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Found a Bee Tree!

2012 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Cleo C. Hogan Jr
I have permission to "get" the bees out of a old dead tree. Could someone point me into the right direction of how to do a trap out? I don't think cutting the tree down is an option. These are bees that are local to my area and have survived the winter so I would like to get the Genetics of this queen if possible. I have heard of the Hogan style trap but have been unsuccessful on where to find plans for this or even details of how it works. Maybe there are several different ways to accomplish this task? Well I appreciate any thoughts and thanks!
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I recommend a book called Hunting Wild Bees by Robert E. Donavon. It's an older book likely available many places. I just looked and found it at Amazon.
I have made mistakes in the past by once using styrofoam and other times not getting all the entrances found. I have been successful removing all the bees, honey, but I've never been successful getting a queen out without cutting into the structure. I've always had to get or raise a new queen.
Good luck.
I have heard of the Hogan style trap but have been unsuccessful on where to find plans for this or even details of how it works.
Send me an e-mail. [email protected] and I will send you my twelve page guide which includes photos of traps being installed and in use. I will also help you any way I can. No charge.

Built a six frame box last week and designed it like the Hogan trap as best I could tell by pictures. I placed it on a bee tree with drawn comb. After 24 hrs I placed one frame of eggs into the box. Returned in another 24 hrs and was surprised to see the box filled with bees and a nice big yellow queen. Over the years I have used the cone traps from screen. This was the first time I have ever had the queen come out of the tree. She was inside the box in 48 hrs. Cleo's trap works!
If the bees aren't hurting anything and the owners don't mind them there - I would be inclined to put swarm traps around and just catch swarms. In this way, you get the genetics, and can keep getting more and more every year - other than a one time cut out / trap out.
I agree with NWPA Beekeeper: If possible leave the tree intact, and catch their swarms. I have recently found 3 trees and an old mobile home with hives in the roof on each end. Im building traps to place in those areas.
I very respectfully disagree with Northwest PA Beekeeper and txbeek. You can put a trap on the bee tree and using the Hogan method, you can take multiple swarms each year ( 2 to 4) and still leave the bees where they are. Swarm traps are hit and miss at best,(more often miss) where taking swarms using a trap is virtually a sure thing on a tree, tank, or anywhere you can place the transition close to the feral brood nest.

In this type of trap, your trap becomes an integral part of the feral colony, and the trap is just another place for the queen to lay eggs. In taking swarms you don't install the funnel, and allow the queen to come into the trap to lay. Then you remove the frames containing her eggs and move the frames, allowing the bees to make a queen from her eggs. In early Spring, during a good honey flow you can take the queen and let the feral colony make themselves a new queen, then trap again.

This does involve some visits to the trap, but, the chances are far better for getting genetics than just placing swarm traps around the area. If some distance is involved the cost of gas may be a factor.

If I had 3 trees nearby I would trap. I could turn that into 9 to 20 swarms each year.

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