Capturing Wild Bees Question
Hi, and thanks for looking over my question.
Yesterday evening I came across a tree that had been cut down in a park and there was a 'Bee Warning' sign posted and nobody around. I looked around a bit and I found the hive. Seeing that I'm brand new and sort of in the market for bees, I was pretty excited.
I could clearly see comb running up the center of the trunk and lots of active bees. Sadly I still don't have my hive box fully prepared, so there wasn't much I could do at that time. But this might have been my plan and I was hoping if somebody can tell me if this would have worked. (Note: I would not have been able to leave a box over night)
I thought I could have driven the 1.5 miles back home and grabbed my bee suit, smoker and a 5-gal bucket. I thought I'd return to the hive just before sunset, give a little smoke and very slowly and gently begin loading the comb and bees into the bucket, looking for the queen. I'd try and grab most of what I can see and reach, then load in all into the bucket and seal it and quickly make the five minute drive back home.
Once at home I'd remove several frames from my own hive box, then shake the bees from the bucket in the hive, replace the frames and close things up. I'd then look for the queen or signs of the queen in a day or so. I'd also include a feeder.
I'll be using wax foundation frames, so I don't think there would be any way for me to try and suspend the recovered comb inside the frames (like I see people do with rubber bands) but I don't know. Not sure if I could use that or not. Perhaps smear some over my own wax foundations?
My concerns are that if I failed to grab the queen, then the bees will just leave ASAP since this was never their home. And if not, can somebody give me an idea of how long I have to get a queen or what I need to do to keep them in my hive until then. I understand they bees will stay queen-less for as long as 6-8 weeks, but would that still be the case in this situation?
I know this is not a preferred method by any means, but is it somewhat sound, or am I missing something obvious?
Backyard Hobbyist- Still in the early learning stage, with bees on order for 3/2020.
(San Diego Ca.- Zone 10a)