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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Grover, NC, USA
    Posts
    32

    Default Wild bees in a gas tank?

    Hello again, remember I am new to all this and know nothing about bees. The guys at work know I am interested in getting bees and one of them works on old trucks in his spare time. He says that he has a 34 Ford truck that honey bees have took over the gas tank? He says they have been in there about 4 years and he wants me to get them if I want them? He does not want to keep the gas tank, and has offered to remove the tank and bring it to work for me. I told him that they would not be a good way to get them out of there this time of year, and he basically just wants them gone so he can work on the truck. He says gas has not been in the tank for over 40 years, but its still hard for me to understand why they would be there? He says there is only one hole for them to go in and out, about 2" in the end of the tank Does this sound like a total waste of time or is there a away to get them out and get them in my hive? Its all new to me as I have never even seen a wild hive or swarm. Any help would be appreciated.
    Thanks Rondo

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,080

    Default

    Best thing would be to leave it as is until spring.

    Second best, since he is willing to remove the tank, is to remove tank, move truck, leave tank as near original position as possible until spring. Tank should not be turned sideways, upside down, or otherwise disturbed, position wise, while removing. The comb will break and fall, destroying the hive.

    Removing the bees from the tank before spring would be a waste of time.

    There are a number of ways to remove them in the spring.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,674

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Luzerne County, Plains, PA, USA
    Posts
    162

    Default

    HOLY CRAP BARRY.......... That's amazing.............. how'd ya open the tank without damaging the hive?

    A beekeeper is not what I am, it's what I aspire to become.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,674

    Default

    That tank hive belonged to Dave Caldwell. You can see it was fairly rusted through. Here is another approach from a member of a previous group:

    ----------
    Last year I had a neighbor call me to remove a hive that was in a
    automobile gas tank like the one you describe, except this one was
    laying flat on the ground and the bees were flying in and out of the
    tank spout. I went there after dark and took it to my apiary and lay it
    flat on the ground. Centered on the top surface of this tank was a
    fitting for what I assume to be the gas gauge. It had a round hole
    pattern and was around 3" in diameter. I was able to remove this plug
    from the tank which in effect gave me a upper entrance to the tank. I
    then placed a deep box of drawn foundation on top of the tank and
    centered about this hole and I sealed the interface with duct tape. On
    this went a inner cover, upside down with a notch to serve as an
    entrance, on top of this a inverted gallon bucket with 1:1 syrup, a
    empty deep box to cover the syrup bucket and then a telescoping cover. I
    leveled the tank so that the hive box would be level. I plugged the
    spout hole with duct tape to force the bees through the deep box and in
    and out through the entrance in the upper part of the box as provided by
    the inner cover. It took several weeks, but eventually the colony
    migrated into that upper deep and when I found the queen up there I put
    a queen excluder under the deep box and left the tank under the hive for
    three more weeks so any brood that was still in the tank would be able
    to hatch. After this period of time I set the tank aside and let the
    colony rob the tank for a week or so before I disposed of it.

    - Billy Smart
    Regards, Barry

  6. #6

    Default

    Most vehicles produced since the mid-eighties will have an openning as described in the top of the tank. It's for the fuel pump. Open it and removed the fuel pump assembly and you now have a convenient hole for the bees to move through into a more conventional box as described.

    Autumn is certainly NOT the right time of year for a bee-removal if you want to keep the bees. If you don't care about the bees, just get a pump and fill the tank with water to drown them.
    The World Beehive Project - I build one of every popular beehive in the world!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Venango/Crawford Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,712

    Default

    If the tanks can't be opened like a can, use a screen, shaped in a cone, smaller the hole the better, Making sure they can still get through though. When they have come out and into a hive, remove the tank away. You might not have the queen, so you will have to give them one.
    "Where wisdom is called for, force is of little use."
    Herodotus (circa 485-425 BC), Greek Historian

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Grover, NC, USA
    Posts
    32

    Default

    Thanks for the help, and I talked to him today and I think I have him convinced into waiting on spring to do anything. Since I have no bees yet, I have no comb, and I would like to try and get the gas tank in the spring just to see if I could salvage the comb and bees. I would like to try and do the cone method to do this, but as many have said it needs to be spring. I just found it Odd that they would build in a gas tank but I see here that it is not so. I learn more on here everytime I get on the forum, but I do admit that the more I read the more confused I get. I am hoping to meet some locals tonight at the local beek meeting who may help a dumb newbie. This will be my first meeting so I may no more later. Thanks for all the input
    Rondo

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,870

    Default

    the more I read the more confused I get
    This is common, much will make sense after you get bees and begin to play with them. I am getting back into bees after some time off and I have changed my mind about what equipment I am going to use, to treat or not to treat, and where to buy my gear just to name a few and no bees yet!! Almost all these changes based on what I read here and in other fourms. Like I said, it is common.
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    creek county oklahoma
    Posts
    79

    Default nasalsponge are you a retired ENT?

    Just wondering about the name. Anyway glad you're back into bees.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,870

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pgayle View Post
    Just wondering about the name. Anyway glad you're back into bees.

    Naw....I was looking for a name that I would not have to add numbers after or change with every fourm or website I joined...I am getting old and forgetful, anyway I saw this add in the paper for nasal sponges and voila. As far as being back into bees...Thx, me too!!
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Nevada County, CA
    Posts
    1,083

    Default Naselspong

    Just a tip from someone who went back into bees about five years ago after about 25 years sabatical. A lot of things change over time. If you haven't bought any new equipment yet, give a lot of though about your present physical condition and what you expect it to be like in ten years or so. When I started back I still had all my old equipment which was ten frame deeps. Because my back had deteriated over the years I decided to buy a bunch of ten frame shallows for honey supers. It didn't take long for me to figure out that with two deeps for brood chambers that top deep was more often full of honey and weighed enough to put me out of commission almost every time I had to lift one. I tried using deeps on the bottom and one or two shallows on top. That got real interesting when I needed to move frames or use last years MT comb to spread the brood. Then I bought some 8 frame deeps and 8 frame mediums which worked better. Later I got a good deal on truckload of 8 frame western mediums. Now I have four differant sizes of comb to worrey about and every time I go to an outyard I find I have the wrong size comb for whatever I discover I need.

    If I started over again now I would get rid of all my old equipment and use nothing but 8 frame mediums. The mediums cut the weight to 3/4 what the deeps are. 8/10 as many frames further reduces the weight. 3/4 X 4/5 = 12/20 = 3/5 the weight every time I have to lift one. All one size would eliminate the interchangability problem with frames. Mediums are a compromise when you extract, ie: 25% less times you need to handle the frames than if you used small, 25% more than if you used deeps.

    Every year that goes by I find myself wanting to use the med 8's more and the other sizes less but since I have all the rest some end up full of bees by the season anyway and I end up grumbling about it when it causes me trouble. Better to solve all those problems before you start back up.
    doug

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