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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Pompano Beach, Florida, USA
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    90

    Exclamation I need advice for transferring feral bees

    I have a swarm that has already settled into some cinderblocks in the back lot of my father's auto garage. It took me a few weeks to convince him to let me try to transfer them to a hive. I purchased a starter kit with one deep, entrance, queen divider for future expansion, entrance, and top. How do we get the bees out? I have ten 10" racks already loaded with natural beeswax. I have read online that lemongrass essential oil works for attracting them to a new home. They have already built a considerable amount of comb and i am not sure how deep it goes since the wall of cinderblocks is about 4 feet high. Any suggestions/hints? Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    adair county, kentucky, usa
    Posts
    455

    Default Re: I need advice for transferring feral bees

    I really need more information. Can you get to the nest and comb? If so cut the comb out and rubber band it into frames. Get as much brood as possible in the frames and place them in your hive box. set the box as close as possible to the bees. If you can't get to the bees and comb, then you will have to coax them out into a bee trap. Look up Hogan's Bee Trap, there is lots of info. on here about trapping bees using the Hogan Bee Trap.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Pompano Beach, Florida, USA
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: I need advice for transferring feral bees

    The nest is inside the holes of cinder blocks that make a wall, I can get to the nest but how to get in is another question. There is comb and bees all the way at the top of the wall which is about 4 feet high. I have a smoker, so should I use that to get the bees away and cut out some of the comb that is at the top? I have a pic, but no idea how to post it here....currently they occupy three to four "squares" in the cinderblock. Again, no idea how deep the comb goes since the wall is pretty tall and therefore the holes are long. Hope that helped a little bit....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    adair county, kentucky, usa
    Posts
    455

    Default Re: I need advice for transferring feral bees

    Is it just one hole that they can enter through? If you can block off all the entrances and force them to enter at one location you can set a bee trap, and get them entering through the trap and once they start using the trap you can start harvesting the bees. The only problem, it sounds like you have no access to any other hives and in order for the trap to work you have to bait it with fresh brood, and without another hive I don't know where you would get any brood. Check out Hogan's Bee Harvester, you can find out all about it on the net, and here in this forum.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Pompano Beach, Florida, USA
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: I need advice for transferring feral bees

    They have about three "squares" in the cinderblock they enter in and out of. The whole top of the wall is completely open stacked cinder blocks. You can see straight down the empty ones. The honeycomb and bees are right at the top of the openings. I also have a hive, racks with beeswax sheets already installed as a base. Just need to get the bees in the box!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    adair county, kentucky, usa
    Posts
    455

    Default Re: I need advice for transferring feral bees

    You can't pull them out with foundation. It is going to take brood to make them come into your box. You either have to use a bee trap or you will have to remove the blocks in order to get the bees. Do you know anyone that has experience with bees that could help you?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Kinder, Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: I need advice for transferring feral bees

    It's an open top cinder block. Make a plywood box to fit on top of the wall....no bottom and one end open about 4 inches. That would create one entrance. Smoke'm, cut as much comb as you can and rubber band into empty frames, then implement Mr. Hogans' trapout method to get the remaining bees.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Pompano Beach, Florida, USA
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: I need advice for transferring feral bees

    Fortunately I have a family friend that had bees in Crete for forty years plus. He will be guiding me and giving me help. Just wanted to do some research beforehand and see if there are any methods I may ask him about.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Pompano Beach, Florida, USA
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    Default Re: I need advice for transferring feral bees

    Sounds like a great plan! Thanks for all the great advice everyone!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,604

    Default Re: I need advice for transferring feral bees

    kopelia...anyone else... send me an e-mail, cchoganjr@scrtc.com and I will send you my 12 page guide for trapouts with photos of trapouts in progress.

    No charge for this information. And, no salesman will call you, HA!

    cchoganjr

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Landing, NJ, USA
    Posts
    197

    Default Re: I need advice for transferring feral bees

    Is there mortar (cement) between the blocks? You used the word stacked which implies held only by gravity to me but that may be a regional thing. If not you can just unstack the wall and recover the bees and comb as you go. Otherwise the idea above to build a box on top of the wall through which the bees must enter and leave is good, I would incorporate your box of foundation as its first layer. In time the bees may move up into the box and start brood there, no guarantee, bees will do as they wish. This might not happen till next spring. If brood appears you can remove the box and replace it with another. The bees in the first box (or the wall) will make a queen if she was in the other place. This is sort of a hogan trap done vertical. If you manage to get a hive split off from the wall you will have the material (brood frames) to make it happen again with greater ease. Read Mr Hogans posts on here to get a feel for how his method works.

