Work colleague had a tree knocked over during storm as to where he found that it had honey bees in it that he didnt know was there and said they were mine for the taking. The colony was now obviously horizontal instead of vertical so I developed a two stage extraction. First day, I screened the entrances up well and took a lucky guess as to how far away from the entrance to cut to make a top and bottom. The plan was to cut the section of tree out that housed the bees, remove the screens, and sit it up straight and let the bees gather them selves for a couple days. Then come back, rescreen early in the morning before any foragers began to leave and haul the entire log home, bees and all.
Good news first, the log is sitting verticle behind my barn with live bees freely foraging and rebuilding a colony.
Bad news last, wasn't as well of a cut and dry plan that I had intended! When I cut the section of tree loose that housed the bees and sit it up vertically, I was unaware of storm water that had gathered inside the fallen tree and the bees took a healthy or not so healthy bath as all the water went flushing thru the hollows of the tree. My biggest hope was just that I didnt kill the queen atleast.
I gave them about six days and upon my return found calm bees coming and going from the tree so I screened them up and hauled them home! At this time I obviously cant inspect the colony because they are still in the hollows of an intact tree trunk. The best assumption I can make is that the calm foragers are a sign of a queenright colony. Right or wrong? Anyways, I owe this colony a ton of gratitude for being as calm as they were through all my "learning curves" and not a single bee ever got aggressive or darted my face screen. Owe ya, they survived ME so far too...
I know your asking what now, well me too! All I know is that its quite enjoyable sitting in the barn and watching them come and go from this "natural" home.
Just a side note, my eyes are opened a little farther now as to charging for this service but it was my first interaction outside of installing purchased packages!!!