Joe Waggle’s Crayon

Pondering trapping swarms and swarm boxes, I remember a neat idea Joe Waggle once proposed.

He incorporated lemon grass essential oil into melted beeswax. And then poured it into a suitable mold. Let it harden. And had a ready source of swarm box attractant.

Rubbing it in, on and around a swarm box, increased a swarm box’s attractiveness.

A beeswax crayon isn’t as fragile or as volatile as a bottle of essential oil. And the beeswax acts as slow release agent. It can be applied on surfaces that essential oils can’t.

I suspect that something larger than a crayon sized mold would be more practical, unless it’s one of those large chalk crayons. 🙂 But any mold shape will do. As long as it produces a crayon that’s sturdy enough to resist some pressure and abuse. Yet, one that’s easy to handle.

A small piece of rope or cordage can be looped and incorporated into the wax for easy handling. I’ve seen gift bars of soap like that. A loop might be especially useful when getting to a swarm box that requires climbing up a tree or ladder.

Other ingredients might work in Joe’s crayon as well. This concept might extend the usefulness of commercial pheromones. Maybe even the Lusby’s queen alcohol extract could be used.

Like Crayola makes crayons of different colors, it’s certainly easy to make different smelling Waggle crayons and find out what works best.


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