Albuquerque Beekeepers

Urban beekeeping in New Mexico's largest city.

I am curious, and have a bunch of questions, and comments as food for though, who is out their doing trapouts, whats your success ratio?, do you try to capture the queen? how much time do you put into the effort? How long are sucessfull cutouts taking?, the more I think about this it would be helpful to conduct a survey, as their are many questions that should be asked? Many of the cutout jobs I turn down are because the repair and extraction efforts and cost would be prohibative for the average homeowner.  For me my gas costs and hive costs alone have made it cost prohibative for me to do these jobs for free, I do do several free ones every year, for friends and for those individuals that are having financial difficulties. In these cases where an extaction is not feasible the property owners is likely to pursue a trapout, extermination or a partial trapout if cohabitation is impossible, this is when I fall ot of the picture as i rarely perform free trapouts, But I always ask people to call me back and let me know what happened, when I hear back I usually hear that someone set up a trap for a day or two, said they could not get them all so they exterminated the remainder. I know who some of these people are by name but I don't know their side of the story, my guess is they likely felt presured to be of help to the property owner, you know " they are highy allergic" i wish I had a dollar for everytime i heard that anyway, Please pipe in on any ideas that would be helpful for others who take on these endeavors, because a badly done removal ends up being someone elses problem a disappointed homeowner who now thinks they should of just had them exterminated and in the end the Honeybees are the big losers.

I personally price $$ myself out of the trapout market unless they are nearby, like "next door" nearby and present perfectly for success, simply to time consuming and expensive in terms of travel etc. Not to mention that luring the queen into the trap is difficult and is it's own science and requires the right factors and keen observation skills to fall in place to work.  A full trapout seems to rarely occur from those that have shared their experiences attempting this, I also hear from homeowners that tell me about their experiences with trapouts and that they ultimately had to exterminate the colony as they re-extablished themselves a few weeks later. It can be resource intensive to save late season cutouts and trapouts and to insure they have sufficent reserves for winter, so it seem most people combine these with existing colonies, what kind of success are people having with late season combinations with partial trapouts? do they make it through the winter on their own or do they require significant feeding? 

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Easy to get off track, i will join you and I hear you Jeff, and i know the sinking feeling well, sometimes no matter how well you are prepared you meet up with a mess. Sometimes in an effort to help out we find a situation where their is no way to save the colony without demolishing the structure, which is usually not an option. I know of a structure that has had a hive in one portion or another of the roof for many years, these bees have had almost everything thrown at them, extermination, cutouts, trapouts, smoke outs, sealed in, sealed out etc and their is still a colony present, maybe several, the house is now vacant except for the bee colony who has now outlasted 3 owners over a 20 year period. Viva Las Abejas...

Hi Raymond. I do quite a bit of trapouts. They can take anywhere from 4 weeks to 8 weeks to complete, at least a full life cycle for a worker bee. The exception to this being spring time and newly established hives. They don't have the honey resources to survive for long durations and these trapouts will be much shorter periods of time. 

Queen-

I have never caught the queen and don't expect to catch the queen. When I set the trap, I provide a hive with a full bar/ frame of young larvae with all the nurse bees. The bees will make their own queen. When I have provided a queen in the past, she will often times be killed. The queen that the trap out bees make will most likely not be a strong queen because the hive does not yet have the full resources to feed her properly as a larvae. After completing the trap out and moving the hive, I will most likely requeen the hive or kill the trap out queen and combine the hive with a strong queen. 

Visits-

Plan for at least 6 visits to the property. One visit to assess the hive and make sure there aren't multiple entrances and that it is indeed a honeybee! 2nd visit to set the trap. 3rd to 4th visit to make sure the bees aren't finding alternative entrances or bypassing the trap. 5th visit to open up the trap and let the bees rob the honey. 6th visit to remove the hive and permanently close all entrances. 

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