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.