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Trapout without a frame of eggs - possible?

 
Michael Cox
Posts: 1575
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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In another thread Tel suggested i try a trapout on a swarm that have just moved back into an old colony site. It is high in the brickwork of the house next door, and my parents are determined to 'deal with them' before the new tenant move in.

Trapping them would be far preferable to spraying them as i'm after bees anyway and these are likely to have good survivor genetics, coming from a local wild colony that has survived for years.

My main problem is that i don't have a source of brood/eggs to place in the trap box - i've not kept bees for years and want to get started again. Could i do the trapout without bait frames and install a bought mated queen once the bees have found the box? I'm hoping eventually to use perone hives, but can see the advantages of movable frames for this kind of job; i'll have to see if i have any old national boxes or frames stashed in the garage.

Also, the position of this colony is dreadful - around 20ft up entering through an air brick, probably with multiple other entrances for them to find. Not sure yet how i will get a box up there.

Any thoughts?
 
tel jetson
steward
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Location: woodland, washington
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I don't think your odds are very good. you might be able to get a frame of eggs from another local beekeeper. otherwise, I would wait until you've got another colony to work with.

on the multiple entrances: it's going to be a pain. you'll put your trap on the main entrance, then look another and block it, and look for another and block it and so on until you've gotten them all. steel wool works well for this.
 
Michael Cox
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Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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That is kind of what i feared - i think i may try anyway, as they are going to get sprayed again if I can't clear them. Plugging the other possible entrances needs to be done anyway, or they will simply find their way back.

I may try a hogan style trap, as some people are claiming success at getting the queen, albeit using bait brood. If i get as far as getting some comb drawn out it will still be a success of sorts, as i'll have some material for bait hives for next spring. I'll probably build a box to fit the dimensions of my perone hive, so i can move bars over if it works, but probably not full depth and only 5 bars wide. Should give a more manageable size for working up high.
 
Michael Cox
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Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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Well, some progress has been made

  • i have persuaded my parents not to spray immediately, and to let me have a go at a trapout.


  • i have started cobbling together a really crude topbar hive and smaller nuc box in the same cross section.


  • After an email exchange with Cleo Hogan he has suggested that i should just do a simple cone trapout. Without the brood and eggs his style trapout loses it's purpose/effectiveness.

    If i have success getting bees in the box then i will buy a mail order mated queen for them.

    I'll be home at the end of the week and will try to remember to take some pictures of the process.

     
    tel jetson
    steward
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    Location: woodland, washington
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    worth a shot. if the alternative is insecticide, even long odds are better than no chance at all.
     
    Michael Cox
    Posts: 1575
    Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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    And this all fell flat.

    I returned from two weeks away, ready to start the trapout attempt, and the bees were gone. Presumably killed off by the residual pesticides.

    Ah well, at least I have some kit for bait hives and catching swarms next year.
     
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