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Removing established wild colonies

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dudley 

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Can you help? I am into my second year of beekeeping and have become quite confident and proficient at taking swarms. When I ask the experienced beekeepers at my club if they ever take established colonies from within dwellings, the answer is always a big no. Usually followed with, “tried it, never works”
However being in the building trade I have no problem pulling a house apart so I have been having a go.
My first attempt last year, a swarm in a chimney failed. Bees so inaccessible, well established, too messy, and too many bee loses.
But at the end of the summer I looked at a colony residing in the timber stud space between the internal plaster and the outer wooden cladding. It was too late to extract them and the householder was happy to leave them alone if I promised to return in the spring.
So in April I returned and managed to successfully cut out lots of comb, complete with brood and painstakingly tied the comb into new empty national frames.
It has worked really well, the colony has thrived, plenty of young bees, brood, and externally all looking normal.
The only problem is they have cross combed over several frames, so I cannot remove those 3 frames for inspection.
I have placed a super onto the brood box to encourage the queen to move out into the super.
Is there more I can do? Should I somehow adapt clearer board and empty the brood box completely including the Queen? Will the brood die if I do this? Etc etc.
Thank you.
 

rae 

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8 and 3 nucs...it's swarm time...
We have a similar problem in a nuc. It was a case of "where are we going to put this swarm?" and all we had was a nuc box with some damaged frames - so in they went. They've glued two frames together, and stuck the whole lot to the side wall. My plan is to:

1) Hive them (you've already done this)
2) Wait until they have a decent amount of brood outside the mess of frames.
3) When we see the queen on an inspection, catch her and cage her.
4) Unpick the mess, salvage what we can
5) Put 2 new frames in, release the queen.

Hopefully no long term damage.
 

Mike a 

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If you look on this site they follow a process called a trap out.

http://beehuman.blogspot.com/search/label/trap-outs

In basic terms they seal all but the main entrance and fit a porter bee escape over it. They then take a nuc with a colony in it and place as close to the bee escape as possible to mop up all the foragers.



I haven't read on further to see what they do with the non foragers and combs but its on my to do list.
 

oliver90owner 

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You need a spare box of frames and patience.

Once you can locate the queen, put her on some of the existing brood frames in the new box and insert a queen excluder between the boxes.

3 weeks later, all brood will have all emerged from the old box (a few drones might be the exception). End of problem, apart from tidying it all up.

Regards, RAB
 

rae 

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8 and 3 nucs...it's swarm time...
Good plan, running a nuc on what will essentially be double brood looks like a stretch, but it will be high summer by then, so should be warm enough!
 

dudley 

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Sounds like a workable plan to me, thanks.
 

dudley 

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If you look on this site they follow a process called a trap out.

http://beehuman.blogspot.com/search/label/trap-outs

In basic terms they seal all but the main entrance and fit a porter bee escape over it. They then take a nuc with a colony in it and place as close to the bee escape as possible to mop up all the foragers.



I haven't read on further to see what they do with the non foragers and combs but its on my to do list.
Lots of interesting info and help here, thanks.
 

dudley 

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You need a spare box of frames and patience.

Once you can locate the queen, put her on some of the existing brood frames in the new box and insert a queen excluder between the boxes.

3 weeks later, all brood will have all emerged from the old box (a few drones might be the exception). End of problem, apart from tidying it all up.

Regards, RAB
Thanks Rab, Patience I have, spare equipment I have also, so its time to look for the queen.
The coloney is very strong, and I tried hard to see if I could find her the other day without luck.
So I think I may carefully, yet briskly lift out all the frames I can and pop them into another brood box set next to the main hive and watch the bees reaction. I should soon tell if I have moved the queen or not. If she is still hiding in the three cross combed frames, what do you think my chances of lifting them altogether and give a good shake to try and drop the bees into the new brood box?
If it works, should I set the new box ontop or under the old one separated by a queen excluder?

Thanks Steve.
 

oliver90owner 

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My view might be to encourage supercedure cells and eventually lose the queen. after all you don't know how long in the tooth she may be. I might requeen with a queen of my choice, but she might be an OK choice if the bees are quiet, etc etc.

Just adapt the basic method to your particular circumstance. Nothing is set in stone.

Regards, RAB
 

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