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  1. #1
    chrismbm Guest

    Post

    Dear Michael - this is kind of an extension of my earlier posting regarding bee beards. I was just upstairs making the bed and noticed bees flying in and out of a hole in a tall tree. I guess maybe I missed a swarm????

    How does one go about getting the bees out of a hole in a tree about 15 feet up in the air?

    Boy, I'm just a bundle of problems today!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    hermiston, oregon
    Posts
    458

    Post

    Short of cutting down the tree it is pretty darn hard to get bees out of a tree and keep the hive intact.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Central Square, NY, Oswego County
    Posts
    814

    Big Grin

    I would make a cone out of some screening. The cone should be 5 inches wide where you would attach it to the tree and about 1/2 an inch at the end. Nail or staple the large end to the tree and then use some 2x4's at 90 degrees to the hole, or you can use a ladder. Put a hive up onto the 2x4 or ladder with some brood and some young bees. Make sure the hive entrance is right next to the end of the cone. What will happen is over time as the field force leaves they will not be able to get back in. They will then enter the hive that you have placed there and set up house keeping. Over time as the tree hive starts to die out you can remove the cone and let the new hive rob them out. It's a long process but it works.
    Dan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,203

    Post

    Why is it a problem? I like bees, so I don't mind them in my tree.

    But if you really want to get them out, search on the cone method on this site and you'll find lots of discussions. My method is this:

    Cone Method This method is used when it’s impractical to tear into a hive and remove the comb or there are so many bees you don’t want to face them all at once. Particularly useful when they are in a tree and you don't want to cut it down. This is a method where a screen wire cone is placed over the main entrance of the current home of the bees. All other entrances are are blocked with screen wire stapled over them. Make the end of the cone so it has some frayed wires so that a bee can push the wires enough to get out (including drones and queens) but can’t get back in. Aim it a bit up and it helps some on keeping them from finding the entrance. Now you put a hive that has just a frame of open brood, a couple of frames of emerging brood and some honey/pollen, right next to the hive. (in your case this may be too high up, but you can still use the cone to get them out) You may need to build a stand or something to get it close to where the returning foragers are clustered on the cone. Sometimes they will move into the box with the brood comb. Sometimes they just hang on the cone. The biggest problem I’ve had is that this causes many more bees to be looking for a way in and circling in the air and the homeowners often get antsy and spray the bees with insecticide because they are afraid of them. (I assume it's at your house and you won't) If so DON’T put the box with the brood here, but rather at your beeyard, hopefully at least 2 miles away, (I assume you'll need to find an offsite location) and you vacuum or brush the bees off into a box every night and take them and dump them in the box with the brood, you will eventually depopulate the hive. If you keep it up until no substantial number of bees are in it anymore, you can use some sulfur in a smoker to kill the bees (sulfur smoke is fatal but does not leave a poisonous residue) or some bee quick to drive the rest of them out of the tree (or house or whatever). And if you use the Beequick you may even get the queen to come out. Or use a hose and fill the hollow tree slowly so the bees are driven out. If you do get the queen to leave, catch her with a hair clip queen catcher and put her in a box and let the bees move into the box. Since the cone is still on the entrance they can’t get back in the old hive. I’d leave it like this for a few days and then bring a strong hive and put it close to the old hive. Remove the cone and put some honey on the entrance to entice the bees to rob it. This is most effective during a dearth. Mid summer and late fall being likely dearths. Once they start robbing it, they will rob the entire hive out. This is especially important if removing them from a house, so that the wax doesn’t melt and honey go everywhere or the honey attract mice and other pests. Now you can seal it up as best you can. The expanding polyurethane foam you buy in a can at the hardware store is not too bad for sealing the opening. It will go in and expand and make a fairly good barrier. You could cover it with chicken wire or hardware cloth and plaster it with the polyurathane if the hole is really big.

  5. #5
    chrismbm Guest

    Post

    I have no problem with the bees in the tree, in fact, I think it's kind of cool, but my husband wants the girls back home (to produce more honey of course).

    As suggested, it is very difficult to get them out of a tree trunk, so, I'm going to let nature run it's course.

    I can't help but wonder, if these are my bees, they must have swarmed. I was under the impression that when your bees swarmed, a great percentage of your colony leaves in the swarm. We don't seem to have lost many if indeed these are our girls in the tree. But, since this natural hive is only about 20 yards from our hive, it stands to reason that they are our bees.

    Live and learn something about this hobby every day!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,203

    Post

    Sometimes it's a very noticable decrease in population. Somtimes the hive keeps right on going like nothing happened and you don't even notice. It's one of the reasons I like my queens marked, so I can tell it's not the original queen if they swarmed or superceded, I have another clue as to what has occured.

  7. #7
    chrismbm Guest

    Post

    Someday I hope to be able to find the queen in the hive and achieve the confidence level to mark her. This seems to be a very delicate maneuver.

    Thanks for setting me straight on swarms.

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