Bee Trap Out

  I had colony of bees living in a wall for some years and began removing them using a trap out made of screen wire. Since the goal is to just remove them and it takes weeks using a trap out to work, and everyone I have talked with has said I would probably have to kill them in the end, I placed the trap out and watched and waited. I've learned a lot about bees and beekeepers while waiting them out.

  • Bees are smarter at hives than beekeepers
  • Bees are just dang fun to watch and work with
  • Luck good or bad, trumps time and effort

  When bees have been prevented from getting back into their hive, they really want to get back in and will find the smallest hole to do so. After nine days of patching holes, the bees had bearded up on the trap out in the left photo. On the tenth day, the bee cluster changed shape and began clustering in a more horizontal brick shaped cluster in the right photo. Just to see what would happen, I mounted my NUC box with some old comb in it next to the trap out; three days later, the bees have moved into the NUC box and appeared to be foraging. Occasionally one or two bees will leave the trap out and the bulk of the bees seem to have left the wall. None of this was suppose to work well, if at all, and definitely not in ten days.

   Day 17 - Moved the five frames from the NUC box to to a hive just below the window . I never did not see a queen. Four frames were completely covered in bees. The fifth was a new clean frame and did not have any bees or drawn comb on it.

   Day 21 - Moved the new hive to an off site location and it appears to be doing well.

   Day 23 - Opened the wall and found a couple hundred bees still in the wall. All the bees and comb has been removed, and the brood comb and some honey comb was transferred to a NUC box offsite. In spite of the devastation we inflicted upon them, they were amazingly calm and appear to trying to recover the hive structure in the NUC box. We recovered 11 pints of honey.

   Day 25 - Bees in the NUC box abandoned it abruptly and/or was raided around two in the afternoon, taking all the honey stores with it. In retrospect, I probably should have left then at that location and let them build up the new hive before moving them.