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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
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    2,172

    Default Trap out questions.

    I have the opportunity to trap out a colony of bees that are established in a pine tree about four feet off the ground. The tree is about 20 feet from the property owners house. The tree is 6 feet 4 in circumference. They arrived there last spring. The entrance is in a crack 12 inches long and 3 inches wide at the widest point. I checked them this morning and could hear them buzzing. Assuming that they make it to spring I'll set up the hardwire cone and a trap out hive next to them. I hear that the economics of trapping out do not make it worthwhile, but I'm going to do it for fun. I understand the whole process may take 2 months. I have seen posts and done searches on here, but I have a question.
    Question 1) Do you always have to seed the trap out with a frame of nurse bees and eggs, or can you use a frame of nurse bees and a caged queen with candy plug, or even a frame containing queen cells that you got started in my home yard? I'm thinking a caged queen would be up and going before a frame of eggs. I understand the feral colony's queen will kill a queen that is loose in a newly placed trap out.
    Question 2) The size of the trap out. Does it make any difference if you use a 10 frame deep or a 5 frame box?
    Thanks, Adrian.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lee\'s Summit, MO
    Posts
    1,280

    Default Re: Trap out questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Quiney WI View Post
    Question 1) Do you always have to seed the trap out with a frame of nurse bees and eggs, or can you use a frame of nurse bees and a caged queen with candy plug, or even a frame containing queen cells that you got started in my home yard? I'm thinking a caged queen would be up and going before a frame of eggs. I understand the feral colony's queen will kill a queen that is loose in a newly placed trap out.
    I feral queen can't kill a loose queen in a newly placed trap out. She would be not able to get back into her hive and you would effectively capture that queen. Now, the lost workers may kill the new queen as they move into the trapout hive just because they aren't familiar with that new queens odors. For this reason I prefer to use a frame of eggs or a frame containing queen cells. The new queen smell is slow in coming on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Quiney WI View Post
    Question 2) The size of the trap out. Does it make any difference if you use a 10 frame deep or a 5 frame box?
    How big do you think the hive in there is? Considering it'll be the beginning of Sping I'd bet it's relatively small. Personally I prefer to use a 5 frame nuc as they are easier to move and lift. It's easier for the new hive to defend as well. To me the bees seem to do better in small containers until they are about 80% occupied. At that time pull a frame or two of brood to make more room (don't get the queen!) or move them into roomier quarters.

    I enjoy trap outs. Not including your travel time I count on it taking 4 hours if it's a straight forward one. 1.5 hours to get the cone on. .5 hours for the next days visit make sure that cone is on right. .25 for the next 8 weeks. This assumes all goes well and they are a block away. I charge $50 an hour and I tell them it will take between 4 and 6 hours of my time but the trap out overall will take 2 months.

    I also offer to extract the hive for $400 minimum this includes the first 4hours, $75 an hour after that. I will be careful, but I do no repairs. Obviously, the tougher the trap out or extraction the higher I'll bid it. For extractions, if it's anywhere near anything electrical I'm out.
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    707

    Default Re: Trap out questions.

    I don't know when you are planning to do this, but keep in mind that populations are low in the Spring. Trapping out too early can lead to brood chill in both hives in a single night.

    I perfer to wait until the heart of the main necter flow or later when there is a strong population of bees. It avoids many problems and leads to a stronger hive.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Terrell
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: Trap out questions.

    A trap-out takes 3 to 4 weeks from the point that all openings have been sealed. I usually stick a piece of one inch plastic pipe in the opening and seal the rest with plaster of paris. Around this plastic pipe I wind some hardware cloth and let it end in a taper. Six inches is usually enough but if they ever find the opening, which happened only once with me, and when this happens I stick another lenght of rolled up hardware cloth over the original spout.From reading the other responses I agree that it is best to wait until pollen is coming in. The reason for this is that when workers leave the hive, they have only one resaon and that is to gather food (nectar, pollen water). When they return, these bees are loaded, cannot enter their own hive and have to drop their load somewhere. These loaded bees will be eagerly accepted by the bees in the trapping hive and fights will be minimal. It is probably best to put a five frame nuke as it easy to manipulate and mount to the tree. With a queen or with only young brood and eggs still has not been determined by me.
    One way to make the bees leave faster is to drill a hole on the opposite site of the funnel and use a smoker to blow in some smoke with some Bee Quick sprinkled on the fuel. I have done this long time ago when I had to remove a colony in the middle of the winter. I have two jobs waiting on me where I will try this.
    When removing the bees from a tree there can be three ultimate goals:-1) remove the bees and collect the fee,-2) remove the bees for the purpose of collecting a new collony,-3) remove the bees, try to save the bees and collect the fee. Methods and time spent on the removal can varry depending anyone of theose three goals.
    With people thinking green they are willing to spend some money with the request to save the bees. Even this applies to all other stinging insects.
    Janvanhamont

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,172

    Default Re: Trap out questions.

