Honeyflow.com | FAQ's | Community |

Carting brood for a bee trap-out


Having to do a couple of bee trap-outs at the moment and part of that process means I have to take some brood from an established hive and add it to the bait hive to sucker them bees out (the idea being that the trapped-out bees find the brood and begin nursing them leaving the old colony behind). With a hive split, obviously the brood only spend a few minutes in the air… but in this case I have to take them for a drive into town which is 40 minutes away. I know that if brood get cold there could be dramas, so any suggestions / info on the best way to travel with brood would be much appreciated.


I would take the frame in a nucleus box, but leave some nurse bees on the brood. I know you are worried about them fighting, but usually nurse bees don’t cause much of a fight, and they won’t abandon the brood. I have “transplanted” nurse bees on frames of brood into a couple of different hives, with no problems at all.


You have to determine if a 40 minute drive each way is worth the effort because a trap out could involve a few trips, from my experience. I would do as @Dawn_SD suggested, leave some nurse bees with the brood & do it fairly early in the day so that a lot of bees return to the nuc during the course of the day, giving the brood plenty of warmth for the first night.

At best you can do it in 2 trips. However unforeseen things happen which causes extra trips in between. I would not do a trap out 40 minutes away.


Well I’m off this morning to see what I can do with these bees. I’ve ended up turning one of my old hives into a “convertible” Hogan Trap (meaning I can turn the hive back into a hive when I’m done if I need to) which looks like it should be far more effective than the usual bee trap out, so I’ll see how that goes.

The Hogan trap does not seem to need a frame of brood for extraction as the idea is that the trap box becomes just an extension of the hive for the first week (with bees loading in pollen etc and hopefully the queen coming out to visit as well) and when you introduce the trap the bees end up having to stay and eventually queenie comes out of the wall when all her workers are gone and stays as well. Good theory, anyone used a Hogan trap or done this?

I’ll post a few photos later for giggles. :slight_smile:


A frame of young larvae and eggs will encourage the queen to come out when you put the cone on.


@AdamMaskew, that would depend on how established the colony has become. @RevelationSky, it’s good to try these things out in our own neighborhood, when there’s little traveling involved. For a forty minute drive both ways, I’d certainly be trying to get it done in 2 trips maximum.


The travelling is not so much of a problem as I work in town anyway and travel in and out each day :).

Well, the swarm only arrived a earlier in the week so I figure they would not be very established yet. It all seemed to go rather well, and the bees started into the trap box within about five minutes of sealing up their other entrances. Sorry to the bees that got stuck in the expanding foam :cry:. Here are some photos from my upcoming movie A Face Full of Bees:

I used vacuum cleaner hose for the trap “feed” which connected to a length of 25mm polypipe into the bee hole and expanding foam and gaffer tape to get the bees heading in the right direction.

You can see here the funnel box of the trap itself (currently not in the trap box of course) that will go back in at the end of the week.

That sounds like a good idea. I’ll see if I can organise that when I go back.

Thanks everyone for your advice and help. :smiley:


Well done, it was good that you had that nice ledge to sit the box on. That funnel looks good. I look forward to the final outcome.


I liked the funnel as well. It was actually one of those pegs you get with LED light strings from Bunnings that normally hold the solar panel and batteries. The orginal LED light string was dead and for some reason I’d kept the stake. Now I know why :smile:.


That’s fantastic. When I saw it, I thought it must have been something you can buy from a beekeeping store. I hope it works well. The ones I make out of fly wire finish up with prickles on the end which helps to deter the bees from going back in.


OK here’s the update. Bees are damn good at finding holes. Really, really, really good at it. But, on the plus side even though the trap outs were not successful at getting the queen I have just collected a few hours ago two five full frame nuc boxes full of bees, pollen, nectar and honey. They are now both sitting on my hive stand next to my operational flow hive.

Sooooo, rather than taking brood to the bees I’ve brought the bees back to the brood :slight_smile:.

My question is now that I have all these bees and no brood or queen with them… what are the chances that if I just grab some brood (or even better I might have a queen cell or two in the hive, have not looked for a while now) and throw them in there with the bees I have that I’ll end up with a working hive?


Pretty good chance if you give them a frame with eggs in it. I would repeat the donation every week until you see queen cells.


I agree with Dawn, give them some brood with worker eggs & or very young worker larvae, so they can make themselves a new queen.

I would never expect to get a queen included in trapped out bees.

I always use a frame of brood it the initial stage of a trap out. I place it close to the trapped entrance. It wont take long for the returning bees to adhere to that frame of brood. Once I get a good covering of bees on that brood, I’ll put it into a nuc box, then place the entrance as close as possible to the trap out. As the bees continue to get trapped out, they’ll continue to move into the nuc box. At the same time they are building queen cells.

