First Trap-out Questions
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  1. #1

    Default First Trap-out Questions

    I found a hive that has established itself in some refuse that was dumped in an empty lot near my house. It's not a safe place for the bees in the long term, so I thought I might be able to convince them to move into a more standardized dwelling.

    Was thinking of just buying a new 10-frame hive: https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Hive...03&sr=8-6&th=1

    And then trying to make one of these wire-mesh funnels I've seen on Youtube to try and trap them out into the new hive.

    My big question is - I have no starter frames with honey or brood to entice them with. Is there anything I should do to the new hive to increase the likelihood of success? Should I drizzle local, unprocessed honey on there? Spray with lemongrass oil? Was thinking I'd try to set it all up around twilight when their activity will be reduced.

    Any thoughts? Tips? Ideas?

    Thank you.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
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    Woodbridge, VA (But planning to move to NW Louisiana soon)
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    Default Re: First Trap-out Questions

    I've got no personal experience, but have watched videos on the internet.

    If there's no immediate threat to the colony in it's present location, you may have luck doing a variation on the wire-mesh funnel trap out. But you'll need good weather and forage, with the bees in a building mood.
    You have to be able to completely direct all traffic in and out of one entrance, and force the bees to go through your new hive. So, the bees can't get outside unless they travel out of their refuse hive through a tube or pipe, in one side of your beehive, and out the new beehive entrance. They'll return to their refuse hive in reverse. They should start taking advantage of the hive and frames you have them moving through, and building comb and storing pollen and nectar there. When they've got a good start on building in the new hive, you switch the tube or pipe over to a trap out cone, so the bees leaving the refuse hive can't get back in, and move into your new hive, where they've already started to make an extension of their hive.

    That's a pretty terrible description of the process, with lots of detail missing. Look at some of the users here who post about their trap-outs. PatBeek and D. Coates come to mind, there must be others as well.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: First Trap-out Questions

    They MIGHT be honey bees, but usually when I find bees in refuse they are bumble bees. You will never convince bees to leave their home and move into yours. You MAY get a swarm that was leaving anyway to move in. You also might be able to actually remove the comb and tie it (rubber band it) into frames and put it in a hive.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  5. #4
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    Default Re: First Trap-out Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by wildhive View Post
    Any thoughts? Tips? Ideas?
    Wildhive:

    Let me begin by welcoming you to Beesource!

    This past year I had success with two trap-outs using a variation of the Hogan Bee Trap (attached). In speaking with Mr. Cleo Hogan, he made me aware that the key to this effort is to secure a frame of open brood and to subsequently check it frequently (i.e. every 12 - 24 hours) to evaluate for the queen's presence.

    Possibly there are some experienced beekeepers in your local area who would be willing to mentor you and also spot you an open brood frame this Spring?

    Alternately, if the hive appears to be overwintering well they might be in a position to cast a reproductive swarm in the Spring and having an bait hive set-up in range might produce an equally successful result.

    Best of success to you as you begin your new beekeeping adventure!

    Russ
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

  6. #5

    Default Re: First Trap-out Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    They MIGHT be honey bees, but usually when I find bees in refuse they are bumble bees. You will never convince bees to leave their home and move into yours. You MAY get a swarm that was leaving anyway to move in. You also might be able to actually remove the comb and tie it (rubber band it) into frames and put it in a hive.
    I'm fairly sure they are honey bees. After closer inspection, it appears they actually have set up camp inside an empty speaker housing - not just in the garbage itself.

    As far as convincing them to leave their home and move into mine - isn't that what a trap-out is? I've watched a number of youtube videos of people making mesh funnels and pointing them at the new hive and extracting the old hive/queen this way. Or am I mistaken about this?

  7. #6
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    Default Re: First Trap-out Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by wildhive View Post
    As far as convincing them to leave their home and move into mine - isn't that what a trap-out is? I've watched a number of youtube videos of people making mesh funnels and pointing them at the new hive and extracting the old hive/queen this way. Or am I mistaken about this?
    Yes, that is what a trap out is or can just be used as starters as written in the Hogan Bee Trap document. Where are you located? Is winter not a factor. Got any pictures? Personally, without eggs, larvae, or brood, I think you might be wasting your time.. Have you considered just moving the whole speaker & dealing with relocating (cutting out) the hive in the comfort of your backyard.
    Please excuse me, I am now free to go manage & treat ;)
    my ladies the best way I know how.

  8. #7

    Default Re: First Trap-out Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by fieldsofnaturalhoney View Post
    Yes, that is what a trap out is or can just be used as starters as written in the Hogan Bee Trap document. Where are you located? Is winter not a factor. Got any pictures? Personally, without eggs, larvae, or brood, I think you might be wasting your time.. Have you considered just moving the whole speaker & dealing with relocating (cutting out) the hive in the comfort of your backyard.
    Winter is not an issue here in southern California! At least as far as I know...

    Here's a photo of the speaker and you can tell me what you think might be best. It's partly sunken in the dirt, which is what makes it difficult to move.

    Speaker Hive.jpg

  9. #8
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    Default Re: First Trap-out Questions

    > it appears they actually have set up camp inside an empty speaker housing - not just in the garbage itself.

