In what circumstances is a trap-out a good idea?
Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    69

    Default In what circumstances is a trap-out a good idea?

    As it is spring here I've been receiving a number of swarm calls but I'm still somewhat new to this.
    A few days ago I got called about a swarm that just moved into a tree (not on a branch).


    I thought this is one of the typical scenarios where a trap-out is a good idea, but I consulted a number of other beekeepers and they said it's not worth trying to collect and I'm better off just killing them.

    So the first question I have is when is a trap-out a good idea and likely to succeed?
    I've starting leaving some equipment in my car to quickly respond to swarms. What kind of things do I need to handle trap outs?

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    52,395

    Default Re: In what circumstances is a trap-out a good idea?

    The only issues with a trapout are that you usually have to make several trips and you usually don't get the queen, which means if you have to drive far, it's not worth it. If they JUST moved in, however, you can often drive them out with some Bee Quick (or similar product) on a rag pushed under or behind the bees in which case you might get them in one trip and you might get the queen.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    9,748

    Default Re: In what circumstances is a trap-out a good idea?

    In a house it is not a good idea when you do not get a liability release for the damage from the comb and hive products you left behind.
    As Michael said a trap out is seldom economically feasible unless it is right in your yard and you raise queens also.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    2,259

    Default Re: In what circumstances is a trap-out a good idea?

    First, remember.... There are two types of trapouts. 1. Elimination trapouts. This is when the bees must be removed from where they are. 2.. Trapout to start new colonies by leaving the trap in place and collecting enough bees, (the correct mix of bees) (by this I mean housekeepers, fanners, guard bees, brood tenders, etc), to start new colonies.

    The type of trapout is normally determined by whomever owns the property, where the bees are located, and what they will allow you to do with the bees.

    Best time for a trapout is..... 1. When you would like to get multiple nucs from a tree, house, tank, etc, and not kill the parent colony. If you start in early Spring you can get 3 to 5 nucs from a good colony, (sometimes more), let it build back up for the Winter, then trap again next year. Once you set up the trap, just move frames as they are full of bees. It doesn't hurt the parent colony, because, they would likely swarm one or two times each year any way, and you are not going to kill the colony.

    2. When it is not practical to do a cutout. Cut outs often require considerable damage to a structure to remove the bees. Many beekeepers are not carpenters, and tearing into a building, from outside or inside, can require considerable work. And yes, a liability release for what you harm or destroy should be be considered.

    3. When you have plenty of time, and it is not too far from your home. You should take those two factors into account.

    Far be it for me to ever disagree with Michael Bush, or AmericasBeekeeper, but, I must highly respectfully, disagree, about getting the queen in a trapout. Over the years I have had very, very, good luck with getting the queen , if I wanted to get her. A properly executed trap out, especially in early Spring, WILL get the queen. At some point, she will come out, and a properly executed trapout will get her.

    In the case at hand, Qkrwogud, this tree appears to be great opportunity to take several colonies, if the owner will let you, and still leave the parent colony in the tree. From the photo it appears that it would be easy to set up a trapout. Send me an email, cchoganjr@scrtc.com and I will send you a booklet that explains how to make a trap for your trapout, and instructions, (with photos) of how to execute the trapout. This info is free, and no salesman, or robocaller will call.

    It should be rare indeed that a beekeeper would recommend killing them. Only in dire circumstances.

    cchoganjr

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    52,395

    Default Re: In what circumstances is a trap-out a good idea?

    Mr. Hogan has done a lot more trap outs than I have and I'm sure he does succeed at getting the queen sometimes. I never have. What usually happens to me is they only notice the bees because the colony has finally grown to a point that they are noticing it and when I setup the trapout a lot of confused bees are in the air and the homeowner often sprays them before I get back, making it a total waste of time. People are my biggest problem with a trapout. Distance is next.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    2,259

    Default Re: In what circumstances is a trap-out a good idea?

    Michael, I think you know , you have always been my absolute authority on beekeeping. And I am in awe of all you have contributed to beekeeping, and I Thank You.

