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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Louisa county, Virginia
    Posts
    3

    Default Golf course bees

    there's a golf course near where i live that has some bees living in a cedar tree that just had the top busted off about 5 or 6 feet up. i would like to do a cutout, but have never done one and not knowing what to expect, i can't just go in there and take a lot of time and stir them up so that no one can play the hole. the problem is the tree is close to the green and near the center of the fairway because it juts out as a dog leg.
    i'm open to suggestions. i was wondering about going in the evening after everyone playing has passed hole 7 (where they are) one night and cutting into the tree to expose the hive and then leaving. this would allow them to settle down and golfers could play the next day. the following evening i could cut in and actually cut out the hive. possibly leave the box until the following evening to get any stragglers. any thoughts.
    thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Augusta County, VA, USA
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Golf course bees

    If the tree is going to be demolished anyway then i would suggest starting with vacuuming out the bees, followed by careful cutting open of tree (cordless sawzall might be better than chain saw) to remove/salvage as much comb as possible. Of course, try to remove comb as you go if accessible, so you can look for queen. Make sure you have frames for comb, rubber bands to mount them, a board & saw horses to work on, queen clip/catcher, filleting knife, and bin to catch all the odd stuff. I'd be inclined to go first thing in morning to minimize stragglers left behind, or plan to come back to get the residual cluster on a second day.

    Of course if the colony is low enough and tree is manageable, you could consider just loping it off and taking section home. Concern with that is the comb collapsing and making a mess when you lay it down (maybe it's compact enough to keep standing up in a pickup bed?)

    Also make sure you have some old comb and some brood to put in with the bees when you get back home to hive them. Some might also suggest keeping the queen hostage for a couple of days so they don't abscond.

    PM me if you want to chat. I'm not too far away?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Louisa county, Virginia
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Golf course bees

    don't have a bee vac or a cordless sawzall, but i do have a chain saw. also, i can't start in the morning because the golfers start early and i can't have bees all over the place when they're trying to play thru. i was thinking i'd rubber band as much brood as i could into a box and get the honey in a bucket to feed them.
    what do you mean PM you

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Augusta County, VA, USA
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Golf course bees

    While it can be done w/out vac, I've just found the vac to make life much easier. Otherwise you'll probably put a lot of bees in the air... Hard to tell w/out seeing the tree/colony.
    The sawzall was just an idea I had after having had to cut open a huge oak, and then having to deal with a lot of sawdust on comb and honey.
    This late in season, I'd try really hard to find the queen. In fact if the colony is open 'to the weather', I'd hurry over and create temp cover, before it becomes a mess.
    Evening is fine, depending on what's left behind you'll have some stragglers. Another reason why a vac is handy, though you'd need a small generator to run it I suppose.
    PM is shorthand for 'personal message'. ;-)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Winchester, va
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Golf course bees

    Can you cut the chunk of tree they are in and take it home to work on there? At that point, you could do a cut out, or a "trap out" by putting regular supers on top (of the exposed hive) and getting the hive to move up.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,595

    Default Re: Golf course bees

    Quote Originally Posted by chip6700 View Post
    what do you mean PM you
    PM is a reference to the Beesource Private Message function. Click on abejorro's name in the header of his post and then choose Private Message. You can exchange phone numbers, make arrangements to meet, etc without sharing it with the world.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    988

    Default Re: Golf course bees

    How high up are the bees? Like another poster mentioned, could you possibly move the section they are in? This might be the best option.

    I would probably tell the course mgmt, the day after the cutout, there will be stragglers that should move into your equipment by the next evening. Otherwise, you run the risk of people getting stung and your bees sprayed.

    Since you have never done a cutout, and this is a pubic place, I would highly recommend enlisting some help. As was mentioned the other day, once you start a cutout, there really is no turning back until you are finished.

    If you don't have a bee vac, it really is no big deal, IMO. AS long as uncapped brood. That seems to be the trick to getting the bees and queen to move into your equipment. You have to be careful thouh, the last cutout we did, there colony did not have any uncapped brood. And it was a huge colony.

