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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Madison County, Alabama
    Posts
    487

    Default Cone Trap-out method for an impatient newbee: Iddee, your moral support is needed!

    As you & I discussed on the phone the other day, all construction is completed on the trap-out from my 200-yr old brick church. We did it on June 9th.

    Late afternoon on June 9th, with temps in the upper 90s low 100s the bees are bearding all over the mesh cone--it looked like a wooly mammoth's trunk sticking out of the brick wall.

    Returned early a.m on June 10th. Trapped out bees were gathered around the base of the mesh cone. The bait hive is positioned at a right angle to the cone and about a foot, 12 inches, away.

    Observed situation early this morning (June 11th). Bees are clustered on the base, but less than before. Bees are clustered in other clumps near the cone.

    I've been too busy to post photos, but will eventually, I promise.

    Other pieces of data:

    1. It appears the bees are not re-entering the wall--all other entrances are sealed.

    2. The cone is sealed to the wall over their entrance & the bait hive sits on scaffolding on the wall 20 feet up--heights make me nervous but I'm getting over it.

    3. No bees, alive or dead, are blocking the cone's exit; no bees are reentering the mesh cone

    4. The bait hive (single deep body) has 5 deep frames of honey/nectar and pollen, as well as two frames of open/capped brood and nurse bees. Remaining frames are foundation only.

    5. Activity in and out of bait hive appears minimal 2 days after trap out started, i.e. a single bee approaches or lands on the bait hive bottom board about every 30 seconds, I'm thinking these are not the trapped out bees but maturing bees native to the bait hive.

    6. The end of the mesh cone does not extend to inside the bait hive, but I was told this is not necessary.

    7. This colony is about 20 years old undisturbed. I would estimate there are between 30-40,000 bees in the wall. I would estimate I have seen as many as 10-13,000 bees outside the hive. The colony was bigger before May, when my novice beekeeping buddy tried a bee vac on 'em with too much power. He accidentally killed easily 60,000-80,000 bees that day over 6 hours.
    Last edited by fatscher; 06-11-2008 at 12:42 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,080

    Default

    Open the catch box and see how many frames are covered with bees......report back.

    If possible, move box closer to cone. Within 2 or 3 inches, hopefully.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Madison County, Alabama
    Posts
    487

    Default Didn't mean to limit responses to just Iddee, anyone can chime in here...

    My partner (the expert carpenter, but novice beekeeper who killed the bees with his bee vac) took the ladder away yesterday. He probably needed it for his real job. When he returns it I'll look in the catch box.

    Also, something else to consider. When I visited the trap this morning at 0600 hours, there were about 10-15 stationary bees hanging around on the church steps (30 feet from the entrance?) where I had laid some beekeeper gloves on Monday. I figure the gloves have the residual smell of honey/propolis on 'em (even though they're still new they've been worn once or twice). This tells me the bees are in a hungry state, having been denied access to their home.

    I'm just clueless on what to expect, what's normal day to day? A colony trapped outside seems lost and immobile without their queen. When/how do they clue in to venture into the catch box?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Madison County, Alabama
    Posts
    487

    Default Get this...interesting twist of events

    I visited the site again this afternoon after work. I found the bodies of about 8 dead drones on the side walk leading up to the church, easily 40-50 feet from the hive and around the corner. The workers, I suppose, are realizing their dire situation & are banishing the drones from food just like you see in the pre-winter purge.

    It could be my imagination, but it appears the bees are investigating the bait hive more and more. I observed several going in and out of the bait hive at a more frequent rate than before.

    Anyone care to comment if this sequence of daily activities appears normal for bee trap-outs? I'm flying blind here. All comments, suggestions, advice welcome.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Brenham, Texas
    Posts
    207

    Default More info on bait hive

    Does the bait hive have a queen (as in a nuc or small established hive) or did you just put honey, capped brood and bees in it? If it doesn't have a queen, they may not see it as a viable option.

    I have done a cone trapout before and any bees that were on the cone in the evening went in to the bait hive at night. It worked like a charm. I don't know what else could be the problem.

    Fuzzybeekeeper

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
    Posts
    4,398

    Default

    The bait hive should not have a queen. Add a frame from another hive that contains brood, larvae and eggs and adhereing bees. Works great. I have a trap out going right now.

    fat: everything seems to be going fine from the sound of it. The entrance to the bait hive should be right underneath the base of the cone so they can walk right into it. Right now, there is a lot of confusion going on but trust me, they will go into the bait hive.
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Milwaukee WI
    Posts
    264

    Default rain, rain and more rain

    My wood frames are getting wet should I worry, we have about 10 in of rain in the last week geting more now I have a wedge in the upper deep on all 4 hive.
    Wishing you all the best of tomorrows and good honey

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