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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Lyndon, KS
    Posts
    344

    Post

    I was approached by someone today telling me that they had bees in a tree in thier front yard....I looked and sure enough they are there. They have to entrances. I was told that they were there last year so they have overwintered. The entrance is about a foot off the ground. They would like them removed but want to keep the tree. I just started this year and only have three hives started this last week with three moe packages on the way. What is the best way to get these bees or should they kill them. They are afraid that their daughter will get into them.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,498

    Post

    I have posted many times how to do this. Search on feral bees or removing bees. It has been discussed many times. But here is the method again I use:

    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. This is a method where a screen wire cone is placed over the main entrance of the current home of the bees. (in this case the main entrance to the tree) 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. 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. If DON’T put the box with the brood here, but rather at your beeyard, hopefully at least 2 miles away, 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. If you do, 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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
    Posts
    1,914

    Lightbulb

    Flewster

    Great question, I am doing this very thing at the moment and came up with a "trick" that worked wonders. In using the cone-method as Michael discribes, I was challenged in the whole process of fashioning the cone and then getting it sealed against the tree. I am sure everyone has their methods on this (probably the only thing that beekeepers might disagree on What I found most successful in my application was to fashion a rather long cone by rolling the whole length of a peice of mesh into a long, narrow cone and using a staple to fix it. Next, i fixed it to the tree with a tack so that the base of the comb is at the top of the entrance in the tree. The cone points skyward. Simple enough.

    The challenge was sealing off the cone and the entrance. Here is what I found most effective. I stretched a peice of mesh across the opening so that it reached up the cone few inches. I then pinched it around behind the cone by first tacking it on one side, and then the other side behind the cone. Lastly, I rolled the edges of the mesh to bunch them as I tacked them around the entrance. The rolled mesh filled the voids in the bark better than trying to pull it tight and seal it off with hundreds of tacks or staples.

    so now I have a rather long cone pointing skyward with the entrance sealed off.. I also provided a nuc with some frames of small cell foundation, some frames of feral combs, and bees and a laying queen. Alternately, you could try Michael's post under swarm trap in which he recommends starter strips instead of foundation as some find the bees draw from starter strips faster than from foundation.

    Let us know how it goes.

    Wayacoyote

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Julian, NC, USA
    Posts
    252

    Post

    Staple the cone in a few places and use "Great Stuff" insulating foam sealant or similar product to fill in the gaps. Very little time and effort required to do this and it works great!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    761

    Cool

    I use an old piece of vacuum cleaner hose - insert into or over the bee exit, fill in with wood or cardboard or something and plaster in with Great Stuff. The other end has a small cone escape (same as used on an escape board) and is inserted into the trap hive - so the bees exit into the hive. I seal up all other exits and cracks with Great Stuff. The advantage is a lot fewer bees outside the hive - they can only smell their hive coming from within the trap hive. I'm using this to get bees out of a house wall right now.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    With the use of the vaccum tube you could probably also pipe the bees into the new hive, and keep them there with some capped brood.

    I have heard from some that eventually the queen herself will leave the hive when she is finally almost alone.

    Is this true?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,498

    Post

    >I have heard from some that eventually the queen herself will leave the hive when she is finally almost alone. Is this true?

    I have heard this too, but have not seen it.

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