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  1. #1
    My neighbor asked me to take his bee hive. I figured he meant a swarm. It's a hive hanging from a tree limb, about 20 or so feet up.
    You can see comb from his roof, and can see a large mass from the ground.

    Some comb had fallen on the ground under the tree and I was able to confirm larvae inside (black and rotting though, gross).

    I advised him to wait until the rainy season when the wind and rain would drive the bees out. But he's scheduled a tree trimming next week. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,458

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    Where do you live? Here I would take it, cut the comb and tie it in frames and put the hive in a box. Then after they settled in I'd combine them with a good strong hive. They would'nt recover enough before winter here.

  3. #3

    Post

    I'm in california, our rains will come in late oct. thru april.

    I don't know how I'd get it, It's too far off the ground. And wouldn't the bees be piping mad if I pulled the comb off the branch? Possibly killing the queen?

    My understanding was that it's fairly easy to capture swarms because they don't have a hive to defend. In this case wouldn't they sting like crazy! I don't want to fall out of this tree. I can't climb onto the branch they are on because it's too thin. I don't really want them because I don't have the extra equipment to house them yet. I just have one hive, I just started this year. I'd just like to get rid of them safely so they aren't so bothered by the bees.

    These are the people whose kiddie pool is covered with bees. Two of them (mother and son) were stung and went to the hospital. The husband is tiring of these extra problems and expenses understandably.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,458

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    >I'm in california, our rains will come in late oct. thru april.

    I don't worry about rains. It's winter and cold I worry about.

    >I don't know how I'd get it, It's too far off the ground. And wouldn't the bees be piping mad if I pulled the comb off the branch?

    Actually it's unpredictable. It depends a lot on the disposition of those particular bees. Genetics, recent stress etc. have a large effect. I wouldn't try it without protective equipment and I wouldn't try it if I was allergic to stings, but it's possible you may cut all the combs off and transfer them without any trying to sting you. It's also possible they will ALL try to sting you.

    >Possibly killing the queen?
    Always a possiblilty, but as long as you get some brood and there are still drones around they will raise a new one.

    >My understanding was that it's fairly easy to capture swarms because they don't have a hive to defend. In this case wouldn't they sting like crazy!

    As I said, you never know.

    >I don't want to fall out of this tree. I can't climb onto the branch they are on because it's too thin. I don't really want them because I don't have the extra equipment to house them yet. I just have one hive, I just started this year. I'd just like to get rid of them safely so they aren't so bothered by the bees.

    If you can cut wear a suit and cut the branch back by the tree and away from the hive enough, then you may be able to take it down and cut the combs off and transfer them. You can also just kill them all if that's your preference. A water hose will put them all on the ground. If you take all their combs, they may abscond and try to find a new home anyway.

    >These are the people whose kiddie pool is covered with bees. Two of them (mother and son) were stung and went to the hospital. The husband is tiring of these extra problems and expenses understandably.

    Sound like they need to get them out of there. Also, if they provide some water source that is more appealing than the pool they may stay out of the pool.

    Here's a link to taking a wild hive: http://www.kohala.net/bees/capture/index.html

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Grifton, NC
    Posts
    1,302

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    One of our club members just collected such a colony last week. He used a plastic garbage bag and just cut the limb off so all the bees, branc, combs and all went into the bag. He brought them homew and after 5 hours in the bag(he punched air holes in it)they survived. They weren't happy....My sister-in-law makes baskets and I'm going to have her make me a swarm-collecting basket that I can put on a telescoping pole. I saw a picture of one in use in Europe.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
    Posts
    1,895

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    A 5 gallon pail on the end of an extension pole can work very effectively. I took one swarm this year out of a tree with a 12 foot step laddler and 16 foot extension pole and bucket.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    napoleon ohio
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    769

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    I have trurned down taking swarms to high off the ground.It is allways nice to get a swarm,but.You do not need to put yourself in danger of falling just for the sake of one swarm of bees.You cant take care of the bees you have if you are in the hospital. Be caefull.You said the tree was going to be trimed. Maybe contact the tree triming place and see if they will help you out with a bucket truck. Who knows if the truck is allready there it might not coast a thing.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,458

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    >You said the tree was going to be trimed. Maybe contact the tree triming place and see if they will help you out with a bucket truck.

    Brillian idea! The tree trimming guys might just be glad to not have to mess with the bees themselves.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    napoleon ohio
    Posts
    769

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    You bet MB is great idea.A new swarm of bees is great, but not if you bust your butt getting them.To all bee safe catching the late swarms.

    ps If you get the bucket truck. People have kept swarms in cadboard boxes, coolers and the like for days befor they get a hive ready.
    Good luck and bee safe Bob

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,458

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    I always walk away from the ones in a building that high up. You're bound to get some inside the suit eventually and it's difficult not to panic on top of a ladder with a lot of bees inside.

    Maybe the wise thing is to walk away, certainly if you can't figure out a way to cut the branch and get it down saftley. But if you can get the branch on the gound you've got it made.

    A whole hive of bees isn't worth a fall from a tall ladder.

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