Join me as I share my experience and show you how to catch and transfer honeybee swarms using the innovative Interceptor Pro. Get ready for a unique and exciting adventure in beekeeping!
0:00 Interceptor Pro Overview
3:57 Hanging the Interceptor Pro
8:49 Tips for Alternate Hive Boxes
10:51 1 Hour Update
TRANSCRIPT FROM VIDEO:
Hi, my name is Lindsey and I’m here at the Urban Farm and today I wanted to share with you a project inspiration and something that I’m trying out for the first time that I’m really excited about. So next to me, I have what is called the Interceptor Pro and this is for catching swarms of honeybees. I bought this online and it’s a really cool design that is really innovative in how it works. There’s nothing else like it that I found. Traditional swarm traps usually look more like a kind of like a flower pot. And then they mimic more of what a hive would look like if it weren’t in a tree. So wild hives and I feel like this design is really great in the aspect of transference. So the idea behind this is that when swarms of honeybees go out looking for where they’re gonna make their new hive, whether it’s in your roof or <laugh>, you know, somewhere undesirable or in the hollow of a tree, they’ll send scout bees out that look for that home and instead we give them this option and we use baitler to attract them to it as well as bees wax that’s coded on the inside. So we make this a really hospitable and great environment for them to want to check out and once they bring their colony, they will enter in here and this has frames inside of it. So it gives them the idea that they could make this their home. And it gives them plenty of space to swarm on the bottom. And after you wait a couple days, once you have bees that have decided that this is where they’re going to live, you close it up, you can close this opening and you can carry this to wherever your beehives might be and you can transfer this into one of your hives. So this is a great way to get free bees from the natural environment. And it’s also a way to help bees because if you think about it, if bees were to go find a spot in a perhaps more undesirable location, a lot of people will spray bees, they’ll get people to come remove them and that’s not always the most ethical way to remove bees because bees are an essential pollinator and they are amazing for our garden. Usually swarm season is about May. If this works, then I’ll be able to transfer this to one of our hives. And this is especially great when we’re thinking about food security because if in the future we don’t have access to per se beekeepers or honey bees are in short supply and beekeepers don’t have new queen bees readily available in the same way that they do now. This is a great way to have access to bees and it is a great system. So I’m hoping that this works out. I’m gonna show you how I’m hanging it in some of the logic behind why we hang it a certain way. But otherwise I’m really excited and I hope this inspires you to look into bee catching bee swarms if you’re interested in raising honey bees and I already see a few buzzing around, so it’s super exciting.
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So we’re gonna hang it per the instructions. It says nine to 12 feet is ideal. This is about the, you know, we don’t wanna put it on the ground. Honeybees are usually flying about. So scout bees are looking for somewhere where they can create their, their hive and usually hives are hanging. So think about it, in the natural world when we see a hive hanging, it’s from a roof or it’s from a tree, so about that height and we want it east facing if possible, I’m going to put ours more south facing just because the house is here. So I want it to be directly open. You wanna put it in an open space, it just makes it easier for them to see. But first I’m gonna put this swarm lure that it came with. If you are using your own, if you’re making your own swarm trap, you can use lemon grass oil, lemongrass essential oil and just kind of dab it. So it did come with that too. So there’s a Q-tip that I just threw down there and that will give them some of the initial interest and then the swarm luro too and I’m just going to staple this just so it stays on top and doesn’t fall inside. Okay. And then it says don’t open the envelope. So that’s good like that. And we have all our frames in, it suggested that we push them to the back even though the frames don’t go all the way down, it just gives them more space in the front to swarm. We want that initial entrance to be as appealing as possible. Then if you can see in here, coating things with beeswax is also a great way to lure them. So the inside of the actual, like the outer casing is coated in beeswax, but if you’re making your own you can coat some of the frames with bees wax as well. It just gives the bees the idea that other bees have lived there and that this is a habitable area. It’s all about making