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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few weeks back when I was putting out my swarm traps I ran across a feral hive in a tree along a trail. After reading a few post and so e responses from Cleo I decided to try my first trap out. I built the trap and installed on the tree Tuesday around 12 and sealed all exits except mine. I built a 5 frame trap and pulled a frame of uncapped brood from one of my hives and added.

Two questions:
First I think Cleo said leave on for 48 hours then remove? I was planning on removing Friday after 3 days...
Second the hive is only about a mile from my house so do I need to leave locked up with ventilation for 3 days to reorient??
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I checked today and a lot of activity in and out the trap and I took a pic.... I am going to try and pull trap tomorrow the only issue is they found another way into hive so I will close that up tmw too...
 

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Leave the trap attached until you have approx 3 pounds of bees. ( 3 - 4 frames well covered with bees)

If it is a mile away, I would not be concerned. A very few of the workers may return, but, the nurse bees, house cleaners, fanners, guard bees, etc will stay with the trapped colony after you move it.

cchoganjr
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Cleo and I am going to open and check tmw so that will be 3 days... I think you said that should be sufficient correct?
 

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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.

cchoganjr
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Cleo.... I went to check yesterday and the bees had found another entry to hive to were bypassing the trap.... I sealed the new hole and left the trap.... I will check again today... Smart little bees :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I always find out the hard way :) the only thing is nobody came out to take care of the frame of brood I put in... When I opened the trap their were honestly 4 bees inside....
 

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Did you let the bees go and come through the trap for a few days before you installed the open brood? Did the guard bees move out to the front of the trap?

Could be the colony is small and not large enough to spare the bees in the tree to come out.

cchoganjr
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Did you let the bees go and come through the trap for a few days before you installed the open brood? Did the guard bees move out to the front of the trap?

Could be the colony is small and not large enough to spare the bees in the tree to come out.

cchoganjr
No I installed the trap with the brood at the same time ..... I went back yest less than 24 hrs after I closed up the last hole and the bees had already filled 2 frames and were coming in and out the trap.... I am going to let sit until Monday and then harvest so I will update then.... I hope it works because these bees are so docile compared to my hives!!!!!
 

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I would highly recommend installing the tree transition, and allow the bees 3 or 4 days to come and go through the transition. This will make it easier to seal any holes that the bees find to come and go. Then fit the trap over the transition and let the bees come and go through the trap for 2 or 3 days. If all holes are sealed, the guard bees will move out to the front of the trap as this is the only entrance. Cleaners will come into the trap to clean the trap and any brood combs or foundation you give them. Let them come and go through the trap for 2 or 3 days, then place the frame of unsealed brood. You should immediately get nurse bees, house keepers, fanners. Field bees will begin to place pollen and nectar and the queen will quite likely come into the trap to investigate as to how those eggs came to be in her castle. A good strong colony will have enough bees,(about 3 pounds) in the trap in 24 to 36 hours to start a new colony for you. I would remove the frames, relocate a couple of miles away, then fill the trap with combs and start the process over. Guard against overtrapping and killing the colony.

cchoganjr
 

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It is good to get your info on trapping a tree hive. I had not thought there might be alternate entrances.

My daughter has a hive in a tree in her yard I want to trap. I already have the trap prepared, but it is 70 miles away. Cleo, do I have to plan to drive back and forth every 3-4 days (she can give me reports on bee traffic)? How do I transport a frame of brood that far without harming it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I would highly recommend installing the tree transition, and allow the bees 3 or 4 days to come and go through the transition. This will make it easier to seal any holes that the bees find to come and go. Then fit the trap over the transition and let the bees come and go through the trap for 2 or 3 days. If all holes are sealed, the guard bees will move out to the front of the trap as this is the only entrance. Cleaners will come into the trap to clean the trap and any brood combs or foundation you give them. Let them come and go through the trap for 2 or 3 days, then place the frame of unsealed brood. You should immediately get nurse bees, house keepers, fanners. Field bees will begin to place pollen and nectar and the queen will quite likely come into the trap to investigate as to how those eggs came to be in her castle. A good strong colony will have enough bees,(about 3 pounds) in the trap in 24 to 36 hours to start a new colony for you. I would remove the frames, relocate a couple of miles away, then fill the trap with combs and start the process over. Guard against overtrapping and killing the colony.

cchoganjr
Thanks for the detailed information.... I rushed it but I think I am finally there... I will check the hive again Monday and if 3 frames I will pull.... Then I will wait a week before I re-install trap to try again following your guidelines....
 

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Yes, It will require at least 2 trips.