    I hope you don't mind if I use this reply to elaborate on the importance of proper procedures in trapping, for those who are attempting to trap bees, either for elimination of the colony, or, provide bees for additional colonies. Yes, I have worked extensively on trapping bees, and I enjoy sharing my findings with others. It has always been my passion.

    In trapping bees, as in any other aspect of beekeeping, procedure, is very important. My work indicates that making the trap an integral, sealed, part of the parent colony is "paramount". And unless it was extremely time sensitive, I would not set up a trapout using a screen cone and collection box nearby. This procedure will lead to "confused" and "mad" bees. "Highly agitated bees" might be a better term than "mad", but, "mad" will do here since Michael used it above.

    To keep a lot of bees from becoming "confused" I never restrict the entrance, and exit, during the first two or three days of a trapout. In other words, let the bees come and go at will, from the tree, through the trap, to the outside, and then return to the trap, through the trap, and back to the tree. The only real difference is they are going through the trap. It is a sealed part of their hive. They are not restricted, so there is no reason to become "agitated" or "mad".

    The first thing you will notice, after installing the trap, is that the guard bees move to the front of the trap, that is now the exit and entrance, They continue their normal duties, just at the front of the trap, not at the hole in the tree. They will protect this entrance, and inspect each bee as they return. The trap has now become a part of their hive. It is just another chamber, or cavity. Hopefully with drawn comb that you supply. Any time you have a sealed chamber, the bees will begin to clean the chamber, they will set up an air flow through the chamber, and they become used to the chamber. No reason to be "agitated". In a screen cone funnel trapout, the bees are prohibited from returning to the parent colony from the time the funnel is installed. The guard bees no longer have a function because they are trapped behind the screen cone. This will in fact cause a lot of "confused", bees as they try to get back into the colony, and often very "mad" bees, because they cannot get in. A box sitting nearby is just a box, with no affiliation with the parent colony. It merely provides a "home", for bees who can no longer return to the colony in the tree.

    If this procedure is followed, I believe it will help to avoid "mad bees" and hopefully not entice owners to spray them.

    cchoganjr

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    52,395

    Default Re: In what circumstances is a trap-out a good idea?

    Thank you for your clarification on procedure. I always recommend people study your process if they want to try a trap out.

    >"Highly agitated bees" might be a better term than "mad", but, "mad" will do here since Michael used it above.

    I actually said "confused" because that's my impression. However the impression that the home owner gets is "angry" or "mad". I have not done the trap out where the bees could come and go through the box for several days. That sounds like it might be very effective at eliminating the confused bees in the air, but that would also be one more trip...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Germany, BW
    Posts
    1,640

    Default Re: In what circumstances is a trap-out a good idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleo C. Hogan Jr View Post

    In trapping bees, as in any other aspect of beekeeping, procedure, is very important. My work indicates that making the trap an integral, sealed, part of the parent colony is "paramount". And unless it was extremely time sensitive, I would not set up a trapout using a screen cone and collection box nearby. This procedure will lead to "confused" and "mad" bees. "Highly agitated bees" might be a better term than "mad", but, "mad" will do here since Michael used it above.

    To keep a lot of bees from becoming "confused" I never restrict the entrance, and exit, during the first two or three days of a trapout. In other words, let the bees come and go at will, from the tree, through the trap, to the outside, and then return to the trap, through the trap, and back to the tree. The only real difference is they are going through the trap. It is a sealed part of their hive. They are not restricted, so there is no reason to become "agitated" or "mad".

    The first thing you will notice, after installing the trap, is that the guard bees move to the front of the trap, that is now the exit and entrance, They continue their normal duties, just at the front of the trap, not at the hole in the tree. They will protect this entrance, and inspect each bee as they return. The trap has now become a part of their hive. It is just another chamber, or cavity. Hopefully with drawn comb that you supply. Any time you have a sealed chamber, the bees will begin to clean the chamber, they will set up an air flow through the chamber, and they become used to the chamber. No reason to be "agitated". In a screen cone funnel trapout, the bees are prohibited from returning to the parent colony from the time the funnel is installed. The guard bees no longer have a function because they are trapped behind the screen cone. This will in fact cause a lot of "confused", bees as they try to get back into the colony, and often very "mad" bees, because they cannot get in. A box sitting nearby is just a box, with no affiliation with the parent colony. It merely provides a "home", for bees who can no longer return to the colony in the tree.

