Feeling Trapped
April 18, 2017, 10:16 pm
Filed under: April 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , , ,


April 18, 2017

Whew, what a spring! New babies have been the “order of the day”. All of them, human, beef, pigs and sheep are all doing very well. Abby continues with her training. I am trying to balance work, great weather, early weeds and shifting priorities. Today, I spent part of the afternoon setting up a honey bee trap. I hope to convince the ladies that a hive is a much better place to live, than the wall of a house.

I have only tried this once. The last time I failed miserably. This time, I educated myself a little more. I also have the good fortune of the bees being closer to the ground. They are actually pretty tame and tolerated my interference very well.

I waited until midafternoon when many of the bees were flying. I pulled off the siding and found the bee entrance. I sealed up almost all of the opening. I used fiberglass insulation, torn into pieces and poked into place with a flat screwdriver. I left an opening that was about an inch and a half long. The bees flew in and out while I worked.

Next, I fashioned a funnel using a sanitary flange, a 4 to 2 reducer and hardware cloth covered with window screen. After assembly, I used duct tape to help keep everything in place. I screwed the flange right to the wall over the opening. I caulked around it with silicone and watched for a minute. Sure enough, the bees were soon coming out of the funnel opening, but they couldn’t find their way back in.

I placed a “nuc” hive on a stepladder and strapped it solid with a ratchet strap. I placed the hive body and ladder just a couple inches away from the end of the funnel.


After a couple of hours, the bees were confused, but starting to check out the new home I made for them. There are a few frames of drawn out comb. There are two frames of capped honey. Once the ladies start inspecting the new place, my hope is they will be convinced to stay. I will check on them in the morning. I believe this was a small swarm that invaded the house wall. I hope they will be convinced to stay in the hive before their numbers build up.

None of us like change, many of us feel trapped. I can see light at the end of my own tunnel. My hope is that the bees will see, not only their way out, but also their way in, as they leave one place for another. It is much better to relocate than to eradicate! My hat is off to the pest company that wouldn’t kill the honeybees!

I will keep you all informed of my progress. The worst thing that may happen, is that the bees will leave the house wall, swarm and fly off completely avoiding my hive body. That would be bad for me, but the homeowners still win as the bees leave their home. The bees will then hopefully find a great place to live, somewhere out of harm’s way. If they make the “nuc” their home, I will move them to my bee yard, watch over them and help them to survive….. in exchange for a little honey of course!

5 Comments so far
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Where are you getting the queen for the trapped bees? The existing one will likely die within the walls.

Comment by theprospectofbees

Yes, it is likely that the queen may stay in the house. I will keep a close eye on them as they move. Once the last of the brood hatches and leaves the comb inside the house, the queen will be all but alone. She may move out too.
If she does not come out and enter the hive body with the rest of the bees, I will have to requeen the hive once I move it home to my apiary. It is early enough in the season that they bees might raise their own queen, but I’d rather add one and keep them growing quickly. I get my queens from “Queenrite” here in Ohio.

Comment by ricelandmeadows

That’s fascinating. Very cool. Best of luck!

Comment by almostfarmgirl

I will write an update very soon. Our rainy weather has the ladies moving in steady, but very grumpy!

Comment by ricelandmeadows

Thank you, so far so good. The bees are slowly moving into the hive.

Comment by ricelandmeadows

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