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  1. #1
    Jason G in Tennessee Guest

    Post

    Hey, I just got back from Chattanooga and had a message from a guy who says he has a "swarm of bees" in a tree. He said they have built comb on the limb and it is 20 feet up. Any suggestions on how to get this one without tearing it up and transferring the bees out of the comb?
    I would love to keep this one as a souvenir and just put the bees in my week colony.
    How would I get them to exit their home to move into my hive body?
    THANKS!

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

    First you catch the queen...
    Seriously that may be difficult. Bees twenty feet up. Have you ever had bees inside your veil twenty feet up a ladder? You HAVE to keep from panicking and that isn't always so easy.
    If I was serious about it and had a full bee suit with a zip on veil and thought I could keep from panicking at the top of a ladder, I would use a vacuum just because you don't have both hands free at the top of a ladder to work with cutting combs, catching them, putting them in frames and climbing up and down the ladder to put them in the box. I'd just try to vacuum them up and then tie two 5 gal buckets to the sides of the top of the ladder and cut all the comb loose and lay it carefully in either the honey bucket or the brood bucket and put the lids on and bring it down. Then I'd transfer the brood to frames either with string, rubber bands or swarm catching frames and scrap the honey.
    If you use the vacuum you'll need to check for a queen in a couple of days to see if she survived the procedure. If not, and you saved the brood comb, they will raise a new one, but this late it might be worth buying one because winter is fast approaching.



    [This message has been edited by Michael Bush (edited August 09, 2003).]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,212

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    A bee vac is a subject all its own. It can kill all the bees or save them. You have to adjust it carefully. Too much suction can devastate the bees. I have used them with good luck and I have kill most of the bees depending on the vacuum and how it's used. There are plans on here and discussions on here. I have made them by cutting a hole in the top of the shop vac and putting a damper on that is just plywood and a screw. Here are some plans from this site: http://www.beesource.com/plans/beevac/index.htm also Brushy Mt sells a box you hook up to your shop vac.

    Also putting brood in frames is another topic all it's own, here are the swarm catching frames from this site:
    http://www.beesource.com/plans/swarmframe.htm

    Here are instructions on capturing a feral hive:
    http://www.kohala.net/bees/capture/index.html


    [This message has been edited by Michael Bush (edited August 09, 2003).]

  4. #4
    Jason G in Tennessee Guest

    Big Grin

    Michael,
    I enjoyed the info and pics on the capturing a feral colony. Thanks.
    Because of the rarity of the open-air-in-a-tree feral colony I want to preserve the whole nest intact in its entirety.
    Is it possible to get the bees to move out?
    If I put them in a 5 gallon bucket with a hole in the top would drumming work?
    I have a bee vacuum that I designed. I was lying awake one night before falling asleep and the whole thing came together.
    I used a 5 gallon plastic bucket with a hole for a 1.5 horse shop vac motor and a screened regulator hole with a pivoting regulator flap. Four inches below the lid I put in a secondary lid with a handle and screened holes made from round .5 inch plywood that is pushed in until snug.
    Then I put a hole in the side 3 inches down from the second cover for the vacuum hose.
    I used the original CORRUGATED shop vac hose the first time I used it. BAD NEWS. MOST of the bees died from the rough bumpy ride down the hose. Needless to say the carpet foam on the inside wall did little good for them.
    After that sad event I have purchased expensive smooth clear hose and an extra piece that is smaller diameter to fit in the end that rotates. The hose is VERY rigid and does not move well so this second piece of hose is a life-saver.
    The bad aspect is that this vacuum of mine requires electricity. I am considering another lid for use with my gas leaf blower although I haven't begun yet.
    By the way, the second batch of bees I vacuumed didn't get enough air and died so I need a better ventilation method or just remove them within an couple hours of vacuuming. Oh yeah, when I get done vacuuming I remove the hose with the vacuum still running and put a round patch of carpet over the hole where I have velcro tape encircling the hole...a bit of duct-tape is good insurance though!
    Sorry for rambling...
    Jason

  5. #5
    Jason G in Tennessee Guest

    Post

    Coyote, you are brilliant!
    I will look into this.
    thanks,
    Jason

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Post

    >Because of the rarity of the open-air-in-a-tree feral colony I want to preserve the whole nest intact in its entirety.
    >Is it possible to get the bees to move out?
    If I put them in a 5 gallon bucket with a hole in the top would drumming work?

    Drumming will move a lot of bees but not all especially when there is brood involved. The only thing that will move most all of the bees off of comb that has brood in it, is Bee-Go or one of those chemicals. If you vacuum off what you can and cut the limb and take it down whole (difficult on a ladder, but probably not impossible) then put the nest in a deep box (if it will fit) with some deeps under it (or mediums if that's what you use for brood) and a fume pad on top, they should mostly move down into the bottom box and you can pull the nest out. Of course bees will be emerging from the nest for the next week.

    >After that sad event I have purchased expensive smooth clear hose and an extra piece that is smaller diameter to fit in the end that rotates. The hose is VERY rigid and does not move well so this second piece of hose is a life-saver.

    I haven't tried the smoother hose, but it seems like a good idea. I should get some.

    >The bad aspect is that this vacuum of mine requires electricity. I am considering another lid for use with my gas leaf blower although I haven't begun yet.
    By the way, the second batch of bees I vacuumed didn't get enough air and died so I need a better ventilation method or just remove them within an couple hours of vacuuming.

    Just put #8 Hardware cloth on the bottom of a 10 frame box and a couple of boards on the ends to lift it off of the ground and put some screen over the hole on an inner cover and dump the bucket into the box and staple the inner cover on with a hand stapler. There's nothing says they have to stay in the bucket.



  7. #7
    Jason G in Tennessee Guest

    Question

    Michael you have some great ideas there.
    If I don't have a fume pad what can I use instead for use with the bee go?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
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    Post

    I suppose some rags stapled to the inside of a telescopic cover might work, but I'm not sure if you could use the cover for anything else afterwards. I've never used the bee-go, but it is the only thing I know of the will run out virtually all the bees.

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