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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I had two traps up in my yard. I live on 1/3 acre, so everything I am describing takes place in that space.

On the west side yard I put a trap in a tree. Under the tree on the other side I have a small rack with a few nucs used for splits. On the east side of the house (the driveway) I had a trap in that tree.

On the farthest North point of the yard I have my main rack with my regular colonies.

Both traps caught. After a week or two living in the trap, I closed them up at night, and then I hives them this morning at the main rack. In both cases I saw both queens.

From the front of the racks they all look like they are being bees coming and going and generally being beautiful industrious insects.

As you may have already guessed I am seeing a fair amount of traffic at the trap sites. I expected this. I also put some random frames in the trap boxes and set them on the ground (not in the tree) both in their original positions.

In both locations there are a bunch of bees going into these boxes. And there is a lot of bees flying around the respective trees. However on the tree at the east side there is a clump of bees about as big as my hand. (I didn't expect to see this)

Here are the questions:

1. What's with the clumping? Does that suggest a queen?
2. They have built out wax and laid brood, how likely would they be to leave, and take the q with them?
3. I don't have access to land 3-4 miles away, is there a better way to deal with trap to hive transitions?
4. It looks like they are interested enough in the boxes to go in and hang out, as dark as it is getting, I assume they will stay the night. Can these somehow be captured and added back to their hive? Could I just capture them and lock them in long enough to forget this area and reorient without moving them across county?
5. What happens with bees such as these in the wild? Let's say Winnie came and ate their queen along with their honey and gobbled up all the remaining brood in the morning. When they come home after foraging to no home, then what? Could they join other hives or are they the bees that follow a newly mated queen home, or so they just wander the earth until they die? I know that when getting robbed out some will change teams and leave with the robbers, is there some other way they can join a different team?

Anyway, trying to learn as things pop up. But I have never read anything much on the bees without a country situation. I figure if I do enough things the wrong way, eventually I will be an expert :)
 

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As has been repeated many times - you want to move the trapped bees immediately (the very next evening) UNLESS you do have a spot 3-4 miles away, then you can wait longer.

Now your bees have been oriented to the trap locations and that is what you observe.

At this point just leave them alone.

In time most all orphan foragers will find themselves a home among your active hives (the last stragglers will just perish).
For now the home-less forages are hanging at their home spot (the clump) - this is their home they only know.
Of course, there is no queen there; you moved the queen. Queen does not just fly about willy-nilly.

Do move your traps to new locations now away from the homeless bees (else these homeless bees will prevent new swarms from moving into them).

I am not going to answer your questions in order #1 to #5.
What I wrote is what I would have done in your situation and that is sufficient.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
As has been repeated many times - you want to move the trapped bees immediately (the very next evening) UNLESS you do have a spot 3-4 miles away, then you can wait longer.
This is a tough nut to crack. For a while I had lots of activity in the bait hive. I would post images and videos and no matter what they were doing the answer I was constantly being given was "That's just scouting behavior" ... So I left them go. Then I had someone suggest I look inside. When I saw drawn comb and lots of busy festooning bees, I decided they would get closed up and moved next day. I assume this is one of those things that comes by experience. This is my first year trapping with any success. Live and learn.

This is a new piece of info that the orphaned bees can join another hive without getting killed trying. But I guess it is not much different from drift.

I am not sure what their numbers are, but let's say there are a 1000 and they all decide to take up in one of the traps. Knowing there is no queen, will they bother to work it? Bring in nectar or pollen or resin? Will they clean old comb or build new comb or anything? I left the boxes over there at this point to learn some from observation. If I were to move them from that trap box to any other box, like just a regular hive body, could I do a "combine" to force them into an existing hive? I am more curious than anything at this point. With 4 active colonies and 2 split hives, I probably don't have any more room, and especially won't have any more if the splits actually successfully queen. :)
 

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if a bunch go in a bait hive they will turn into a laying worker hive.
give them a week to find "other" hives then shake them into soapy water, and save the trap, else they occupy it and drive away the scouts.

you do not know a person who has a yard 3 or more miles away?
seems odd, maybe check at work.
find another trapper and exchange yard space. for this purpose.
Ask a farmer if you can put the hive there for 3 weeks.
seems there should be an option.
put the trap where it goes in the first place.
move it 3 feet at a time.
place the traps 3 + miles away.

maybe try shaking them in front of the hive each night or morning.

GG
 

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orphaned bees can join another hive without getting killed trying. But I guess it is not much different from drift.
Outside of active robbing situations homeless bees will routinely beg their way into different hives - not a problem.
Same as drifting.
Same as quite robbing.
 

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I was constantly being given was "That's just scouting behavior" ... So I left them go.
There is a clear and distinct difference between scouting and normal orientation/foraging.
I guess just observe and learn.

And, of course, nothing prevents you from a quick peek inside if in doubt (this is where an accessible trap is important).
Scouts' numbers, of course, are always low and are measured in tens at most (a true swarm comes in thousands and fills up a trap). Hard to confuse scouts with a swarm if peeked inside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There is a clear and distinct difference between scouting and normal orientation/foraging.
I guess just observe and learn.

And, of course, nothing prevents you from a quick peek inside if in doubt (this is where an accessible trap is important).
Scouts' numbers, of course, are always low and are measured in tens at most (a true swarm comes in thousands and fills up a trap). Hard to confuse scouts with a swarm if peeked inside.
Yeah, learning is taking place. I was also reluctant to pop the top for concern that if they weren't established already it might scare them away. A few had since told me not to worry about that so much.

My one trap was placed pretty high, I won't do that again. The other I needed a small ladder to access but much easier to work with than having to get the big ladder out to do anything. :) And coming down the big ladder with a box full of stuff is fairly disconcerting. :)
 

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OK, I guess at least you now know to not be putting up your traps too high.
Hard to check inside - a minor thing.
Tumbling down with a trap in hands - a major thing.
Meanwhile the bees will move in anyway if your trap is attractive.

Don't worry about scaring the bees away.
Do worry about making the trap attractive to the bees.
Once they like the trap, they don't care the least about you peeking about.
 

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Fairly easy for foragers to beg their way into another hive, especially if they have a poad of pollen or nectar. If you have a picnic basket full of goodies everybody welcomes you to the party.
 
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