As long as the temperature is 75 degrees plus, just hang the frame in a 10 frame box for the move. If it is only 75 or less, place box in floor board of vehicle and run your heater. It will keep for several hours this way.

cchoganjr
 

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Thanks, Cleo, that is very helpful. I am looking forward to the entire process and will keep you advised on my progress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hey Cleo I need your advice because the trap out when bad. I pulled the trap about 10 days ago after it had been on for about a week and I got about 2 full frames of bees. I had 2 foundation frames and 1 frame with caped and uncapped brood. I brought the trap home and move the new bees to a 5 frame nuc and closed it up. The bees were mellow and no issues. I went to check the nuc 2 days later and all the bees where gone??? They left the brood and food... I am not sure if they went back because feral hive is only 1/2 mile from my home or if they joined of of my other hives? Any ideas? I don't think Africans because the feral hive is very tame.. The transition is still on the tree now for 2 weeks so should I go back again and try correctly? I think I rushed it the first time.... On a side note caught me first swarm this weekend 4-5lbs so that made up for it .....
 

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Unfortunately any time you transfer bees to a new box, the bees may not like the new box and they will leave. That is what I suspect happened here. It is not absolutely necessary to move bees 2 or more miles, but, if you don't, some or lots, of the field bees will likely return to the parent hive. If I am not moving them, I normally shake extra nurse bees off a brood comb in order to give the new colony more bees.

My experience has been to not disturbe new colonies unless absolutely necessary. I would leave the bees alone after the move until the queen starts laying. Then transfer. In other words I would leave them in the trap, install a follower board to cut down the size of the hive until they build up. A simple piece of sheet styrofoam (sp) or plywood will work for a follower board.

One way to get a good estimate of the strength of a colony you are trapping is, place the unsealed brood frame in the trap, and if you get 3 to 5 pounds of bees,(3 or more frames well covered with bees) in 24 to 36 hours you have a strong parent colony. If after 36 hours you do not have 3 pounds, leave them alone and let them build up. My experience is, the nurse bees will continue to work the frame of brood until the bees emerge, but, if the colony is not strong enough, very few other bees will come out to occupy the trap. At any rate, if the parent colony is not strong you should discontinue taking bees until it builds up. If you don't you may weaken the parent colony giving small hive beetles and/or wax moths a chance to overwhelm the colony. Let them build up, then trap again. Try not to kill the parent colony by weakening it.

cchoganjr
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Unfortunately any time you transfer bees to a new box, the bees may not like the new box and they will leave. That is what I suspect happened here. It is not absolutely necessary to move bees 2 or more miles, but, if you don't, some or lots, of the field bees will likely return to the parent hive. If I am not moving them, I normally shake extra nurse bees off a brood comb in order to give the new colony more bees.

My experience has been to not disturbe new colonies unless absolutely necessary. I would leave the bees alone after the move until the queen starts laying. Then transfer. In other words I would leave them in the trap, install a follower board to cut down the size of the hive until they build up. A simple piece of sheet styrofoam (sp) or plywood will work for a follower board.

One way to get a good estimate of the strength of a colony you are trapping is, place the unsealed brood frame in the trap, and if you get 3 to 5 pounds of bees,(3 or more frames well covered with bees) in 24 to 36 hours you have a strong parent colony. If after 36 hours you do not have 3 pounds, leave them alone and let them build up. My experience is, the nurse bees will continue to work the frame of brood until the bees emerge, but, if the colony is not strong enough, very few other bees will come out to occupy the trap. At any rate, if the parent colony is not strong you should discontinue taking bees until it builds up. If you don't you may weaken the parent colony giving small hive beetles and/or wax moths a chance to overwhelm the colony. Let them build up, then trap again. Try not to kill the parent colony by weakening it.

cchoganjr
Thanks Cleo and I will try again.... First add the trap and make sure the guard bees move up then add brood and check 36 hours later...
 

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First add the trap and make sure the guard bees move up then add brood and check 36 hours later...
Actually I would add the trap, with some drawn comb (two or three frames if you have them, if not, two or three with foundation)

Make sure the guard bees move out to the new entrance. Make sure all entrances/exits are sealed. Then allow the bees 3 or more days to come and go through the trap, back to the parent colony. Let them get used to the trap as just another chamber of their colony.

Cleaners will likely come out to clean the trap. After a few days of the bees going through the trap, add the unsealed brood. Then wait 24 to 36 hours and see if you have 3 plus pounds of bees. If so, I would just move frames into another box, (unless you want to get every last bee in the trap, If you have three pounds, don't worry that you do not get all the bees that are in the box) If you don't have three plus pounds, leave alone for a few days and check again.

cchoganjr
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Okay I added back the trap today and the bees were using the attachment piece to come in and out the hive. They had also found another exit 3 feet down the tree so I closed that one up too...
 
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