    If this procedure is followed, I believe it will help to avoid "mad bees" and hopefully not entice owners to spray them.

    cchoganjr
    Mr. Hogan,
    I would like to have your permission to copy this post into my forum and translate it for the members.
    zone 8a, sc, dadant square, wax comb, tf, 4 years beekeeping
    www.vivabiene.de

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: In what circumstances is a trap-out a good idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleo C. Hogan Jr View Post
    My work indicates that making the trap an integral, sealed, part of the parent colony is "paramount". And unless it was extremely time sensitive, I would not set up a trapout using a screen cone and collection box nearby.
    In this case, does it matter if the part connecting their original entrance to the trap is not a meshed material? For example could I just use an old vacuum hose or some other material that might not have any holes or is see through?
    Would it be necessary to put any kind of swarm lure in the trap or would a frame with drawn comb be enough? Or should I put in a frame of capped brood?

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    2,259

    Default Re: In what circumstances is a trap-out a good idea?

    SiWolke.... Of course, you have my permission. I have always shared everything I know, or have learned from other beekeepers. I have a 12 page document that explains trapping and it is free to anyone who requests it. Send me an email, and I will attach to that email and return. cchoganjr@scrtc.com The document has photos of each step of the process, is entirely "free", and no salesman will call. I enjoy helping beekeepers as much as I can.

    Michael Bush... My apologies, it wasn't your post that referred to "mad" bees. In fact, now I cannot even find where anyone used the term "mad" in this conversation. Must have been in another posting. But, it doesn't matter. "mad" "confused" agitated", all the same. Thanks for pointing this out.

    Qkrwogud... No, does not matter how you connect the source to the trap. I used a wooden tunnel, only because it is easy to attach the funnel that I used, (actually it is a "conical bee escape", if you are wanting to eliminate the colony by trapping and relocating. Be sure to keep this tunnel, (connector) as short as you can, especially if you want to get the queen.

    You do not need swarm lure of any kind. The trap is an integral part of the hive. Trap will work best, and quicker if you place 3 or 4 frames of drawn comb, then after the bees come and go for a couple of days, introduce the unsealed brood. Just as soon as you introduce the unsealed brood,(NO BEES) just unsealed brood, you will have thousands of nurse bee, housekeepers, come out and begin tending the brood. This will induce additional bees to start cleaning the frames and the trap. I don't think I have ever had a trapout that did not have at least 3 to 6 pounds of bees within 24 to 36 hours of introducing the unsealed brood. All this will take place with no cone or other means of restricting the bees movement. I recommend relocating bees as you have 3 to 6 pounds in the trap, by moving frames. Place a new queen with them, start a hew hive, or wait and combine this bunch with the next bunch you take off.

    Michael is 100% correct when he says, consider the number of trips, and distance. If it isn't feasible for you, then let someone else, closer to the source do the trapout.

    And, always consider, is it feasible to do a cutout. Both, trapouts and cutouts, have their positives and negatives, and each are important tools in beekeeping.

    Beekeeping is not only "local" it is specific. By specific I mean, each time you do one, it is an adventure, quite likely not exactly like the last one you did. Somehow they will all be slightly different. Good luck and enjoy.

    cchoganjr

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN
    Posts
    294

    Default Re: In what circumstances is a trap-out a good idea?

    This is an excellent conversation! A lot of good info being shared in a respectful way. You’ve got 2 seasoned beekeepers with different experiences on securing the queen in a trap-out. Neither are trying to pile drive the other. Just sharing their history on the subject. Makes an enjoyable read for the rest of us.

    Cleo, can you elaborate on what draws the queen out of the tree? I have an inkling that it has revolves around the introduced frames. Is she forced out to the frames by her kids? Does she follow nurse bees outside on her own? What do you think?
    Zone 7a - 1650ft

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Shelby, Missouri USA
    Posts
    388

    Default Re: In what circumstances is a trap-out a good idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spur9 View Post
    This is an excellent conversation! A lot of good info being shared in a respectful way. You’ve got 2 seasoned beekeepers with different experiences on securing the queen in a trap-out. Neither are trying to pile drive the other. Just sharing their history on the subject. Makes an enjoyable read for the rest of us.

