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Thread: First trap out

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    St. Petersburg, fl, USA
    Posts
    179

    Default First trap out

    About three months ago we got a bee call with bees in a block wall. We usually turn those down (we like doing cut outs and swarm collecting) but the guy really sounded desperate so we agreed to try.
    We built a brace to hold the hive on the wall and headed over. First problem was it was not a nice smooth concrete wall. It was built with rough blocks and every other one had the end turned rough side out. so there was better than a half an inch between the nuc and the wall. So we mounted the nuc, filled the openings with caulk (we thought) and put in a frame of brood (ala Hogan). Two weeks latter we checked and bees were going around box. So we filled in the gaps with plastic window screen stuffed in with a dull screw driver. I checked again in two weeks and the brood had all hatched and the bees were putting up honey in the nuc. Some bees were still going around. Anyway we have had dozens of bee calls and have been very busy between our regular jobs and all the cut outs. So its been maybe three weeks since we checked. Yesterday we finally got by and opened up the nuc. Before we even opened it there were a lot fewer bees. When we opened it there was no capped honey maybe one deep frame with honey in the cells and three queen cells uncapped but with live larvae in them. (they were still pretty much the globe shaped cells not yet the peanut shaped ) So we figured the hive had swarmed.
    We closed the nuc back up and told the guy we would be back in about two to three weeks. My thought is that the new queen with have done her mating flight and have started laying by them and at that time we should be able to put a funnel trap over the opening in the wall to let the last of the bees exit, most of the honey stores will have been used and in a week or two we can close up the wall.
    All comments and ideas are appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,744

    Default Re: First trap out

    jimsteelejr.... My experience is that you will have much better success, if, you attend the trap much more often than at two to three week intervals.

    After introduction of the open brood, you should have a tremendous number of bees, and often the queen, within 24 to 36 hours. I have found that it is best to remove these bees. (You can add a queen and start a new colony, or combine with weak hive, or possibly
    let the trapped bees make their own queen if they have started queen cells)

    My experience is that if the bees are not removed in 24-36 hours, the number of bees in the trap will reduce. There will be an initial surge of cleaners, fanners, nurse bees etc, but, after a couple of days, the numbers will decline as the trap and the colony equalize. If a period of three weeks passes, the brood will begin to emerge, and the bees will likely start filling the cells with honey stores.

    During a strong honey flow in Spring, and during a rapid buildup of the colony, the queen may come into the trap and lay, but, later in the Summer and Fall, the original colony likely has sufficient space for the brood nest, and, the trap will be used for honey stores.

    Again, just my experience, but, trapping bees requires regular, managed, attention for the first 10 days of the trapout. Remove bees, (as you have 3 or more pounds), to dwindle the colony. Remove queen (if she is caught), or install the funnel and keep her in the trap and draw out the remainder of the feral bees. If the trap is left for the bees to decide what they wish to use it for, (for two or more weeks,) most often they will let the frame of brood you gave them emerge, then fill the trap with honey stores.

    cchoganjr

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    St. Petersburg, fl, USA
    Posts
    179

    Default Re: First trap out

    Cleo, Thanks for the critique. Like I said we have done lots of cut outs and swarm capture but this was our first attempt at a trap out. Now that I have done most everything wrong what would you suggest? Like I said in the original post the bees appear to have swarmed and there were queen cells in my trap out. By my calculation they could hatch by next weekend so the virgin queen{s} would not have had a chance to mate and start laying yet. I planned to check them next Saturday and see if the queens have hatched. Then I would check again every week. When I saw brood I planned to take the hive and put the trap out funnel on then close up the holes when the bees quit leaving. Our nectar flow is beginning to subside so I need to get these girls settled before the winter (such as it is) slows them down more.
    Again thanks for the critique-Jim

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,744

    Default Re: First trap out

    Jim... I would not go so far as to say that you did everything wrong. Actually there is no "right" or "wrong", and all beekeeping is local.

    My thoughts now, would be, let the queen cells emerge, then remove the bees and the new queen. I like to just move frames and leave the trap installed. Then start the trapping again, or, as you said, install the funnel and get the rest of what is in the wall, then close it up.

    Looks like a good plan to me.

    cchoganjr

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