I'm hoping I can get some advice from the wide world web of beekeeping!
I've got a trap out that I set up a few weeks ago - it was going well and then I went away overseas for work! the little critters found another way back in to the hive in the wall... I'm going to be going back there to plug it up and also put in some sheets of corflute to try and restrict their movements to going in to the hive I've placed at the entrance. The issue I have, in addition to that, is that it's winter here! there is no hope that they will raise their own queen with a frame of brood and the likelihood of obtaining a frame of brood is slim without having an impact on the survival of the donor hive. So my only option I believe is to use a weaker hive with a queen and put that in position. A few questions though:
1) How would the queenright hive react to foreign bees walking in under those circumstances? one would assume they'd have nectar/pollen to 'donate'
2) Is it feasible to redeem the trapout by using corflute to 'encourage' them to walk in to the other hive rather than down to the base of the wall where they're accessing the old hive in the wall (basically i'd put a sheet of corflue under the hive extending out a fair way to intersect the current path they're using to walk down to the 'new' access point)
Another issue arose that could be of benefit...
I got a phone call the other day from the gentleman where i keep my hives telling me there was a small cluster of bees in a tree... I'm guessing it's the bees from a hive that absconded (they were in a possum box with a large entrance and i'm assuming rain and cold wind probably got in there hence they absconded) - the cluster is probably a large hand full. Last night i got a five frame nuc of drawn comb - made some 2:1 sugar syrup and poured four cups worth on the frames. I then collected the cluster and put it in the box... there is definitely a queen there as i held her in my hand. The weather is average at best at the moment (12oC and rain) so i had a really strong nuc which i moved about a metre to the right and placed the cluster nuc in the original location of the strong hive. Given the weather this week there is no chance i will be able to get a frame of bees out of my hives... the strong nuc has bees flying in light drizzle and at temperatures as low as 6oC so there's plenty of movement. Is that the best thing i could/should do? or should i crack a hive and grab a frame of bees out? How will the 'cluster nuc' go accepting the bees that just fly in? they, obviously, will have pollen and nectar to give up..
Thoughts and advice appreciated :)