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A friend has a tree with bees living in it and wants to eliminate them from his property but he is not in a hurry. Last year they were visiting his water gardens next to his house too often for his wife’s liking. So the basic questions are:
1) What are the optimal daytime/nighttime temps to do a tree trap out?
2) Are there other timing considerations?

I plan to mount a 5 frame nuc with a couple old brood comb frames and three frames of new foundation on the tree next to the knot hole they are using. It is about 12 ft up and clear of branches. I’ll use a screen cone over the hole in the tree.
1) Is there a better configuration? 10 frame deep, etc? I can build whatever.
2) Should I bait the nuc with lemon grass oil or other substance? I do not have any queen pheromone.
3) How long should the trap hang there?

Assuming success, once I remove the trap, what should I do with the remaining hive in the tree? Plug it up? Let it attract more bees that I can come back and trap again?

Thanks for any guidance!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Salty. I read that before posting my questions. Excellent thread. Cleo sure knows his stuff. My questions are a result of reading that thread.
 

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Assuming success, once I remove the trap, what should I do with the remaining hive in the tree? Plug it up? Let it attract more bees that I can come back and trap again?
I can't help too much with your questions, but this comment made me laugh. I feel like beekeepers are always joking right there on the line or right or wrong, lol. Is it wrong to put traps across the property line of a beekeeper? Is it wrong to not plug a tree since they just wanted you to remove the honey? I guess it all comes down to how good of a friend they are and if they're paying us, lol.

1) 12ft is decently high. Carrying a 10 frame deep up a ladder is rough. Carrying it back down full of bees is doubly rough. Any idea on how big the hive is? I've seen people use a nuc and when it's full use another, and some like deeps. Just try carrying a deep full of comb up and ladder before throwing it up and realizing it's too much trouble when they've claimed it. Putting a swarm trap 12 ft up in a tree was much more a pain in the neck than I thought it would be, the next one ended up about 4 ft on a fence, lol.

3)
Leave the trap attached until you have approx 3 pounds of bees. ( 3 - 4 frames well covered with bees)
Depending on strength of colony,(where you live, time of year etc),. During a good honey flow with rapid buildup I find that you may have 3 or more pounds after only 24 hours.
The length of time it takes to get 3 pounds of bees in the trap, (after introducing the unsealed brood), gives you an idea of the strength of the colony. If you get that many in 24 hours you have a good strength colony. If it takes 3 days, colony is not overly strong, If it takes 5 or more days, I would cease trapping because the colony is not strong enough to trap.
 

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A friend has a tree with bees living in it and wants to eliminate them from his property but he is not in a hurry. Last year they were visiting his water gardens next to his house too often for his wife’s liking. So the basic questions are:
1) What are the optimal daytime/nighttime temps to do a tree trap out?There needs to be enough bees flying that you will catch enough in your trap out box to cover a frame of eggs or queen cell if you do not bring the nurse bees with it. You can use a frame with or with out the nurse bees. You can even use a weak hive to quickly build it up also.
2) Are there other timing considerations? If using a frame of eggs for the bees to raise a new queen or a queen cell, there needs to be drones in the purple eye stage at least, I prefer for them to be flying myself. I like to do trap out in the spring time better, the SHB has less of a chance to take over before you can finish up.
A trap out is different than what Mr. Hogan is doing. A trap out removes the bees from the structure and Mr. Hogan is just taking bees out of the parent hive for starts or trying to lure the queen out and capture her. A trap out will not (usually) get you the queen. By the time the queen and what little bees are left abscond, you will have a new queen in the trap out hive.
I plan to mount a 5 frame nuc with a couple old brood comb frames and three frames of new foundation on the tree next to the knot hole they are using. It is about 12 ft up and clear of branches. I’ll use a screen cone over the hole in the tree.
1) Is there a better configuration? 10 frame deep, etc? I can build whatever.If it is a strong hive, I have seen them fill a five frame nuc in just two days. Depending on how often you can check on the trap out hive and how strong the parent hive is will dictate how fast they can fill a box. I always like to check back the next day or two just to make sure they have not found another way back in the parent hive.
2) Should I bait the nuc with lemon grass oil or other substance? I do not have any queen pheromone.A frame of EGGS (not just brood) is the best, the returning foragers will be welcomed into the new hive since they are loaded with pollen and nectar.
3) How long should the trap hang there?Leave the trap hive (or hives depending on how you work it) there to the very end, this could take as long as 45 to 60 days. Once you see no more bees exiting the cone remove it and let the bait hive rob out the honey stores (if any left), that should not take but a couple of days. If you see bees taking pollen back into the parent hive then they have not left yet......put the screen cone back on. Most that do a trap out for the first time will always pull the screen cone way too early.

Assuming success, once I remove the trap, what should I do with the remaining hive in the tree?If successful there will not be a hive in the tree, just empty wax combs. Plug it up? Let it attract more bees that I can come back and trap again?That would be up to your customer, since they want the bees gone this would indicate they do not want them to return. I would plug it up, concrete works great for a plug but sure is hard on a chainsaw chain. Silicone caulk and wood blocks or screen wire (cover completely with caulk) work pretty good and is easy on a chainsaw chain.

Thanks for any guidance!!
Be sure to get the hole in your screen cone big enough for only two drones to get out of. Window screen will work but use caution, I have seen it fold over blocking the entrance of the parent hive, not a pretty site. Number 8 hardware cloth works great and will last a long time for many trap outs to come. Get the entrance of the bait hive as close to the parent hive entrance, not the end of the cone. They return to the original entrance not the end of the cone. Be sure to have a sturdy platform for it to sit on and ratchet strap it down, not a pretty site to return to your trap out and it laying on the ground

Hope this helps.
 

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frankthomas..... Send me an e-mail, if you wish, and I will send you a 12 page document that details, (with photos) the trapping process and has some photos of traps in progress. [email protected]

You can use my system to eliminate a colony by using a funnel or screen cone inside the trap, or you can use a screen cone and place another hive very near the entrance of the screen cone. Either will work to eliminate the colony in the tree. In my method you might get the queen. In the screen cone method, it is highly unlikely as G3farms outlined above. But, both will work well.

cchoganjr
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
G3farms thanks for the fantastic response. I really appreciate you taking the time. And I have family in Knoxville and also just outside Maryville. Love it there.
 
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