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Author Topic: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?  (Read 1410 times)

Offline FloridaGardener

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Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« on: March 09, 2019, 12:08:41 am »
Pictures show it all...
Oak tree won't be cut down.
Entrance is 6 feet off the ground.
60 or 70 bees per minute bringing in pollen at noon.
Homeowner says they've been there awhile.

Option A: Bee vac, then a long knife to cut some comb and brood... it's probably a long skinny comb and I can't reach much of it, and may lose the queen if she hides in the back.

Option B: Bait with a swarm trap nearby that has a frame of foundationless empty comb, and hope they decide the trap's better than where they are, and abscond or swarm to it.

What do you think?

Online iddee

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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2019, 10:13:56 am »
As Iddee posted, do a Trapout. The hive is a lot bigger than the opening. You might get a piece of one frame. The bees will not abscond just because you give them another option. You might catch a swarm with a bated hive but most of the bees will remain.
Jim

Offline paus

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2019, 04:00:17 pm »
Unless the bees are a hazard or such a problem that they are likely to be killed I advise leave them alone.  Perhaps you can set a swarm trap nearby and catch a swarm and enjoy their genetics in your bee yard.

Offline paus

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2019, 03:50:11 pm »
I have been successful doing a trapout  using #8 wire covering the opening and sealing all escape holes with brick mason mortar, but not foam, placing the hive as close as possible to the entrance and cutting the wire so a 1 1/2 inch pvc pipe is the only way out of the hive.  Cut a hole in a hive box that fits PVC. Build a frame to rest the hive box on.  Every case is different so be inventive.  Place some drawn comb  in the box.  I will explain the oneway trap if you wish as it not easily explained but it is not needed unless time is involved. The bees will start making honey and storing pollen in the box. You can place a frame of brood with nurse bees in the hive and I have always had the queen start to lay in the frame but the only trap out I have been completely successful with are strong hives.  After the hive has brood from the queen you may want to drill a small hole, that you can spray a shot or so of "Bee Quit" in the tree.  Yes this can drag out for a year but it is a challenge and rewarding.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2019, 05:52:00 pm by paus »

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2019, 08:41:53 am »

How much do you trust the homeowner?  Being only 6 ft off the ground makes it easy to spray pesticides.  60 bees per minute is not a very big hive.
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2019, 10:44:16 am »
>How much do you trust the homeowner?

Exactly.  Also, if you do a trap out they often spray them because they weren't aware there were that many bees until they can't get back in and start circling in the air...
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Offline FloridaGardener

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2019, 03:00:24 pm »
Update
Read all the posts, saw the videos, THANK YOU.

HomeOwner: very pro-bee.  She's left the bees there a year, but neighbors would prefer not to see them.  Loves Honey.  She's okay with a 2 month trap-out and a contraption in her front yard.  The bees are 3 miles from my home apiary so I can check often.

Amount of bees: warmer day today, at noon: 160 BPM (Bees per minute entering with pollen) They are lining up to enter like it's JFK airport. Festooning inside.  Ooooooh, nice.

Entrance: crack in the tree is 8 feet high. (lighting strike? charred wood inside, goes down to soil level) 

Trap out panel: A 3' width of Luan would wrap the gap, w/ 6' ratchet straps around the tree. I'm going to soak, roll and bungee some Luan this afternoon to start molding the shape.

PROBLEM: Even keeping the Luan at the full 4' width, and burying the bottom in soil, is just a towel or rag enough to stop them finding an entrance on the other 3 sides?  I can't permanently disfigure the tree with caulk. How determined will they be to chew around the plywood's edge? Would it be enough to wrap around the whole trunk with a couple of layers of poly mosquito netting?
 
