Capturing a swarm

It is December and my beekeeping time is spent planning for spring. Extra equipment is cleaned, painted and stored. Frames for 3 year frame rotation plan are built and new frames are ready for foundation, bees are on their own for the next several months – so what is a beekeeper to do when the days are short and the yards don’t have bees flying?

My bee club’s November meeting had a “bring your favorite bee related item” for big people’s show and tell.  At first I was thinking I (like most beekeepers) I have seen all the beekeeping objects either in person or in the catalogs from the 3 or 4 major equipment supply companies so nothing new but I always look forward to the fun of getting other opinions and talking bees at club meetings.

Beekeepers are always surprising people and this was no different. No one brought their favorite smoker or hive tool. All the items were of interest but one really got me inspired – a swarm catch box and the printed plans for all interested parties to take home. Just what I needed, a woodworking project with a beekeeping focus!

I was so inspired by the thought of free bees (or possibly by spring fever)  that I got the materials and set to work. Turns out the plans make about 7 boxes from 3 sheets of construction grade plywood and a 2×4. Somewhere around $50 in materials built 7 boxes. I don’t need all seven.

The December club meeting has a raffle and pot luck dinner theme.  Objects are donated for the raffle so the opportunity to give back and make someone’s beekeeping experience better is just too much to resist!

Happy beekeeping!