I finally got up to the firehouse today to get the trap out box hooked up. It required a lot of equipment, but the process went smoothly. I first set up a walking board using two ladders. I strapped the board to the antenna tower with a ratchet strap and everything was very stable.
I then attached part of a deer stand to the antenna tower. After about 1/2 and hour I was able to get the TOB on the platform and everything went together nicely. Foraging bees were a little confused upon returning, but I think they will find their way into the box.
On Friday afternoon I plan to put 1 comb of brood into the box to coax the queen out of the wall. Then two days after that I will install the bee escape so that the bees cannot get back into the firehouse wall. I have taken pictures of exactly how this Trap Out Box (TOB) works, but haven’t had time to put a post together. It is on its way.
While doing all of this I had my daughter taking pictures. As she was walking around she noticed a swarm in the honeysuckle bush that is next to the yellow ladder in the top picture. It is the first time I have ever tried to hive a swarm and had it leave the box. After about 5 minutes all of the bees left my hive body and alighted. It appeared that they all went into the TOB.
It was pretty exciting for a couple of kids walking past the firehouse on the sidewalk. They paused for a couple of seconds. I heard a little boy say, “WOW!!! Look at all of the BEES!!!!”. I can only imagine what his mother was thinking… 🙂 Once the air became thick with with flying insects she moved them off pretty quickly.
What do you think? Would you do something differently? If so tell me, as stated previously I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I AM DOING HERE!!!
Leave me some comments….
Look at all those bees. Just amazing! So you hived the swarm, then they left and went into the TOB?
Yeah… couldn’t believe it! I don’t know what to do with those bees now. I probably should have put the bee escape on there and just tried to get the the virgin queen to leave and come back to my TOB after mated. I am flying without a net on this one so I don’t know if what I am doing is the correct course or not.
I notice you do foundationless frames…I also have done that for my brood box which is two medium supers filled with 3 sided frames so as to let them build down as they please. I looked under the stand I have them on and was surprised to see they have drawn all the way to the screen bottom. I was wondering if you have an opinion on adding an empty medium super to the bottom?
Thanks for all you good work in the bee world…really appreciate your video’s and now I discovered your blog.
I only add new boxes to the bottom. It is not what I ever learned from reading bee literature, but it seems to be working for me. I love foundationless frames for the brood chambers. I have been messing around with using it in the honey supers and have just not figured out a good way to get the bees to draw it out well.
If you are going to add foundationless frames to an already established hive I would put them under the boxes you already have. They will draw out comb like this… http://i1078.photobucket.com/albums/w496/LetMBee/Public/WhenInadirintheframes640x480.jpg
Michael Bush has written on beesource.com that his bees draw out foundationless frames just fine when he supers them as is normal convention. I didn’t get those results. This is what I got repeatedly.
It looked as if they were attempting to start from the bottom and build up. I have a post that I am working on about foundation. I have used several different types. Foundationless is working in my brood chambers so that is my main focus this year.
I had been running two deeps for brood, but after doing some work for an older beekeeper last year his hives made me go to three deeps. All of his hives vastly outperformed mine. He hasn’t treated for anything in many years. He won’t even let me put mouse guards on in the winter. 🙂 He just Lets-Them-Bee
I would remove the tob box hive the swarm someware then return/replace it for trapping out the bees as you had planned. If this is a new swarm from that same hive they would be mating a new queen soon I would think. Sounds complicated 🙂 I can’t wait to see what you do next!
I wish you would have been there to tell me at the time. Later today I thought about that very thing, but was so confused at the time that I didn’t think of it. I have never had a swarm do that to me. This entire experience should be simple, maybe I am making more of it than I need to. I tend to over analyze things, but I hate undertaking a large project and failing. Last year I did several cutouts. One had me very excited because it was a powerhouse hive in a tree. I spent two entire days there and either killed the queen or she absconded.
The firehouse bees are strong and have good genetic potential. My biggest fear is doing something to snuff them out. Good or bad you are going to get my results one way or the other. I will keep you posted.