Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Yesterday I went to my  first bee "trap out".

During the spring and summer, bee keepers will be asked to come to peoples property to remove bees.
Which is a good thing. I imagine not too long ago folks probably just reached for a can of Raid or such to kill the bees.

Fortunately these days people are realizing that these creatures are very important and  for the most part want them removed and not killed.

So what happens is this;
Mrs. Brown or whoever, realizes she has a bee colony on her property. She is afraid some one is going to
be stung and she will get sued. (really, that's the truth). She calls a bee group and tells them where the bees are and someone in the group goes to take care of the problem.

If the bees are someplace the bee keeper can get into he or she will perform what is called a "cut out".
They will cut the comb and tie the pieces into a bee box, find the queen and take home a new colony for themselves. Basically it is just moving the entire colony intact more or less.

A trap out is different. If the bees are located someplace that can not be accessed, like a wall or a tree that the owner does not want removed the bees or as many as they can "trap out" need to be removed and the hive stays behind and sealed up.

That was the case with these bees. They were in a tree and there was no way to get to the entire hive.
So we put out an empty bee box with frames, inside we placed unpasturized honey and a wooden
stick with a drop of lemon grass oil ( bees love lemon grass oil).

Next we placed a cone with a one way door on it at the entrance to the bees hive.
As foragers left they were not able to enter the hive again.
All went well until the cone was in place.... as more and more bees left the hive and others began to return with their nectar and pollen and were unable to return to their hive the place filled with bees, none too happy.

At this point, for some reason, (actually because I had been there for over an hour and had to get home), I decided to leave. I walked about 20 feet away, and began to remove my veil, and then of course I got stung.
The worst sting yet, on my nose. I could feel the poison working through my sinuses, it hurt!!!!

I rushed home to take some medication and put clay on the sting, but I swelled like a pig anyway.

So sweet of my husband to take my photo!
Hopefully the bees will move into their new box. Today is rainy and cold and they are in for a really hard time. As it is, the queen and her attendants will be sealed up in their hive in few days. She will not leave the hive unless they swarm. The bees that move into the new box will be given a frame with brood from another hive, they will rear themselves a new queen and there will be a new colony started.

I must say, it was an educational experience, I learned how to do a trap out, and to not rush with taking off
my veil!

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