500 year old tree trap outs
I have an interesting trap-out coming up and could use some input. The tree is the oldest (over 500 yrs) tallest (120+ ft) and fourth widest (19’ 8”) Live Oak in the state. It contains three hives. The homeowner (actually she says she bought the tree and it came with a house) has had bees in it on and off for 17 years. She has done extensive planting for the girls and has put in a small flowing pond as a water source. She was stung for the first time last month and it put her in the hospital for three days. Not only is she allergic to bee stings, but Epinephrine as well. Not a good combo. The hive the homeowner is most concerned about is about 12 feet up and about 10 feet from her back door. The second hive is at about the same height on the opposite side of the tree, and faces the garage. The third is out of reach and will have to stay, about 60 feet up in a branch out over the roof. Since I cannot do anything that might damage the tree (staples are about the limit), I plan on building a hive stand slightly taller then the second hive and anchoring it with guy wires, for the bait hive. I am only going to tackle one hive at a time, then moving the trap to the other side and replacing the bait hive. This will let the bees rob out the first hive and I hope, load up my bait hive. My biggest issue is figuring out how to get screen down over the bark, which has ridges about half an inch deep. I’m thinking a gasket of some kind. All I have come up with so far is wool yarn loosely braided into a rope and staple screen over it with a one way exit in the middle of the screen. Any other ideas out there?
I'm like the weatherman- right about half of the time.