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Author Topic: need advice on a challenging trapout  (Read 4337 times)
hoku
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« on: July 10, 2008, 01:59:34 PM »

Here's what I've got......I have a cave, at ground level, with 2 openings of random(jagged edges) and varying sizes(4"-10").  (actually it is an old lava tube that held molten lava about 400-500 years ago.)There are feral bees in there that I need to remove because my brother in law is allergic and this cave is right next to the driveway. 

But also, I do not want to stick anything to the rock that wouldnt come off(like caulk) because it is a beautiful rock formation.  I tried taping on some screen over one of the holes, but it wouldnt stick for long.   So, I was thinking of stuffing the holes with steel wool(because I heard the bees wont chew thru it) and some how making a stiff cone that would protrude out of that.  But thats a LOT of steel wool($$$) I would need.  Anyone know something else I could stuff in there that bees cant get through?  Foam pillows? 

I can put a empty hive with foundationed frames right next to it with a frame of brood from my other hive to help encourage them.  Anyone have any fresh ideas for how I can remove these bees?  I can try to post pics later.  Thanks so much....
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BenC
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« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2008, 04:32:49 PM »

would it be possible to build a box (3-5 sides) over the formation, drill a hole and mount the escape in that?  Have the escape mounted on the box and built so it's right at the current hive exit.  Just bury around the bottom of the box at ground level with soil or sand?  If the face of the hole is horizontal, no box needed just put escape in a piece of plywood and bury around the edge.  It would really help to see the picture(s)
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hoku
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« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2008, 09:16:37 PM »

BenC, Parts of your idea just might work!  You gave me some fresh ideas, anyway.  I am going to take some pics right now to post so y'all can see.  This is a big thing to seal off, but perhaps a screen/plywood thing with soil put all around the perimeter to seal it might just work!  As long as it doesnt rain and the soil all wash off, because the sides are steep.  thanks !
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BenC
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« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2008, 09:59:52 PM »

You might do well to modify the entrance as mentioned above and let the bees acclimate/orient to that.  Then after a week or two install the escape and start the trapout process.
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hoku
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« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2008, 10:51:04 PM »

Im working on getting some pictures posted via the beemaster........wish I wasnt such a newbee!





« Last Edit: July 13, 2008, 09:07:24 AM by Robo » Logged
hoku
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« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2008, 05:45:20 PM »

OK, here's the latest update.  STAGE 1:  I buried a plywood square with a peice of 3" pvc sticking out of it(glued in) and with an apron of screen all around it against the slope of this bee cave.  Just did it today and plan to let the bees orient to the new hole as long as they need to. Then I can slip a screen cone attached to a 3" PVC connector onto the PVC piece and continue the trapout process......The bees weren't too mad when I did this today, I suited up just in case and worked fast.  Mostly they just seemed very confused as to how to get back in their new smaller hole.   

« Last Edit: August 25, 2008, 02:58:26 PM by Robo » Logged
hoku
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« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2008, 10:05:20 PM »

Update on the process.....Thanks to y'all's help, I am having a successful trapout experience so far.  Thank you! 

I put on my screen cone(had to frankenstein it a bit, since I couldnt find the right size hardware cloth--try not to laugh too hard at the pic) and put one frame of mixed brood with nurse bees, one frame of honey, and 8 more frames of undrawn foundation.  They seem to be exiting the cone just fine.  The first few days they were a little confused, but then they started enjoying their new home.  This hive in the cave is a small one, so I am not expecting a huge exodus.  3 days later I checked and they had started to build queen cells and a week after that I checked and the queen cells(about 5 of them) are capped.   The bees are very calm when I check in on them.  I did use smoke, though.  There is a nectar flow going on right now, Guava and a nasty invasive tree called Christmas Berry that the bees love and at least makes good honey. 



« Last Edit: September 22, 2008, 07:29:43 AM by Robo » Logged
JP
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« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2008, 07:13:32 AM »

Hoku, IMO you have done a fantastic job! Good luck with this colony and thanks for the pics and the update, Bravo!!


...JP
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hoku
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« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2008, 02:20:32 PM »

Thanks, JP!

Yesterday I checked in on them, the queen cells were gone, so I assume there is a queen in there now(didnt find her in my quick check).  Now I wait for eggs to appear and make sure they have enough honey for eatin'.
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Frantz
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« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2008, 10:22:34 PM »

Hoku,
Nice job, I love the way you got that thing put together. Great enginuity. Looks good. That first pic of the holes that the bees were going into was awesome.
Curious, how did bees get over to the islands anyway??
Look forward to hearing about your queen and how she does.
F
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dpence
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« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2008, 10:44:27 PM »

Nice work Hoku, good luck with your new colony.

David
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hoku
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« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2008, 03:27:11 PM »

UPDATE:  OK, here's a weird one.  I checked the colony today to see how they were doing on honey and I saw another queen cell they were in the process of building(almost complete, but not capped).  How could this be?

It is definetely new.  Definetely not a drone cell.

I began the trapout on Sept 9th. According to bee math, the new queen(that I hope is in there, still no visual on her) shouldnt be laying for at least 5 more days at the earliest.

Another thing that freaked me out, is now there are some drone cells I never noticed before.  Which I think could be because they are the last bees to hatch out of the frame of brood I put in, and i just never noticed them mixed in with the regular worker brood.

Does any of this sound like laying worker activity to you or am I just being a nervous nellie???  Well, I am sure I AM being a nervous nellie, so thanks for listening!  But the queen cell thing is really confusing to me.

Im going to check in 5 more days and see if those drones are hatched and if there are any eggs layed then I guess I will have my laying worker answer.

The bees are busily hauling in pollen and nectar(which I thought was a good sign in the queen department) and have no food shortage.  They have also begun to draw out their first frame of foundation.

Thanks for the feedback from everyone.......

(Oh, BTW, Frantz.....bees were brought to hawaii around 1855-ish, German Blacks.  And then a few years later some Italians.  Apparently, they were very hard to get to survive the long boat ride and it took a few tries.  Now no one may import bees here)
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2008, 11:24:14 PM »

Everything seems to be going like I would expect it.  If the queen goes up into the hive and lays some eggs and then goes down again the workers attending the frames will create a queen and you'll have a 2 queen hive, one in the hive and one in the ground. 

Check on the development of the queen cells and if it hatches and starts laying then pull most of the frames from trap out hive and replace with new ones.  Put the frames of bees in a new box. 

You can concieveably keep obtaining feral splits that way for years.

Thar's what I would do if it were me.
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hoku
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« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2008, 08:17:33 PM »

One more (and possibly last) update and happy ending........

Exactly 28 days from start of trapout:
There's brood now!  And I saw the queen finally!  I didnt use any smoke and that kept her from running around and hiding from me, i guess.  And now, I think I can officially declare that I am a total bee geek.  I love it.

I dont know what happened with that extra queen cell, but it was totally gone today. 



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poka-bee
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« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2008, 08:58:59 PM »

That's wonderful!  They are just fascinating and when you taste your first honey it will be the best you ever had!  Good job!
J
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BenC
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« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2008, 09:17:39 PM »

Glad it worked out.  Has activity from the old colony in the ground stopped or are there still live bees remaining in there?  We are all bee geeks here  Smiley
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hoku
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« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2008, 08:49:10 PM »

BenC, all bee activity from the cone has stopped.  Once I move the new hive, I plan to stick my arm up in there(gloved of course) and see what I can pull out.  Should be interesting. 
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