    Bring several buckets with lids to store honey. I would save this honey and try to feed it back to the colony. They are going to have to be fed pretty heavy in order to get built up for winter.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Louisa county, Virginia
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Golf course bees

    yes, it's the public golf course thing that has me hung up, and it' right in the line of play. and of course they're open 7 days a week from just about dawn to dusk and don't want a bunch of bees interrupting play. i don't think the tree is a candidate to cut out a section and carry home because the back side is completely splintered out. the front has about a 12 inch slit about 4 feet up that was the entrance. now from the splintered back you can see the internal rot of the tree and about a foot off the ground, a small patch of bees and the edge of a piece of comb

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    648

    Default Re: Golf course bees

    Just put red stakes in the ground in a circle 50' around the tree

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Jacksonville, Morgan County, IL
    Posts
    83

    Default Re: Golf course bees

    Please excuse me if this sounds like a grouchy old man talking but..........

    I've seen this not only in beekeeping, but in auto repair and broadcast maintenance

    The 'customer' does not want to be inconvenienced, yet expects you to to do a hot, thankless, difficult job under terms which make it nearly impossible to fulfill.

    My reaction would be 'either you shut down that hole for the time it takes me to do a proper, unhurried, professional job, or find someone else, probably an exterminator, since you don't have a clue as to how this works'.

    Then sit back and say NOTHING......the first one who talks, loses.

    I realize this is contrary to your desire to save this colony, but sometimes stern, strict measures are necessary, and if the reply is still not satisfactory, you have to walk away.

    Again, my apologies for blunt talk.

    Regards,

    Gary

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Citrus County, Florida, United States
    Posts
    260

    Default Re: Golf course bees

    +1 to Gary

    C'mon, unless you can section out the tree and take it to another location to do a proper cut-out or the hole shuts down until you're done...it's not worth it in my book. There will be more days and swarms to come.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Augusta County, VA, USA
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Golf course bees

    I'm going to disagree. Some cutouts are in places or for people that don't really 'care' about the bees, but just need a problem removed. The golf course stands to lose serious revenue and could 'fix' the problem with a spray can of wasp killer and 5 min. with a chainsaw and pickup truck. I think OP is lucky that course is willing to let him give it a go and should be as cooperative (and thankful) as possible.

    This is a job where a vac would save a ton of time. I've got a latest generation Owen's which is portable, doesn't kill many bees, and which would allow you to cage the bees quickly. Then you could take section of tree home carefully (but without dealing with the bees all in the air) and do the comb transfer at your leisure.

    ...also old, and equally grumpy... LOL

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Jacksonville, Morgan County, IL
    Posts
    83

    Default Re: Golf course bees

    Quote Originally Posted by abejorro View Post
    I'm going to disagree. Some cutouts are in places or for people that don't really 'care' about the bees, but just need a problem removed. The golf course stands to lose serious revenue and could 'fix' the problem with a spray can of wasp killer and 5 min. with a chainsaw and pickup truck. I think OP is lucky that course is willing to let him give it a go and should be as cooperative (and thankful) as possible.

    This is a job where a vac would save a ton of time. I've got a latest generation Owen's which is portable, doesn't kill many bees, and which would allow you to cage the bees quickly. Then you could take section of tree home carefully (but without dealing with the bees all in the air) and do the comb transfer at your leisure.

    ...also old, and equally grumpy... LOL



    Please go back and re-read what was originally posted:

    "can't just go in there and take a lot of time and stir them up so that no one can play the hole. the problem is the tree is close to the green and near the center of the fairway because it juts out as a dog leg"

    The golf course is setting impossible conditions: 'so no one can play the hole', 'close to the green', etc.

    Seriously......would it break the course financially to close off this one hole for a few hours ?

    If the answer is 'no', then go get the wasp spray, chain saw and truck

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Landing, NJ, USA
    Posts
    204

    Default Re: Golf course bees

    Suppose you go there at about last light of the day with a bunch of burlap or screen whatever you like and a staple gun and close the bees into the log. You may have branches to remove. Then further suppose that the golf course has made arrangements for the contractor that does their tree work to meet you there at first light the next day. Attach crane cable to log, one chainsaw cut, perhaps a bit more to cover if the cut opens the cavity, lift into truck, take home. The golf course wants the bees gone and will ultimately want the tree removed. The tree company will have the truck and the crane and the golf course will pay for it as part of the fee for removing the tree. Go forth my friend and negotiate.
    Bill

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Jacksonville, Morgan County, IL
    Posts
    83

    Default Re: Golf course bees

    An excellent idea

    Might be a good thought to provide veils for the tree crew, and check beforehand that none of them have bad reactions to stings, although one would think that they regularly run into bees in trees.

    Bu it would eliminate 'after-bees' flying around looking for the tree and annoying the players, after the fact.

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