I've had my eye on this colony for a month or so. They are in a cavity in my parent's wall and totally inaccessible for a cutout. They want them gone, but don't want to spray so I'm attempting a trapout.
I've blocked the secondary entrance.
I've put a plate over the main entrance
I've installed a tunnel and trapbox.
The trap box has a single bar with some drawn comb with pollen, nectar and a few eggs.
I'm leaving the tunnel fully open for a few days - I want the bees to get properly used to using it before activating the trapout. The comb I installed is from my duff hive with laying workers, I'm not expecting them to be able to actually raise any new bees from those eggs, but figured the smell might draw out some nurse bees. I don't actually have any hives I can get viable eggs from at present - my other two colonies are both fairly new swarms and not established yet.
My thoughts on the next stage:
The cannot raise their own queen without viable eggs
I could possibly merge them with my weaker swarm who possibly have a viable queen (too ealry to tell)
I could buy a replacement queen for them and set them up as a new colony.
I could continue the trapout to completion, collecting all the bees, and hope I get the queen.
Regarding catching the queen, I've heard that you can increase the odds of getting her in the trap by alternating opening and closing access through the tunnel. The trap box becomes the more comfortable place to live and she ends up abandoning the old brood chamber. This is encouraged even more by adding some fresh eggs in the trap.
My ideal scenario would be to catch the queen and get a strong viable colony - she has good survivor genetics from our local feral bees.
Moderator, Treatment Free Beekeepers group on Facebook.
don't know what to call it, but I've only ever done trapouts using an existing colony to capture the bees so keeping the queen wasn't a consideration. I did end up with some very large colonies, though.
no harm in trying to get her, but I wouldn't count on it.