    Why build those when you can just use deep supers.Deep supers can be used for swarm traps or hives.Old supers that have been or ready to be discarded are some of the best since they already have plenty of bee smell in them.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    Carroll County, MO, USA
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    47

    Default Re: Swarm trap plans-quick, easy and cheap

    Quote Originally Posted by snapper1d View Post
    Why build those when you can just use deep supers.Deep supers can be used for swarm traps or hives.Old supers that have been or ready to be discarded are some of the best since they already have plenty of bee smell in them.
    Unfortunately since i just got into beekeeping within the last few years i wont have any deeps that are that beat up for years. I tried some traps that were freshly built deeps last year and my biggest problem was that they cost me considerably more and they are a pain to hang. I also don't like drilling into my hive bodies i plan on using in the future. Lastly, this design uses half as many frames.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Casey, Il, USA
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    4,130

    Default Re: Swarm trap plans-quick, easy and cheap

    you say your cost includes lids, but you don't show them on your cut list. Where do you get your lids? I know they would be easy enough to make but was just curious if you were buying, or building out of scrap or how you figured this in?

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    6,885

    Default Re: Swarm trap plans-quick, easy and cheap

    >Lastly, this design uses half as many frames.

    Remember the famous odfrank quotation:

    "A large bait hive will catch a small swarm but a small bait hive won't catch a large swarm."

    It broke my heart to walk up to this and watch it fly away.



    So I made these:


  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    Carroll County, MO, USA
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    47

    Default Re: Swarm trap plans-quick, easy and cheap

    Quote Originally Posted by Harley Craig View Post
    you say your cost includes lids, but you don't show them on your cut list. Where do you get your lids? I know they would be easy enough to make but was just curious if you were buying, or building out of scrap or how you figured this in?
    Just 5 frame nuc migratory tops. I'm building them out of 1x10 that I just leave at full size and cut to length and attach cleats.

  8. #7
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    Jul 2014
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    Carroll County, MO, USA
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    Default Re: Swarm trap plans-quick, easy and cheap

    Frank how large is that trap on top. Looks like a 5 frame but maybe just a nuc.

  9. #8
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    Sep 2012
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    Casey, Il, USA
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    Default Re: Swarm trap plans-quick, easy and cheap

    Correct me if I'm wrong but that's just a standard 5 frame nuc correct? One would expect a large swarm to not stick around in a standard nuc. The one pictured at 37 liters has the volume closer to that of a 10 frame deep. Deep nuc being 21 liters and a Deep 10 frm being 42 liters do you think the bees would prefer it to be wider? With just a hand full of traps the extra frames are negligible, but if you put out a lot, the expenses add up.

  10. #9
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    Sep 2012
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    Casey, Il, USA
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    Default Re: Swarm trap plans-quick, easy and cheap

    my plan for this yr is to utilize some of my first 8 frame medium boxes I ever built that weren't built well and werent painted well and adding a 1x4 which should give make it very close to 40 liters.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Shelby, Missouri USA
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    526

    Default Re: Swarm trap plans-quick, easy and cheap

    Thanks for posting the plans. I like the effiency of the plywood use. I assume you dado the ends to support the frames. What size dado did you use?

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Santa barbara, CA
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    779

    Default Re: Swarm trap plans-quick, easy and cheap

    Someone on Beesource led me to these plans for a swarm trap on horizontalhive.com and I've built two and like the design. I widened mine up from holding 6 deep frames to 8 and have a hole in the front instead of a slot. Similar to TomG's but with detailed plans. Light and spacious, simple to construct.
    http://www.horizontalhive.com/how-to...ee-plans.shtml
    Discussion: http://www.horizontalhive.com/honeyb...to-catch.shtml
    If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.
    Abraham Maslow

  13. #12
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    Jul 2014
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    Carroll County, MO, USA
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    Default Re: Swarm trap plans-quick, easy and cheap

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Gough View Post
    Thanks for posting the plans. I like the effiency of the plywood use. I assume you dado the ends to support the frames. What size dado did you use?
    I just used a standard 3/8x5/8. Part of the reason I went with 5/8" ply rather than 1/2". Also because there is less than a dollar difference in a sheet where I'm from.

