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This weekend I'm planning to do a screen cone trap out from a large tree with a knothole entrance about 10' up. It's a big hardwood with no branches till 20'. This is my first ever trap out.

1. I have a deep rigged up as a trap with a 3' board attached vertically to the side of it. The part of the board sticking above the deep will be screwed to the tree. Should I also strap the deep to the tree or build a platform under it for better support?

2. Assuming the trap out is a success, am I fooling myself thinking that I will be able to shoulder the trap box and carry it down a ladder?

3. The day after I set it up I will put a frame of uncapped brood in the trap. It will be a 15 minute drive from my bee yard to the trap out location. Do I need to be concerned about keeping the brood warm for that time?

4. If I don't get the queen can I encourage the bees to make a queen with a frame of eggs once I have them back at my bee yard?

Thanks for any help.
 

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Just finished a trap out from a house. Entrance was about 8 feet up. Built a platform with 2X4s screwed to side of house (with homeowner's permission). Trap hive was an 8 frame deep with bottom attached to deep.
1. Suggest platform to hold hive.
2. My 8 frame was heavy and difficult to get down a ladder so a 10 frame deep may weigh 80 lbs depending on how long you leave them, brood, comb, honey, etc. (I put a frame with a queen cell and capped brood with nurse bees in the trap hive to get genetics from that area which is about 20 miles from my yard so it was almost full of bees when I took it down about 3 weeks after adding the QC. It weighed at least 40 lbs).
3. I left nurse bees on my frame of larva because of the QC. There shouldn't be any fighting and the nurse bees will keep the brood warm.
4. If you have eggs or larva less than 3 days old on the frame you put in the trap hive in 3. they should make a queen from that.
Good luck with the trap out!
 

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1. Should I also strap the deep to tree?
I would.

2. Assuming the trap out is a success, am I fooling myself thinking that I will be able to shoulder the trap box and carry it down a ladder?
Yes. I would leave the trap in place, and just remove frames, and put in another box. Have this box rigged to be lowered with a rope. If you have anyone that can help you, lower the box with a rope to them. If not, lower it to the ground.

3. Do I need to be concerned about keeping the brood warm for that time?
If the temp is below 75 degrees, perhaps, but, 15 minutes should not be a problem. You can always leave nurse bees on the frame.

4. If I don't get the queen can I encourage the bees to make a queen with a frame of eggs once I have them back at my bee yard?
Of course you can.
If I were doing this trapout, I would drill a hole in the back of the catcher box and let the cone protrude into the trap. Then seal the trap to the tree. This makes the trap an integral part of the feral colony. When you do this, the guard bees will move out to the front of your trap as this is now the only entrance.

When you insert the brood you will quite likely entice the queen to come out and inspect the brood. Then you have her. If the cone is just near the bait box there is no reason for her to come out in the early days of the trapout.

In a normal cone funnel trapout the queen won't come out until the colony has been weakened. When she does come out, she may very well fly off with a swarm of bees rather than go into your bait box. After all, that bait box is foreign to her.

In a typical cone funnel trapout the bees can become quite mean because they are queenless. If the bait box is sealed to the feral colony the odor of the colony is the same as the bait box, and the bees normally are much more gentle.

I would remove frames as I trapped 3 to 5 pounds of bees. Add a queen, let them make a queen, add to an existing colony, what ever you want to do with them. If you don't need them, sell them to help pay for your other bee items or other hobbies. By removing as you get three to five pounds you weaken the colony allowing more room in the trap. You can always recombine them later if you wish.

Good Luck.

cchoganjr
 

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"1. I have a deep rigged up as a trap with a 3' board attached vertically to the side of it. The part of the board sticking above the deep will be screwed to the tree. Should I also strap the deep to the tree or build a platform under it for better support?"
Strap if you can't nail or screw into the tree. Screwing the box to the tree while holding the box on a ladder is hard. I would (and do) attach to the middle of the back of the box a piece of wood that sticks up 8" or so above the top. Drill a 1½" to 2" hole in the middle near the top of the piece of wood and use that to hang the box on a large nail or screw. For stability, you can add a screw once the box is hung. I intend to try using a French cleat at my next opportunity. I've used a shelf; not a fan. If the box is hung or screwed at the top, I would not bother strapping the bottom of the box or using a shelf.

"2. Assuming the trap out is a success, am I fooling myself thinking that I will be able to shoulder the trap box and carry it down a ladder?"
As others have said, you can pull out frames. You can also use 2 or 3 good sized eye hooks in the top or sides of the box and an S-hook on the tree or ladder to lower the box with a rope. You really need someone with you if you are manhandling a 10 frame deep on a ladder.

3. The day after I set it up I will put a frame of uncapped brood in the trap. It will be a 15 minute drive from my bee yard to the trap out location. Do I need to be concerned about keeping the brood warm for that time?"
If it is a Hogan-style trapout and you install the brood a day or more before you install the cone, no. If not, I would bring some nurse bees to cover the brood until some bees from the tree move into the box. If you don't bring nurse bees, put the brood in a styrofoam ice chest or carry them in the cab of your vehicle if the weather warrants.

"4. If I don't get the queen can I encourage the bees to make a queen with a frame of eggs once I have them back at my bee yard?"
Yep. I agree with Cleo Hogan about putting the cone in the box and connecting the box to the hive access. We use a short length of opaque 1¾" pool vacuum hose to attach the box to the hive entrance. Mount the box so that hive entrance in the tree is near the bottom of one side of the box. Drill a hole for the hose in the side of the box near the hive entrance. Leave room for a 1¼" hole in the box below where the hose enters the box for the bee's entrance. (My best results are with the entrance to the trapout box being in the side just below the hose and the bottom of the base of cone inside the box.) Drill a 1¾" hole for the hose in a couple of pieces wood. Mount one of the pieces of wood to the tree; mount a 6" to 9" long trapout cone to the other. The piece with the cone will be attached inside the box covering the hole where the hose enters the box. Wait until the box has been installed and used by the bees for at least a day or two before you put the frame of brood in the trapout box. (This way you will not need to bring any nurse bees.) Some drawn comb and a capped queen cell in the trapout box also seems to be helpful. Wait another couple of days before you actually install the piece of wood with the cone in the box. (I've used a sliding mount for the cone, but I've also just screwed the wood on with long enough screws from the outside of the box.) Point the cone a little up when install it. For the trapout box, an outer cover that sits flush at the back, but telescopes on the other three sides, with a simple thumb screw or linchpin to hold it in place, and a little piece of nylon strap to hang it from the box when it is open, is ideal if you are going in and out of it with frames and a cone 10' up. I hope it goes well.
 
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