good impressions. I’m gonna snap the lid on. So the Inceptor Pro came with this large nail that can go into the tree and then it goes through this hanging hook and then if it is a little bit loose, if I feel like it’s not gonna be super sturdy, it also came with this tensioning wire. This is a carob tree and the reason I chose this tree is because first of all it has a strong trunk and also it is around a lot of flowers. Right now the honeybees are really loving the chamomile that’s planted in front here. They like the nasturtium and there’s a bunch of fruit trees that’ll start flowering soon. So this is a great pollinator attracting zone and this, like I said, this tree is strong enough and it’s a pretty open tree. I think at first I’m gonna try putting it on this trunk. It’s a little bit more east facing, it’s, it’ll be facing south but it, I think this trunk is ideal because it’s straighter up. This one is a little bit slanted. I feel like I won’t be able to hang it as well on this one. So this one I think is the better option right now. And the great thing about a system like this is if you don’t see that you’re having interest, you can always move it or if you get multiple and see that a certain location is working better. So just experiment. So right now I’m probably eight feet so I might go here cause it’ll hang a little bit lower. <Laugh> Remind me I need to buy a rubber mallet. Rubber mallet would be useful in so many situations. So I was having a bit of trouble getting the nail in the tree. Apparently Carob has very hardwood so Chris was able to help me and we drilled a hole and got the nail in and now we are ready to hang. So I’m just gonna make sure the bolts on the back are tight enough and then it also has vents in the back. I didn’t show that earlier, but just extra ventilation for when you do close up This just so there’s airflow that’s really important. Is it on there?
Now that we have it on there, I’m going to use this just to give it a little bit more support and hopefully to kind of, there’s a little bump in the tree so just to kind of straighten it up a little bit. Okay. This might be easier with a friend now I’m just going to make sure that it’s sitting the way I want it to. It’s not blocking our vents so that’s good. And this definitely helped with straightening it up. So now it is more upright, which will help with proper orientation. Your bees aren’t gonna be as happy or enticed by the area if it’s leaning. So just making it as straight as possible regardless if you are using a system like this or making your own. Another way that you can make a swarm trap is by using an empty hive box. So if you have an empty hive box, you can put a few frames in it, you can coat it with beeswax or coat the frames with beeswax and then use a little bit of a lemon grass essential oil and just put a few drops on the entrance of the hive and this will attract the scout bees and if they like it then they might set up shop in your hive box and you’d have a ready to go hive. I think a system like this is a little bit more appealing to them, especially depending on where you keep your hives. We keep our hives on the roof so that’s a more similar height to where they would naturally seek out. But if you do keep your hives on the ground, just be aware that that might not be as attractive to them. It’s fine once they’re established in your hives, obviously a ton of beekeepers keep their hives on the ground. But just in terms of scout bees being able to see your hive, this is a more desirable location.
I hope this inspires you that if you’re keeping bees or whether you wanna start keeping bees or just learning more about them learning more about swarming bees and their cycles and how they find habitats is a really cool way to experiment. Obviously this is an experiment for me here on the farm but I’m really looking forward to seeing if this works since we’re coming up to swarm season. But I will keep you updated and hopefully new bees will make their way into here and then I can transfer them to a hive. So make sure you stay tuned for updates and see how our experiment goes.
It’s been less than an hour since we put up the interceptor Pro for catching swarms of bees and we already have quite a few bees that are very curious in what is going on. So these could be scout bees, they could also be forager bees that are just kind of attracted and interested in what’s going on. So definitely this is an accessible spot for this to be placed and we can see that there’s interest. So I’m really excited and I’m hoping that soon once a bee decides to bring their swarm here, they will make this their home and we will have success. But definitely really exciting just to see the bees whether they’re scouting it out seriously or just kind of interested in what’s going on. Just exciting to see that we might have bees coming soon. So just wanted to give you an update but very quickly it has been become popular.