  14. #13
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    Jul 2014
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    Carroll County, MO, USA
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    Default Re: Swarm trap plans-quick, easy and cheap

    Quote Originally Posted by dynemd View Post
    Someone on Beesource led me to these plans for a swarm trap on horizontalhive.com and I've built two and like the design. I widened mine up from holding 6 deep frames to 8 and have a hole in the front instead of a slot. Similar to TomG's but with detailed plans. Light and spacious, simple to construct.
    http://www.horizontalhive.com/how-to...ee-plans.shtml
    Discussion: http://www.horizontalhive.com/honeyb...to-catch.shtml
    Those are the plans that really got me thinking about making the boxes more vertical. My problem with those plans was the odd number of pieces you get from the sheets. There was no way to equalize your fronts/sides/bottoms efficiently. They are also a little larger but you can only get 8 out of three sheets as far as I can tell.

  15. #14
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    Jul 2015
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    kaysville utah
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    Default Re: Swarm trap plans-quick, easy and cheap

    Thanks tomG. I may be using this in the near future!

  16. #15
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    May 2013
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    Vernon, AZ. USA
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    627

    Default Re: Swarm trap plans-quick, easy and cheap

    As many experienced beecatchers have posted, an 8 or 10 frame deep is very good. 2 Warre hive boxes is very good also. Cut outs and re-hiving in 10 days with big swarms, not so good. Then, that box you didnt make, you need. It isn't too much to just make a nice 8 or 10 frame deep, with your plywood. Butt joints, framed, regular floor & cheap ply roof. You will find they make good hives, too. After you use up all your factory made boxes, (caught so many!) and your swarm lures fit them, you find out the bees don't mind plywood.
    Last edited by jadebees; 03-12-2016 at 12:53 PM.

  17. #16
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    Aug 2013
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    Santa barbara, CA
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    Default Re: Swarm trap plans-quick, easy and cheap

    Quote Originally Posted by TomG View Post
    Those are the plans that really got me thinking about making the boxes more vertical. My problem with those plans was the odd number of pieces you get from the sheets. There was no way to equalize your fronts/sides/bottoms efficiently. They are also a little larger but you can only get 8 out of three sheets as far as I can tell.
    OK, now I see how well you're maximizing the the traps per sheet of plywood. Very efficient. Nice work.
    If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.
    Abraham Maslow

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Swarm trap plans-quick, easy and cheap

    Oh by the way, this is a proven design as of this afternoon. Another win for swam commander also.
    If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.
    Abraham Maslow

  19. #18
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    Sep 2012
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    Casey, Il, USA
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    Default Re: Swarm trap plans-quick, easy and cheap

    Quote Originally Posted by dynemd View Post
    Someone on Beesource led me to these plans for a swarm trap on horizontalhive.com and I've built two and like the design. I widened mine up from holding 6 deep frames to 8 and have a hole in the front instead of a slot. Similar to TomG's but with detailed plans. Light and spacious, simple to construct.
    http://www.horizontalhive.com/how-to...ee-plans.shtml
    Discussion: http://www.horizontalhive.com/honeyb...to-catch.shtml
    what's the internal volume of that? I just made a 5 frame like this style out of scrap 1x8 lumber with some scrap plywood sides. mine ended up being roughly 19x20x 7.5 interior dimensions and calculated out to 46 liters.

  20. #19
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    Aug 2013
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    Santa barbara, CA
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    779

    Default Re: Swarm trap plans-quick, easy and cheap

    Quote Originally Posted by Harley Craig View Post
    what's the internal volume of that? I just made a 5 frame like this style out of scrap 1x8 lumber with some scrap plywood sides. mine ended up being roughly 19x20x 7.5 interior dimensions and calculated out to 46 liters.
    I said previously 8 frames but I just checked mine is only 7, slightly wider. Horizontal hive's plans are 6 frames so 9.5" wide by 19" front to back and 19.5" tall is a little over 57 liters.
    If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.
    Abraham Maslow

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    Butler Co, Missouri, USA
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    470

    Default Re: Swarm trap plans-quick, easy and cheap

    Built a few from the "Coates nuc" plans. Instead of cutting the ply into 8 sides, I skipped the first cut, giving me 4 double deep sides. I also had to cut the end pieces 19-3/4 tall instead of 9-1/2. Ended up with 2 extra bottoms and tops that I saved for the next sheet I use to make more swarm traps or nuc boxes.
    Hindsight is 20/10, not 20/20...
    After the fact, I always know what didn't work.

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