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trap out question

 
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mark.b
House Bee


Joined: 14 May 2014
Posts: 16
Location: Sileby, Leicestershire, uk

PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 6:25 am    Post subject: trap out question Reply with quote

Hi

going to try and trap out a swarm that has moved into a brick wall I intend to mount a 5 frame nuc box near the entrance and then fit a mesh cone escape over the hole this should stop them going bask in how soon do I need to provide either a frame with fresh eggs on in the nuc box or should I leave it a while and then install a caged queen?

Thanks
Mark
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1574
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mark

I've done a couple of trap outs. The first was on an established colony was successful, the second was on a young colony where a swarm moved in and it was a disaster. The reason that the second one failed was that the bees had not built up any stores to live off whilst the pollen deficit stopped brood production. The result was bees that were literally starving to death. After the initial week or two during which time most of the bees were comb building I suppose, I did manage to trap out maybe a quarter of them but they failed to raise a queen despite two lots of brood being given to them. The remainder of the bees that managed to climb out of the cone were too weak to go anywhere and fell to the ground below where they dies. It was totally heart breaking to be responsible for this carnage particularly as a bee keeper. I genuinely believe it would have been kinder to have sprayed them with insect killer.

Unfortunately the house where this happened has attracted another swarm and I have negotiated with the householder to leave it undisturbed for 6-8 weeks to build up some stores before I do the trap out this time.

They will need brood pretty well straight away to attract them to the bait hive. I get everything set up first ie platform for nuc, all other entrances sealed and cone fitted and then go and steal a frame of brood with nurse bees from a hive, place it in the nuc and transport it to the trap out, by which time bees are already amassing at the cone. It is helpful if you can place the entrance directly above the base of the cone or make a ladder from the base of the cone to the nuc entrance to help them find it. Also watch for them tracking along the wall to find alternative ways back in. With stone walls and entrances behind facias, this can be really tricky to sort out and having silicone sealant and newspaper to plug holes as they find them is important. If you are working up a ladder I found a bottle of clove oil really helpful to stop them tracking along the wall beyond my reach. I just daubed a line of it on the masonry and wood with my finger and that stopped them in their tracks and turned them back. I suppose it might even be used to channel them towards the bait box.

Anyway, best of luck and I hope it all turns out well.

Barbara
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mark.b
House Bee


Joined: 14 May 2014
Posts: 16
Location: Sileby, Leicestershire, uk

PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 10:21 pm    Post subject: trap out question Reply with quote

Hi Barbara

Thanks for the reply. I need to get the bees out and I was thinking that seeing as it has only just moved in (about a week) then it would be easier to get them out as they would have no stores and little brood. I have just fitted the frame to mount the box and was going to fit the box and fit a cone tomorrow. I think that I may leave them a little longer before I try.

Re the frame of brood/eggs I thought that that was it (no bees) if I put the frame in with some bees on it will they not fight the other bees that enter?

Thanks
Mark
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1574
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The nurse bees are needed to look after the brood and keep it warm. Because the incoming bees from the trap out will enter bearing gifts (as all good guests should)...ie they will be bringing pollen and nectar, they should be accepted.

Last year, I too thought it was best to get them out sooner than later and it was initially working after a bit of fiddling the first couple of weeks when they persisted in finding other ways back in by tracking along the wall.
It's difficult when these trap outs are not somewhere you can visit every day to check on them and I was absolutely horrified and heart broken to go back and check them a couple more weeks in and find the cone full of dead bees and the ground below littered with dead and dying bees and some still managing to climb over the carcasses in the cone only to fall out of the end straight to the ground where they had no hope of recovery. I was truly mortified and wouldn't want anyone else to experience that.

I was actually wondering if it would be possible to set up some sort of drip feeder within the cone to offer syrup but still prevent pollen from going in and hence stop brood production. Maybe a nipple drinker like they use for rabbits and guinea pigs. Thankfully though, the householder has agreed to wait a few more weeks and hopefully the bees will store enough nectar during that time to prevent this disaster happening again.
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ChrisM
House Bee


Joined: 20 May 2015
Posts: 13
Location: New Zealand, Tauranga, Papamoa

PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark, Barbara, rather than just have an escape cone and 5 frame nuc nearby, is it possible to exit the cone into the nuc, so that to fly outside they have to go through the nuc box first? If you can put in an empty comb and a comb with food on it, you can stop them starving and give them the hint it might be nicer in the box? I've seen photos of trapouts done that way, but not had a chance to try it. Some photos I have seen appear not to have an escape cone but a pipe that allows two way travel. This might stop the swarm from starving. If the queen also lays some eggs in the nuc box then half the battle would be over. Do you know if that ever happens, or can't ever happen?
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mark.b
House Bee


Joined: 14 May 2014
Posts: 16
Location: Sileby, Leicestershire, uk

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trap out in progress, was checking the cone everyday for the first week. After week one checked inside the nuc and had a look at the frame of brood looked like there was a queen cell in progress. After 13 days very little activity from the cone, lots of bees in the box looks like 1 sealed queen cell and another queen cell just being worked on (the bees were reluctant to move off it). Planning on leaving them alone to sort things out. The Queen is supposed to emerge on day 16 so could be tomorrow should I check on week 3 day (day 21) or leave well alone until she should be laying? (day 30 +)
Thanks
Mark
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1574
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you know they have made at least one queen cell then I would leave them alone until she is hatched and mated and check nearer 30 days.
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