Installing a Swarm Box

As you may know, bees are responsible for pollinating 1 out of every 4 bites of food we eat, so attracting bees to your garden is a really good idea. One way to do it is to put up a swarm box.

Swarm boxes give bees an attractive place to call home. When their hive grows too large, the queen will take some of the bees and leave in search of new digs. If they choose to inhabit your swarm box, they can then be transferred to a proper hive and voila! you’ve got bees.

A pre-fab swarm box from

At the Mar Vista Fall Festival, was spreading the word about bees and beekeeping. They offered hives and swarm boxes to those who live in areas where beekeeping is legal. At the same time, they are striving to legalize beekeeping in Los Angeles. Needless to say, a swarm box came home with me. 🙂

3 frames in a swarm box

Inside the swarm box was a place to hang a few starter frames. We were instructed to place a couple cotton swabs with lemongrass oil on top of the frames at the rear of the box. After drawing a line of bees wax across the upper rung of each frame, we placed the bait and closed up the box.

Lemongrass oil on a cotton swab to attract bees.

Now to place our box. Most people secure the box in a tree for bees to access without interference. We have a giant Brazilian Pepper tree that is covered with bees every morning–they are busy pollinating its thousands of tiny flowers this time of year. Rather than go through the trouble of finding a level place to wedge the box, we decided to use the patio pergola, which sits under the canopy of the tree.

Swarm Box awaiting guests.

We placed a water dish nearby, because bees need a water source (who knew?). Now we wait and watch for curious creatures to investigate our new bee hotel.

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