It has been a while since I posted on the progress of the trap-out. On 5/4 a single frame of open brood was placed in the TOB. This was done in hopes of enticing the queen out of the block wall and into the box. Sadly I have no video or pictures of this step because there were storms in the area and I got into a hurry.
I utilized a frame of brood that was given to me by a friend. This was done because I didn’t want to steal brood from my honey producing hives and I had only just caught my first swarms four days earlier on 5/1. They were not bringing in pollen yet so were unable to provide a nice frame, full of brood in various stages of development. Thank you Mr. Bentz.
On 5/6 I returned to install the bee escape. At that time it was apparent that there were nurse bees all over the brood frame. It appeared as any frame of brood in any hive I have ever examined. The foundationless frame located next to it was drawn down about half way after only two days. Due to the fact that it was windy I did not fully examine any frames to see if the queen could be found. After the escape was put into place I was nervous to see if they would use it. Thirty seconds went by and no bees had exited. I was almost ready to remove the escape when bees began to pour out.
On 5/8 I stopped in at the firehouse on the way home from work. The bottom of the TOB is a screened bottom board so I could see from the ground below that the box was loaded with bees. Luckily the fire chief happened to be there. I asked if it would be too much trouble to scan the wall again with the thermal imaging camera. Sure enough the camera revealed that the heat signature inside the wall had shrunken considerably. This was not a planned visit so I didn’t have my camera…. Sorry you will just have to take my word on this one.
Today I plan to get in there and see if I can locate the queen. If she is found in the TOB I will bring the box home, transfer the combs out of it and then return it to the trap-out location for the final phase of capturing any remaining bees. I will continue to add them daily until no more exit the wall.
Any comments or questions? Don’t hold back, I am learning to do this as it happens and can use all the help I can get!!!!
Did you rehive the swarm that flew in there? Are you using starter strips on your foundationless frames? After the rest of the bees come out, what are you going to do with them?
I forgot to mention that. After looking inside the box, I don’t believe that that swarm went into the box. There just weren’t enough bees in there. I didn’t have the escape installed at the time so they could have gone back in the wall. I just don’t know.
This year I have some frames WITH starter strips and some WITHOUT. The TOB has nothing but foundationless frames that I bought from Walter Kelley. I had a comment on one of my YouTube videos telling me it was not necessary to have starter strips. So I am testing it. I don’t know if it will work in my swarm traps, but it IS working great in the TOB. I will have pictures and video and will be posting on the progress.
Once I determine there is a queen in there, and get her home, I am going to put the TOB back up there with the escape installed. I am going to use one of my moving gates (there is a picture of them on the front of my hives in the post What a Great Monday That way when bees come out of the wall they cannot get out of the box, and all returning bees will be stuck in there too. Then I am going to bring them all back to my house and re-unite them. That firehouse is only about 8 miles from here so I can do it daily for a couple of days. That is the plan anyway. 🙂