Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23
  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
    205

    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
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Default

    Don't want to be pessimistic but.....

    It sounds to me that you either did not follow iddee's instructions, or he gave you bad information. The cone point should right up close to the entrance of the hive. It may be just me, but it sounds as if the bees are clustered around the cone, and your hoping they move some distance into the hive.

    I'd be interested in the total trips, total man-hours, gas, and other expenses. So far I see (Please add or correct)

    *Prep time and at least one phone call to iddee.
    *The use or lost assets of a hive box, a couple frames of honey, and frames of brood with bees.
    * Trips to the site in June 9, 10, 11th.


    I know from previous posts, that this process can take several months for the "complete" process that iddee has commented on before. And I have no bones to pick about what iddee does. I'm just trying to figure out myself, what some of these trap outs costs are, what one can expect.

    Perhaps you can update the original post every day with a running log of time spent, travel miles, associated costs, etc. I know some situations like this are from a public service angle with no charges or cost being billed (And I do that also), while others may do this for enjoyment. But others, like me, might just want to know how expensive that box of bees is at the end of the day.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
    Posts
    4,398

    Default

    Bjorn:

    I think one just needs to plan it out correctly. Iddee makes three trips for $300. One day to set up, one day to take a look and see if all is going well and one day to take down and go home. He charges for extra trips. Makes sense.

    I have found that the end of the cone needs to be pointing beyond the bait hive and the porch of the bait hive should be right up against the base of the cone. But I am not an authority on this.... I have only done one and it is in progress! But I have done my homework!
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chef Isaac View Post
    Bjorn:

    I think one just needs to plan it out correctly. Iddee makes three trips for $300. One day to set up, one day to take a look and see if all is going well and one day to take down and go home. He charges for extra trips. Makes sense.

    I have found that the end of the cone needs to be pointing beyond the bait hive and the porch of the bait hive should be right up against the base of the cone. But I am not an authority on this.... I have only done one and it is in progress! But I have done my homework!

    I said I have no problem with what iddee does. I do however think that three total trips for a couple month process is.....how should I say....cutting it thin, to justify something or another.

    I am trying to formulate, and this is a real world situation being told before our eyes, what one MIGHT expect. I think that for me to set up a hive, and check one day, and then not see it again for a couple months till the process is done...is how should I say.....not something I would feel comfortable with from my genuine concern for the homeowner, the safety of the job site, and other liability issues. But maybe thats me. Maybe thats my our perception of reality that it may involve a tad more than three simple trips, even for the easiest of situations.

    Whether iddee charges a flat 300 and then charges for additional trip, (which I would find hard to justify and rationalize to the homeowner over two or three months, all the while either adding to the bill or asking for more money as we go) I am just trying to see if even 300 dollars is worth it.

    I am not making this about iddee. I am calculating what others may be involved with such efforts. I'm not even interested in what fatcher is charging, as that is not my concern. I am interested in knowing what the "total" investment is for such a prolong process. Saying one "charges for additional trips" is not helpful, when perhaps its not even a paying job to begin with.

    This is one example of this process. If I can ascertain the true cost of this job, and compare this to other situations in the future, then a true sense can be benefited by all that read this. I may find that having several people add their experiences may be helpful as compared to the promotion of this process by one individual, who may view things differently than what real world cost and effort by others are seen to be real.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,080

    Default

    Bjorn, a quick list of "other stuff".

    1. I don't type well, and most of my trap info is done by phone.

    2. The first trip to set up usually involves 1 1/2 to 3 hours of PR and education. This time makes number 3 possible.

    3. Practically all of my traps, with few exceptions, are checked by homeowner with phone in hand, describing to me what they see, almost daily during the weeks of trapping. This prevents most extra trip charges.

    4. The cone exit position is not important. The relationship of the catch hive entrance and the cone base is VERY important. The goal is catching the returning bees, not the departing bees.

    I'm sure there are others that don't come to mind at this time, but I am typing, so my feeble little mind is on the keyboard more than the trapping process.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Madison County, Alabama
    Posts
    487

    Default To try to answer everyone's questions...

    I tried to put a queen in the bait hive on Sunday, and I think (operative word) she's still in there.

    Chef Isaac says no to the queen, but fuzzy indicates that no queen might not make the place lucrative. Thinking about it, you both have good points. A queen present might make the bait hive bees defensive, BUT the bait hive bees are limited to nurse bees and the queen. Nurse bees are not very defensive.

    Iddee indicated I should move the hive closer to the cone area, and this movement/adjustment is under way as I type. No intel from my carpenter buddy (did i tell you this trap-out is 5 miles high in the stratosphere? -- ok 24 feet--might as well be 10 miles in the air to me!) who has no fear of heights--he'll give me an intel report today or tomorrow.

    Bjorn, you say you're not interested in how much I'm earning on this, but others are I bet, so I'll say -- $0. This is my home church. I don't tithe enough like I should so my services (vestry, choir, youth pastor, etc) is kinda like my offering to the "Man Upstairs". I only live a mile and a half from the church. I'm a pure hobbyist beek. Anytime I work with bees it's an investment in lower blood pressure. Anytime I serve others who serve my God, it's an investment of the heart I guess. Not trying to get on a soap box, but trips to the hive are not a big deal in my situation. I check the hive every day at 0605am when i head to work in DC commuter traffic.

    The only concern I have in materiel is, according to Iddee, I will need to swap out full deep boxes of bees for empty deep boxes about every other week. I have a hard time accepting this will happen in my case, but i keep reminding myself that Iddee is FAR more experienced in this than I am.

