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Author Topic: Winter Trap Out ?  (Read 1382 times)

Offline BlueBee

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Winter Trap Out ?
« on: January 22, 2011, 08:38:45 PM »
I wonder if anybody has ever tried to trap out a feral colony in the winter using heat, light, and feed.  As Michael Bush pointed out in the “Heater Tape” post, bees are always attracted to lights.  Could we use their attraction to heat and light to our advantage in a winter trap out?  I would modify the trap out process as described below.

I’m imagining mounting a foam hive (to maintain heat) flush to a feral hole in a tree.  If the bees step out of their tree hole, they go directly into the foam hive.  I then imagine sticking a light in the foam hive to generate light and heat to attract the bees.  Finally I imagine adding some sort of feed to entice them to stay in the foam hive.  The beauty of this idea is you should catch the queen if it works.  In a normal trap out, my understanding is, you rarely ever catch the queen.

If their tree home is cold and the foam hive is warm, smart bees would want to move toward the heat wouldn’t they  :-D

Anybody want to take a guess rather this might work?

Offline AllenF

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Re: Winter Trap Out ?
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2011, 12:06:38 AM »
Won't work.  Cold tree.  Bees won't break cluster.   Bees in the trap hive would freeze before you get any trapped bees in there.

Offline JP

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Re: Winter Trap Out ?
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2011, 12:16:06 AM »
It sounds like a reasonable idea in theory but I don't believe they will break cluster to move. Its not just about cold temps, its the whole winter cluster survival mechanism of the colony that you are dealing with and also factors such as pressure changes in addition to cold weather.

Don't believe they will budge, wait for much warmer weather as trap outs take many weeks to accomplish.


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Offline BlueBee

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Re: Winter Trap Out ?
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2011, 12:35:37 AM »
You guys are probably right.  However, you know me…….I’m stubborn :-D

If I had the time this winter, there are some feral bees in a neighbors tree that I would experiment with.  However setting up this experiment at a neighbors and getting power to the tree would be a pain in the butt.  That’s really not worth the effort, except to satisfy my curiosity.

Maybe next winter I’ll experiment trying to coax some out of wood Langs into a foam hive.  This winter all my bees are already in foam.  I’m thinking on a warmer sunny winter day they may break cluster in a wood hive/tree and go exploring into a warm foam hive.

Thanks for your replies.

Offline JP

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Re: Winter Trap Out ?
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2011, 12:47:49 AM »
It sounds like you are toying with the idea of a forced trap out whereby the bees literally abandon the hive to enter a catch box. This just will not work in cold temps.

Yes, when you get a day or two in a warm up trend they will investigate your set up but that would be the extent of it.


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Offline hankdog1

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Re: Winter Trap Out ?
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2011, 01:24:25 AM »
I'm with JP on this one while i've heard of people drilling a hole in a hive to place a jar over it and heating it up with a hair dryer to catch a few bees to do beesting theropy.  I don't think you'll get all the bees to break cluster and leave brood if they are raising any.  I especially don't think the queen would leave.  Of course to tell ya the truth the only way to know for sure is to give it a try.  Heck ya may just prove all of us wrong.
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Offline JP

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Re: Winter Trap Out ?
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2011, 01:28:35 AM »
Bees don't like to abandon brood period, in any kind of weather, this is why trap outs take so darn long. Iddee should chime in just about now.


...JP
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Offline Robo

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Re: Winter Trap Out ?
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2011, 08:58:39 AM »
I’m thinking on a warmer sunny winter day they may break cluster in a wood hive/tree and go exploring into a warm foam hive.

Your assuming the whole cluster breaks and goes exploring.   Not trying to be a pessimist,  but I don't see this working either.   You will catch the bees that try to do a cleansing flight,  but that is about it.
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Offline BlueBee

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Re: Winter Trap Out ?
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2011, 12:07:28 PM »
JP, thanks for pointing out the brood issue.  I’m stubborn, but you make too good of a point! 

Thanks for all replies. 

Not worth experimenting on this one!

Offline kathyp

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Re: Winter Trap Out ?
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2011, 12:43:50 PM »
feral hives are often a great source of resistant bees.  they are worth preserving.  if they are not bothering anyone, i wouldn't even do a trap out.  i'd put swarm traps near and try to increase my yard with them.
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Offline Jim 134

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Re: Winter Trap Out ?
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2011, 08:26:08 PM »
I'm with  kathyp  on this one.


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