Queen visits Sunshine Coast along with 25,000 loyal subjects
When the queen moved into her modest accomodation in a log cabin in the main street of Maleny, her loyal subjects happily squeezed in behind her.
I had done a trap-out from this exact spot 2 years ago and I guess this highlights the main pitfall of doing a trap out; if bees can find their way back in they inevitably will. When you do a trap-out, the bees are removed but all of the comb is left behind and more crucially the space is still filled with the scent on the old colony which is a huge attractant for other swarms. The only long term solution is to physically cut-out the hive and fill the space with insulation so bees have no space to start another hive.
This hive was just 50m from the Maleny IGA where we sell our honey. With any luck, this rescued colony will be making honey in a few months which will be in the shelves of the IGA.
Why did the bees choose my place?
I hear this question all of the time. It’s not because there is a tree in flower near by or you have a beautiful garden full of pollinator friendly plants, it’s mainly a matter of bad luck.
A swarm of bees choose the location of their new home for a few reasons:
It needs to be the right size, roughly a minimum of 0.04 cubic metres (40 litres). If the cavity is too small, they won’t move in, they need room to expand and can become huge.
Ideally the location will be weather-proof, draft-proof and nice and warm.
Ideally the entrance won’t be too big. They don’t need a hole any bigger than 5 or 6mm wide and 3 or 4 square centimetres is perfect. The smaller the hole, the easier it is for them to defend.
The other factor that will make a new home even more attractive to a swarm is if there has been a hive present before. The scent of the old hive can hang around for years and an old hive site will not go unoccupied for very long. Unless the cavity is filled out and the entrance blocked after a beehive removal, it is almost a guarantee that a new swarm will move back in.