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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Simpsonville, SC, USA
    Posts
    215

    Default Free hanging hive off of a tree branch

    Hi guys,
    I've done several removals this Summer; but I got an interesting call today. I've always wanted to see a free-hanging hive where the bees are not in a cavity. It's just been a curiosity to me that bees do not necessarily need a cavity to have a thriving hive. Anyway, an apartment complex called me today with this very situation. They are sure it isn't a papery hornet's nest. They can see the honeycombs. It's 30' up the tree but they have a lift and can get me up there.
    Normally I charge pretty well to perform a cutout. But they only called me to see if I would do it for free just to get the bees. I told them I charge for cutouts but that I'd think about it. I wanted to get the thoughts of you all on doing this job for free. Part of me would love to see this free hanging hive anyway. The other part of me doesn't want to go to all this trouble to do the job with no compensation. So please throw some things out there that could nudge me onto either side of the fence with whether to do this for free or just walk away. Thanks in advance!!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Free hanging hive off of a tree branch

    Quote Originally Posted by HiveMind View Post
    all this trouble
    Free colonies don't come along everyday. if you don't get it, someone else will. that is, if you want another colony and have the woodware. Enjoy!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tulsa OK. USA
    Posts
    846

    Default Re: Free hanging hive off of a tree branch

    Call the local newspaper, they are always looking for local news and you will get some free press that may lead to more calls. Might even call local tv news. Atleast then it won't be a free removal. jim
    Stop and smell the flowers, 50,000 ladies can't be wrong
    Bsweetapiary@aol.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, U.S.A.
    Posts
    396

    Default Re: Free hanging hive off of a tree branch

    if you realy want to see that free open hive and they have a lift they will help with then you get the bees and to see something rare

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Pensacola, Florida
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: Free hanging hive off of a tree branch

    I would go for it, but I would have anyone that will be helping with the lift etc. sign a waiver stating you are not responsible for any stings they might get.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Barry, TX USA
    Posts
    861

    Default Re: Free hanging hive off of a tree branch

    I was fortunate enough to get a hive like this several years ago. They were a thriving hive out in the open under a limb of a live oak tree. I hived them and they promptly didn't make it through the winter. It was worth it just to see it. In hindsight I wish I had not gotten them and let them die out over the winter on the tree. I would have gotten that section of limb with the comb and hung in in my house for a decoration (after I won the argument over it with my wife, of course!!!)
    When you stop learning you're dead.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Clarksville, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    216

    Default Re: Free hanging hive off of a tree branch

    I would love to have that limb hanging above my bear in the game room! Awesome!
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 06-16-2011 at 08:42 AM. Reason: UNQ

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Simpsonville, SC, USA
    Posts
    215

    Default Re: Free hanging hive off of a tree branch

    I really like Beyond's idea. I had a tree service call me recently about a bee tree and I wanted to take back the inhabited portion of the tree back to my bee yard and have a real bee tree in it's natural state in my bee yard! I wonder if anyone has any advice about severing the limbs that the comb are hanging from. Then trim them up and somehow bring the whole hive back to my place in tact with the bees and all. Maybe even affix or otherwise secure the whole thing one of my limbs back in my bee yard. It would be an awesome "show and tell" hive and wouldn't even involve cutting all the comb up. I understand that this hive is hanging from several relatively small branches. Any and all crazy or sane advise is welcome!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Louisville Kentucky USA
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: Free hanging hive off of a tree branch

    I got a hive like this last October in Kentucky.We cut the limb off(about a 6 inch limb) and lowered it to the ground with a rope.The bees had a really good temprament.I sat the whole limb on top of 2 deeps and the comb reached all the way down to the bottom board.The hive was pretty light for that late in the year so I figured they wouldnt survive but they came through winter just fine and this spring I cut the limb off and cut the comb out of the deeps and banded them to some frames and they have built up very nicely.Here is a photo
    http://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k5...P1010062-1.jpg
    You can see most of the leaves are gone off of the tree.I took these bees for free because they were just going to die in the winter on that exposed comb.I have gotten several of these so they are not as uncommon as you might think.If you can get a lift and all I would go for it.
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 06-16-2011 at 08:47 AM. Reason: Image to large