Thanks, everybody! 
« Last Edit: March 19, 2019, 03:33:22 pm by FloridaGardener »

Online iddee

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2019, 05:44:45 pm »
I would buy some screen wire and cut strips wide enough to staple the slit over. If the bees find a way in, a couple more staples will stop them. No damage is done to the tree when removed.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2019, 09:56:13 pm »
Be sure to use window screen. The last Trapout that I did in a tree with a long vertical opening the bees were feeding the bees inside through the number eight wire. I ended up having to add window screen over it with an air gap between them. Then they did the same thing through the cone. I had to add screen over it also.
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Online Ben Framed

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2019, 02:23:29 am »
Trapouts seem tough, slow, time consuming, stop signs to me. Everyone to his own choosing. Just my opinion, I would look at this as the gift that may keep on giving. As Jim and paus suggested, Catch boxes, bait boxes, swarm traps or whatever the proper name may be, would be my choice. Three in close proximity, maybe in a triangle as the tree as the center. Might produce several swarms through out the seasons. The adjoining neighbors may come on board with this if you talk to them and sell the idea. If so, you should have a swarm providing "machine"? Jeff Horchoff Bees of Saint Joeseph Abby in Louisiana is the best at this sort of thing that I know, maybe if you have time, check out some of his videos. He has always been happy to answer any questions that I have ask him.

Online Acebird

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2019, 09:27:40 am »
As Jim and paus suggested, Catch boxes, bait boxes, swarm traps or whatever the proper name may be, would be my choice. Three in close proximity, maybe in a triangle as the tree as the center. Might produce several swarms through out the seasons.

Although some have been successful, the natural tendency is for the swarm to move up to 5 miles away from the parent hive.  Just because you have a swarm box in your apiary doesn't mean the one you caught is from your apiary unless you shook it in and anchored it.
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Online Ben Framed

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2019, 09:41:31 am »
As Jim and paus suggested, Catch boxes, bait boxes, swarm traps or whatever the proper name may be, would be my choice. Three in close proximity, maybe in a triangle as the tree as the center. Might produce several swarms through out the seasons.

Although some have been successful, the natural tendency is for the swarm to move up to 5 miles away from the parent hive.  Just because you have a swarm box in your apiary doesn't mean the one you caught is from your apiary unless you shook it in and anchored it.

All you say may be true Ace but the odds are a lot higher than you are giving credit. The reason I say this is because Jeff has a donor hive at a certain location and pulls anywhere from six swarms a year and up just as the method that I described. Of course the boxes have to be set up right. Properly baited etc. that is the reason that I suggested watching, listen, and learn from the master swarm catcher,  Jeff Horchoff. Ace I suggest you take advantage of Jeffs knodlege and willingness to teach these methods, especially since you are starting over at your new Flordia home. With Jeffs proven methods, You will be back in beekeeping in no time. Good luck to each of you.
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Offline FloridaGardener

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2019, 01:56:48 am »
UPDATE:
Houston we are a go.... because I want lots of starts. 

This bee tree can fund new workers to turn eggs from my lovely queen (MLQ) into new colonies with her DNA.   MLQ makes the happiest bees EVER. She has such a calming influence, that the girls just flew right past while my Amiable Spouse and I had to use a chainsaw and hatchet on some stumps only 4 feet from her hive.

Phase 1.  Trapping off the bee tree's base. Got part way up to the top, but need to ask homeowner about cutting back the azalea a bit further from the tree.  The ladder can't fit safely.  Safety first!

So far I figure so far it's taken roughly 3 hours on research, and 3 hours to gather materials and set up.  I had the luan, tarp, rope, and had to buy more screen.   Materials should be under $30 altogether, excluding the catchbox.  I'll use a chrome wire shelf from our garage storage to support the catchbox.  If I get a few starts from this bee tree for the cost and effort involved, I'll be very happy.

In the meantime the bees here are getting trained to use the smaller entrance at a 5 ft height.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2019, 09:20:26 am »
Here are pictures of a Trapout that I setup yesterday. This is a repeat customer. The last Trapout that I did on this building, 3 years ago, was halfway to the front of the building. The owner called the first bee removed Beek he could find and then asked if he knew me and that is how he able to get my new number.
The foundation is sinking and there are a lot of cracks around the corner area of this building.

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I used liquid nails to seal up the cracks and to hold the escape board in place. There were a lot of bees in the field, way more than I was expecting.

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After I had everything sealed up and the box in place, I went inside to seal up the cracks on the other side of the wall. Bees were starting to pour in to the warehouse. The main crack where they were entering was right behind a 2 x 12 board that was a quarter inch from the wall. I used foam in a can to fill the crack and then filled the entire area behind the board covering a 3 foot area. Then I went on top of the platform and sealed the same area.
When I finished inside I went back out to the Trapout. The bees had pushed the escape board off of the wall and all of the field bees were back in side. They also found an entrance 3 feet away that they were checking out. I sealed it up and re glued the escape board to the wall. This time I used a piece of pipe to hold it in place.

