Trap outs, it seems, seldom if ever result in acquiring the queen. Those feral/survivor genes genetics are something that I'd really like to retain in the trap out. I've seen where folks have tried a big screened box surrounding the entrance as the end of the trap out draws near. But, whatever the method tried the queen and her small swarm are seldom caught as they abscond.
Here is a feeble newbee idea at trying to capture the queen. This goes back to the "screened box around the hive entrance" method....I'm probably re-inventing the wheel and wasting time, but here goes...
First, the catch hive has to have two entrances...the standard entrance facing the cone and an entrance on the opposite side of the catch box that the bees can actually exit and enter through to go forage. A top entrance might make the trip through the box longer and more congested for bees "passing through the box".
The standard cone is attached to the regular entrance to the tree/wall. A screened box is fabricated that seals around that end of the catch box and to the base of the standard cone. This would result in all bees that come out of the feral hive through the cone to have to pass through the catch box to reach the outdoors.
A second cone is attached to the side of the screened box as near the entrance/cone to the feral hive as possible. This would hopefully allow the bees that have already exited through the catch box but yet return to the area of the cone to re-enter the screened box and be re-circulated through the catch box again. I would think entrance to the re-entry cone would need to be as close as possible to the base of the cone that is attached to the feral hive entrance.
Once the trap out has reduced the hive population and the queen and swarm leave the hive they also find themselves forced into the catch box. To keep the queen from passing directly through the box and finish absconding a piece of queen excluder could be placed over the entrance on the outside of the box.
Naturally, the possibility of queen cells, virgins, etc., would have to be monitored.
I'm sure there's lot's of issue to be considered that hasn't even passed through my mind so feel free to critique and show me just how weak this idea is.
I hijacked ShaneJ's picture of the trap out that he has going on to crudely draw my idea for the extra cone and screened box. Hope you don't mind, Shane, and thanks!
Here's a link to the trap out thread with his nice reporting of it's progress... http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,35218.0.html
So, who's wheel did I re-invent? Will the bees in the catch box kill the old queen? Will new comb that the bees may have started entice her to hang around and start laying in the catch box? Do I need to go back to sleep?