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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cambridge, MD, USA
    Posts
    110

    Default Feral bees found; worth making a swarm trap?

    Today I was out inspecting something for my job and found an abandoned house with 2 holes in the same wall, about 6-7' apart, with bee's coming and going like mad. I'm wondering if it would be worth making a swarm trap and setting it close by to see if it issues a swarm I could catch.

    It must have been there for while as one of the windows, between the window and storm window, is nearly full of bleached bee exoskeletons. I can also see visible comb as some of lap siding has fallen off near the entrance.

    I got some pictures, but they are still on the camera at work.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Kingsville, OH
    Posts
    959

    Default Re: Feral bees found; worth making a swarm trap?

    I would try to find the owner. If you get permission do a trap out.
    If you can't setup a bait box as close as you can.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    967

    Default Re: Feral bees found; worth making a swarm trap?

    Personally, I'd set a swarm trap for now, and put a hogan style trap tunnel on eachentrance over winter.

    In spring, I'd put a hogan trap on each of them, and if I succeed in getting a queen right colony, take it off when it is a viable size ( ie, has a couple brood combs).

    Then I'd take them off, give the colony a month to raise a queen and recover, and do it again.

    Then I'd probably leave them alone til next year, and repeat.

    If the house is truly abandoned it is very unlikely anyone will object, and getting permission will probably be difficult and take a long time.
    If anyone with authority over the property does object, it is likely easier to get their forgiveness than it would have been to get permission.

    But that's just me. I do illegal things no one objects to all the time.
    I jay walk.
    I trespass and take a shortcut through a vacant lot.
    I even go 3 or 4 miles an hour over the speed limit sometimes when I drive.

    Good luck.

    Have fun.
    Enjoy your bees.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: Feral bees found; worth making a swarm trap?

    Dale,
    IMO, it is getting on the late side for swarms in our area, My observations suggest the main flow is over with intermittent "mini" flows if you will. Doesn't mean they couldn't. My experience has been that the bees prefer to set up a new home some distance away from the parent hive. I guess it is natures way of preventing over crowding. Perhaps you could set up a trap box 1/4 mile away or more. Depending on what you find out as far as ownership/permission and is the house going to be there come spring, I'd opt for a cut out. wish I was closer, love to help.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,996

    Default Re: Feral bees found; worth making a swarm trap?

    A cut-out is the best solution unless it is a block wall. The comb remains attracting rodents and other unwanted pests, even if every bee leaves and takes every drop of honey with them, which hardly ever happens perfectly. It is in the owner's best interest to cut them out. You just have to convince them of that. Exterminators leave the mess in the wall just so they have more jobs to come back to in a few weeks or months. I believe it was Orkin or Terminex that was sued and fined for that down here.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cambridge, MD, USA
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: Feral bees found; worth making a swarm trap?

    Thanks all.

    I know the owner from work. Semi-adversarial acquantence but I think he'd give me permission to enter his property to get the bees. He hasn't done anything with the house since it was moved to the site and that was about 35 years ago.

    As far as a cut out, trap out, etc, it's beyond me at this point. I've been a bee'tender' for all of 14 days. I think I've got enough for now, but I will mark this down as a location for next year's swarm season to set a swarm trap a few properties down and hope to get some free bees.

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