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Hopefully that will hold it until the glue dries.
Jim Altmiller

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2019, 10:21:24 am »
Jim, use heavy duty aluminum foil over silicone.  Clear if you like.
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Offline FloridaGardener

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2019, 10:35:17 pm »
Well Jim, that looks like a lot more work.  Hope you got paid.  :)  Hope you can get out all the beesy stuff that invites other bees to move in.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2019, 11:52:00 pm »
Ace,
Not sure what you are referring to. What do you use the tinfoil for?
Jim Altmiller

I won?t bill the customer until the bees are gone.
I will not bee getting any of the comb out. It is inside the cinder blocks. The customer does not want the walls cut open. I just have to try to seal it up as much as I can. He plans on having the entire building caulked and painted. The customer sent this picture today. It looks like the returning bees are confused about not being able to get in and there are bees entering the box. It looks like it is working.

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Offline FloridaGardener

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2019, 09:28:27 pm »
Phase 2:

Spent another 3 hours trimming shrubs, setting up the ladder, hanging nylon veil over the top of the tree crevice, and prepping the catchbox. Everything takes longer on a ladder.  The guards at the bee tree are feisty.  They did not like the screen, and were face-floating and following me to the car.  I had to walk them off.

Having worked only TBH, a Lang catchbox seems to need lots of parts: a rim built under the SBB to catch critters and goobers, a metal plate to tie the hive body to the SBB, and two lids...? Lol.  I cut an inner cover out of light plywood for a secure screw-down top.  A flat oak shim made "ears" to hang a 17" TBH  brood bar into the 19" Lang catchbox.  A very heavy kit, even without bees!


Offline FloridaGardener

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2019, 09:56:27 pm »
Phase 3:
A little over 3 hours' work. Made the cone, and used a hole saw for recessed lighting to cut the hole in last section of plywood sheathing.  Kept the cone long so they'd have air.  Whoever said HOT GLUE for #8 cloth was absolutely right, it was fast and helped with sharp edges. 

In adding some brood from my hive, I found a new swarm cell I did not see 4 days ago.  It's been warm and rainy; maybe with all bees inside it's crowded, and the TBH got an itch to swarm even though there's a nearly-empty super on it. So I used the bar with the open (not ragged cut) swarm cell.  Away to the bee tree!

I'd trimmed the azaleas in front, but they were still in the way.  I tried putting the catchbox in front of the cone, but it was just too crowded.  It's 3 feet away from the end of the cone.  It doesn't look level in the pic, but I did level the shelf holding the catchbox, and the adjustable shelves helped compensate for the uneven soil grade.  The shelf was handy for resting tools, too.

The moment of truth when the plywood & cone went on:
Sure wish there would have been 2 people to wrangle that big contraption. 
Sure wish I would have remembered to check for the right size staples in the staple gun. 
Sure wish I wouldn't have had to drive back home to get long staples right then. 
The bees were furious by this point, and I got popped a couple of times though gloves & jeans. I tried to bribe them with a sugar brick on the rim of the catchbox.  No takers.  I propped the cone in place.  A few chased me back and forth down the street, but thankfully, they didn't understand the Car Door. 
By the time I returned, although it wasn't a tight trap out, they'd reached the Threshold of Futility, and were calmer.
Some were drifting into the catchbox. 

Update posted tomorrow!

Offline FloridaGardener

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #20 on: April 06, 2019, 10:05:42 pm »
The Threshold of Futility.  Hope they move into the catchbox.

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #21 on: April 06, 2019, 11:06:27 pm »
It works best if they can walk from one entrance to the other.
Jim Altmiller

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #22 on: April 07, 2019, 07:34:09 am »
Update, this past Thursday, while I was in town with my son, I check on the Trapout. Here is what I found.

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They chewed through the liquid nails in a very narrow crack in the bricks. It was so narrow that I had to use my hive tool to push 4 bees, that were stuck in th top part of the crack, back in. If you leave bees in the glue, the bees will chew through the dead bees pretty quickly. I then sealed it up again, put number 8 wire cloth over it, added more sealant and placed a piece of cinder block over it and used the pole to hold it in place until it dries.