    Iddee gladly offers advice when I solicit it from him. It's up to me to take it or leave it.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oxford, Kansas
    Posts
    1,988

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fatscher View Post
    .
    Iddee gladly offers advice when I solicit it from him. It's up to me to take it or leave it.
    I would take it and run he be the man. If you cant trust a Rednecks word then no one can be trusted

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Brenham, Texas
    Posts
    205

    Default Queen?

    Chef Isaac,

    Why do you say that the bait hive should NOT have a queen? I think it would work either way but I was wondering what your reason is for it to not have a queen. With the cone trapout method, the queen from the wall (church, tree, wherever) will NOT come out of the wall and go into the bait hive.

    When you use the cone method you are not "saving" the "colony of bees" that is in the wall. You are only transfering the foraging bees to an existing "bait" hive. The cone method boosts the population of the "bait" hive and after 6 weeks or so you can remove the cone and the bees from your "bait" hive will rob the honey out of the wall.

    So, basically, when you use the cone method you are doing two things:

    1) You are removing the bees from the wall (or whatever) without cutting the wall open (kinda like orthascoptic surgery). You still have the wax in there that really needs to be removed but that is not as bad as honey and wax. Now it is easier to open the wall up and remove the wax without 60,000 upset young ladies letting you know what they really think of you.

    2) You are boosting the popluation and (eventually) the honey in an existing hive (or nuc). You do not get an additional hive out of the deal. (Unless you make up the bait hive with only frames of brood and eggs and they raise their own queen.) But you will not get the genetics from the hive in the wall since the queen will not leave her home.

    At least that is MY take on how this works. I am open to correction or others opinion.

    Fuzzybeekeeper

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Madison County, Alabama
    Posts
    487

    Default

    Agreed -- Iddee is the man! I don't know yet how to practically apply some of his good advice in my unique situation. Like, I wonder how many spare boxes I'll need to be able to swap out over time---depends on the number of bees in the wall. Judging from the cluster size I see during the day (these must be foragers, and foragers comprise what? about 30-40% of the colony?) I figure there are about 40K bees in the wall---and that's AFTER about 50-80K were bee vac'd out in April.

    Instead of swapping boxes, can I just rotate out frames, put them into an introduction nuc and then combine these feral bees into a new hive, via the nuc? Then rotate more frames in all over again?

    I don't really have a plan for these bees after extraction, but I've been kicking around ideas. One idea is to combine this one with another swarm hive i captured (the queen is a machine!) last month. I dream of stacks of boxes like Mike Palmer has

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Madison County, Alabama
    Posts
    487

    Default Fuzzy, Iddee has another theory I buy into...

    I believe the queen does leave the hive. She may not go into the bait hive but one cannot assume she doesn't seek self-preservation. She will not starve and die in there. Over time as the population of bees decline (remember she's replenishing the population, so it's a slow decline) the queen will have fewer attendants feeding nectar to her (there's no foragers bringing in nectar and pollen) and she'll lose weight enough to fly away. How many attendants she has may be small, but I disagree that the queen stays inside and dies out. Iddee has visibly seen queens leaving the hive and he's done thousands of extractions.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,598

    Default

    I did a trapout as per iddee's instructions last year and used a queenright nuc as a bait hive
    worked like a charm

    Dave

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,080

    Default

    Fuzzybeekeeper, let's flip the coin over.

    Let's say I have a very strong hive I want to multiply, but don't want to weaken it excessively, as in a split. I take a frame with eggs out of it and start a trap on an old hive in a structure. 7 to 8 days later, I have a couple pounds of bees and a half dozen queen cells. I take a couple cells out and start a new bait hive with them installed in it. I take the first bait hive home to let it continue into a reliable hive. One or two more weeks, I take the second bait hive home with a laying queen in it, to go with the first one that now has a laying queen. If there are still bees in the structure, I will start a new bait hive with new eggs from my good hive. Maybe, a fourth.

    In the end, I have 2 to 4 hives with queens from my best hive genetics, raised by someone else's bees, and they paid me 300.00 to use their bees to raise my queens. I only removed two frames of brood from my good hive, so no drastic damage to it and it will still produce a good honey crop.

    Now please point out the negatives of trapping once again. I don't see them.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Madison County, Alabama
    Posts
    487

    Default

    Iddee, I'm not 100% certain the frame I put in had eggs in it, but I know it had a laying queen. Did I goof? Should I have put egg frames in, instead of a laying queen, or does it matter?

    Now, I also put in a frame of brood, capped brood, so I had 2 frames with bees to bait the hive. Should I have only limited it to just one frame?

    I've been know to screw up a free lunch, so hope all is well. Again, this thread started with a call for moral support.

    I still don't have answers to report to you about the numbers of bees on the frames. I'll get back to you.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,080

    Default

    You are using a queen from a weak hive, or nuc. Is that the genetics you want leading your new hive? I use eggs from my best hive, to get the best new hive or hives I can get.

    If your purpose is to remove the bees only, your way should work fine.

    My purpose is to increase queens and hives from my best genetics, with the removal and pay being secondary. It all depends on what your goal is.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Madison County, Alabama
    Posts
    487

    Default

    Copy that. Yep, my primary goal is to simply remove the bees. Genetics is secondary. I don't have as many hives as you, so I may combine these bees with a weak(er) hive I already have.

    Thanks for the encouragement. I'm gonna sit patiently and observe. Photos are forthcoming.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads