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Author Topic: The Bix's First Trap Out  (Read 5874 times)
The Bix
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« on: July 16, 2009, 11:36:36 AM »

So very newbee here, my mentor Shaux decided he needed to go to California and the guy he suggested I contact is on vacation on a beach in Texas.  So I decided to go at it alone.  To gain a full appreciation for this trap out, you really need to see the pictures.  The colony has accessed the interior of a pillar with a stone facade for a deck at a home in a retirement community.  The bees made their home inside of the stone facade.  The entrance to the hive is nicely blocked by the facia board on the front and the main support beam on the other side.  The homeowner told me that someone gave him a quote of $1,200 for a cutout and repair, so obviously he opted for the trap out.  As you can see from the pictures, if I can figure out how to get them posted, I couldn't (or more accurately, didn't know how to) get the tip of the cone closer to the entrance into the catch box due to being blocked by both the facia board and floor joist as well as the main support beam.  To somewhat compensate, I made a non-concentric cone and worked it as close to the catch box as possible.  The tip of the cone is about 4 inches from the screen bottom board entrance.  The base of the cone is about 6-7 inches away from the catch box which contains the frame of brood and eggs that I stole from one of my other hives.  The frame with brood is next to the end and closest to the entrance of the existing hive in the stone pillar.  I found another entrance that I foamed off this morning. So I think all activity from the hive is exiting the cone and not getting back in anywhere else.

My concerns:

1) Tip of the cone too far away?
2) Base of the cone too far away?
3) Lastly and most concerning is that I started late in the day yesterday and the bees were mostly all back in the hive by the time I placed the brood frame and cone in place.  The temp got down into the high 50s last night and this morning when I checked there was a grand total of ONE bee on the frame.  I think I wasted a frame of good brood and eggs, and the bees don't seem to be taking to the catch box.

What are your thoughts?

Thanks!

--The Bix






UPDATE!!!

So I just checked everything once more this morning and it's actually looking pretty good.  First thing I noticed was a cluster of bees drenched in pollen at the bottom of the cone base.  Still no signs of them finding another entrance. 

Concerned about the brood frame, I then opened up the catch box and was greeted by a couple of head-butts.  There are dozens of bees on the brood frame!  grin
« Last Edit: July 16, 2009, 12:35:30 PM by The Bix » Logged
iddee
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« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2009, 03:04:28 PM »

Looks good. The base of the cone to hive entrance is fine. The exit to the cone can be 3 feet away, as it isn't even in the equation. You trap the bees when coming from the field, as the pollen shows, not when they exit the cone.

Check for queen cells in 4 to 7 days. The chill shouldn't affect the eggs that hatch today. Those can be used for raising a queen.

Watch closely, as the box can fill fast. One frame full of bees daily is not unusual.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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The Bix
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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2009, 04:07:53 PM »

iddee, thanks very much for all your help.  I've read and reread your how-to information and I couldn't have done it without you.

So, I've told the owner that it will take about 4-6 weeks to complete the process, is that correct?
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iddee
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« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2009, 05:50:52 PM »

If they moved in last week, they may be out next week. On average, it takes 4 to 7 weeks. The last one I did, took about 12 weeks.

When no bees are seen in the cone for 4 or 5 days, the cone can be removed and see what happens. If the bees begin robbing it out, you are near done. If they are carrying pollen back in the structure, replace the cone and wait another couple weeks.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2009, 07:01:18 PM »

Looks good!  Based on my vast experience of one trap out that I am currently in the middle of that is.  Are you using a screened bottom board? It looks like it in the first picture - that should make it a lot easier to monitor.  Mine is almost on the ground so it doesn't really matter though.

Pretty cool isn't it?
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The Bix
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« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2009, 08:04:26 PM »

Homeowner took this shot of the cluster of bees at the bottom of the cone's base.  If anyone sees anything wrong, please let me know.

--Bix


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The Bix
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« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2009, 12:48:16 PM »

David, yes, I'm using a screen bottom board as I thought it would be most useful as a do my inspections.  And, yes, it is extremely cool how this is working.
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« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2009, 02:06:11 PM »

David, yes, I'm using a screen bottom board as I thought it would be most useful as a do my inspections.  And, yes, it is extremely cool how this is working.

I don't know who first figured out the technique, but it should be named after them or they should be a bust (be a bust) in the halllll of faaaaame - or something.
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The Bix
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« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2009, 08:10:21 PM »

Hey all, after almost 48 hours since the cone was placed, there are bees exiting the cone, about one per second.  I stood and watched as the bees were congregating at the base of the cone and below on the rock facade.  There are more bees inside the catch box, but they only seem to be taking to the brood frame and not interested in any of the others.  I sprayed the other frames with syrup thinking that they might be more attracted to it.

BUT, it was quite impressive watching the activity level.  Check out the pictures, although the pics don't tell the story, it was very impressive.  I had no idea there were so many bees in that column.  At first I was wondering whether the queen was exiting the hive, but probably not.

Anyway, should I be concerned about the lack of interest in the non-brood frames?  Is this high level of activity normal?


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G3farms
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« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2009, 09:00:01 PM »

looks like it is going good to me. they will be more interested in the brood to start with, they will cover it first and then move out to the other frames. They will take care of the young and realize there is no queen and start a queen cell, that is the first order of business. As long as there were eggs in the brood frame you should be fine.

G3
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see my swarms and cut outs at https://www.youtube.com/user/soapy22bullet?feature=mhee

those hot bees will have you steppin and a fetchin like your heads on fire and your @ss is a catchin!!!

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The Bix
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« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2009, 09:18:55 PM »

Thanks G3!
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iddee
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« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2009, 10:43:24 PM »

It is like any hive with more room than bees. They start by covering the brood in the middle of the cluster, than spread according to number of bees and temperature. Yes, after 48 hours, that is normal. Exiting, isn't it? That's the fun of a trap out. Tonight, all but a handful will be in the hive, and will start working from there in the morning.

Don't spray any more sugar water on a weak hive when there are likely other hives in the area. It's an open invitation for robbing by every bee within 2 miles. That includes weak hives in your beeyard.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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The Bix
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« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2009, 11:10:35 PM »

Thanks Iddee, should I put an entrance reducer on it now?
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iddee
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« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2009, 11:29:52 PM »

I never have, so don't know if it would help or harm.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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The Bix
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« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2009, 05:00:08 PM »

So, I went today to check the trap out again...it's gone from all kinds of activity to hardly any.  I can still see bees behind the cone milling around, but I was there for about 30 minutes and did not observe one bee exiting the cone.  The trap box is full of bees and they have completely covered all of the brood frame and I saw what I think are 4 different queen cells being developed.  They are laying wax on the foundation of the empty frames on each side of the brood frame...very exciting.

How much longer before I pull off the cone?
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iddee
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« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2009, 05:43:44 PM »

5 more weeks minimum....maybe longer
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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The Bix
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« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2009, 01:47:43 PM »

Today is the 7th day of the trapout.  Yesterday I observed the activity around the trapout.  ALL of the traffic was in and out of the trap box.  At most, I've seen 4 1/2 frames covered with workers.  I saw nothing coming out of the cone, nor did I observe any activity inside the cone.  Any speculation what's going on at this point inside the hive?  I'm guessing that there aren't whole lot of stores to go through, according to the homeowner, he just started noticing them about two months ago.  I assume that the queen is still in there, but has stopped laying.
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iddee
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« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2009, 02:14:54 PM »

All the foragers have exited. Now, as the brood emerges and matures, they will exit.

Weeks to go. Be patient.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2009, 10:04:46 PM »

Actually, I'm now on to the second trapout and this one I managed to get set at about 3PM today.  Very hot and difficult as it was under the eaves and about 28 feet up.  I just checked on it about 4 hours after the initial set up and I don't see that the bees are getting in anywhere, but so far I haven't seen any bees inside the trap box.  I pulled a frame of eggs out of one of my existing hives to bait the trap box, but so far not one bee has taken any interest.  The entrance to the trap box is about 6 inches away from the base of the trap out cone.  I'm probably just a nervous nellie, but want to make sure I've not done anything wrong...I'll add pictures later.  Thoughts?
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The Bix
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« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2009, 11:08:32 PM »

So here are a few pics of the 2nd trapout.  Notice the nice congregation of returning foragers hanging out on the wall, but not in the trap box.



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iddee
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« Reply #20 on: July 25, 2009, 12:54:34 PM »

Report back here at 8:00 PM today. I think it will be a different scene.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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The Bix
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« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2009, 06:49:26 PM »

Report back here at 8:00 PM today. I think it will be a different scene.


My schedule will not allow me to check the trapout at 8PM tonight so it's  ~5PM, but still no change.  No bees are in the trap box.  I figure they're still getting inside somehow, but just haven't been able to figure it out.  It is complicated by the fact that the hive is so high up and fairly inaccessible.
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iddee
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« Reply #22 on: July 25, 2009, 10:35:12 PM »

If you haven't been up to it, it is likely that they are in the box, up high. The bees you see may be others that have come out. You will have to open the box before you will know what is happening.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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The Bix
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« Reply #23 on: July 27, 2009, 09:53:32 AM »

So, I took a close look this morning after a cool night in the mid-fifties.  Not much activity around the hive with the cool temperature revealed that there is no activity in the trap box as well as a hole that I didn't seal or didn't seal well enough and they managed to burrow through.  So they are most definitely getting back into their hive.  I screwed up. What should I do now?
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G3farms
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« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2009, 09:57:51 AM »

Seal up the new hole with silicon caulk. Check the bait box to see what is going on in it, more than likely nothing. Start over with another frame of eggs.

just my thinking, Iddee is the trap out man for sure.

G3
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see my swarms and cut outs at https://www.youtube.com/user/soapy22bullet?feature=mhee

those hot bees will have you steppin and a fetchin like your heads on fire and your @ss is a catchin!!!

Bees will be bees and do as they please!
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« Reply #25 on: July 27, 2009, 10:21:54 AM »

Thanks, at the day-job now...will wait to hear from Iddee and maybe retry this afternoon or tomorrow.
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iddee
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« Reply #26 on: July 27, 2009, 11:55:54 AM »

Seal up with silicone and check in 3 days. No need to waste another frame of brood until they are locked out for sure. They will take up in the box with the old brood. Then you can give them new eggs to raise a queen.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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The Bix
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« Reply #27 on: July 27, 2009, 06:48:06 PM »

OK, so trapout #1 is going great.  I have 4.5 frames of bees in the trapout box and there were new field bees exiting the cone doing orientation flights today.  Iddee, this is truly amazing to watch (when it's working of course Wink ).

I went back to trapout #2 and sealed up the hole that I spotted this morning wth silicone.  I did this about 1/2 hour before the deluge/thunderstorm hit...still getting pounded as I write this.  I will report back in three days with what I see.

--Bix
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The Bix
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« Reply #28 on: July 27, 2009, 07:31:27 PM »

Post thunderstorm, bees are bearding around the base of the cone and also below the spot where they were getting in.
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The Bix
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« Reply #29 on: July 30, 2009, 06:04:09 PM »

OK, so it's been three days since I did the final seal of the hive.  As of yesterday evening there was no activity in the trapout box. Things have been complicated by the weather here.  It has been uncharacteristically cold and rainy.  Two nights in a row the temp was down in the low fifties.  Yesterday afternoon we were hit again with a cold rainstorm that lasted about an hour and then drizzled for a while before another cell moved through and dumped more rain on us.

The past three days the bees have been hanging out in clusters underneath the base of the cone and other areas as well.  I checked the trapout about 3PM today and the first thing I noticed was that the cluster of bees was a lot smaller.  Upon closer inspection I noticed a lot of dead bees underneath the trapout cone.  I assume they died yesterday or this morning due to the moisture from the storm and the cold temperature.  

The good news is that today is the first day that I've actually seen activity in the trapout box.  There were only a handful of beas inside the box, but they were on the bait frame.  And as I sat on the roof from above and watched, I noticed more bees going in than coming out.  So I think we're headed in the right direction.

Should I add a new bait frame now?
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G3farms
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« Reply #30 on: July 30, 2009, 09:13:10 PM »

I think I would wait until you have enough bees to cover any brood that that is placed into the box.

Again Iddee is the trap out pro here.

G3
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see my swarms and cut outs at https://www.youtube.com/user/soapy22bullet?feature=mhee

those hot bees will have you steppin and a fetchin like your heads on fire and your @ss is a catchin!!!

Bees will be bees and do as they please!
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« Reply #31 on: August 01, 2009, 11:03:18 PM »

I am delighted to report that the second trapout is finally going my way.  Iddee is right, those bees will chew right through the Great Stuff foam.  I've sealed everything off (again) with Silicone and the bees have taken to the trapout box.  My bait frame is completely covered with workers and I hope to pull may bees out of this hive.  Apparently they've been there for 10 years!!!
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The Bix
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« Reply #32 on: August 02, 2009, 10:40:29 PM »

So after about 36 hours of an effective trapout I have about 4.5 frames of bees in a deep hive box.  Is there any problem with just stacking another box on top of that one if/when I get 7 full frames?
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iddee
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« Reply #33 on: August 03, 2009, 03:47:55 AM »

A single box hive can weigh 100 plus lbs. A double can go 150 or more.

Will your stand hold 150 lbs?
Can you get it down when it does?
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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The Bix
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« Reply #34 on: August 03, 2009, 03:52:30 PM »

Yeah, thought about that...would definitely be problematic getting them down...stand would hold it, but getting them down is the big difficulty.

Back to Trapout number 1.  I visited the trapout when it just got dark to see exactly how many bees I had in there.  What I saw from underneath the five (screen bottom board) was six frames completely convered with bees, plus a few more on frames 7,8 and 9.  All in, probably 6.5 frames if they were all shoved together.

What I also noticed was that there was a big pile of bees clustered together at the entrance to the trapout box.  Not hanging in a beard below the entrance, but piled up and across most of the screen bottom board entrance.  Never have I seen that before, it was as if they were not allowed inside even though there was plenty of room for them.  The trapout box is a 10-frame deep hive body.  Any ideas what is going on?
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« Reply #35 on: August 03, 2009, 04:40:02 PM »

Waiting for the usher to seat them???   huh


They will go in when it cools down.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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« Reply #36 on: August 05, 2009, 09:16:13 PM »

The wheels have fallen off fof trapout #1  Sad

So I think I know why the bees were bunching up outside the trap out box the other night.  They were getting ready to bail out.  I went by this morning and about two thirds of the bees have left.  I looked at the bait frame and found three queen cells that were empty.  It looked like a queen actually emerged from two of the three.  I wonder if one of the queens swarmed out of the trapout box.
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« Reply #37 on: August 06, 2009, 01:29:07 AM »

The wheels have fallen off fof trapout #1  Sad

So I think I know why the bees were bunching up outside the trap out box the other night.  They were getting ready to bail out.  I went by this morning and about two thirds of the bees have left.  I looked at the bait frame and found three queen cells that were empty.  It looked like a queen actually emerged from two of the three.  I wonder if one of the queens swarmed out of the trapout box.

I wonder if placing a new frame of brood in the box a bit before the queen cells are due to open would help prevent this sort of thing? 

It's just idle speculation, but it seems that  bees are attracted to brood and are disinclined to abandon it.  The queen cells were probably made out of the youngest brood on the frame so by the time they hatch and the queen hardens off most if not all of the other brood has hatched as well.  So the hive which has been queenless is now without any brood whatsoever, and when the queen flies out to mate there is nothing to keep them home so they try to (or do) follow her. A new frame of brood might give them some vested interest in staying home until the new queen sets up shop.

I also wonder if the screened bottom might prevent the bait hive from accumulating a hive smell sufficient to make it homey.  Again with the idle speculation.
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« Reply #38 on: August 06, 2009, 07:32:31 PM »

So very newbee here, my mentor Shaux decided he needed to go to California and the guy he suggested I contact is on vacation on a beach in Texas.


Sorry, Im back from the beach, the pics look good.  Have a safe journy.
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« Reply #39 on: April 27, 2010, 11:32:54 PM »

Hey iddee!  Check out the big beautiful queen the girls raised from last year's trapout!  She's so big she looks like a mutant! Wink

Thanks again for all your help.  Last year I started beekeeping and with the trapouts, I feel like I jumped into the deep end of the pool.  Never could've done it without the great info you provided here on the forum.



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« Reply #40 on: April 28, 2010, 02:35:27 AM »

Congrats Bix,been following ur exciting events...You shud now be somewhat of a trap-out pro now right?
Plz keep posting ur experiences,alot of us here also are observers and learn alot from experiences of others Wink
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« Reply #41 on: April 28, 2010, 06:22:24 AM »

Glad to know it helped. Congrats? Trap outs aren't for every case, but they do have their place.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Location: Arapahoe County, Colorado


« Reply #42 on: April 28, 2010, 08:14:31 AM »

Congrats Bix,been following ur exciting events...You shud now be somewhat of a trap-out pro now right?
Plz keep posting ur experiences,alot of us here also are observers and learn alot from experiences of others Wink


Thanks for the nice words, iddee is the pro, not me.  I have another trap out I'll start in about 10 days.  I'll keep you posted.
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Jahjude
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Posts: 144


Location: JAMAICA


« Reply #43 on: April 28, 2010, 08:19:14 AM »

I do realize Iddee is the pro but you seem to be catching on real well so could call u the "Sub-Pro" grin
All the best with ur upcoming trap-out.I haven't had reason to try that method as yet-really does seem exciting tho
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