    That would be a typical honeybee tactic. You could probably find a beekeeper to do a cutout, which is cutting out the combs and rubber banding them into frames.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  10. #9
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    Default Re: First Trap-out Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by wildhive View Post
    Winter is not an issue here in southern California! At least as far as I know...

    Here's a photo of the speaker and you can tell me what you think might be best. It's partly sunken in the dirt, which is what makes it difficult to move.

    Speaker Hive.jpg
    Looks like an easy cut-out project UNLESS the bees are vicious (a possibility).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: First Trap-out Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by wildhive View Post
    Winter is not an issue here in southern California! Here's a photo of the speaker and you can tell me what you think might be best. It's partly sunken in the dirt, which is what makes it difficult to move.
    Winter shouldn’t be an issuer then, you don’t have a location in your handle. Hard to confirm if they are honey bees or not. I would confirm that first If so, I would cutout them out on the spot & not risk the speaker following apart or comb dislodging. There seems to be a lot of holes in the speaker to cover for a trap out (& they are not quick), & if you have no frames of eggs, larvae, or brood, you are only left with one choice.
    Please excuse me, I am now free to go manage & treat ;)
    my ladies the best way I know how.

  12. #11

    Default Re: First Trap-out Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by fieldsofnaturalhoney View Post
    Winter shouldn’t be an issuer then, you don’t have a location in your handle. Hard to confirm if they are honey bees or not. I would confirm that first If so, I would cutout them out on the spot & not risk the speaker following apart or comb dislodging. There seems to be a lot of holes in the speaker to cover for a trap out (& they are not quick), & if you have no frames of eggs, larvae, or brood, you are only left with one choice.
    Thanks for the advice here. Is there any advantage to working at night? Most the videos I've seen are during the day. Is there are reason for this?

  13. #12
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    Default Re: First Trap-out Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by wildhive View Post
    Thanks for the advice here. Is there any advantage to working at night? Most the videos I've seen are during the day. Is there are reason for this?
    You don't want to do it at night.
    At night the bees crawl - a bad thing.
    You prefer them flying, not crawling on you.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  14. #13

    Default Re: First Trap-out Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    You don't want to do it at night.
    At night the bees crawl - a bad thing.
    You prefer them flying, not crawling on you.
    Copy that!

  15. #14
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    Default Re: First Trap-out Questions

    If there is no immediate need to move the bees I wouldn't. Take time to learn first and find a local beekeeper to mentor you if you can. California still has winter and periods of no flowers or forage for bees. When Spring arrives you and the bees will be in better condition.

  16. #15

    Default Re: First Trap-out Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by oldsap View Post
    If there is no immediate need to move the bees I wouldn't. Take time to learn first and find a local beekeeper to mentor you if you can. California still has winter and periods of no flowers or forage for bees. When Spring arrives you and the bees will be in better condition.
    The only fear is that any day someone could come and dump more garbage here, the rains could cause dirt to smother the hive, or the city could come to clean up the illegal dumping and demolish the hive. That's why I want to get them in a proper hive and move them away from the site. I hear your recommendation on finding a mentor though. I'm going to start looking for Los Angeles beekeeping groups to see if anyone would want to accompany me in this endeavor.

    If you know of any LA beekeeping groups, do let me know!

  17. #16
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    Default Re: First Trap-out Questions

    I have not been to LA since 1987. Google groups in your area, I am sure they are around. Good luck!

  18. #17
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    Default Re: First Trap-out Questions

    About 4 years ago, I was exactly where you are today. I was a new beekeeper, I knew next to nothing about extractions or trap outs and I had no old comb or open brood to work with. What I did was place about 2-3 drops of Lemon Grass Oil onto the head of a Q-Tip, rubbed that head around the inside of the entrance to my box, rubbed that head down the center of the top of the center frame, all frames had waxed plastic foundation, and then I placed that Q-Tip in a sandwich bag, folded it over and set it on top of frames away from the entrance, and then I placed my new box with new frames and foundation next to their entrance with my box entrance at approximately the same height as their entrance. Using the hardware cloth to form a funnel is to keep the bees from getting back into their hive so that they have to look for a new place to call home. Failure to completely stop their access back into their original hive will result in not getting what you want. Make sure that all avenues back into their hive are blocked off. Today, I will still use Lemon Grass Oil in a pinch, but now I to use prefer Swarm Commander.

    After cutting off all avenues of return into their hive, I would NOT put any pollen or honey in your box to entice them in. Instead, if you are going to provide pollen and/or honey, sugar water, etc., put it outside of your box. Yes, that will bring other bees to your feeding station, but you will not set up a robbing situation in your box.

    This is not the best time of year to attempt extractions or removals because, with the exception of running out of food, there is really no reason for them to leave their hive except for cleansing flights. Besides, like many of us...they don't like going out into the cold weather. In my opinion, your best bet is to remove all of the debris over and around the speaker box, so that you can get to that speaker box, during the day, and then after sundown, go back to the speaker box, tape up all of the holes you can see, and then carry it to your bee yard. Then in early Spring, you can more likely than not, safely transfer the bees into your 10 frame bee box, with or without their comb, assuming they survived the winter. Be sure to treat them for mites now and again in the spring.

    Good Luck!

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