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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Alabaster, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    166

    Default Bee Tree Trap-Out Underway

    Thanks for the info that everyone has contributed regarding how to do a trap-out (especially Mr. Cleo Hogan, Jr.). I am attempting my first trap-out and will update this post to let you know how it turns out.

    The tree is just off a fairly busy county road. Being in such a highly visible site, I wasn't comfortable using good equipment so I built a "cheap" trap that wouldn't be a great loss. Hopefully, it will not get stolen over the next 6-8 weeks.

    The link below shows pictures of the progress.
    http://photobucket.com/Bee-Tree-Cut-Out

    I already see a couple of things I would do differently (shorter transitions, smaller transitions, better stand for trap) but we'll see how it goes. I'm adopting an old farmer's advice that "Good enough is perfect". Hopefully everything works out.

    This appears to be a very strong hive and they have been extremely gentle so far. I hope when I check it tomorrow the queen will be in the trap and I will have a nice start of bees from here. Since I'm a new beekeeper I don't have much drawn comb to use, so I gave them 1 frame with brood & larvae from one of my hives, 2 frames with some comb pieces from a cut out, 1 new frame w/ plastic foundation and 1 foundationless frame. I'm hoping they are crowded and will try to use the room to expand.
    Last edited by Greg Lowe; 05-04-2012 at 04:34 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Battle Ground, Wa
    Posts
    198

    Default Re: Bee Tree Trap-Out Underway

    I remember on my first trapout I was surprised at how full my trap box was after just a couple of days. If its a very strong hive, you first trap may be almost full with bees & you'll need another box & frame of eggs to keep things going. The one I did, I ended up with bees in three different hives, and they made three queens, but I didn't get the original queen.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,603

    Default Re: Bee Tree Trap-Out Underway

    Greg Lowe...About the only thing I see that I might change is, the entire area needs to be blocked from light so that the trap is an integral part of the colony. If there are crevices where the bees can get to the clear plastic, they will spend all their time trying to get through the plastic to the light. Seal off the area with black plastic.

    From looking at photo 9 and 14, I surmize you placed the trap over the male transition during daylight. I see bees with pollen trying to get back to the original colony at the rear of the trap, top of the plastic. If you mount the trap at daylight, or at night, the bees come to the light in the morning and orient on the front of the trap, not the rear where they left from. They will eventually find the trap entrance, but they may be confused for a while.

    cchoganjr

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Alabaster, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Bee Tree Trap-Out Underway

    Mr. Hogan, you are correct about my timing. I placed it about 6:00 PM. I can sure see where placing it after dark would have been a little better. As for the light, I sealed (or attempted to) all the areas of light with the brown paper that you can see in acoulple of the images and then wrapped that with black plastic. I could not get the black plastic roll that I wanted to get in time so I used the clear since it was in the garage. They were using the entrance nicely before I put the trap on.

    Hopefully tomorrow I will have pictures of a full trap with a queen to post.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Alabaster, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Bee Tree Trap-Out Underway

    Looked in on them this morning. The trap was still there. Had bees covering both sides of my brood comb, but not much activity on the other combs. It looked like a little new wax on my plastic foundation. The queen had been in there and had laid new eggs in the brood comb. I decided to give it a few more days and come back later to see if I could get more bees using the trap.

    Maybe I should have installed the funnel to speed up things??? But I didn't as I would like to get the queen. So, I'll let things work for a while. I think I will try to round up 2 more drawn frames to entice them into the trap.

    I ran by Tractor Supply and got a roll of black sheathing and made things a little darker for them. My attempt to block out the light with packing paper and garbage bags didn't work as well as it should have. I also found a gap in my transition on the back of the trap that bees were using for entry so I closed it up with duct tape.

    I added pictures to the link on my first post to show some of the changes.

    Thanks for the advice Mr. Hogan, you were right about needing the black plastic. Now I have plenty to use. lol

    Another lesson learned is : Take plenty of Duct Tape with you and use a little more than is necessary.
    Last edited by Greg Lowe; 05-05-2012 at 11:42 AM. Reason: Added a thought.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Alabaster, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Bee Tree Trap-Out Underway

    Checked today and found a disappointingly small number of bees on my bait comb. The frame had about 2/3 of both sides fairly covered (I would guess half of these were drones). The foragers are loaded with pollen every time I visit.

    Since they haven't done much in the trap (not drawing out comb, not storing nectar and pollen, no eggs), I went ahead and put the funnel on to force the action a bit, added 3 more frames of brood comb.

    Currently have 4 frames of drawn comb with brood/larvae & I think 2 frames of foundation. I'll go back in a couple of days and start pulling them off every 4-5 days after that.

    I caught a queen yesterday in a tree that a friend had cut down. It was a fairly small colony from an apparent recent swarm that had taken up residence in a hollow spot of a dead tree. I'm planning to put the bees from this trapout with those bees, so getting the queen is not as critical as it was earlier.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Alabaster, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Bee Tree Trap-Out Underway

    From this trap I pulled out 4 frames solid with bees this evening. No queen though. So I decided to boost 3 other hives with additional forces.

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