I have been contacted about removing bees from a tree in Marin County. I will photograph and link to this new project as it develops. A friend has offered to help set it up and to help monitor as we begin the new project. Keep watching!
OUCH!!!! I got nailed 10 to 12 times just looking at the opening! I quickly retreated and got my suit on while lighting up my handy smoker! Wow! Honeybees don’t usually go for stinging unless they are unhappy. I must have upset them as I was clearing away the vines that covered the hole. It was about 3 inches long and 1 inch wide.
I cut a piece to make a funnel and began to smoke the heck out of them while I measured the hole and prepared the area. The girls were definitely not happy with me messing around their home. I stood on a steep bank overlooking a creek below.
After much smoke and I am sure nasty fussing by the girls, I began stapling the funnel over their hole. They buzzed me, bounced off the suit and in general tried to make my life miserable. I managed to staple the cone over their hole and began taping the area to prevent any girls from getting back inside. That is the idea of a trap hive, to prevent the bees from returning.
The box (with a small colony) is placed next to them allowing any loose bees a place to go after they exhaust themselves trying to return to their own colony in the tree. The hope is to get so many bees pulled away that the remaining bees panic and leave the tree…hopefully going into the box I have left for them…and yes they two queens will have to fight it out. Actually the workers will decide by concessional agreement which queen they prefer.
I had quite a time getting up and down to do the work. I am fairly sure I got the hole well sealed by I have a friend who will monitor the site for the next few weeks to see how it goes. I might mention now that this process does not always work. Sometimes the bees just keep finding ways back into the tree. New holes, old cracks, openings we didn’t find…just luck sometimes!
Here is the colony we took with us to use for the bait box. I wedged it into the tree and taped it to hold it securely. Any bee left outside will eventually have to go into this box if they can’t get into the tree.
Remember honeybees are very communal and any feral bees or ones trapped outside will be accepted into this colony. Eventually the two queens will have to be dealt with but not for several weeks I feel.
I will be updating this post and letting everyone know how it works. Twice this year I have trapped out bees from inside a tree…lets hope this is successful also!