Tired of climbing ladders and trees or using bucket poles to catch your swarms? Make and keep a Swarm Scion!
Beekeeping365 blog site has a super post on the scion if you are interested in learning how it works and how to make your own. Here is one style using a rope and pulley:
The Russian Scion (stick or post) is a great tool for collecting swarms from your own bee yard. Let’s face it – sometimes swarms happen in spite of swarm control measures. The natural reproductive instincts of the bees are always present so sometimes you have to go with the flow. Swarming behaviors vary – for example Russian bees are more swarmy than Italians. As a comparison unmanaged Italian bees may swarm three times a year – Russian bees seven times.
Catching swarms is fun, but retrieving them from their first landing point can be difficult. The swarm scion solves this problem by giving the swarm their best choice for the initial congregating point. In any given bee yard swarms tend to have a favorite tree or limb anyway. Previous swarms sometimes coat the bark with fresh wax and this is a marker that draws them back year after year. When you have a chance read the great post on scions from the Beekeeping365 blogsite:
Whatever method you use to build a scion you can bait it with a frame of comb or just coat the under-roof section with propolis and wax. For a final touch mount a motion detector on the pole to alert you when a mass has arrived on your scion.
The Chamberlain Motion Detector can also be used to alert you when skunks or other animals are bothering your bees.
Joe Lewis has kept bees since 2006 and operated Harford Honey (Aberdeen, MD) selling bees, honey and pollination services in Maryland and Pennsylvania. He has written multiple articles for the American Bee Journal and IBRA's Bee World. Joe is known for his "Sustainable Apiaries thru Nucleus Colonies" presentations at beekeepers conferences and beekeeper association meetings. Joe's home club is now Wise Texas Bee Club.
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