    Cleo, can you elaborate on what draws the queen out of the tree? I have an inkling that it has revolves around the introduced frames. Is she forced out to the frames by her kids? Does she follow nurse bees outside on her own? What do you think?
    Also, what happens to the comb in the original hive? When the queen moves into the new section will the bees abandon it or continue to use it, fill it with honey or move the honey that is in it to the new section?

    This is a very interesting discussion.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    2,259

    Default Re: In what circumstances is a trap-out a good idea?

    Spur9.... I have always believed it is the introduction of the unsealed brood that attracts the attention of the queen. She comes out to investigate where those strange smelling eggs came from. Perhaps looking to find another queen within her hive. After all, she did not lay those eggs. I also think it could have to do with just looking for more room to lay eggs, especially in early Spring during a good honey flow. Later in a trapout, if the one way funnel is used, she comes out because there are not enough stores of honey/pollen, perhaps the number of bees has been depleted to the point they can no longer tend the brood. Either way, at some point she is going to come out. If the trap is sealed, chances are much better that she will stay in the trap, rather than abscond which is what most often happens when using the cone funnel method with a collection box nearby. Unless you introduce unsealed brood, the colony will most often use the trap for honey storage, not brood rearing.

    And yes, I have the absolute highest respect for Michael Bush. I have always said, "if Michael Bush speaks, people should listen". I guarantee you, I will listen.
    Last edited by Cleo C. Hogan Jr; 11-14-2017 at 10:29 PM.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    2,259

    Default Re: In what circumstances is a trap-out a good idea?

    Scott. The comb in the original hive is like the comb in a cutout, if you don't remove it, or contaminate it with something like soapy water.. It will still be back there. If you move the trap away, you will have moved the guard bees, so, lots of critters will enter, other bees will rob out anything they can , wax moths and small hive beetles may flourish for a while. If the comb is robbed dry, it is likely that another swarm will move in unless the entrance is sealed. If you want to keep another colony from moving in, you must seal the entrance.

    If you do not install the one way funnel, the bees will continue on as usual, only now they have one more chamber. If you have drawn out the queen and she has started laying in the trap, the trap will most often be used as another brood chamber. This one being horizontal to the other brood nest, not vertical as in most hives, (exception is the top bar hive). The following year if unsealed brood is not introduced early in the Spring, they will likely start using it for honey stores. To prevent this from happening, remove the trap from the tree/tank, but leave the transition open during the Winter. Then in early Spring slide the trap back over the transition and start trapping again.

    I always have people ask "why not just put out swarm boxes and let them swarm on their own, catch the swarms?" The problem here is they may or may not go into your swarm boxes. With the trap, they are going to go into it, so remove bees as you get 3 to 5 pounds, start a new colony, and trap again. Quit trapping about the middle of June (in Kentucky) so the colony can build up for the Winter. A good tree can yield 3 to 6 colonies per year, and you don't kill the parent colony. An easy way to increase hive count.

    cchoganjr

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Germany, BW
    Posts
    1,640

    Default Re: In what circumstances is a trap-out a good idea?

    Cleo,
    many thanks, I sent you an e-mail.
    BS is an amazing source of professional beekeepers giving advise for free.
    Thank you all.
    Sibylle
    zone 8a, sc, dadant square, wax comb, tf, 4 years beekeeping
    www.vivabiene.de

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Shelby, Missouri USA
    Posts
    388

    Default Re: In what circumstances is a trap-out a good idea?

    Cleo, Thank you very much for the document and the reply. This is different than what has always been presented at our local bee meetings. I like to hear different techniques.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Germany, BW
    Posts
    1,640

    Default Re: In what circumstances is a trap-out a good idea?

    Got the pdf,
    many thanks again, Cleo!
    zone 8a, sc, dadant square, wax comb, tf, 4 years beekeeping
    www.vivabiene.de

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •