Going to attempt a trap-out

Discussion in 'Swarms, Cut outs, and Trap outs' started by DLMKA, May 26, 2012.

  1. DLMKA

    DLMKA New Member

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    Got a call yesterday from the lady at the water dept, they were very pleased with the work I did removing a swarm a few weeks back and ran into another situation involving bees. The had to fix a water main and had to remove some brush in order to get at it. In the process they found a bee tree and cleared the flight path for the bees. Problem is the flight path is through an elementary school yard, playground, and ball field and the entrance to the colony is just above ground level in the crack of a persimmon(?) tree. The tree is in bad shape and needs to come down but with the entrance at ground level I don't think we could fell the tree without opening the cavity. I explained the basic trap-out process and estimated $400 for time and materials and he didn't bat an eyelash. There is a small upper entrance to close off and I'll have to stuff some material in the crack to reduce the entrance before installing the cone.

    The city will put up a section of privacy fence around the area to redirect the flight path up over anyone using the school grounds until the trapout is complete. I'm going to start Monday morning.
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1338010195.461796.jpg
     
  2. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    Looks like it's gonna be a good one. Is the tree still living?

    Of course the city employee didn't bat an eye when you quoted the price, they are spending tax payers money.

    Good luck with the trap-out, keep us posted.
     

  3. DLMKA

    DLMKA New Member

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    I could have charged $1k because it's still less than the liability of having the main flight path over the ball field. I think $400 is reasonable, it's my first attempt at this but looks straight forward, will just take lots of great stuff and silicone to seal it all up. It's 5.3 miles (10-15 mins) from my house so a periodical check won't be a major time and mileage factor.

    The tree is still alive but in sorry shape. It forks about 6' up and one fork is dead and was broke off. I checked and the hollow doesn't go that far up. They're cutting the tree down after the bees are out. Is there gererally any stores left after a trap out?
     
  4. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    At some point, the queen will leave when the population of workers gets too low. She may or may not go into your trap box. Once she's gone the bees will lose interest in living there. At this point you can open it back up to let the bees rob it out.
     
  5. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Nice! I am going to charge for trap outs for sure in the future. I did not charge the lady on the two I am doing on her house right now because I wanted the experience of doing one and she did not mind what I did, ie. screw holes and caulking on the house. But, they are much more involved than just catching a swarm. And worst of all, a test of my patience..ha! It's a good thing though, at least my wife would tell you I need work in that area. I found out a smaller wooden base for the the cones for odd shaped surfaces allows for me to caulk it in better. I wonder if using something more flexible as a cone base like say, a piece of thick plastic cut from tub lid or something like that would curve better around a tree trunk like you have? Just thinking out of the box...Good luck!
     
  6. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    Good idea, Dave. Anything thst the bees can't chew through will work as a base.
    Thinking outside the box is what this is all about. That's what I love about our forum. Sharing new ideas and thoughts.
     
  7. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    $400 for your first trap-out? :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
    And the city will even put up the fencing. Sounds like you are going to have some fun.
    Good luck and don't forget to take your camera again. :wink:
     
  8. DLMKA

    DLMKA New Member

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    Plan on documenting the process. :)

    I'm wondering if i could put a piece of foam rubber between the plywood and the tree to fill in gaps and unevenness.
     
  9. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Well, the bees I am trapping out now had chewed through pink board and soft stucco to open their hole back up....I am beginning to think they have some big teeth! Not sure about the foam rubber...
     
  10. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    They will also chew through great stuff. Use silicone. Prep the hole a few days in advance, then set the cone when you have just a small hole left.
     
  11. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    what also works nice for covering holes is that metal tape used for doing a/c duct work, bees cant chew it at all and sticks to just about anything, home depot or lowes carries it, have fun with the trap out, I dont think you will have a problem with all the info you can glean off this forum.
     
  12. DLMKA

    DLMKA New Member

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    Went and checked things out tonight, lots of bees hanging out on the outside of the tree in the heat. Looks like the crack/entrance goes clear down to the ground and probably beyond. I'm gonna start tomorrow morning with a caulk gun, tube of silicone, spade, and a whisk broom. Going to close the entrance down to something manageable before I do anything else.
     

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  13. DLMKA

    DLMKA New Member

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    Started prep work this morning, filled the crack up the tree trunk with silicone, screened over the top entrance and used silicone to seal the screen. Did something similar on the lower part of the entrance to make the area I need to cover with plywood smaller. There is a rotten hollow that the bees haven't used for an entrance yet but I'm going to fill it in with quickrete before I put the cone on.

    Lower part of main entrance
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1338224554.005278.jpg

    Upper entrance
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1338224622.862688.jpg

    Whole picture
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1338224667.238057.jpg
     
  14. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Sometimes you have to get pretty creative when trying to seal something up but it looks like you haven't had much of a problem figuring that out! :thumbsup:
    Well done.
     
  15. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    I was and still am trying to trap out a colony in a pine tree entrance ( exactly where it is I was never able to determine ), but screened in the entire 6' used expanding foam to seal the edges down, wired in a cone. They are so creative in figuring out how to get around the screen....I will figure it out.... Good Job DLMKA
     
  16. DLMKA

    DLMKA New Member

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    I had some time tonight and went back to fill the rotted cavity at the base of the tree. Got a broken bag of quickrete at Lowe's for $0.80 which worked out good. Forgot my phone at home so no pics but I think I'm ready for the cone any time. We have some cool weather coming mid week with lows in the low 50's. All my donor hives for open brood frames are new this year so I don't want to gamble with the cool weather and having enough bees to keep things warm.
     
  17. DLMKA

    DLMKA New Member

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    Anyone ever used Cleo Hogan's trapout method where a hive body in essence becomes part of the tree? After you get good activity in the new part of the hive you put a cone in place on the inside so any bees coming out can't get back into the tree. I emailed Cleo about this and he sent a bunch of pictures and a 3 page pdf with instructions. He uses this method to harvest bees out of trees leaving the original colony too. The cone only comes into play when you want to remove the feral colony.
     
  18. DLMKA

    DLMKA New Member

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    Did a little public relations tonight when working. 4 kids on bikes showed up to see what we were doing and asked lots of questions. I showed how the trap worked and let them each borrow my son's jacket and veil so they could get closer and even feel the warmth coming from the hive. Hope I may have deterred any thought of vandalism one things are completely set up. Gonna try the Cleo Hogan method after exchanging email seems like it might be a little quicker and I can possibly get the queen.

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1338600402.146388.jpg
     
  19. DLMKA

    DLMKA New Member

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    Seems to be working. The pic was taken 10 hrs after blocking the main tunnel leaving the cone the only way out of the tree.

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1339066065.188237.jpg

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1339066103.607869.jpg
     
  20. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Very interesting. I have followed another thread on this same thing but it was halted by (you guessed it) vandelism, so your proactive approach may pay you dividends here! :thumbsup:
    I will be following your progress keenly.