First Trap-Out: started 5/30/21

Try posting here when needing or sharing information about the removal of honey bees from unwanted locations.

Moderators: Wally, Jacobs

Post Reply
reedyfork
Forager
Posts: 71
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:09 am

First Trap-Out: started 5/30/21

Post by reedyfork »

I offered to perform my first trap-out for a neighbor this past week, who had a colony move in to an outside porch column. The hole was created by a woodpecker about 12' off the ground. We "think" the bees have only been in there since earlier this spring...

I watched every YouTube video I could find and read/watched Wally's amazing guide here on the forum! Here's where I'm at:

This is basically day 4. I'm only seeing one or two bees leave the cone every 5 min or so. They have stopped making any attempt to poke around and try to find another entrance. As of yesterday, the bees had filled 3-4 medium frames in the 5-frame nuc, so I added another nuc on top (with a frame of resources), but I have not removed any frames to look for the queen or see if they've started turning one of the EGGS I gave them into a new queen. They have clearly accepted the box I gave them and are bringing pollen directly into it now.

So... I'm impatient, but don't want to take the box down too soon. At what point can I remove and replace with another box? If this colony originated as a swarm earlier this spring, I can't imagine it's very substantial or has a big population still in the column.

Since I can't figure out how to make my photos small enough to post directly, here's a link to my Google album if anyone's interested (let me know if this method works out): https://photos.app.goo.gl/XXdZbc97qnLBHbg26
Wally
Guard bee
Posts: 1753
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 2:35 pm
Location: Randleman

Re: First Trap-Out: started 5/30/21

Post by Wally »

What % of a colony are foragers? In 4 days, you have only caught foragers. Any house bees and developing eggs and larva are still in the column. You will have bees coming out for a MINIMUM of 5 weeks and my personal maximum is 11 weeks. I would check the eggs you put in there for queen cells between 5 and 10 days after install. No later.
reedyfork
Forager
Posts: 71
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:09 am

Re: First Trap-Out: started 5/30/21

Post by reedyfork »

Thanks for the feedback! If no queen cells on the frame I gave them (and assume no queen from the original colony) after 5-10 days, is it best to introduce another frame of eggs, or go ahead and introduce a new, mated queen?
Wally
Guard bee
Posts: 1753
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 2:35 pm
Location: Randleman

Re: First Trap-Out: started 5/30/21

Post by Wally »

That "IF" is a 5% chance, but if it happens, you can do either. If you have a favorite queen you want to breed from, use her eggs, If you want to diversify your stock, buy a mated queen and introduce.
reedyfork
Forager
Posts: 71
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:09 am

Re: First Trap-Out: started 5/30/21

Post by reedyfork »

Update on my trap-out: I opened the box this weekend on day 7. Found a solid 5-6 frames of bees and at least 4 queen cells on the original egg frame I had given them!

I took this box down and immediately replaced it with another (waited until the next day to come back and introduce a frame of eggs to it). In just the one day, there was already a frame and a half of bees.

So far, this trap-out seems to be working out as planned. Pretty exciting way to get "free" bees and start multiple new colonies!
Wally
Guard bee
Posts: 1753
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 2:35 pm
Location: Randleman

Re: First Trap-Out: started 5/30/21

Post by Wally »

Unless you have more than one queen you want to raise from, you can just move a couple q cells from the frame and place in the new catch box. It will put you a week ahead on the second box.
reedyfork
Forager
Posts: 71
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:09 am

Re: First Trap-Out: started 5/30/21

Post by reedyfork »

Well, consider this second box in the uncooperative 5%! I checked it today at Day 6, and there is not a single queen cell on the frame I gave them. There are 4+ frames of bees,and I decided to introduce a mated queen to them rather than transfer another frame of eggs from a donor hive.

Although I didn't check every frame since I was 12' up the ladder, only later did I wonder if the reason they didn't build queen cells was maybe because the original queen had left the column and was in the box... I guess I'll see in a few days.

Side note: I also noticed a pretty strong fermented-honey smell from the base of the column, so I assume this means the SHBs are taking over the original hive? If so (even though it's only been 2 weeks), is it out of the question that the queen would have already absconded?
Wally
Guard bee
Posts: 1753
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 2:35 pm
Location: Randleman

Re: First Trap-Out: started 5/30/21

Post by Wally »

It's never out of the question, since the bees don't read the rule book, but if it happened, I would think she would keep on going with a handful of workers, rather than go in the box.
Post Reply