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How to tell when bees have moved in to your trap

 
pollinator
Posts: 2130
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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So there is a tree next to my work that is falling apart and has a hive in it. It's a massive tree, not on my office's property, and removing it would cost thousands. Besides, it's not all dead yet. I'm saying that for those that would tell me to go cut them out, I don't think they'd let me.

I brought one box of my dead hive, with some honey in it, to try to attract them. I see bees going in and out. I know they're probably stealing honey. So how can I tell if they've moved in, Will they move in?
 
steward
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Location: woodland, washington
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elle sagenev wrote:Will they move in?



short answer: no.

somewhat longer answer: maybe, but it will be a lot of work. they're never going to just give up their hive in the tree and move into your box. that's especially true if there's honey in it. honey is just not helpful in a bait hive.

there are two ways to get bees into your box from the tree hive. the first is if they swarm and the swarm likes your box. that still leaves a colony in the tree hive. the other option is a trap-out. trap-outs range from very slow and difficult to impossibly difficult.
 
master pollinator
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From what I know about traps (a beekeeper friend puts one up on top of the hay shed every spring) they only work when the swarm is on the move and the scouts find it. Once a swarm has picked its "home" and settled in, you're not going to entice them to move short of destroying the nest.
 
elle sagenev
pollinator
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Well, like I said, the tree is falling down bit by bit. I found out the bees were there when comb fell out onto the sidewalk. So perhaps a good wind storm will force them to move.
 
gardener
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Location: mountains of Tennessee
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Perhaps some lemongrass oil or other swarm lure might do the trick. This is swarm season so there is a reasonable chance. Good luck.

 
Don't mess with me you fool! I'm cooking with gas! Here, read this tiny ad:
Native Bee Guide by Crown Bees
https://permies.com/wiki/105944/Native-Bee-Guide-Crown-Bees
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