The home I trapped out today had literally thousands of dead and dying bees upon my arrival. This was why the customer called me to do the trap out. The bees swarmed there five days ago and found an immediate entrance into the home. Two days later a local farmer sprayed his fields, that day THOUSANDS of dead foragers lay on the ground...... dead and dying.
As I've gotten older I've come to realize this isn't a liberal/conservative issue.
It's right vs wrong.
There are too many things we are doing as humans that are just flat-out stupid and wrong - - especially when you weigh the long-term consequences.
Last edited by honeyman46408; 08-31-2012 at 04:28 PM. Reason: UNQuote
I realize that all that is born cannot live, but we (humans) are polluting mother earth at an extraordinary rate. The EPA just fines, most times WILL NOT shut down polluting industries and lines their wallets.
Ok ... off my soapbox.
You might want to try and access this file that I have saved on trapping on a yahoo group. Let me know if you cannot access it. I use aluminum window screen for my trap cones. And always have a roll of it and a slap-type stapler with me. I never use caulk...it can be chewed, its messy, and difficult to control and remove. Steel wool pushed with a hive tool can go anywhere that caulk can go and its more effective at thwarting their passage.
Thanks so much for the info. I will definitely take it in.
Oh yes, and as you mentioned earlier in the thread, once I had the trap-out started, a few bees got inside the man's business through an electrical outlet. He sealed it better and they stopped.
Uh oh - I just tried to click onto your link and it said NOT FOUND.
Last edited by honeyman46408; 08-31-2012 at 04:29 PM. Reason: UNQ
I went back today (8-15-12) and fixed some holes they had eaten through AND I replaced the old screen cone with a pre-made #8 hardware cloth cone I had ready to mount over the old hole.
The bees, as you all can see, are building comb inside the top bar hive. Thank goodness for window viewers on these hives.
Here's the video:
Here are the photos:
I guess I am confused, I thought you need to have the bees travel "Through" your hive...?
They just go in that one instead of flying off? Nice!
"You have to put down the ducky if you wanna play the Saxophone!" Mr .Hoot
You can do it either-or.
I'm doing it without brood/eggs already in my hive, so that's REALLY living dangerously. I did have some old comb I tie-wrapped
to one of the top bars, though. And hopefully that will start them building straight, as well.
But yes, I was shocked at how much activity is in my top bar hive. I hope the queen prances on in there too.
By the way, if I have to get a new queen for a bunch of bees building in my hive, will they accept her immediately
or do I have to let them eat a candy plug out of a queen cage?
I better figure it out fast before they have a laying-worker situation going on. It's my understanding that they
don't accept a queen as well once the laying-worker syndrome starts to happen? I could be way off on that.
I'm sure there's nothing set in concrete with all of that type of stuff - just things may be more or less likely to happen.....or not happen.
Last edited by honeyman46408; 08-31-2012 at 04:30 PM.
I haven't been able to make it back out to the trap-out since my last update because of the distance. The owner of the building sent me photos that showed the bees were still occupying the trap hive (good thing, of course), but that they had eaten a new hole at the bottom through the silicone caulk. By the way, is that a pollen stain or are they robbing honey from the old hive?
I THOUGHT BEES DON'T EAT THROUGH SILICONE CAULK !!!!!!!!
Who keeps spreading that meme?
By the way, I will be stuffing that hole with steel wool, then an atomic bomb, then caulk. I may even use gorilla tape at some point. Any suggestions?
I will be going out to the the hive in the next few days to do repairs and switch-out bait hives.
These photos are from the building owner:
Having done many trapouts, I do want to suggest you bring some larva back with you. You want to give them a reason to "give up" trying to get back in. I find that bringing donor eggs and larva helps dramatically in accepting the new hive and the bees give up sometimes the same day in trying to get back in. That will dramatically cut down on their eating through the caulk. Also, I point the cone down. Bees will tend to climb up a structure, but not usually down. Though I have had a cone clog, I think it's more of a problem having the bees find the end of the cone and getting back in. I only had one cone clog up in the past.
The other benefit of donor eggs is you get a queen from your known stock. So, if you're worried about AHB's, by providing your own larva and eggs, you dramatically reduce the chance that your queen will be AHB. They will raise the new queen for you.
As far as robbing: Most bees live 6 weeks. I usually run my trapout for 6 weeks, so the majority of the bees in my "donor" hive weren't a part of the original hive. Also, the new queen should have her own scent, so when you take the cone off, the scent in the old hive is different, and they'll rob it. You probably won't need to give them any honey to start the robbing. Unfortunately, with hive beetles, 6 weeks weakens the old hive far enough that the hive beetles start tearing up the comb. I now do a smell check. If I smell hive beetle damage, I'll pull the cone. There will be a "war" at the old hive, and some bees will die, but the new hive will overtake them, and clean out the old honey. At that point, I use spray foam, then I'll caulk hardware cloth onto the hole, both sides if I can get it, and caulk with sanded grout caulk in a masonry application.
also, I use aluminum tape. Sticks to everything, bees don't chew it, and it rarely leaves a residue.
I know most of you out there are reading this thread just to laugh at all my rookie mistakes and whatnot.
Anyhow, here's another update from my trip out there today.
I patched up the holes they had eaten through today with a product that a very friendly Home Depot worker tracked-down for me as we were pondering what to use that bees wouldn't eat through.
Here's the product:
It's called Great Stuff by Dow. It's a foam sealant specifically made for insects, including bees:
So we'll see how that works.
The bees were a lot more docile today - probably because I wasn't doing major destruction and crushing bees behind cone mounts, etc. They also are digging their new home and were too busy to pay much attention to me.
Also, I replaced the original trap-out hive with a jalopy I slapped together a while back when I found some spare wood laying around. I had to slap that tarp roof on it because I left the roof somewhere else. It'll work though, and already sealed tight with a staple gun for moving the bees later.
Here is a video and some photos:
GET A LOAD OF ALL THAT SEALANT, CAULK, ETC !!!!.......................WHAT A MESS THAT'S ACCUMULATING !!!
And yes, they took to the new trap-hive immediately. The original hive is in my backyard at the moment where I need to find out if - by chance - there's a queen in their midst. I'll probably have to order a queen however.
Last edited by PatBeek; 08-31-2012 at 10:03 PM.
Here's their (the first trap-out batch) new home in my backyard:
Last edited by PatBeek; 09-01-2012 at 08:29 AM.
I didn't have any access to donor eggs. I don't have any existing hives. Also, I'm not buddy-buddy enough with any local keepers who would just give some of their brood/eggs with no benefit for them.
But yes, I agree - eggs/brood would have made this go much better.
Here's the culmination of the trap-out I did in Apopka, FL.
I brought the 2nd bait-hive home and opened the top so they could fly to the original hive. I also took out many of the top bars together which had a lot of bees building comb on them and transferred them to the blue top bar hive. They were fanning at the entrance, so hopefully the 2nd bait hive contained the queen.
So what do you all think? Are the bees fanning because the queen is inside? Does that mean that's the case 100% of the time?
(About to post video)