Thanks for sharing! I need to make one. Lost a nice prime swarm in a neighborhood because I couldn't get to them.
Well, I admit that's sort of a contradiction of terms. If you 'keep bees' that in itself is not completely 'natural.' And catching them in a bag on a pole? You're right. It probably would have been more natural just to leave them there and hope they would swarm into one of my two baited hives...and yet would that be the responsible thing to do? If they were to set up residence in one of my neighbor's out buildings, an old chimney, or someone's garage, then it would be more difficult to remove them. Is that being responsible?Very nice swarm tool.
I love it when I read that some beeks proclaim that they are "natural" beekeepers. So letting your bees swarm is "natural" but retrieving them with a bag on a pole isn't?
I started keeping bees initially for the honey...something to barter in possible hard times, but when I started reading about the abuses bees were being subjected to, I changed my tune. That and the fact that I had to tame down my sugar addiction. I've played the honey card all my life and I guess maybe too much. I don't eat much honey anymore and very little sugar. I've come to realize that beekeepers who are interested in maximum honey production are going down a road I prefer to avoid. Being 'natural' to me means not using poisons or antibiotics in my hive, not using fumagillen to kill nosema. Fumagillen is banned in the UK (and possibly Europe) because it's a possible cause of birth defects. IMHO beekeepers who use fumagillen and sell their honey, should label it with a warning, "WARNING: Fumagillen is a possible cause for birth defects," so the buying public can realize that "local honey" might carry a risk. To me, using an antibiotic in the hive is not being responsible.I'm not looking to start a war of intentions but studies have shown if a swarm is left to find it's own new home it will die in 2 years. Why do you keep bees? Is it is for "fun" just let them go. If it is for a hobby or business then manage them responsibly so swarming, and the demise of lost swarms, are minimized.
Just my opinion. Do what's best for you needless to say.
I've never heard of that study, but even if it's true, so what? I like what this UK guy has to say about the importance of letting your bees swarm. http://simplebees.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/swarming-bees-healthy-bees-haverson3.pdfBTW - studies have also shown the Queen that leaves with a primary swarm is superceded with 2 months after swarming so catching the swarm to increase your supply of Queens is still going to leave you without a laying queen for a few weeks.