Swarm Commander vs. Lemongrass Oil (Which Scent Reigns Supreme?)

You might be considering keeping bees for pollination. However, managing numerous hives year-round can be challenging, leading many beekeepers to prefer renting hives.

Luckily, beekeepers now have a helping hand – bee attractants. These nifty solutions help attract and manage bees, catering to the diverse needs of beekeepers.

In today’s post, we’re reviewing two popular options for bee control: Swarm Commander vs. Lemongrass oil. We’ll explore and compare their pros and cons to provide you with insights to guide your decision-making process for a bee-friendly journey. 

Why Use Bee Attractants?

Close up of honey bees flying

Using bee attractants is like giving your bait hive a turbo boost. These solutions mimic honey bee pheromones to attract hives, elevating the pollination efficiency, fruit set, and overall yield. 

By spraying them on crops, you enhance flower attractiveness and seed plantation effectiveness. You can think of these attractants as the secret spice for your apiary success.

What Is Swarm Commander?

Swarm Commander is a synthetic pheromone blend designed to mimic the scent of the Nasonov pheromone, a pheromone released by worker bees to guide the swarm to a new location.

This pheromone acts like a natural GPS, guiding forager bees back to the hive. The result is a highly effective swarm trap that taps into the bee language.

Swarm Commander comes in various forms, including liquid and gel, making it versatile for diverse applications. Beekeepers typically use it for capturing feral swarms and kickstarting new colonies in unoccupied hives.

Benefits of Swarm Commander

Below are some benefits of using Swarm Commander for attracting bees or swarm lures.

Easy to Use

Swarm Commander simplifies the bee-attracting game. As most come in a spray bottle, you simply need to spray-apply the liquid on your hive and landing board and wait for the result.

Effective at Attracting Bees

Swarm Commander is one of the best swarm traps to lure pollinators. It mirrors the natural pheromones bees use for communication, providing a reliable and potent attractant for your hives.

Long-Lasting

Once applied, Swarm Commander doesn’t clock out early, with some formulas lasting three months after application. This long-lasting feature suits busy beekeepers, providing a sustained bee-attracting effect without frequent reapplications.

Disadvantages of Swarm Commander

Here are a few disadvantages of using Swarm Commander for swarm traps and bait hives you should consider.

Expensive

Quality comes at a price, and Swarm Commander is no exception. One bottle of Swarm Commander typically costs $20 to $35, which can burden people caring for several beehives.

You’ll also need to consider shipping costs. So, while effective, its premium status may pose a financial consideration for beekeepers on a budget, prompting a decision between quality and price.

Synthetic Composition

Finally, while the components of Swarm Commander mimic natural pheromones, they are not identical. So, if you’re a purist beekeeper, you may have reservations about using synthetic compounds for your honey bees.

What Is Lemongrass Oil?

Lemongrass oil and fresh lemongrass on a wooden table

We usually find this citrusy scent in food, soaps, and personal care products. But did you know that lemongrass oil is also a beekeeping secret weapon used by apiarists for decades?

We get this oil from the leaves and stalks of the tropical lemongrass plant. And like Swarm Commander, it leverages the scent of scout bees to attract swarms seeking a new home.

Benefits of Lemongrass Oil

Here are the benefits of using lemongrass oil for your beekeeping practices.

An All-Natural Oil

Lemongrass oil is a natural alternative for apiarists who prioritize organic solutions and don’t want to use synthetic chemicals. It offers an environmentally friendly option to attract and manage bees.

Effective at Attracting Hives

It’s easy to assume that all-natural products are less effective. However, you can rely on lemongrass oil’s effectiveness in drawing in swarms. 

Yes, it’s organic. But the scent it creates is potent enough to resemble the natural signals used by scout bees, making it a compelling choice for those looking to expand their bee colonies.

Repels Honey Mites

Parasites like Varroa mites are a serious threat to honey bees. They can infest and severely affect the health and performance of your colonies.

Essential oils like lemongrass help repel these pests from damaging your hives. Blended with other oils like spearmint, you can protect your honey bees from pathogens brought by these parasites.

Highly Affordable

Unlike some pricey alternatives, Lemongrass oil is a budget-friendly option for beekeepers, making it accessible to everyone. You can even find manufacturers selling Lemongrass oil for as low as $3!

Disadvantages of Lemongrass Oil

No product is without its drawbacks. Below are the cons you should consider for using Lemongrass oil.

Dissipates Quicker

The downside to lemongrass oil is its relatively short duration of effectiveness. A Lemongrass oil’s bee-attracting power diminishes after a few weeks, requiring more frequent reapplication than other long-lasting alternatives. 

Consider this when planning your beekeeping strategy.

Which Bee Attractant Should You Use?

Bee on the Chamomile flower pollination

Choosing the right bee attractant is crucial for successful swarm traps and bait hives.

Swarm Commander is a top choice if you prioritize ease of use, effectiveness, and longevity. Its user-friendly application, potent bee-attracting scent, and long-lasting effects make it a premium option for dedicated beekeepers. 

However, its higher cost and shipping charges may be a consideration for those on a budget.

On the other hand, if you’re seeking a natural, budget-friendly option, Lemongrass oil shines. Its all-natural composition, effectiveness in attracting bees, and mite-repelling qualities make it an appealing choice. 

However, the trade-off is its shorter duration of effectiveness, requiring more frequent reapplications.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, your choice boils down to your specific beekeeping goals, budget constraints, and preferences.

Whether you opt for the premium allure of Swarm Commander or the budget-friendly charm of Lemongrass oil, both options bring their unique strengths to the bait hive.

Consider your priorities when picking your bee attractant and make informed decisions that suit your needs. Choose well, as it could be the missing piece in your beekeeping puzzle!