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Newbee's first day, on my first 'Trap-out'. Questions


Well it finally came together. I asked the other day about the best time of day to remove a hive (see hyperlink) and this morning I finally met with the homeowner and they gave me the go ahead to attempted to remove the hive in their backyard. During our first brief texts, the homeowner said it was under the edge of their shed. Well, it was ‘kind-of’, it was “under the bottom” of their shed. The bee’s have been there about 2 months give or take. They didn’t want me to remove the floor of the shed, or to lift the shed, and now I’m kind of glad they didn’t. They wanted me to kill the bee’s if it was going to cost much money to remove them, and I told them it would be free if they would allow me to attempt a ‘trap-out’. This all said, this is my first month into bee’s. I have only had my own hive for 3 weeks, so to say I’m a newbee is an understatement. I don’t even have the terminology down much, much less to tell you about what’s going on in a hive. Well, to make a long story longer, after seeing the situation it looked simple enough, though I could be wrong since I don’t know what the H-LL I’m doing LOL. But went home and retrieved a new hive and vented bottom board and installed some really old damaged, but framed empty brood comb (someone had given me) and some new waxed plastic foundations and a sugar feeder that replaces frames, and a q-tip with Lemon grass oil and returned to the shed with this set-up in tow. At first I put the box on some logs about a foot higher than the exit the bee’s used and watched for awhile in 100 degree heat with my bee outfit on. After about 15 minutes of sweat pouring through my hood and no real action from the bee’s, I set the box on the ground next to the bee exit sprayed the frames and exit with a little sugar water and left. I am planning on returning tomorrow morning after 10 A.M. to inspect. Question: If all is going well, what should I expect to see inside my hive box? 2nd. Question: If the bee’s aren’t going in, do I leave it a couple days or do I attach a piece of short pipe to the bee exit into the bottom of my hive so that they must go through my hive to get out and back into their own hive? Or ??? (The opening is rectangular and just behind the piece of white paper and the corner of the hive). Any tips, suggestions or criticisms would be gladly received. I may have gotten really lucky this first time out. Don’t know yet. Thanks again for any advice and any prayers offered on my beehalf. Noel http://forum.honeyflow.com/t/best-time-of-day-to-take-a-nest-and-other-questions/11739


I have been involved in one of these removals from exactly the same type of building. They are those quick build sheds, and they have about 6 inches of space under the floor. I am afraid that my experience was not good.

I went with a general contractor, and in the end, the only way we could get the bees out was by tearing up the floor. There wasn’t that much comb, maybe 2 frames’ worth, and we didn’t get the queen. The owner was not happy, the contractor lost money, and I didn’t get a viable colony. I wish you luck, but they will not leave brood behind, even if you give them a nice box. Unless they were ready to swarm any way, but even then, there would still be bees left.

I am afraid that if I saw this job, I would suggest she contact somebody else… :confounded:


Thanks for the advice. Nothing ventured, nothing… you know :wink: Would there be anything gained from sitting around with a vacumme for an hour or two and transferring the bee’s to my hive back home?


I wouldn’t do that for a few reasons:

  1. You are sitting out in the hot sun for a long time
  2. You won’t get many bees if you can’t see them (they are under the shed floor)
  3. Some will die in the vacuum, even if you are careful
  4. You are close enough to the home hive that they could just make their way back
  5. You would have to work out a way to merge them with your existing hive, and if they have no stores (comb) a lot of them may die off while trying to chew through the newspaper

Sorry to be gloomy about this. Maybe somebody else has more enlightening advice. I just think this is a very difficult and low reward removal. :cry:


Hi Noel,

I have been following this story and it is an interesting one. I’ve never done what you are attempting and given it seems you might be on a hiding to nothing anyhow, I wonder whether something like a “bee escape” placed over that hole they are using might work? The idea is that the bees can get out of their current exit hole but cannot get back in. They might then go into your box as they have nowhere else to go for the night and there is some nice honey and stuff in your box. Eventually after some weeks you have lots of bees in the box and perhaps the original colony will sort of move out of the shed…

Here are some photos of the bee escape I had in mind…ignore everything they are attached to…they are the silver triangle things. You can buy them cheaply as they are. The thing they are attached to in my photo is called a clearer board. I show each side.


