Moots, all that you did was fine. I'm just trying to get you prepared for the next time. You may not always have a nuc to strengthen, or you may need another box on this trap for the remainder of the bees. Now is the time to get prepared for the future.
Along the lines of iddee trying to keep me straight....Thought I'd give a brief update to this trapout as well as pose some "where do I go from here" questions.
Put this trapout in place Thursday night, Friday and Saturday morning were pretty much a non-stop rain event, but it's been nice weather since then. Took this picture at lunch today. As you can see I have a nice gathering of bees on the box as well as a steady flow in and out the box. Saw a few bees exiting the cone during the 5 or 10 minutes I was there, but not as many as I would have expected on such a pretty day. Glad to say it appears there's been no breach of the "Great Stuff" sealant and no signs of any other entry/exit points.
Since I used a small captured swarm in my bait box, and assuming it has a virgin queen...I'm trying to decide when exactly I want to have a look in the box. Trying to find that sweet spot between giving her a chance to be mated and start laying and avoiding what iddee warned me of, having more bees than my box can hold. I did get a little history of the hive from a parish worker at the park right next door. From what he tells me, the hive is 3 years old, for whatever that's worth.
So, thoughts on when I should take a look?
If I find signs of a laying queen...excellent. If I don't, I'll add a frame of eggs from an existing hive. Either way, I'm thinking I'll leave this box in place until full.
Then what? Really not interested in growing a new queen and starting yet another hive at this time. I've pretty much got my newbie hands full..So what's my options?
- Figure I saved the majority of the bees, remove the cone and tell the homeowner do what he has to do?
- Transfer the bees to a hive box and keep it in place? (not sure I'm willing to hassle with this...?)
- Move the full Nuc, but put a new empty to continue to catch bees and on occasion (i.e. every few days?) use them to supplement my existing hives. Not sure this is really an option. Will they enter and remain in a box without a queen or brood to hold them?
- Have a local bee club meeting tomorrow night, might offer anyone interested the opportunity to supply their own box and continue the trapout.
As you can tell....I'm all over the place, suggestions welcomed.