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I checked on it yesterday and the bees have not found a way back into the hive. There are now a lot more bees in this hive.
This week I will have to go in and pull a frame of eggs out, put it in another Nuc and bring this one home.
Jim Altmiller

Online iddee

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #23 on: April 07, 2019, 09:18:01 am »
FG, you do not trap the bees as they leave the tree. You trap them as they return from foraging. You need the entrance to the trap box at the base of the cone, not out at the end. The tree will be devastated with SHB before they find and go into your box.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #24 on: April 07, 2019, 09:29:25 am »
Where is the screen to the original entrance?  They need to smell the original hive without being able to get in.
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Offline FloridaGardener

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #25 on: April 07, 2019, 11:01:30 am »
Thanks for all the help, everyone! !
The bee entrance was a crack in the tree over 8 ft high.  That's why it needed so much screening/veiling.
I set up with Phases 1 and 2 over 2 weeks, to "train" them to use a center entrance. The cone is on the center entrance.

I really tried to put the catchbox closer to the cone. I wrangled all the gear for at least 20 minutes, and even hefted the catchbox 6 ft high on the top shelf....not getting any closer. The shrubs are completely in the way, just a few inches from the tree. 
I'll ask the owner if I can cut back a little more foliage, to get the BASE of the cone next to catchbox, where the bees are clustering.  but she was NOT keen on it.

Even if I can't make more space, this afternoon I'll put a 1x4 board ramp, and a sheet beneath it, from the cone's base, to the catchbox.  I didn't have one with me yesterday.

   

Offline FloridaGardener

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #26 on: April 07, 2019, 11:16:36 am »
I too am worried about SHB takeover. Has anyone tried doing the kind of trapout that lures the queen in with QMP, or the Hogan trapout method?

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #27 on: April 07, 2019, 12:48:29 pm »
I too am worried about SHB takeover. Has anyone tried doing the kind of trapout that lures the queen in with QMP, or the Hogan trapout method?
I do not think you can lore the queen out. You basically make it so they run out of food and abscond. I have done 2 tree trapouts that the queen moved right into the trap box.

Offline FloridaGardener

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #28 on: April 07, 2019, 05:01:00 pm »
So I got the box really close.  I'm beginning to think Paus is correct, it's a lot of work.

Despite the pitch on the cone, there was a clog. I had to cut back the end and rattle it, until a cup of dead bees spilled out. *sigh* I planned the cone to tilt up, to avoid such a clog, but it was too awkward to install without a helper.

The catchbox is level, the shelf isn't.

I used white cloth with little spindles sewn in, from window shades.  It made a bridge and some bees are going in to the catchbox now.  I'm not sure if these are all foragers, or if the whole colony panicked and is trying to abscond.  I'll be checking that catchbox daily and when it's fairly full, I'll replace it. 

Online iddee

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #29 on: April 07, 2019, 05:39:20 pm »
Not great, but much better. Just might have something going for you now.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Offline FloridaGardener

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #30 on: April 07, 2019, 11:01:56 pm »
I went back before sunset and there were so... many... bees... on the outside.  They were feeding through the cone, of course, and not going in the catchbox.  I used a bee vac to pick up about half of them (2 gallons, more or less).  I tried to brush some off onto the white sheet and they began to meander into the catchbox. 

It was getting dark. I brought home the bucket o' bees.  I put them in an empty TBH with some comb having some stores.  I locked them in.  It was almost dark and a few didn't make it in, I'm sure they will hang out under the SBB or go into the other hive.  But I daresay I cannot go into the bee yard for three days to give them a frame of brood, until they forget me.   They are not calm like my tame bees.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #31 on: April 08, 2019, 08:41:25 am »
If the bees are feeding through the cone, you need to add a piece of window screen over it to stop the transfer of food. I had this happen last year. They cannot transfer pollen just nectar and water.
Jim Altmiller

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #32 on: April 11, 2019, 02:59:26 pm »
@Paus - Guess what? You are right, right, right.  These bad girls kicked me to the curb.  When I tried to put a sub-cone in the other cone, they came at me full force.  We don't have any Africanized bees in our area, per our district apiary inspector. And I could walk off the cloud by 200 ft away. But they stung me heavily even thru two layers of garden gloves and jeans. Was able to crush the one who got into my zippered, velcro-sealed bonnet. By contrast, I hardly need nitrile gloves for my other bees.