    Some here would advise that a five frame nuc box is a more appropriate size box in small hive beetle and wax moth infested areas.

    Good luck, have fun,
    Bill

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Pompano Beach, Florida, USA
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    Default Re: I need advice for transferring feral bees

    Yes there is mortar between the blocks. So taking the wall apart will not be very easy I suppose. I'm gathering the best method is to trap the bees in a box built above the openings in the wall. Then possibly get a bit of comb and if I'm lucky at least some brood into the box so they set up shop there?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Pompano Beach, Florida, USA
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: I need advice for transferring feral bees

    Thanks so much! I'll email as soon as I get to my computer!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Landing, NJ, USA
    Posts
    197

    Default Re: I need advice for transferring feral bees

    Putting the box over them will keep the rain off too.
    Bill

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Pompano Beach, Florida, USA
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: I need advice for transferring feral bees

    Yeah, right now they are completely exposed...perhaps putting the new box out near the nest might lure them to a nicer, dry home? And what about swarm lure products? Do they work? Or is the trapout method my safest bet for recovering as many of the bees as possible including the queen (assuming there is one, and they aren't brooding one).

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,604

    Default Re: I need advice for transferring feral bees

    [QUOTE=kopelia;967060]perhaps putting the new box out near the nest might lure them to a nicer, dry home?

    Not very likely, in fact, I would bet highly unlikely. Once established bees don't leave their selected home, except under the most dire of circumstances. Bees can, and do, survive totally exposed, even in inhospitable climates. If a colony is partially exposed, they will build, (using wax and propolis), ways to channel the water flow, away from the brood nest and honey stores. I would not expect them to just move into a box, no matter how nice, or, what it is baited with, that is placed nearby. Do either a screen cone funnel or a sealed box trapout. Either will work in this situation.

    One other possibility, if you have the luxury of time, is, as stated above, place the box over the opening, seal it and bait it with unsealed brood, and let them move up into your box. Down side to this approach is, it might not happen until next Spring or later this Fall, during a major honey flow. Even then, the bees may very well wind up using your box, (since it will be on top of the current brood nest) for surplus honey storage, and the queen may not move up until she has exhausted all the available space, to lay eggs below your box.

    Do a trapout and get it done quickly. Your new colony will need time to build up for Winter. I know Florida is warm in the Fall, but I am a Florida resident also, and I know Florida does get cold during January, and February. The longer you wait the less time the colony will have to build for Winter.

    cchoganjr

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Pompano Beach, Florida, USA
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: I need advice for transferring feral bees

    That is the exact reason I am trying to move the bees as quickly as possible. My father didn't even tell me about the nest until after he moved a plywood board that was covering the area and found them. Once he ate a bit of the honey we got from the comb on the plywood he was convinced we needed to save them. Lol So I have no idea exactly how long those bees have been there. Possibly as long as two months. This is going to be a hell of a project. Thank goodness a friend of the family has forty plus years beekeeping experience and is helping us out as well. I just like to be well informed and know the tricks of the trade. Thanks again!
    Last edited by kopelia; 07-05-2013 at 08:38 AM. Reason: Typo

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
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    1,604

    Default Re: I need advice for transferring feral bees

    Actually it is not that big a deal, as you will find out when you do your trapout. Just takes a little time. It is a great way to get experience in one aspect of beekeeping and bee management.

    Don't sell yourself short. You will likely enjoy it, and it will likely be rewarding. Nothing magic about a trapout. A great way to learn, get free bees, see how ingenious bees can be when you try to trap them, and gain general bee knowledge.

    Good Luck and I would love to be kept informed as to how it is going. Thank You.

    cchoganjr
    Last edited by Cleo C. Hogan Jr; 07-05-2013 at 08:53 AM. Reason: spelling

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Pompano Beach, Florida, USA
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: I need advice for transferring feral bees

    I'm super excited to start this project. I love honey and doing my part to help the bee problem is just the cherry on top! I'll post about my progress and keep you up to date. Perhaps I can figure out how to post pics soon too! Lol

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,604

    Default Re: I need advice for transferring feral bees

    Kopelia... Posting photos are not that difficult. First place the photos on your computer in pictures or documents. Downsize them to the smallest resolution you can. When you are ready to post, click on the light green/yellow square that is 4th from the right in the tool bar above. It will then ask you where you want to get your attachment. Click on computer. Find the photo in documents or pictures, (wherever you have it stored) then double click on the photo. Then click on the box, "upload". Shazaam, photo on the Forum. The photo won't appear until you have posted your data, it will show as the routing, where the photo will come from. When you post your reply, the photo will appear.

    cchoganjr

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