Roberta engineers an unusual trap-out

Bees at their entrance in the base of a tree.

LA Backwards Beekeeper Roberta writes about a crafty sort of trap-out:
The Bee Rescue Hotline got a call this week from Mary in Sherman Oaks. She has a hive of very docile bees in the base of her front yard tree. They've been there for 4 years but now a fence near the hive needs to be replaced. There isn't time for a trap out with bees flying everywhere while the construction crew is around. So I'm trying a trap out with the bees trapped between the tree and the hive box.

I heard about this technique from Ginger, and to be honest I didn't think it would work. But in a couple of weeks the bees she was trapping out had migrated to the box. Mary thought it was worth a try so we set it up tonight.

The great part is that Mary's daughter, Lulu, really wants to keep the bees and her mom loves the idea.

We checked out the bees during the evening. They were all in the tree with a cluster of tiny bees at the small entrance. It looks like they have built a wall of propolis at the entrance. There was a soft buzz coming from the tree and the aroma of warm honey wafted up from the entrance.

We didn't need any protection and Mary was a natural with the bees. We nailed the screen tunnel over the entrance and they were not happy with the pounding. They moved back and forth in the screen tunnel and into the hive box.

After a few minutes they calmed down and went back into the tree. We'll see how things go and see if the set-up is bee tight. Once the fence is finished next week, we'll move the bees to the backyard.

Hope this works.

- roberta