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    7,106

    Default Re: Free hanging hive off of a tree branch

    I had five in one tree in the neighborhood behind us. I had one of my students that owns a sign company come over with his bucket truck. He put me on each hive, learned how to pick up free bees and took home his first feral hives. I think he has over 20 now and sells them regularly.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Keno, OR
    Posts
    734

    Default Re: Free hanging hive off of a tree branch

    What about doing it for free, but ask if you can sell some honey to the bystanders before you take the hole thing down. That way you get some reward for doing it.
    Klamath Basin Beekeepers Association: www.klamathbeekeepers.org
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/kbbafb/

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    White County, Arkansas
    Posts
    874

    Default Re: Free hanging hive off of a tree branch

    A few years before I started Beekeeping my neighbor had a hive under their old window a/c unit. I didn't have a clue as to what it was. Found out a couple years after they killed them off. Now I just wish I would have started about ten years earlier.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Galt, CA
    Posts
    881

    Default Re: Free hanging hive off of a tree branch

    I've taken 4 hanging colonies down since I've been doing this. One tree had 2 colonlies in it, I had to rent a lift to get it, but the neighbor paid me back for the costs. Sometime people are really understanding about helping bee survive. Another one was in the eves of a house. The last was a tree and I was paid $100 to haul it off. I think I was only there an hour.
    I say go get it and have some fun.
    C2

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Simpsonville, SC, USA
    Posts
    215

    Default Re: Free hanging hive off of a tree branch

    If I just cut the limbs away from the tree and then put the whole hive in a bag, bees and all, and took it back to my place in tact would that work? I'm thinking I'd suspend it inside my SUV from the ceiling so the comb doesn't get damaged. Then attach it to a limb in my bee yard.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Chino, CA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Free hanging hive off of a tree branch

    If you take a free hanging hive and set it into a chamber deep enough to contain it and then put an additional box above it with frames, will the bees move up into the new box over the course of the season? Will they dismantle the old hive or clean it out? (I too would love to be able to display the old hive)

    We discovered a free hanging hive at my mothers house a week ago and its in an easy to get to location and only 12' off the ground. It appears to be about 1 1/2' - 2' long, and consists of 8 combs.

    Has anyone done this one and how?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Louisville Kentucky USA
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: Free hanging hive off of a tree branch

    The one I pulled down was in October so I didnt have time to try and re-hive them before winter.I stuck them in 2 deeps and left them till spring.I set another deep under them so they would walk through it to get out the bottom board but the queen never moved down.I couldnt put a box over the top because it still had a huge limb sitting on top of the box.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Chino, CA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Free hanging hive off of a tree branch

    Since the hive is so easy to reach, the husband is going to go up and measure the diameter of the limbs and where they need to be cut. Then install a lip inside the hive box for the limbs to rest on and far enough down inside so the limbs will not interfere with a new box on top.

    Still working on how to lower the hive down, maybe two ladders with a support pole between them and rope the limb so it can be lowered down.

    Tearing the hive apart and rubber banding them to frames is a too intimidating to newbies like us!

    Once we actually undertake it I will take a bunch of photos on how it went. (Could be amusing)

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Gainesville, FL
    Posts
    75

    Default Re: Free hanging hive off of a tree branch

    There has been a big open hive in an oak tree in my neighbor's yard for the past year or so. I thought it would die out in the winter, but it ws fine. I am pretty sure that the swarm came from one of my hives. I would go get it but it is about 70 feet up and I do not want to be in a cloud of angry bees at that altitude. It is a huge hive with 8 or so big combs lined up along a branch.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Louisville Kentucky USA
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: Free hanging hive off of a tree branch

    We lowered it down with a rope tossed over a higher limb.I cut the limb with a chainsaw while my buddy held the rope.Oddly enough we never had very many bees flying the whole time we were taking it down.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Chino, CA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Free hanging hive off of a tree branch

    When you used the chainsaw, was it cold out? We were thinking to rope it up, then cut the limbs and then leave it hang till the next evening so everything could settle down.

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