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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Stevenson, Washington, USA
    Posts
    181

    Default Suggestions on a tough trap out?

    So I've got a trap out going on a big, dead, trunk of a maple tree. It's one of five trunks coming off the butt. I trapped out one hive, pulled the trap, went out of the country for two weeks, thinking the tree colony WA done for, and came back to find it booming again! Homeowner was ok with resetting the trap, so I did. Problem is that this time, the bees have started coming and going from a plethora of cracks and rot holes in the butt. I've already put a whole can of spray foam into the trunk and they have found a couple more holes!

    Homeowner has agreed to let me try to seal it up one more time tomorrow, but is growing weary of the huge cloud of bees in their yard.

    Cutout is not an option, but the homeowner is ok with a "smaller number of bees in the area to pollinate the garden". So if I can't seal the tree tomorrow, here is what I'm wondering:

    Can I smoke the tree with sulfur (or something else?) to kill everything left in the tree, but keepnthe honey and pollen stores useable? This would allow me to leave the hive (currently has about three frames of bees) to rob out the tree, and build up during the su mer dearth without me having to feed.

    Basically I want To make the tree uninhabitable, without ruining the stores. Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    707

    Default Re: Suggestions on a tough trap out?

    Is it possible to suck the bees out with a vac?

    I would take the trunk down just for bees...

    Ive seen the cone escape trapouts work good.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Stevenson, Washington, USA
    Posts
    181

    Default Re: Suggestions on a tough trap out?

    I have a cone in place, it's started a colony in my hive box, but the rest are getting in other holes. Owner nixed a cutout. Wanna trap out what I can, and then kill the balance ( not the best option, but owner is growing impatient), and then rob out the stores. What to use to kill off the colony without contaminating the honey it the question.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,082

    Default Re: Suggestions on a tough trap out?

    Sounds like the tree trunk might be too far gone, if you can't seal the holes. Couldn't you cut it open on a weekend they would be out of town, maybe you could schedule that with a trip they might have planned.
    In the old days people used to kill the bees in sceps with sulfur, then harvest the honey. I wouldn't do it though.
    Dan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lake county, Indiana 46408-4109
    Posts
    3,536

    Default Re: Suggestions on a tough trap out?

    The heardest part of a trap out is blocking all the places they can get back in (as you already know) I have found that spray foam will not stop them for long, they chew it out.

    It takes several weeks to depopulate a hive with a trap out, she is laying a BUCH of eggs today you know
    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Solano & San Bernardino Co., California
    Posts
    48

    Default Re: Suggestions on a tough trap out?

    You can get a tank of nitrogen and flood the trunk with that. Its completely inert, and wont harm the honey. There IS a danger of suffocating yourself though. You will need a regulator of some sort for the tank. welding places rent tanks. you will want to stop up as many holes as you can though. including the main entrance. I offer this advice with the knowledge, that it can kill you when handled imporperly, and take no responsability if you misuse it.

    Dave
    Last edited by Dave E; 07-10-2011 at 05:33 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Stevenson, Washington, USA
    Posts
    181

    Default Re: Suggestions on a tough trap out?

    Dave, you must be reading my mind! I was thinking of using CO2 though - both as an asphyxiant and to chill the hive. Totally get the 1+ vapor density and it's dangers - I've read a lot of below-grade rescue Line-of-duty-death reports.

    Good news is that he's decided to cut down the tree, provided I kill the remainder of the occupants. Plan now is to build a bee-vac, then introduce some light sulfur or another irritant, and they to vacuum up everyone exiting the tree, kill it (still not thrilled about that), and then cut it open. He's even agreed to let me bring in a nuc or two to rob out the leftovers!

    My local supply sells Bee-Dunn for clearing supers- think that would drive them out?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Solano & San Bernardino Co., California
    Posts
    48

    Default Re: Suggestions on a tough trap out?

    possibly, but I know some honey robbers wont drive the bees off the brood.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,082

    Default Re: Suggestions on a tough trap out?

    I wouldn't use any chemicals until you are finished. Cut the tree open using you're smoker. Remove everything of value to you. Then kill them if you must.
    Some fire departments kill bees with soapy water.
    Dan

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