Bee Traps Explained

Bee traps are either devices, used to catch unwanted bees and other stinging insects, or gadgets used by the beekeepers.

How Do Bee Traps Actually Work?

You can make your own bee trap or purchase one.  Most of these traps use some sugary or sweet liquid to attract insects.  This means that they catch mainly wasps or yellow jackets because bees prefer flower syrup rather than sugar.  In practice, your homemade bee trap is more of a yellow jackets and/or wasps trap.  It is usually a big plastic tube, having big holes with tunnels on one side. They lead to the sweet or sugary liquid inside the device. Small holes are drilled on the other side of the tunnel where bees cannot find their way out. At the bottom of the tube is the sweet liquid or sugary water.  After flying in and around the tube, disoriented insects finally reach it and drown.

Different Types of Bee Traps

As mentioned, the most common bee traps use some sweet liquid to attract bees and yellow jackets. That is why it is easy to prepare a homemade bee trap. There are also bee traps that use sex hormones, called pheromones, to attract the insects. All insects will be drawn to pheromones at their active sexual period. Another alternative for a bee trap is to use pesticides or other poisonous sprays that banish insects from your yard, but these chemicals are harmful to humans and the environment. Below is a brief explanation of how bee traps are made and how they function.

Cross-shaped sideways slits may be made on the surface of a pop bottle so that bees enter through the holes. The cuts have to be pushed inwards so that bees don’t leave the trap. Then, the bottle is filled with a sugary liquid up to the level where the holes are cut. After the liquid is poured down, the cap is put back to prevent bees from flying through the neck of the bottle. Finally, a string may be placed around the neck so that you hang the bottle in a place where bees are observed in a higher concentration.

Another type of bee trap may be made by taking a pop bottle and cutting the upper part of the neck. This narrower part is placed in the bottle to act as a funnel. Then, sugary liquid is poured down through the funnel. Again, wire may be placed around the neck in order to hang the trap. With this type, bees are entering though the funnel to reach the sugary liquid. In addition, dish soap may be added to the sugary liquid so that tension at the water surface is reduced.

Consider the Environment

Finally, bees are a vital part of the food chain, responsible for pollinating an estimated 25% of the world’s food crops. Therefore, we should not kill them in vain. One possible solution is to catch bees and other stinging insects by bee traps and release them when you finish your outdoor activity. Also consider the fact that these insects are not aggressive by nature and may die if they sting a person. If bees are left undisturbed, they do not sting unless they feel frightened and in panic.