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Thanks for sharing! I need to make one. Lost a nice prime swarm in a neighborhood because I couldn't get to them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The hardest thing to get is probably the sail cloth, but it's real smooth so the bees will slide out better.
When I first read the plans, it called for using rivets. I bought a rivet tool, but I never got the hang of it. The top pipe holder broke out, so I drilled out the rivets and replaced with a machine screw, probably slightly smaller that 3/16". (10/24?) I've found the machine screws are so much easier to use than the rivets, maybe that's just me, tho.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I like that long pole you're using. Did you say that was extendable? I've seen a very expensive fiberglass version, but can you give me the name of the company that makes it? I don't shop Walmart so I've got to find it elsewhere.
Thanks
 

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Menards is where I got mine. Mr. Longarm brand. Heavy duty fiberglass handle with aluminum second extension. I opted for the metal thread assembly (where the roller mounts to) rather than the plastic. 20.00 total for the 6-12'.
They have longer one 8-23' like the one in the video for those more gung ho types 40.00.
My truck bed is 6 1/2' so I opted for the 6-12'.
 

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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'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.
BTW - studies have also shown the Queen that leaves with a primary swarm is superceded with 2 months after swarming so catching the swarm to increase your supply of Queens is still going to leave you without a laying queen for a few weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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?
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?
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 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.
BTW - 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.
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.pdf
I like the idea of the hive mentality and the brood break when they decide to swarm. Let the bees decide. Let them build their own natural comb. Let them decide what size cell to build. Let them adapt to the varroa mite. I doubt if we can ever get rid of varroa, but we can let the bees adapt to it. If we hang mite strips in the hive, eventually the mites will develop a resistance. Michael Bush in his book, "The Practical Beekeeper" states "there are over 32 kinds of mites that live in harmony with bees. When these are allowed to live (instead of being killed by acaracides) there are insects in the hive that eat them, such as the pseudoscorpion which also eat the malignant mites.
An examination of feral colonies shows just in the macroscopic arena the colony is full of life forms as diverse as mites, beetles, waxworms, ants and roaches."

If we hang mite strips they will kill more than just the varroa mites, they can kill the good mites too and upset the ecology of the hive.
Here's an article about minimal management to which I subscribe... http://simplebees.wordpress.com/articles/minimal-management/
 

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Pretty nifty. Never named mine, but now that I think of it... Presenting the LaFerney field expedient swarm catcher - Patent pending. Not really.



Cobbled up in a rush while a big swarm was hanging about 15 feet up. Drywall bucket, 1x4, paint roller extension handle, drywall screws (through the bucket sides to secure the 1x4) and 1 zip tie. Works like a charm and sturdy enough that 2 years later I am still using it in it's original form.
 
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