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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 17th year of beekeeping in April 2022. Now there are more than 1300 posts on this blog. Please use the search bar below to search the blog for other posts on a subject in which you are interested. You can also click on the "label" at the end of a post and all posts with that label will show up. At the very bottom of this page is a list of all the labels I've used.

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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a
Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

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Sunday, February 27, 2022

It's Time to make SWARM LURE

 Years ago in 2007, an Italian beekeeper shared his swarm lure recipe with me and I have made it every year since. In a good bee year, it's amazingly effective. I have just put it on my empty hives at the community garden and on my top bar hive which is empty of bees. 

Next week is March and in Atlanta, that often marks the beginning of swarm season. I have drones flying in all of my hives, so I made swarm lure this week, like a good "be prepared" Girl Scout.

Here's the easy to follow recipe:

1 square inch cube of beeswax

1/4 cup of oil - olive oil was in his recipe but he's in Italy - any relatively no-smell oil will do

12 - 20 drops of lemongrass essential oil

Put the first two ingredients in a glass jar (small jelly jar) and set the jar in a small pan of hot water. Heat until wax is fully melted. I stir with a chop stick and remove the jar from the water. I use a jar lifter which I have for making apple butter. 

Let it cool only slightly and then stir in the lemongrass oil.

As the mixture cools, it will become solid but smeary. If your cubes are larger than 1X1 inch, use more oil. You want the concoction to be soft enough to smear. Sometimes I carry a chopstick to scoop out some of the harder versions of my lure before smearing it on the hive.

How to use this fabulous attractant?

  • Smear it around the center hole in the inner cover.
  • Smear it on some of the frames in the top box on the hive
  • Smear it on the underside of the top of the entrance to the hive (if you smear it on the bottom, the bees feet will stick and get goopy so just on the top of the entrance.
For photos and a previous post about this lure, click here.

This post shows where and how to smear the lure. 

2 comments:

  1. Can you tell me your success with this please

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, it's usually really successful. I almost every year get a free swarm that moves into empty equipment. On my best year, I got four hives filled with no effort on my part. I encourage you to try it.

    ReplyDelete

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