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Author Topic: Late Iowa trap out - did I get lucky?  (Read 890 times)

Offline greenbtree

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Late Iowa trap out - did I get lucky?
« on: September 19, 2012, 08:12:39 PM »
Two and a half weeks ago I started a trap out here in Iowa.  The bees are in a stone column holding up a second story deck on a house.  They had to go, so I said I would take them on.  The site was on my way home from work, so I figured I would do it for the experience since I had never done a trap out before.  Learning a lot, like the hive you put together piece by piece on the top of the ladder has to come back down in one piece - that didn't go so well, I ended up dropping it. I had to run home and quick make a rigid foam top and bottom board and put the whole thing back up and wait until the next day.  Now I am making up all rigid foam boxes to cut down on weight.
Brought that box back after a week, put up second one.  Today brought back second box.  I have been getting them early in the morning by stuffing the entrance with upholstery foam and quick running them home.  Later in the day I take out the next box and install it.  Trap out bees get testy!  They were nice as pie when I first installed the cone, but after - Whew!
This morning brought back second box, and went back in late afternoon to put third box up.  When I got there there was a ball of bees on the side of the cone- about two feet away from the entrance area where they have been collecting.  As I walked up with the new box, bees were landing and going inside before I even got there.  I got the box in place and the whole mass marched into the new box and a bunch of bees at the entrance started fanning.  The bees coming out of the cone weren't coming out in ones and twos like I have been seeing, they were rushing out.  Also, they weren't aggressive at all, and trust me, they have been. Could I have got lucky and arrived just as they were absconding?  Two and half weeks seems a bit early.  I wasn't expecting to get any hives out of this, it is so incredibly late (although, oddly, a week ago my hives still had capped drone brood - and not just in one hive either.)  The first box was making queen cells, I saw that when I dropped the box :-D
I guess I will find out.  If I did get the queen, do you think I should do a newspaper combine with the first two boxes?  I have capped frames of honey that I could set them up for Winter with.

"Rise again, rise again - though your heart it be broken, or life about to end.  No matter what you've lost, be it a home, a love, a friend, like the Mary Ellen Carter rise again!"

Offline D Semple

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Re: Late Iowa trap out - did I get lucky?
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2012, 07:18:25 AM »

The biggest problem your going to run into is that this late in the season in Iowa is the bees won't draw out any new comb, so they will have no place to raise brood or store nectar even if you did get their queen.

I would combine them with another week hive that could use the extra bees going into winter.

If you don't like that idea and by chance you can borrow from your other hives and wrangle say a 1/2 box of mostly drawn empty comb, a frame or two of brood, a couple of frames of pollen and throw on another box of capper honey, they may have a small chance. Keep in mind you would be taking resources away from established colonies going into winter.

I have good luck talking late removal calls into waiting till next spring by telling them that the bees will shortly quit flying when temperatures fall below 50 degrees so they won't be a nusance, and that their is a 50 - 50 chance that they will die out on their own over winter, saving them the expense of removing them. If that doesn't work I pull out every stop if I have too, including bribery and making them feel quilty for dooming them.

Good luck your heart is in the right place.