Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Posts
    126

    Default Colony under the roots of a large tree.

    I got a call from someone today who has a colony which has been inside a tree for a week or maybe two. It's in a hollow near the base of the tree and looks as though the cavity is actually under the tree roots. There don't seem to be any other entrances and the tree was shaped so that I believe I can fill the cavity with water.

    I put an empty hive touching the base of the tree and put a hose down into the hollow and started water trickling down. The owner waited about and hour and slowly increased the flow until the hose was running full force. After a couple of hours there was a football sized cluster at the top of the hollow, but they're not appearing to go into the box.

    If the water is left on so it, hopefully, fills the cavity and all the bees come out I think they'll go in the box.

    Anyone got any helpful suggestions? Am I on the right track?
    http://bees-on-the-net.com/bs
    Bees give me a buzz!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Chesterfield, VA
    Posts
    95

    Default

    I have never heard of filling the tree with water. Did you put a screen cone at the entrence of the hollow or are you able to since the bees are located at the roots?
    Big T

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Posts
    126

    Default Did I put a cone on.

    No, it would have been pretty difficult and my intention is to fill the cavity completely as the hole seems to be at the top. I'm hoping that even when the water level in the cavity drops they won't want to go back and will go into the box.
    http://bees-on-the-net.com/bs
    Bees give me a buzz!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,080

    Default

    I think you will be quite successful...................at killing the hive, if that is your goal.

    Keep us posted.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,313

    Default

    I had a similar thought about trapping bees out of a wall.

    My thought was to funnel sand down inside the wall a little at a time. If you went real slow, the bees could walk away from the sand even if they were temporarily buried.

    My thought was to do this over several days and eventually the wall would be full of sand the the bees would come out.

    I know it is a lot of work, but if I was inclined to do it. Do you think it would work?
    Troy

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Grifton, NC
    Posts
    1,302

    Default

    European bees tend not to hive up underground or clsoe to theground. AHB do like the ground, so I'd be trying to ID the bees before I got in "too deep."
    Banjos and bees... how sweet it is!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Mobile, Alabama
    Posts
    62

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Troy View Post
    I had a similar thought about trapping bees out of a wall.

    My thought was to funnel sand down inside the wall a little at a time. If you went real slow, the bees could walk away from the sand even if they were temporarily buried.

    My thought was to do this over several days and eventually the wall would be full of sand the the bees would come out.

    I know it is a lot of work, but if I was inclined to do it. Do you think it would work?
    Surely you are kidding. The weight of the sand would blow out the wall. Not to mention what that dead load would do to the foundation.
    Last edited by MollySue'sHoney; 06-10-2008 at 01:01 PM. Reason: Clarity
    Lawrence Underwood / Mobile, Alabama http://mollysueshoney.blogspot.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Cleveland, Texas
    Posts
    1,378

    Default

    What idee said.
    "The UNKNOWN, huh? That would be SNORBERT ZANGOX over in Waycross."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Amarillo, TX
    Posts
    382

    Default

    Beegee said " European bees tend not to hive up underground or clsoe to theground. AHB do like the ground, so I'd be trying to ID the bees before I got in "too deep."

    Recently I've been called out to get bees out of lawn sprinkler control boxes that are about bushel size in volume but are under ground. These typically are an enclosed box with valves in the bottom, a big open space and a plastic lid with a hole in it at ground level. I did a cut out from one tonight that apparently just colonized the box since all the comb was white and pretty fragile with not much nectar, pollen or brood. It was hanging from the plastic top cover and was easy to take off and get the comb and bees. The bees were exceptionally gentle while I was taking them out of the box and if they were AHB wouldn't they be much more aggressive, even if they just arrived?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,313

    Default

    MollySue said:
    Surely you are kidding. The weight of the sand would blow out the wall. Not to mention what that dead load would do to the foundation.
    I guess more info was needed here.

    1. Most houses in the Central Florida area are concrete block, and in the newer ones they fill all the blocks solid with concrete. So if they can take being filled with solid concrete they can surely take being filled with sand. It won't blow out the concrete wall or affect the foundation, as it is already built to take it.

    2. The bee hives I have seen in these walls are usually on the small side. The bees do not do real well in the cool damp envrionment of the conrete block and so I think I would not have to fill the whole wall cavity with sand.

