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I decided to try my first trapout after find bees in an inaccessible flu of a chimney. The bees were entering in at the vinyl side/brick interface. Caulking up that interface and a cone worked perfectly for 2 weeks. As of yesterday the owner (who has been checking twice daily) noticed the bees going in and out 5 ft further out where the vinyl siding meets a window. The must be sneaking along the backside of the vinyl siding.

I'm headed down to caulk it up (and everywhere else), but I read somewhere that once the bees find an alternate way out the process becomes significantly more difficult.
It this true?
Why wouldn't the bees revert back to using the cone after all other exists are closed to them?

I'm headed down early in the morning Pacific Standard Time. Any short-notice advice would be appreciated.

~Reid
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I'll reply to my own thread as no one seems to know much about trapouts.
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I caulked up everything on that side of the building before sealing off the newly discovered entrance. Luckily the bees were using my cone for an exit, while entering at the new spot the found. There were soon piling up at the base of the cone and going into my box, which had capped the queen cells.

So, two weeks is still within the range of the "smarter" bees finding a way back in.

~Reid
 

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I have had times where it took me a month or more to stop the bees from getting back into the hive that I wanted to trapout. Now having said that.......I stay pretty busy and sometimes cannot get back to a trapout for sometimes over a week.
 

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I have done these trap outs numerous times and had them finding new cracks and holes for about 2 weeks.

One trick I have learned to test them is to:

1) Do you best to seal all holes but the one we will use for the trap. I even attach a piece of wood or PVC pipe over the hole to make it easier to attach the cone trap.

2) Let them get used to the new entrance arrangement for a few days.

3) Go seal them in at night (or early morning) and don't let them out until like 2PM. If there is another way in or out they will have found it by then. If you don't see any entrance/exit, then you can be pretty sure you have them. A few bees flying around is OK.

4) Put the cone trap on, and the bait hive in place. Let the trapping begin.

I usually put a nuc box out there with some pheromone lure in there. Only after the trap has been working for 3 or 4 days do I add a frame of young brood. (Make sure there are enough bees in there.)

It can be very frustrating to be outsmarted by a bunch of insect..... I have had everything working, lots of bees in the bait hive and added a frame of brood and THEN they found another entrance back in the house and they abandoned my frame of brood and it all died.

I have had the trap out work, but the bees did not like my bait hive and they just hung on the outside for a few days and then absconded. Trap out was successful, but I got no bees. Darn it.

Look at it like an adventure. Expect the unexpected and it can be fun. The bugs will outsmart you from time to time.

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Look at it like an adventure. Expect the unexpected and it can be fun. The bugs will outsmart you from time to time.
If nothing else, it sure is a challenge. The owner of the house called this last weekend and said that bees were exiting the cone 4 at a time and about a 100 piled up in the cone as well. Maybe they were obsconding, but there was no mini-swarm observed.
~Reid
 

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Here's one I started on Saturday. Had to go back a couple of times since to seal up new entrances. No bees in the nuc yet but I remain hopeful. Anyone see any problems with the setup? It's two stories up so not a lot of options.


Perry
 

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"Anyone see any problems with the setup? It's two stories up"

Yes, I see a problem and I think you have answered your own question. I amazes me the danger, time, trouble, expense, and hours of labor that beekeepers will put themselves through on the chance they might get some "free" bees. There are far easier, safer and cheaper ways to obtain bees. When it comes to ladder work, don't climb higher than you're willing to fall. It's insane!
 

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Hey Ken

Do you mean the cone is too large around and not long enough? I have used this cone once before and even on this trapout I have never seen a bee go back in the tip. Is there a particular size one should use depending on the situation? I am thinking about putting a frame of bees and brood from another hive in there to see if it makes it more attractive.
What is frustrating is that they seem to be able to find a new way in each day. I have taken to caulking areas over 3 feet away! I don't really need the bees but I am pretty sure I know what the homeowner was going to do if I hadn't said I would try.

Perry
 

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If you have used the trap successfully before then it's probably okay. It seems for me that I have to extend the end on out (nose if you will) for 6 or 8 inches farther with the end finally downward with the opening big enough for a drone to pass through.
 

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"Anyone see any problems with the setup? It's two stories up"

Yes, I see a problem and I think you have answered your own question. I amazes me the danger, time, trouble, expense, and hours of labor that beekeepers will put themselves through on the chance they might get some "free" bees. There are far easier, safer and cheaper ways to obtain bees. When it comes to ladder work, don't climb higher than you're willing to fall. It's insane!
I certainly don't take the risk or make the effort to do a trap out unless I'm compensated in addition to the "free bees!"

Matt
 
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