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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.

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