How to Lure a Swarm of Bees


Luring and catching a swarm of bees is a necessary step to establishing a beekeeping colony. When bees swarm, they are in search of a new hive and are, in essence, homeless. Using a mimic pheromone or attractant is an easy way to lure the swarm to your beekeeping box.

Things You'll Need

  • Pheromone lure
  • Lemongrass oil
  • Swarm trap
  • Beekeeping suit

Pheromone Lures

  • Purchase a pheromone lure and swarm trap from a reputable online purveyor such as Kelley Bee or Better Bee. If you cannot purchase goods on the Internet, seek out a local agricultural supplier or pet superstore, such as Lowes, PetSmart or Home Depot. If you are unable to get to one of these stores, make a trap out of a cardboard box with a small hole cut in one side. Make sure the lid is securely sealed shut.

  • Attach the pheromone lure to the inside of the trap. Make sure the lid is on or the top is otherwise tightly and securely closed.

  • Set the trap in an area prone to high bee activity, such as near a garden or an arbor of fruit trees.

  • Wear beekeeping gear each time you check the trap. If a swarm has been successfully lured and trapped, the trap will be full and you will want to avoid being stung.

Lemongrass Oil

  • Purchase lemongrass oil from your local health foods, Asian, or Mediterranean market. Lemongrass oil is a good substitute if pheromone lures are unavailable to you.

  • Apply the lemongrass oil to the inside of your trap with a cotton swab or tissue.

  • Reapply the oil to your set trap with a cotton ball fixed to a stick or a long cotton swab if no swarm has been successfully trapped.

Tips & Warnings

  • Never use lemon-scented polish as a lure; it is an old wives' tale. The chemicals present in polish are harmful to bees and the environment.


  • Photo Credit John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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