In areas where SHB are an issue, it wont take long (5or6 days) before the beetles start laying eggs in the original nest.


Ha. Well wadda you know. Queenie had visited both of my trap outs. It was near dark when I got them last night, so basically I just went… heavy… yep, look in observation port… lots of bees… looks like it… yep. OK, grab and off I go.

… pause in typing while I remove bees from back of neck :wink:

SO, just now I opened them up for a full inspection. Good grief! They’ve filled all the frames and then, being the creative little critters they are, hung more comb in the space where the bee gate was fitted.

…another pause in typing while I remove bees from arm, hand and side of neck :blush:

I looked a bit closer amongst the broken comb (sigh) and I see grubs (initial reaction, oh no not those bloody wax moths again, I lost a hive to them once) but no, it’s baby bees! Even some munching their way out as I watched. And every frame in there is totally covered in more bees. I check the other trap out and there is covered brood in there as well.

Since I had piped the bees through the trap, queenie from both trap outs must have come out for a look. Very happy right now as much less work for me. Hopefully they will both have the queens. Could be lucky. Either way, I’m guessing moving brood from the established hive is no longer required? Opinions?

Also, since some of that hand-made comb has brood on it, which I don’t want to loose if I can avoid it, any suggestions on how to keep it and move it if possible to a new home?

Anyways, so change of plan. I’m going to move both of them into some 10 frame brood boxes in a bit. I have not inspected all the frames yet, as to be honest was not expecting so much activity. :smiley:


Come on, this is a beekeeping forum! Opinions?? Well, of course we will have loads of those!!! :smile:

When you transfer the bees, check for eggs and very young larvae (less than 3 days from hatching). If you see those, you don’t need any frames of brood. If you see the queen, you don’t need frames of brood. Nice story, congratulations. :blush:


Well done @RevelationSky. I recently did a trap out of an established hive, where the queen didn’t come out. I’m currently doing one from a house wall, an established hive. I’ll see what happens there when I pick it up.

I’m doing another house trap out just after the swarm arrived, I’ll see what happens to that one also.

I find that the initial frame of brood is handy in quickly enticing the bees away from trying to get back into the original nest. Then, once they start building emergency queen cells on that frame, it gives them a sense of purpose.

With the activity of bees coming & going out of the lure box right next to the trap out, it doesn’t take long for the stream of exiting bees to join the lure colony.


Found this method of keeping comb. Probably works I’m guessing, so I’ll give it a go. Hopefully saving some brood in the process :slight_smile:. Here in WA we are not supposed to use un-wired frames apparently. So hopefully the bee police will not come visiting :kissing_smiling_eyes:. Do you think that I should try and get wire in there as well?

Oh, I should also mention for anyone else doing trap outs. That vacuum cleaner hose, while really nice and flexible, tends to fill up with dead bees as they get stuck in the corrugations and I’m guessing the cleaner bees just give up in disgust! The pipe I removed from one of the traps was almost blocked up. Perhaps it was an angle thing, perhaps having the pipe on a downward angle only would help. Who knows… perhaps someone here on this forum :sunny:.


Just an update on my two house trap-outs. With both trap-outs the bees found another entry/exit in the corner of the windows above the trap-outs, in exactly the same spots. This happened after a sizeable colony developed in one trap-out. I brought that home last night. Today I’m going to use some silicone to block the window gap, while setting up a new trap-out with a fresh frame of brood.

I know there is a colony in the second trap-out, but I don’t know how big, so I’ll leave it there & raise it closer to the window gap, while at the same time using more silicone to block that gap.


Another update. The bees at #1 trap-out were at the corner of the window, however not using it. There was a tiny amount of bees there today. I killed them, took away the bee escape, sprayed some surface spray inside the cavity before blocking it up, then calling it “quits”.

#2 Trap-out was somewhat different. The bees were well & truly working several gaps around the window that can be accessed through the window upstairs with the screen removed. The lure box is on a plank about 2.5 meters off the ground. The frame of brood I left there had several queen cells with enough bees to remove that frame of brood plus 2 more frames of bees for a nice little nuc. I had a replacement frame of brood to add. There was enough bees left to cater for that.

I’ve siliconed all of the gaps & raised the lure box by one super, hoping that the bees will find no more entries/exits, & therefore they’ll add to the population of the lure box.

Luck it’s not all that far away.


Pretty good chance if you give them a frame with eggs in it. I would repeat the donation every week until you see queen cells. in my point of view, The ones I make out of fly wire finish up with prickles on the end which helps to deter the bees from going back in.