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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Auburn and Tri-Cities Washington
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    334

    Default An idea I have been pondering.

    I have been hearing a lot lately about robbing and I had an idea on how to capture either feral (or your competitors ) foragers. Has anyone tried putting out a bait hive with no bees in it and a few frames of honey during robbing season? I am thinking if you got enough robbers to frequent the bait hive and then trap them inside for 48-72 hours after adding a frame of brood, a caged queen and moving them to a new location you would have a new hive. You might even be able to get the robbing started and then put on a one way entrance so they can get in and not get out of the bait hive. Anyone ever tried this?
    \"The man who sets out to carry a cat by its tail learns something that will always be useful and which never will grow dim or doubtful.\" - Mark Twain

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
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    2,496

    Default

    Sounds like a lot of work for a couple of crazy wild bees.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
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    2,240

    Default

    love your tag line and have for years. this would work but would be a lot slower, riskier, and more labor intensive than splitting a hive or swarm trapping, or even most cut-outs. you would have to also set your bait out more than 5 miles from your own hives or risk catching them. good luck,mike
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    6,080

    Default

    Not that I ever doubted the story..... .....but last year or so, there was a thread that had someone going out and catching some incredible amount of bees, like 5 or 10 pounds within a 24 hour period, all from a lucky isolated spot never checked previously and with nothing but feral bees. Like I said, I never doubted it.....

    Apparently it was a trap designed to take advantage of forages that were attracted to a feeder.

    Maybe someone can remember the thread or person involved.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Randolph County, Indiana
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    694

    Default

    Entertaining an idea such as this is possibly opening a can of rotten worms. The problems far outweigh the benefits, heres why.

    1. Start teaching people how to do this and you will have people baiting my foragers and yours in order to start their own hive. That cost us time, money, honey, weakens our hives and possibly hurts the quality of our pollination contracts. Plain a simply, it may or may not be possible, but when people start doing this with other managed hives in the area (and they will), it becomes unethical. I wouldn't have a problem with beeks doing this if there are no other managed hives in the area, except that they would be weakening a feral hive, which is not what beekeeping is all about. Its better to catch a swarm from one of those feral hives so you get the genetics, or let your virgin queens mate with their drones.

    2. Its harder to get older foragers to accept a queen without nurse bees present.

    3. When a bee is of foraging age, her life span is almost gone. She has maybe two weeks left. Even if you get them to accept a queen, the first brood is not going to emerge for three weeks. That means you will have a stressed out struggling hive with under fed brood that may not survive, or you will have to boost them with nurse bees and brood from another hive. If you have to boost them with frames from another hive anyway, why not just make a split instead of weakening another hive, be it managed or feral?

    4. What diseases are you getting with those foragers? And what diseases are you giving to other hives with your frames of honey?

    If I caught a competitor doing this to catch my foragers, I would be really tempted to move my hives away, then intentionally sit out a frame that is loaded with Foul Brood, or laced with a pesticide.

    Thats my 2 cents.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Venango/Crawford Pennsylvania
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    1,709

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    The solution to the robbing is not to feed with front feeders, using the top feeder, then using the Entrance Reducers... the guards then have less to worry about and you can let those bees from other hives go find other things to do...

    I agree with Indiana;
    >Entertaining an idea such as this is possibly opening a can of rotten worms. The problems far outweigh the benefits, heres why.

    1. Start teaching people how to do this and you will have people baiting my foragers and yours in order to start their own hive. That cost us time, money, honey, weakens our hives and possibly hurts the quality of our pollination contracts. Plain a simply, it may or may not be possible, but when people start doing this with other managed hives in the area (and they will), it becomes unethical. <

    If we start this... then we will have CCD of another kind...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
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    1,313

    Default

    As in anything in this world, it can used for evil or for good purposes. This is nothing more than a tool. A machete is a very useful tool, but can also be used for harm.

    Personally I thought the idea of trapping robbing foragers sounded very useful.

    My idea was to go to a yard with say 20 hives. During a dearth, set up a robbing event at the trap, (at least 100 yards away) but have it open, so they can come and go. The foragers that are coming to the trap will generally be more from the stronger hive and less from the weaker.

    I had the idea to hang the trap from a hang scale and record the starting weight. Lock the trap and wait for it to gain 5 lbs. Close it up and carry it away to a new yard. Add a frame of brood and new queen (caged of course) and in a couple days you have a new hive.

    The advantages of this method is that you will be stealing your own bees, you will be taking only foragers, you will be taking them in greater numbers from the stronger hives (self leveling).

    The only disadvantage that I can see is that the foragers are less likely to draw wax and they are older and going to live less time. These two facts can be offset by giving them drawn comb and by giving them 5 lbs instead of 3. I suppose the later in the season that this is done the more bees could be added. Experience over time would be our teacher here.

    A good design for a trap is what is needed, but the thread died previously because there were too many naysayers. Let's keep it constructive this time. Naysayers are not allowed here.
    Troy

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Randolph County, Indiana
    Posts
    694

    Default

    Troy, you disagree with the Naysayers, so they are not allowed to give their opinion? What will draw the attention of the Naysayers is this statement by the original poster:

    "I have been hearing a lot lately about robbing and I had an idea on how to capture either feral (or your competitors ) foragers."

    I dought many people would have a problem with anyone building a trap for the purpose of capturing their own foragers, including me. But the original topic of this thread is for the purpose of capturing a competitor's foragers. That brings up an ethical debate that should not be shut down, especially by a moderator.

    It might be wiser to let this one play out because of the above statement, and start a new thread when this one completely dies.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
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    1,313

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    Indiana:
    Troy, you disagree with the Naysayers, so they are not allowed to give their opinion?
    Not at all my intention - I just want the thread to stay focused on the trap and not sink into an ethical debate. [My opinion is that] Ethical debates are pointless as there are just too many opinions on all sides of the issue. Knowingly stealing someone else's bees is a modern form of cattle rustling and they used to hang people for that - so I get it, this is serious business.

    chief said:
    capture either feral (or your competitors :-)) foragers.
    I agree that was an unfortunate choice of words. Using it for my own bees and purposes is all I was thinking of, but I understand that any tool can be misused.

    I also agree that we should start another topic thread after this one dies out. That one word ruined the whole thread - even though it had a smiley face on it.
    Troy

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Damascus, Maryland
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    376

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chief View Post
    I have been hearing a lot lately about robbing and I had an idea on how to capture either feral (or your competitors ) foragers. Has anyone tried putting out a bait hive with no bees in it and a few frames of honey during robbing season? I am thinking if you got enough robbers to frequent the bait hive and then trap them inside for 48-72 hours after adding a frame of brood, a caged queen and moving them to a new location you would have a new hive. You might even be able to get the robbing started and then put on a one way entrance so they can get in and not get out of the bait hive. Anyone ever tried this?
    never mind:}
    "Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil - it has no point."

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