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Author Topic: Trap out questions  (Read 811 times)
ShaneJ
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« on: February 27, 2012, 06:49:11 AM »

I know of a tree that has a very large colony of bees in it that has been there for more than 6 years. I have been thinking about trapping out some of the bees to create more hives for myself and learn a little more along the way.

My plan would be to fit the trap for just enough days to fill a few nukes(3-4 days going on my first trap out) to get enough bees in each box, then remove the trap and the boxes. Then maybe in the future do the same again.
My concern with this is the chance they may abscond from the tree after being intruded on. What do you think the chances of this are happening? This hive is not in anyone's way or anything, so I don't want to destroy it just for my benefit.

My other question is regarding nuke boxes. I am in the process of building some dcoates 5 frame nukes with a small entrance in the centre. When doing trap outs all the information says to put the frame of eggs as close to the original entrance as possible. With the entrance in the centre of these nukes it makes this a little difficult. So would putting the frame of eggs in the centre be the ok?

Thanks


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Shane
Johnny253
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« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2012, 08:51:27 AM »

G'day Shane,

Interesting idea, I can't see why it wouldn't work. Most trap outs run for several weeks to reduce the colony size down so the queen is forced to leave with whatever bees are left.

With a trap out, all the field bees will be trapped out in the first day or two and cannot return to their home. From then on, in a normal trap out you will trap the bees out as they turn into field bees. With a lack of field bees, I'd imagine the house bees would turn into field bees earlier than they normally would. In your situation, by allowing access back to the hive, these 'new' field bees will be able to return so the colony can rebuild in strength.

I think it is very unlikely that the bees will abscond. If they did, another swarm would find it and move there one day anyway.

It won't matter at all that the entrance to your nuc is at the centre of the box. You can still put it as close as possible and it's not going to be very far away. They'll find it and the scent from the frame of eggs will attract them. I would put the frame of eggs in the centre of the box too. If you can, put the nuc box against the tree (so the bees can walk across the box and into the entrance), that might work better. I have noticed that bees walk around, looking for their old entrance, so if you can allow them to 'walk' to their new entrance, I reckon that would help.

All the best with it.
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Robo
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« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2012, 10:08:18 AM »

I would suggest setting up some swarm traps around the area and not messing with the tree.   If they have been there as long as you claim,  the genetics you get from them as a swarm would far outweigh the benefit you would get from just taking field bees.   Not to mention the fact that you would be putting unnecessary stress on the bee tree that could lead to it's demise.   

My suggestion to folks with bee trees,  is that unless they pose danger, leave them alone.   If you want bees from them capture the swarms that are dispatched.
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JP
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« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2012, 11:17:18 AM »

I completely agree with Rob. Place 2-3 swarm traps from 50-300' from the tree.


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iddee
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« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2012, 12:42:30 PM »

You will be removing all the foragers right when they are preparing for winter. Most likely, you will weaken the hive enough for it to fail before spring. Your plan would work much better in spring.
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ShaneJ
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« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2012, 05:44:57 PM »

Thanks for you input guys. To be honest I didn't even think about setting some swarm traps around the area  embarassed I'll definitely build some and set them about the place.

I could probably find this by searching but I'll ask here as well, when do hives mostly swarm? For us Autumn starts in March so we have another 3 months before Winter. Is it worth setting some traps now?
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Shane
iddee
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« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2012, 06:27:11 PM »

Swarms start with the first heavy blooms. For you, that should be about Sept..
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Johnny253
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« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2012, 10:38:27 AM »

Shane, it'd probably pay to have a chat with a local beek as your conditions are a fair bit milder than most other people on this forum. My opinion is that it would be highly unlikely for you to catch a swarm at this time of year. You'd probably be better off setting up some swarm traps in September if you choose to go that way.

I guess it depends on what you want to achieve. If you're looking to get the genetics of the colony in the tree, then you'll need to wait for it to swarm. If and when it does, there's no guarantee you'll catch it. The other thing you need to consider is the temperament of the bees. You never know what you'll get catching a swarm.

If you want to set up another hive with the genetics from one of your existing hives then I really can't see anything wrong with doing a trap out as you suggested. With three months left before winter and a mild winter in your area anyway, I doubt you'd have any survival problems. You could always give them some sugar water to help them through winter if you think they'd need it.

Have you considered doing a split?
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ShaneJ
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« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2012, 03:52:00 AM »

I'll pull my finger out and build some swarm traps ready for the new season.

I have been thinking about trying a split or 2 but I'll need to think about it a bit more.
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Shane
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