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I have a lady with a Catalpa tree where bees have moved in. The opening is about 4-1/2 feet off the ground and is a long oval, like the tree split. It faces the sidewalk. She wants me to remove the bees and of course the only way to do this is via a trap out. She does not want them killed, just relocated. The bees have only been in the tree a week or two. I am somewhat concerned about the liability since it is near the sidewalk, about 4 feet away. She put a sawhorse out with a sign that states there are bees in the trees. People could of course cross the street. This is a small town and it is not like there are a lot of people walking around. Anyone had any experience with liability issues? I was thinking of erecting a tarp between the tree and the sidewalk to act as a barrier. Thanks for any help on this issue.
 

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I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole as a trapout. Trapped out bees are NOT nice! Plus they take a long time.

Would you consider an aggressive removal by driving them out with smoke and repellent? Once they start marching out, start vaccuming and snag the queen. Just an idea... and at least you are in and out in just a few hours, not weeks...
 

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I'd do it, Bees are typically not too aggressive with a Hogan style trapout as they see it as part of their hive just keep pulling starts off it to keep the numbers down, it will be a PIA but doable.
 

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In a small town you can get away with a lot of stuff. I've done several in very public places.

I would just put up traffic cones with caution tape to keep people back about 30'. If it is truly a new hive your trap out may only take a few weeks if you jump right on it.

Wouldn't hurt to touch base with the close neighbors before setting up, so everybody knows what's going on. A posted laminated sign or two on a couple of the traffic cones explaining things wouldn't hurt also for people to see passing by. Also let the local police know also what's going on.

Swapping out the initial hive after the first 48 hours will cut down bee numbers by about 2/3rds and remove the guard bees.

If you act like you know what your doing and just take charge folks will just stand back and watch.

Great opportunity for you to show the community your bee keeping skills and draw attention to your honey. I'm amazed how many swarms and cutouts come my way from word of mouth referrals.

Good luck.. ...Don
 

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I have had issues with the homeowners themselves spraying the bees after I've invested all that time. All those bees in the air intimidate people. I would definitely try to notify everyone as you can't do it without people noticing all the bees in the air...
 
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