Beekeeping Techniques

DIY Swarm Traps

If you’ve ever wondered about a swarm trap design or how to make a swarm trap, here is a simple DIY Swarm Trap.


It takes less than 10 minutes to prepare. 

Actually less if you make more than 1 at a time.

Works with either corrugated plastic or wooded Nucs.

Swarm Trap Materials Needed

In this case I’ve used just:

  • A piece of recycled wood
  • 2 small nails
  • 3 screws and washers
  • 1 large nail

Here’s the process:

  • Cut the wood to the right length – I’ve found 16 inches to be ideal
  • I’m using wood that is about 6 inches wide and 1 inch thick, but you can use almost anything, including 2×4’s.
  • Cut a hole in the wood – I’ve used a drill press to put a  1.5” hole in the wood about 1.5” inches from the top.
  • Place the wood underneath.
  • I use 2 small nails to keep it in place
  • Then fasten the 3 screws with washers in place

Here’s what the finished product looks like.


What is the success rate of a swarm trap?

  • A good swarm trap is really all you need to get started in beekeeping. A good success rate is about 50%, but some beekeepers report an 80% success rate with catching swarms.

How long should you leave a swarm in a swarm trap?

  • Many experienced beekeepers advise leaving the swarm in the trap for about a week. It might be tempting, but it’s best not to disturb a recently-caught swarm. The bees may leave if  you bother or agitate them.

What months do bees swarm?

  • April and May are the two months when most swarming activity takes place, although I’ve caught swarms as early as February, here in Georgia.

Will bees swarm in the rain?

  • Typically not. Bees prefer sunny days to swarm.

When do bees typically swarm?

  • Most times, honey bees will swarm in the afternoon.

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