What are those thingy’s? Are they called bee escapes? Since there is only one in and out couldn’t I make a single passage from where they are into my hive? They could go in and out but not out into the open air? All I have is sugar water except for some store bought honey. Could someone else chime in? Thanks Danno.


Hi Noel,
Yes the things with the holes in them are called bee escapes. I reckon the size of the ones I have photographed would fit over the hole under the shed.

What I thought you could do is place one over the hole under the shed that the bees are using to fly in and out. You might be able to tape one on. My thoughts are that the foraging bees will leave through the escape but when they return, they can’t get back in. They will fly around outside and I am thinking they will be attracted to your box. Once you get a goodish number of bees in the box (don’t know how long it would take) perhaps a frame of brood from your existing hive could be put in to really get them to stay. Others should join them and over time as the bees from the shed grow into foragers they should fly out from the shed and join your box too.


They are bee escapes, but I haven’t seen that version in the US. If you want to try @Dan2’s idea, you probably will have to use one of the cone-shaped ones which are much more readily available here.


Noel, on a previous post I just looked back at, (where there was a similar situation and I suggested using a bee escape), Jeff Heriot then suggested putting a frame of brood outside the box and when it has a good number of bees on it, put it in the box. The bees should make a queen. If the queen from the shed eventually comes out into the open and into the box, the two queens will fight to the death.


Hi Dawn, yes, I just looked and according to Dave Cushman, I think my sort might be called a New Zealand escape. When I think about it, the sort that I have would have to be a little modified anyhow, as it is designed to fit into the corner of a clearer board.


Thanks everyone. All comments are highly appreciated.


Dan, would you add the bee escape to the shed at some point if I can get a frame of brood and attract some bee’s or just let them move in naturally without adding the bee escape? Thanks.


Hi Noel,

If I could get a bee escape without too much trouble, I would try it in conjunction with the frame of eggs and brood. It may not work anyhow but I think it is more likely to work and presumably the bee escape will eventually cause the demise of the nest in the shed anyhow, which is what the property owner wants, I would have thought. If you can’t buy one, I reckon there would be plans or dimensions on the internet to make one, if you are handy with that sort of stuff.


Hi Noel, you need to make a fly wire funnel on the end of a piece of hose. Fit the hose to the bee exit & block everything else off. Do this in the morning. Place a frame of brood right next to the funnel so that the returning bees go to that & forget about trying to go back into the cavity. Once you have a good covering of bees on the frame of brood, put it inside the box. Then put the entrance as close as you can to the funnel. Just monitor it to make sure that no bees are getting back into the cavity. The activity of the bees on the frame of brood will entice the returning bees into the hive. In fact you could leave the frame of brood out for most of the day, if it’s shaded. It could take a few weeks. Make sure that the frame of brood has very young larvae so they can make a new queen. SHB will probably take over the hive in the wall towards the end. Good luck with that. cheers


I ordered one tonite. Thanks buddy.


Hi Noel,
JeffH is an expert in this sort of thing and what he says above sounds excellent to me. If you have a bit of a wait for the bee escape you ordered and you have some fly wire funnel and hose handy, you could fashion a bespoke one up and get started to see how it goes.


Thank you @Dan2 Hey @Dusty, this is the only video where I use a “trap out”. It’s at the end of the video. You’ll see where I used the frame of brood. Every situation is going to be different. So you’ll need to fit the “trap out” to suit your situation. You’ll need to get the home-owner to monitor the trap out because sometimes a bee will die inside the trap out & block more bees from coming out.

PS Here is the video



Does this work by removing so many bees from the original colony under the shed that it perishes while retaining enough bees to make a new queen?


Dee, you asked the same question I had on my mind…

and Dusty just in case there’s any confusion, when folks down under say “fly wire” they’re talking about “screen” for windows :wink:


All great idea’s and will move ahead on that next week. The home owner won’t be of help in monitoring as she would just as readily see them dead as alive and might be pushing me to hurry. I will talk to her today. Thanks All and for the video.