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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Enfield, NC

    Default What is the best time of year to attempt cut-outs and trap-outs?

    I began beekeeping this year and started with two hives. One was slow to build and in August was robbed out by a feral hive. I was able to locate the feral hive in a hollow gum tree about a thousand yards from my hives. I want to trap-out this hive but have never done one before and am interested in advice on when to attempt it (earlier like March, during peak flow, wait until summer etc).

    I also found a feral hive on another property living in a hollow oak that has blown down during a storm. I am want to get those by doing a cut-out. What is the best time of year to try it?

    Any general advice about getting either of these hives is appreciated. I am in northeastern NC in zone 8. Thanks.
    Last edited by Neil Roberson; 01-03-2014 at 04:33 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Ft Myers, Fl 33967

    Default Re: What is the best time of year to attempt cut-outs and trap-outs?

    Trap outs require the sealing of the cavity so the house bees consume the stored honey and are then forced out of the cavity by starvation. So the best time to force them out is when they have the least amount of stored honey. IE. just before the spring flow or just after a summer dearth.
    A cutout should be done when there is enough honey in the cavity to get them through the next dearth and not in cold weather. I enclose the boxes with screening or hardwar cloth for two to four days after moving them and then put a queen excluder over a small entrance hole to keep the queen in the box

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Park City Ky

    Default Re: What is the best time of year to attempt cut-outs and trap-outs?

    If I had two trees, I would wait until the hives have started buildup in the Spring, then take your first start from them. Wait about 15 days, then trap again for second colony. Then wait 15 days and evaluate the strength of the feral colony and see if you can take another start from it. Then unless the feral colony is very strong, leave it, and harvest 2-5 starts from it each year from now on.

    Send me an e-mail. and I will send you a 12 page document that explains the trapping process and has photos of actual traps in progress. Happy to help you.



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