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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    North Bend, WA
    Posts
    504

    Default Bee Tree Cut-Out

    I've been asked to take some feral bees out of an old Western Red Cedar. This tree will be cut down either before or after the process. I'm familiar with the process once I can get to the combs, but how to get them out of the tree is a bit elusive.

    I've never done this before, and any advice is welcome.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lee\'s Summit, MO
    Posts
    1,321

    Default Re: Bee Tree Cut-Out

    You can trap them out or cut them out. Trapping them out is pretty straight forward and clean though it will take a couple of months. Cutting them out is a different ball of wax.

    http://s196.photobucket.com/albums/aa190/Drew454/

    The tree in question was actually a limb that had fallen in a storm. I used a chainsaw and crowbar to get into the hive then it was pretty simple. I thought the'd freak out over the chainsaw but they didn't and it was really the only way in there.
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Dexter, Maine
    Posts
    1,037

    Default Re: Bee Tree Cut-Out

    Well, if your gonna do it before spring, you do it by taking home the whole section of tree that the bees are living in. If your gonna wait till spring you do it like any other cutout, just the tree will dictate where to cut. But I have never done one, I'm sure others will chime in.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    North Bend, WA
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: Bee Tree Cut-Out

    I'll do it once the weather turns. What I'm most concerned about is how to split the tree open w/o damaging all the combs.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Manhattan,Montana,USA
    Posts
    358

    Default Re: Bee Tree Cut-Out

    I wouldn't worry about wreaking the combs. save what you can. get what you can and they will fix/rebuild the rest. i would think the main thing is to get the bees a some brood.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    7,055

    Default Re: Bee Tree Cut-Out

    Top the tree, if you can drill some test holes to estimate where the top of the cavity is, or guess at 4 feet, brace or tie it off so it won't slam to the ground if you can, cut at or below the hive opening, cut the tree lengthwise on one side gently drive in wedges, as little pounding as possible, saw the opposite side lengthwise, lift off the upper half, put all the comb you can in your new hive. It is much easier with a partner that is comfortable with bees and chainsaws. I have done it alone because it is hard to find beekeeping woodsmen. Axes and hammers will promote defensiveness. I am not comfortable in a veil with a chainsaw running. Self-amputation is more painful than beestings to me.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Findlay, Ohio
    Posts
    323

    Smile Re: Bee Tree Cut-Out

    I read somewere; cut out the section of tree with the hive in it, put a top and bottom on it, move it to wereever, and capture swarms as they occure.
    I do not know if this is pratical for you, but getting the bees out can be a real PAIN!! I have done a couple of them, NO more.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Metairie, Louisiana
    Posts
    226

    Default Re: Bee Tree Cut-Out

    Wombat, I use a chainsaw and smoke before each cut. Don't worry about damaging a little comb here or there. Do a tree like any other cut-out.

    Here's one from this past yr: http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxiceph...ebruary252009#


    ...JP

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    7,055

    Default Re: Bee Tree Cut-Out

    I did not know it was still legal to keep bees in gums (holllow trees) in Ohio or any state in the United States. How do you inspect for diseases, pests, parasites, and health?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    North Bend, WA
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: Bee Tree Cut-Out

    Thanks Americas. That's real helpful, especially the part about drilling test holes. I was wondering how to determine where the top of the cavity was. Since this is a big western red cedar, I may try knocking a splitting wedge into a side after it's been topped and see if it'll just split apart.

    Hopefully I can get some pictures soon and see what I'm up against.

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