Swarm Traps and Bait Hives: The easy way to get bees for free. (2011). McCartney M. Taylor. Austin, TX: CreateSpace. 60 pp. ISBN: 9781463739317
Reviewed by Erich R. Lehmann of Lehmann Beekeeping and Apiary
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.