    D Coates, the property owner is a friend of my wife so I'm happily not charging anything. I really can't tell how big the colony is as the slit in the tree is to small to see in and the front part of the cavity is obscured by comb. I understood that the queen in the colony couldn't get to a new queen, but that the newly trapped bees could. Hence my question of whether a caged queen would be successful.
    Walliebee, good point about the temps; We still have a foot of snow on the ground here. I was thinking of starting the trap out at the same time i plan to do my splits with new queens - mid to late May. So if it was feasible I could buy just one more caged queen, and put that in the trap out. I am wondering if anyone has done it? Adrian

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,172

    Default Re: Trap out questions.

    Jahvan, thanks for your explananation it makes a lot of sense. Adrian.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Terrell
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: Trap out questions.

    Hanging a new queen in the trap-out box is a good idea. This way you are assured of the origin of the queen and you may have a good survival chance.
    Janvanhamont

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lee\'s Summit, MO
    Posts
    1,280

    Default Re: Trap out questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Quiney WI View Post
    D Coates, the property owner is a friend of my wife so I'm happily not charging anything. I really can't tell how big the colony is as the slit in the tree is to small to see in and the front part of the cavity is obscured by comb. I understood that the queen in the colony couldn't get to a new queen, but that the newly trapped bees could. Adrian
    To guesstimate the size of the hive I look at the diameter of the tree and try to tap on it to fugure out how shallow and hollow it is. It's not scientific but I can usually get within a hand grenade toss. I've never tried using a caged queen. I've never had one bred, ready, and surplus when I've started a trap out. I won't risk one that's already doing well in a hive. It's logical the newly trapped bees could kill the queen so if you are planning to use a bred queen (especially if purchased) I'd cage her too. The first few days is when you're going to trap out a whole bunch of workers. They can be tough on a new queen. As for not charging I've done the same for friends as well. I didn't want you thinking you can't make a little money for a trap out when the opportunity presents itself.
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Cass County, MO
    Posts
    448

    Default Re: Trap out questions.

    Here is some interesting info from the POV section:Walt Wright-freebees - link

    "Although more were done, three different trap outs stand out in my memory. Not necessarily in chronological order the three had different effects from the accumulation of residential bees on the outside of the house. One had such a strong colony that the outside hive was supered on the stand – perhaps 15 feet up. Before the inside colony crashed the outside unit had added three supers of honey. Harvesting three supers with wall-to-wall bees and the brood chamber 15 feet up on a ladder was a major operation, but was accomplished in one evening. Waiting until dark to take down the brood chamber with an added empty super, so as to take all the bees away, complicated ladder work a little further. The job went off without a hitch, but taking down the stand was put off until the next day."
    Walt Wright


    I did not know that they could build up like this in a trap out. But With this info in hand I will be sure to plan accordingly on the two trap outs I have cooking for this spring. In the above situation, I think I might rotate a new hive body into the mix when the first one gets full, a suggestion Mr. Wright makes later in this article, that way you come away with two hives.
    The article was an interesting read and well worth my time as a new Beekeeper.

    RKR
    Last edited by rkr; 02-23-2010 at 10:36 AM.
    4 seasons 19 Hives-Camp Branch Bee Ranch. Est 2009
    "I am a nobody; nobody is perfect, and therefore I am perfect."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    1,398

    Default Re: Trap out questions.

    My experience last year with trapouts is don't start with a queen in the box you are wanting the bees to enter from the trapped hive. The bees that have been trapped out will kill the queen in the hive. Happened on my first 2 trapouts, didn't put queen in the 3rd trapout. Eggs seem to be the best as all of the bees (those being trapped out and those you put in the hive with the frames of brood/eggs) seem to readily except the idea of creating their own queen cell. I did put in a caged queen only to finally see that the queen from the queen cell had mated and came back. I immediately removed the queen in the queen cage.
    De Colores,
    Ken

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