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Swarm Traps and Bait Hives: The easy way to get bees for free. Paperback – July 15, 2011
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About the Author
McCartney Taylor is a world renown beekeeper from Austin, Texas. Known mainly for his YouTube educational channel, OutofaBlueSky, which is the largest beekeeping channel on YouTube. Mr. Taylor works with both Langstroth and Top Bar Hives which are technologically appropriate for third world beekeeping.
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Top customer reviews
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feelings about whether or not I got my monies worth
out of it. As a novice backyard bee keeper I have
many questions about all sorts of aspects of my new
hobby and so far what I have learned after reading
several books regarding beekeeping is, no one book
has all the answers. I've also found it true that
sometimes the answers I'm seeking occur in the least
likely places. Has this helped answer some of my
questions about bait hives? Yes. All of them? No. The
nucleus of practical information I found useful could
have been assembled into less than a couple of it's
pages and I feel too much information was left out.
This technique to capturing swarms
relies of a practical understand to basic hive
construction, components, tools of the trade.
Not everything has to be spelled out to everyone
(nor should it) but the author sometimes choose to just
to address a problem with quirky, non helpful humor
rather than take advantage of the opportunity to offer
a solution to the problem. The reader will discover this
promptly as on page 2 where the author writes "If
you live on a treeless island somewhere off the
eastern coast of Canada, you may not have any bees.
Sorry. We recommend that you move, as it has to
really be a bummer to live there, whether you are a
beekeepers or not." The authors traps are designed to
hang in trees and if you're like me, living in an environment
different than that of the authors, you're just SOL. So the
question, would a trap like this work from a
stand or other fixture as an alternative for
environments lacking trees such as the deserts of
our western states goes unanswered. At least on page
two. Some consideration to urban environments is mentioned later on.
Pros: Brief, well presented, enjoyable, an overall
descriptive technique presented pertaining to the
process of catching swarms punctuated with some
concise practical information, non repetitive and
with good color photos. Encouraging and
Cons: The trap itself is simple so why 50 pages of
fluff? Detailed information on design, dimensions,
construction is lacking. Yes it's basically a simple
box but, you're going to have to do your own math to
build one since the author hasn't included it or
In sum I would like to see a second edition that is more economically priced, more diverse in nature and with better details. I recommend this as a good start for both the author and the beekeeper alike.
As a beginning beekeeper advances his or her skill and gains more experience in our field, usually the desire to expand their hives and bee yard or apiary increases. In this regard, they are usually faced with two major constraints, time and capital. McCartney Taylor tackles this predicament with his pithy, but thorough book on swarm traps and bait hives.
Much like a manual, Taylor succinctly examines the "biologically driven process of swarm trapping." He takes the reader step by step through the process, while at the same time addressing the science of it all with the "who, what, when, where, why and how." Additionally, throughout the book Taylor interweaves his beekeeping successes and mishaps to illustrate and highlight the do's and don'ts of swarm traps and bait hives.
While there are plenty of decent photos in the book, which act as visual aids to better understand the content, I would have liked to have seen a drafted model of his design. While a drafted model is not necessarily needed (he does provide an ample and thorough written description of the dimensions and how to built them), I felt the book could have been stronger had he included a drafted model (like from Google Sketchup or something similar) of his design.
Finally, I would be remiss not to include that his style of writing uses wit and humor in a refreshing way - as if you are having a conversation together over coffee and a bit of honey. I found this to be quite stimulating whereby I was never bored with the content or format because everything flowed efficiently. He set out to inform his readers "the easy way to get bees for free," and he delivered handsomely on his promise.
I highly recommend this book for beekeepers at all experience levels and ages who desire to expand their hives through use of more economical and time-saving way.
If you want to be a beekeeper, dont belive what this small booklet tell you. Most of it is simply not true.
The last couple of hundred years, beekeepers all over the world have fought swarming.
My advice is clear: Save the money and buy a new queen. thats a much better investment.
Sorry, but true.
So why not 5 stars? Purchasers should be aware this 'book' is really somewhere between a thick pamphlet and a very small book. White space and graphic devices pad the pages. Readers will make it from cover to cover in less than an hour. While I know this is a demand-printed book, and as such printing costs may be high, I feel, for the actual amount of content, marketing this book at $18 retail and discounting to $13 is a bit much.
Much of the information contained in the book can be found for free. However this book makes that information conveniently accessible in one coherent text, and may be worth the price to some. I suppose the cost of the book plus the cost of materials to trap a swarm is at least less than the price of a package of bees.