    3. My plan was like this:
    A. Seal the bees in.
    B. One block at a time drill a hole to see where there are bees and where there are not bees and mark the holes.
    C. I would squirt great stuff foam into the holes where there are no bees. Now I have a perimeter defined. With the perimeter defined I would open the top most hole and close off all the others so the bees learn to go to the top.
    D. Start putting sand in the holes working from the bottom up just a tablespoon or so at a time. This way the wall would gradually fill in and the bees would gradually move up. As the holes fill up, I'd seal them closed and move up to the next one.
    E. This process might take a few weeks, but it is no worse than a regular trap out. If it works it has the advantage of entombing the wax and comb in the wall and making it not available to SHB and Wax moths etc.

    Now that I've given all the details, what do you think - will it work?
    Troy

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Cleveland, Texas
    Posts
    1,378

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by applebwoi View Post
    Recently I've been called out to get bees out of lawn sprinkler control boxes that are about bushel size in volume but are under ground. These typically are an enclosed box with valves in the bottom, a big open space and a plastic lid with a hole in it at ground level. I did a cut out from one tonight that apparently just colonized the box since all the comb was white and pretty fragile with not much nectar, pollen or brood. It was hanging from the plastic top cover and was easy to take off and get the comb and bees. The bees were exceptionally gentle while I was taking them out of the box and if they were AHB wouldn't they be much more aggressive, even if they just arrived?
    Small AHB hives can be as gentle as EHB, so you can't count 100% on their behavior at the time of removal. Also there is a point during removal when they seem to become resolved to the fact that they have "lost the battle" so to speak and give up on defensive behavior and concentrate on just trying to get away. For a small new colony, this point many times comes almost immediately when you expose the comb. That being said, they could still very well be EHB, as I have seen EHB nest in these type locations in areas where higher suitable cavities are in limited supply. There are other clues, like excessive runnyness/flightyness and the presence of intermorphs (workers that resemble small queens). If you see these other clues together with the unusual nesting site, then I would be highly suspicious and have them tested irregardless of how gentle they appear.
    "The UNKNOWN, huh? That would be SNORBERT ZANGOX over in Waycross."

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Mobile, Alabama
    Posts
    62

    Default


    Now that I've given all the details, what do you think - will it work?
    Well, I don't know. Seems like an awful lot of work for an 'iffy' situation. If you are going to seal it off and leave the top open you might be better served using a repellent and driving them out. It would be quicker, I would think. Then entomb the thing in foam. BTW, make sure and use the non expanding foam. The expanding type can blow out block if it gets bound.
    Lawrence Underwood / Mobile, Alabama http://mollysueshoney.blogspot.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Posts
    126

    Default Colony under an oak tree.

    Well, by time the cavity finally filled with water all the bees were out and clustered in the upper part of the hollow. I bushed them onto a board and the ran into a hive box. I left it there until the evening so all the stragglers would be home......... except that when I went to collect it they were all back up in the hollow, some down inside the root cavity again as the water had subsided. So I brushed them again and they, reluctantly went in the box, I closed them up and headed for home with the stragglers still clinging to the tree. So basically IT WORKED!!!!

    Today I collected a colony which had been in a sprinkler box for a few weeks, so had built half a dozen large-hand-sized combs with brood etc. The lid had been removed and then dropped as the owner 'ran for cover'. His gardener was allegedly stung 5 or 6 times on the face and had to rush to hospital because he's allergic.

    I cut the combs off the inside of the upturned lid, suspended them in frames with my plastic-chicken wire arrangement and shook the remaining bees into the box. I gave them only a token puff of smoke and didn't bother with suit or gloves. Didn't get a single sting!
    http://bees-on-the-net.com/bs
    Bees give me a buzz!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,080

    Default

    >>>>So basically IT WORKED!!!!<<<<

    Please repeat this statement when you see the queen.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Posts
    126

    Default It worked!

    My purpose was to remove the colony for the house holder, not collect a swarm. If the queen's there, great, if not I'll combine them with another colony.
    http://bees-on-the-net.com/bs
    Bees give me a buzz!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,313

    Default

    I didn't know that the foam could expand enough to break a concrete block.

    That would be bad...... Very bad.

    I'll be very careful if I ever do that to go slow and not let the foam get bound up in there.
    Troy

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Barry, TX USA
    Posts
    861

    Default

    Some people call it triple expanding foam, expands to three times its starting size. They make "great stuff" (or a knock off) for windows and doors that doesn't expand so much. I once saw a situation where a homeowner put great stuff around some doors and windows in his home. The result was that the door and windows no longer opened, at least with human strength. I'm not sure how he resolved his dilemma. It can be nasty and unsightly stuff. Bees would definitely get entangled and die in the goo before it got hard. Not sure what the fumes would do to them either.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads