The honey bee trap is the logical tool to with future populations of feral collect honey bees, especially Africanized honey bees, but we still have a lot to learn about this technology. A number of trap styles are available for detection and control of Africanized bees? At present the round paper pulp trap, originally developed at the USDA Tucson Bee Laboratory appears to be the one of choice. However, traps may be constructed out of a variety of materials.
What is the necessary trap density for detection and/or control of wild bee populations? One source suggests 80% detection is possible with 8 traps/square mile in urban areas and 4/square mile in rural situations. Traps also collect bees from managed apiaries; experience suggests this reaches a peak between 250 to 500 yards from the apiary. Traps should be run at least one to two times a week during the active (dry) season, but at six week or one month intervals in the inactive (wet) season. Two persons can take down about 100 traps per day.1
Other questions persist. For example, will traps be responsible for bringing in populations that might not be there to begin with?; and what level of feral bees is acceptable near beekeeping operations before they become a major problem? Whatever the answers might be, all evidence so far suggests that trapping bees is an activity beekeepers will indulge in far more in the future.
Unfortunately, destruction of feral Africanized bees will generally be mandatory. It is the reason for trapping in the first place. Leaving trapped bees in a black plastic in the sun will often be successful. Chemical destruction of trapped bees is limited by few available materials registered for that use.
1 Dr. Orley Taylor, American Bee Research Conference, Tucson, Arizona, 1990.
This web site reveals some of the details involved in trapping honey bees. Presumably this is not in Africanized bee country. One way to increase the probability of luring swarms is using nasanov pheromone. It is not recommended to eschew wearing a veil as noted in a video on the subject, even if stings “don’t bother you.” This is a prescription for potential disaster, especially in Africanized honey bee territory.
In some cases one may want to find a nest of honey bees. This can be calculated using triangulation, using intersecting direct bee paths from different foraging sites back to a common hive.