I think the bee-tree colony is so big and strong that they were angered, not intimidated by the vac.  I have a Ryobi (battery) dustbuster with low suction, a hose with smooth interior, and a microfiber cloth for them to land on.  But I had to give up after only a few hundred bees. (I'd tried to get some house bees to put with a frame of brood from my docile queen.) 

After I hived them, there was fighting, they tore out pupae, and I had to put the robbing screen on my second hive (which is quite strong) because these bad girls were trying to fight.  I guess that's why they're survivors.  In a week I'll see if they made queen cells from that frame of eggs & brood.  If not, I'm afraid it's soapy water for them, because I sure don't want crabby laying workers from this lot. 

I'm going to give up on this trapout, unless I get motivated to do a "Hogan" queen catchbox.  If their queen is with them, perhaps they'll be more cooperative.  I'm recuperating first. 

Offline FloridaGardener

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #33 on: April 12, 2019, 07:21:31 pm »
Bee Tree Mean Girls

Didn't realize they were so tiny compared with my tame bees.

Tame bees are foundationless, make their own sizes.

Starting to wonder, are the Bee Tree Mean Girls.... hybrid AHB? or maybe German Black Bees?  Our area of 4,300 homes was built by developers who barged Hebel Block building materials from Germany.
https://www.emeraldcoastmagazine.com/raimund-herden-the-optimistic-visionary-behind-bluewater-bay/
« Last Edit: April 12, 2019, 07:59:43 pm by FloridaGardener »

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #34 on: May 20, 2019, 02:22:04 am »
Hello FloridaGardener, this has been an interesting topic and post. How did this work out for you? You had said, ''I'm going to give up on this trapout, unless I get motivated to do a "Hogan" queen catchbox.'' What did you decide? If you don't like their disposition once mission is accomplished, you can always re-queen?

Jim, how did your trap out work out? Any more pictures?

Offline FloridaGardener

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #35 on: May 20, 2019, 04:56:35 pm »
Thanks for asking.  Some trapped-out bees in the catchbox did draw comb and nurse along a single frame of brood.  Now, that colony has a daughter-queen of my Best Girl, and she's busy in 6 frames with all her own friendly progeny at this point.

Re: the massive feral hive - FREE BEES, U-HAUL
I actually just contacted the apiary inspector to see if anyone wants to vac them out. The owner wants them gone.  But no one I know wants to vac them out for free.  Zip code is 32578 - PM me and I will meet you there!  True, the Q will likely not come out.  But some comb is longer and accessible now.  If someone wants tiny-bee genetics, they could raise another Q from this line.

I was tipped off to another colony in a pine tree - a smaller colony of what appear to be black-and-tan Carniolans established through last winter.  When I have time, I'll try a "Hogan" catchbox for them.  In the meantime, my Best Q has been so busy that I'm kept on the run to assemble hives for splits.

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #36 on: May 20, 2019, 05:16:53 pm »
?PM me and I will meet you there! ?

  No thanks! Even If I lived right down the street, My view on trap outs hasn?t changed since I gave my opinion after you ask what we think back in March. I answered, Trap-outs seem tough, slow, time consuming, stop signs to me. Everyone to his own choosing. Just my opinion.
   I was rooting for you though!! At least you gave it a try.  But I will add, with the success that Jim has had, Trap outs do not seem hopeless. I might change my mind and try one someday.
Phillip

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #37 on: May 20, 2019, 06:50:54 pm »
I have had a lot of success with trapouts. 3 times I have had the queen move right into the Nuc box outside of the trapout. I usually get 2 nucs from a trapout.
Jim Altmiller

Online iddee

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #38 on: May 20, 2019, 11:18:07 pm »
Tough? yes. 100.00
Slow? Yes. 100.00
Time consuming? Yes. 100.00 to 400.00
Total 300.00 to 700.00 or more.
Plus a hive or two of bees.

OH! Did I mention I love trapouts?
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

*Shel Silverstein*

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #39 on: May 21, 2019, 08:55:08 pm »
Tough? yes. 100.00
Slow? Yes. 100.00
Time consuming? Yes. 100.00 to 400.00
Total 300.00 to 700.00 or more.
Plus a hive or two of bees.

OH! Did I mention I love trapouts?

The love it part got my attention!!  Hum, I just might have to try it!!