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Swarm Traps!

20 Mar

I would like to welcome my newest follower, Jon. Jon has his own blog detailing his Journey To Homesteading, and his interest in honey bees. Go check him out at The Sweet Beeness. Jon asked for some details on my swarm traps so I will answer him here.


I make my traps out of 8 frame deep supers. That seems to be the proper volume to attract bees. I started out just nailing a piece of plywood on to the bottom of the super, but I came up with an idea. Normally, when you transfer a captured swarm to a hive, you take the top off of the trap. Then you pull the frames out and transfer them to the hive, all the while, bees are swirling all around in the air. After the frames have been transferred, you will still have a bunch of bees in the bottom of the trap which you will have to try to shake out into the hive. I thought there might be a better way. I thought if I had an easily removable bottom on the trap, I could just remove the bottom and set the whole trap onto a bottom board and they would be transferred in a matter of seconds without even opening the top. But how to do this?


I thought I might make a similar bottom like I use for the top. But no, that wouldn’t work well. Anytime it rained, the water would run down the sides and collect in the bottom of the hive.


Then I thought, what if I made the frame for the bottom fit inside the trap instead of the outside? It would be almost rain proof and I could just take out two screws to remove the bottom. I made five of the traps like this so I will see how it works out.


Oh, I made these 5 traps out of 1X12s that I did not rip down to the proper size to be a deep super. My box is an inch and a half deeper than a super. I needed the extra space so my deep frames will fit inside with the bottom attached. The only real negative I can think of is the bees might not like that extra space after I set the trap onto a bottom board. The old Beeks in my bee club are interested in my idea and they think the bees will just draw out a little bit of comb hanging from the bottom of the frames. That shouldn’t be a problem since these frames will be brood frames and won’t go into an extractor.


This is a picture of one of my traps hanging in a tree about 15 feet high. I put out four traps today while the temperature was 40 degrees with a 20 MPH wind. I even saw a few flakes of snow flitting by! That sure doesn’t seem like swarm weather does it? Well, last week we had temps in the 80s! I have 15 traps to put out, so I need to get started because it will take a couple of days to get it done. Oh yeah, my two surviving hives are doing really well. Last week I went through them frame by frame. As a matter of fact, one of the hives was so strong I did a walk-away split. I don’t know how it will work out but I thought if it will ever work it should be now because that hive was so strong.


I made this 5 gallon pail feeder last week and it is working really well. I drilled holes all around the bucket so that the little indentions around the top will hold the sugar water when you invert the bucket. The capillary pressure keeps it from spilling out just as it does with a jar feeder with holes punched in the lid. I have some other topics to discuss but I will save that for later. Keep prepping everyone!

Newest Followers

7 Apr

I would like to welcome my newest followers,

PatriotsandPaulies, belikewater, sobleak,

 fitnessfreak, and blesario.

Thanks for hitting that follow button, I appreciate it!

Newest Follower

3 Mar

I would like to welcome my newest follower glattheranch. They have a large ranch somewhere in the wild Midwest so check them out when you get a chance. Thanks so much for hitting that follow button, I appreciate it!

Farmgirl School

21 Feb

For some reason the reblog of the post from Farmgirl School didn’t show up so just click this link to go visit her site. Farmgirl School

Newest Followers

19 Feb

I would like to welcome my newest followers blondgirl07, GiantGag, and msasser87. Thanks for hitting that follow button, I appreciate it!

Letter To An Unknown Soldier

12 Feb

I copied this from the blog Town and Country Gardening and I had a lump in my throat after reading it. I was reminded we should thank all of those in uniform who sacrifice so much to protect us every day. Let us pray for all of them and their families and hope for their safe return. God Bless our soldiers and God Bless America!

Think your having a bad day? Consider what every day is like for a soldier.

By Jason Wright – Dear soldier on an Alaskan Airlines flight from Washington, D.C. to Seattle


I’m sorry.



Early on Feb. 9, in the cold, black and blue hours of a winter Sunday, I said nothing.

I first saw you in your camouflage fatigues patiently waiting in the airport security line.

I spotted you later shuffling around the gate with a wide smile on your face waiting to board the six-hour, non-stop flight from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to Seattle-Tacoma International.

I wonder where your service has taken you. What have you witnessed as you’ve sacrificed so much to protect and defend America and her allies?

I watched a hurried woman stop and thank you for your service. You were so kind, so gracious, so humble.

Still, I said nothing.

I don’t know your name, where you were coming from, or if Seattle was even your final destination. I could have asked all those things.

More importantly, I could have thanked you for serving our country.

But, I didn’t.

I’m sorry.

I’ve certainly launched those conversations before. When it’s been convenient, I’ve stopped other service members in airports, restaurants and gas stations around the country. Like so many others, I’ve paid for meals when they were behind me in line or tucked into the neighboring booth.

Not today.

This morning I was too tired, too grouchy and too annoyed at my nasty head cold. Don’t you understand I’d been up since 4 a.m. and already driven 90 miles to the airport?

I saw you again when you boarded, but I was far too busy bemoaning my minuscule middle seat and complaining about our high row number. I told my seat mates we were so far back on the plane, our arrival time was 15 minutes later than those in first class.

Eventually, I settled in and allowed my mind to wander up to your row. Where were you stationed? How long had you been in the military? Were you going home for good, or only for a few short days that pass too fast?

Who would be waiting for you on the other end? A beautiful bride who can barely catch her breath at the thought of seeing you descend the escalator? Young children with crayon and construction paper signs? A mother and father who will whisper prayers in your ear as they wrap their grateful arms around you?

I could have asked those things, too, but I was preoccupied with missing my own family already and we weren’t even airborne.

Soldier, sometimes I’m gone for a day or two, maybe six or seven. Did you know I’ve even had a few trips run two full weeks? After grueling school assemblies and exhausting book signings I absolutely ache to return home to my loved ones.

Fourteen days away from my family! In a row! I bet you can’t even imagine that, can you, Soldier?

I wonder where your service has taken you. What have you witnessed as you’ve sacrificed so much to protect and defend America and her allies? Have you been sitting at a small, metal desk in some green zone? Or are you a member of a special operations unit where losing your life is a real possibility every day you punch in?

Honestly, it doesn’t matter.

I believe the uniform doesn’t care where you’re serving and what your specific assignment is, it only cares that you’re wearing it. Honor doesn’t come from any particular type of service; it comes from the service itself.

I wish I’d told you that, too.

Instead, I blew my nose and felt sorry for myself and the work piling up back home. I’ve got too many projects, too many columns, too many Facebook posts to manage and an eternity of emails to sort. Working for myself presents so much unpredictability, anxiety and stress.

What a drag, right?

As for you and your colleagues in uniform? All you do is strap on a vest and hope that routine desert patrol isn’t your last.

Soldier, if I could have those moments back, I would shake your hand and thank you on behalf of everyone who feels more safe and secure because you’re doing work that many of us would not be courageous enough to do.

I would promise you that never again would I find myself so caught up in my own selfish discomfort to let you pass by. And I would suggest that if servicemen and women can do what they do, I can certainly do what I do.

I would say thank you for bravely going to work when you have a head cold and when life puts you in the middle seat.

I would say, “thank you.”

Can you say thank You To An Unknown Soldier?

Newest Followers

11 Feb

I would like to welcome my newest follower laurien. She has a blog with a lot of ideas concerning food storage so why don’t you drop by and say hello. Thanks for hitting that follow button. Oh, and I almost forgot rlhtl who has a blog about starting a new homestead and becoming more self sufficient much like me, so check them out as well.