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My second "first trap-out" LOL (Updated 8/6) Good News


Well my first shed trap-out, was a washout, as the owners who raised ‘pit bulls’ couldn’t give me free yard access to monitor it. Well, that was o.k. especially since I was just contacted by a lady who also had the same type shed, but for whom access was not a problem. So this is my second attempt at my first shed trap-out or any trap-out for that matter. After reading over the best ways to do it, I assembled my tools and set to work.

This shed has rows of tubular metal floor supports that run in rows down the length of the shed.On the outer sides there are 7 or 8 rectagular holes that bee’s think are just dandy for entrances. Well the side the bee’s use faces all day sun, and it is hot hot hot. If I were to seal off the holes the trapped bee’s would cook. Today, the bee’s were very co-operative, but I donned my suit none-the-less and was especially glad I’d brought a roll of screen with me with which to cover each opening to leave adequate ventilation. I’d pre-made a cone, at home. I caulked the backside in circle around the opening and I taped it into place and then secured it with screws (over the opening the bee’s used most). Just two days ago I purchased a used nuc box which I filled with waxed foundations, except for one, which I borrowed from my bee’s at home. It had honey, brood and larva- larva being the key for the bee’s to build queen cells (I think they have 4 or so days, to turn larva cells into queen cells).

I situated the box right next to the cone and gave them a small stone to climb from the cone down on to the landing pad of the nuc box. I probably didn’t need to, but I scented the box with a couple drops of ‘lemon grass’ oil and then put the lid on (Three drops were too much however, when one drop would have sufficed). The returning foraging bee’s were finding their way back to the opening where the cone was installed, and many after walking on top of the cone finally made their way to the nuc. A half hour later, I lifted the lid before leaving, and dozens of bee’s were in the nuc cleaning up some leaking honey and I’m hoping will be attending to the brood comb and making queen cells. I didn’t really have the brood to spare,but I think this will be a risk I will come to be grateful that I took. I’ll be checking on it over the next few weeks and if all goes well, once the bee’s have made the nuc home, will remove the trap-out cone, and let the bee’s back in to rob their stored honey. (I’ve read that they won’t re-inhabit the shed once they’ve been in the nuc a few weeks). Hope it’s true. Following are a few pics. Wish me luck.


Nice job Dusty! From what I’ve read about this kind of trap out adding the brood to the trap encourages the queen to come out and investigate.could you see bees travelling back down the cone into their hive? Until the queen comes out she will keep laying eggs. I’m not sure they will make a new queen whilst still connected to the primary hive.
Keep us updated.


I made the drive back to hive this afternoon. The mood of the bee’s had changed considerably with alot of bouncing off my hood, and I courageously took one in the leg ( doesn’t that count for a purple heart?). Yes I did see one or two bee’s navigate back into the cone, but most did not. I put a 1-gallon chicken waterer next to the hive with some pebbles and will return on Sunday to see how it went. I do hope they start making queen cells on this frame, as I don’t have any “squares to spare” (Seinfeld’ism)- Extra frames with larva. If they don’t make queen cells maybe I could do an exchange, though the one I put in seemed perfect. I will keep you up to date and please keep the advice coming. Dusty


8/6/17 Day #3. I visited the trap-out this afternoon. There are no bee’s travelling out of the cone. After smoking, I lifted the lid to the nuke and it was pretty well filled with bee’s. Incredibly (if that’s too strong a word, please substitute with ‘surprisingly’) the bee’s have already been constructing or finished what looks like a queen cell on the brood/larva frame that I’d included in the nuke- (doing the ‘happy dance’ as we speak. Well in all honesty I’m sitting, so it’s more of a twirling in circles on my desk chair, but but you get the point). Praying that it is truly a queen cell (it’s long and pointed downwards) and that they build a couple more. There were alot of ‘tiny piss ants’ making their way under the shed which could only mean honey robbing, so I traced them back to their mounds and sprayed the life out of them. Now, in your vast and all too humble advice, how long should I wait before revisiting and opening the nuke? Thanks so much. Noel


G’day Noel, that is fantastic. That sure sounds like a queen cell, they are building. Give them another few days. I’m just thinking: I wonder how you would go if you went there after lunch time, when bees are most likely to be coming out to do orientation flights. If there are still bees in the shed, that’s when they will be most likely to be coming out. It all depends on how established the hive is. You should have all of the field bees now. From now on, you’ll get the bees that are doing orientation flights.

If beetles are in your area, they will take over the hive, as the bee numbers dwindle to the point that they can no longer prevent them from laying eggs in the brood.

Again, that IS fantastic:) cheers


Hi Jeff. Thanks. I saw a video where the bee keeper allowed the bee’s back into the trap-out to rob the old honey. If I’m recalling correctly, he said after there weren’t any bee’s coming out wait three days and let them back in, though he said a trap out generally lasted 4-5 weeks, so I’m a little confused or I misheard the time-line. What is your experience? Cheers. Oh, one more thing, you said after lunch, did you mean in the morning after breakfast or was it after noon-time? Thanks.


It’s around 1pm or thereabouts. That’s when a lot of orientation flights happen. I wouldn’t bother with the honey, especially if shb are in the area. The beetles can turn it rancid once the bee population drops to the point that they don’t have the ability to stop them from laying eggs.

The time frame is wholly dependent on how established the hive is.

If you go there one day at around mid-day, & don’t see any bees exiting the cone, I would block it, go & have some lunch, & then return to see if any bees are trying to come out. That will be a good guide as to how many bees, if any are exiting the cone.

What I did with the bees I got out of the cable drum was give them 2 frames of brood. They made queen cells on both frames. So what I did after putting the hive into my apiary was split it into 2 nucs, with one frame of brood containing queen cells in each nuc. That worked out really well.


Thanks Jeff. I’d have loved to use to frames of brood but being new, I didn’t have it to spare. Only had the one. Next year should be different however. Have a great day!


Yes, for sure mate. It looks like you’re going to get a good colony out of that shed. How many more of those sheds are in the area? They look like real swarm magnets. If you can talk that bloke into tying his dogs up, you’ll be able to grab the first one. A nice jar of honey might do the trick :slight_smile: