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Sent up a trap out 2 days ago. The bees are in the wall of a closed school. Put up a funnel and hive box next to where the bees were exiting. I've read the you don't typically catch the queen. On the slim chance that I do, could I remove the funnel to allow them too rob out the honey? Or would they return to the original the hive. Thanks
 

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queenbee3074... In the cone funnel method of trapping, the queen does not typically come out until the colony is nearly depleated. When she comes out, she likely will bring what bees are left in the original colony with her, and act like a swarm. In other words, abscond, land, then the absconding bees will ball up around her, same as a swarm. She will sometimes move into your catcher box, but, your catcher box by that time is a foreign colony, and, she may avoid your box. She would assume that the box is another colony, and she would be a foreign queen, invading another colony. Likely to be killed.

A better way to trap these bees would be to drill a hole in your catcher box, place your cone funnel in the hole and seal it to your catcher box. This way, the bees start using your catcher box as another chamber of their colony, (horizontal rather than vertical) and cannot get back to the original colony. When the queen comes out, she will be in your catcher box.

To draw the bees out faster, insert a frame of unsealed brood, (no bees on it) from one of your other hives. This will draw out nurse bees to tend the brood, housekeepers to clean, and guard bees at your entrance because this will be the only entrance/exit to the original colony.

And, yes, this way, you can get the queen. (A word of caution here, make sure your cone funnel entrance is open enough for a queen to come through.) Once the bees have taken up residence in the trap box, it is highly, highly unlikely that they would return to the original colony location, and, yes, they will rob out any honey stores left behind in the house. But, I would wait a few days to start the robbing so that any brood left behind in the original colony is not viable. With no viable brood back there, there is no reason for them to go back into the house except to rob out honey stores.

Hope this is helpful. Good Luck.

cchoganjr
 

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The trap outs that I performed with the cone method had a 90% queen catch ratio. The other 5% ended in a swarm situation at the end and the other 5% I had to physically remove the queen.
Trap outs can take up to a month or better.
Cleo has some sage advice.
 
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