Copy Box Swarm Trap

A cheap (usually free) and easy swarm trap can be made using a copy paper box:

Copy Paper Box

One or two standard deep frames will fit just perfectly into the box from corner to corner. Insert the frame(s), drop in a cotton swab with some lemon grass extract, and put the lid on. The lemon grass extract acts as a swarm attractant. If you ever come across a swarm, you’ll immediately notice a lemon smell. The lemongrass extract mimics that and attracts scout bees that are looking for a new home for their swarm. You can purchase lemongrass essential oil at for around $6. I usually run duct tape all the way around the lid to keep it from blowing off and to contain the bees when I move them. Pop in one of the handle holes for an entrance and you’re set to go. I usually put these under over hangs in old barns or on porches where they won’t get wet. If its someplace out in the open weather I’ll use a easy 5-frame nuc as a trap. I caught 2 swarms last year using one of these boxes on my front porch, and this was before I had bees so they weren’t from my hives! The video below shows me moving a swarm caught in the free box into an easy 5-frame nuc.


About cheapbeekeeping

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7 Responses to Copy Box Swarm Trap

  1. Patricia Tenpenny says:

    Thanks! Gonna try to copy paper box and bookmark this site. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Getting into Beekeeping | Cheap Beekeeping

  3. Pingback: How to get Bees for FREE!!! | Cheap Beekeeping

  4. Thanks for posting this. Have you tried making a medium nuc box? It would be nice to have a olywood layout sheet for this too. Michael Bush (The Practical Beekeeper) does all medium and that is what I want to convert to.

  5. robin hubbard says:

    Hi, Can I use lemon grass powder? Mix it with an oil? Thank you.

    • I don’t see why not. When you mix it you’ll want to use a oil with as little smell as possible. You’re shooting for a smell close to that of lemon pledge cleaner. If it smells like lemon pledge, then you’re probably going to attract some scout bees.

  6. I’ve finally met a cheaper beekeeper than myself! 🙂 I’ve subscribed and hope to be a regular here. Thanks for the blog.

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