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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Middlebury, Vermont
    Posts
    42

    Default Honey bees in tree trunk

    I have a tree that blew over and I happened to notice bees swarming. The trunk is hollow and has a split as well as two holes where the bees enter. It is laying on the ground and is easy to get to. It looks like I can get a chain saw and cut a few slices along the split and peel it away. I plan on trying this in the next couple of days. Any suggestions from anyone. Not sure how large the hive is because I can see just the opening. Paul from Leicester, VT. I have pictures I can post, but I have to figure how to post them from my I pad

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    983

    Default Re: Honey bees in tree trunk

    Can you stand the tree up and leave it till spring? Cutting it out now has a low probability of success with winter just around the corner. If you can stand it upright you can cut enough off the top till you get to comb and then fashion a top with an opening and put a hive body on top and let the bees gradually move up into it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Middlebury, Vermont
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Honey bees in tree trunk

    Standing it up is going to be a problem. The section of log is long and heavy about 2 Ft in diameter and about 20 ft long. The way the log is sitting it has a split on top. It seems to be protected from the elements. This section of tree that fell was about 25 plus feet above the ground. I'm kind of worried about mice getting at the bees during the winter because of it being open. You're right about winter coming soon, but I was hoping to save them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Kingsville, OH
    Posts
    959

    Default Re: Honey bees in tree trunk

    I just took two hives in a tree. I, with help of a brave young man, cut sections of the trunk. We were very lucky as not to cut into any new comb or brood or honey. And yes there are two separate hives in the same tree. I am going to cap them off and leave em for the winter. We still have golden rob blooming and aster just started.
    One of my stronger hives has back filled what they eat during the summer drought. Almost two full Ross Round Suppers of Golden Rod honey. And yes you can smell the difference.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Kingsville, OH
    Posts
    959

    Default Re: Honey bees in tree trunk

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...count=1&ref=nf
    This is one of two section, maybe a third. The longest is over four foot long. The truck is about 18 to 24 inches across.

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...count=1&ref=nf

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Middlebury, Vermont
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Honey bees in tree trunk

    I'm not sure how far up the log the hive goes to be able to stand the tree up. I'm sure I can cut it but I'm worried about how far from the hole and how high the bees are. I don't want to cut into them. I can see in the lower half where it is split open and I see no sign of bees. I'll try to post a picture.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Middlebury, Vermont
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Honey bees in tree trunk

    I'll post some pictures tomorrow!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Kingsville, OH
    Posts
    959

    Default Re: Honey bees in tree trunk

    I cut in sections until I came to old un used comb. Takes time, but worth it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Middlebury, Vermont
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Honey bees in tree trunk



    This is one of the pictures. The openings are top center of photo which are in the second picture. The area of the split are clear of bees.
    Last edited by BarreBee; 09-11-2012 at 08:36 AM. Reason: Picture problems

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Middlebury, Vermont
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Honey bees in tree trunk

    [IMG][/IMG]

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    2,001

    Default Re: Honey bees in tree trunk

    I'd wait till spring, too, in your neck of the woods. You definitely need reduce the weight of that limb...start sectioning off from the top to take weight off of the area around the hive so that piece can settle to a natural position (don't want it rolling on to your feed with a few thousand unhappy bees buzzing around). Once you get it down to manageable size I'd start maybe three foot above that upper entrance taking slices off, use your own judgment in regards to sawpower and manpower on the thickness of your cuts. Once you hit some comb naturally stop...you won't have damaged the colony very much. Go ahead and level off the base of the limb, too...it looks like you can take a good bit of that off and still leave a bottom entrance for them...they don't need a big opening. Once you get it down to a (hopefully) manageable size stand it up (strong friends help here) on some cement pavers or something that will give it a fairly flat and firm foundation...if nothing else, the ground will do. You may want to nail on some 2x4's to it and brace them against the ground if you think there's a chance it may tilt back over. And finally, get a scrap piece of plywood or tin and nail it to the top. Let it overwinter, come back in the spring and see what you have.

    Best wishes,
    Ed

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Landing, NJ, USA
    Posts
    202

    Default Re: Honey bees in tree trunk

    You can also explore the extent of the cavity with a drill.
    Bill

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Middlebury, Vermont
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Honey bees in tree trunk

    Thanks for all the good information. I guess I'll leave them in the tree for the winter. Why is it best to stand it up? I know before the tree fell it was in that position so it does make since to put it that way. What about mice? I've lost hives because of those critters. No matter what I seem to do they seem to find a way to get in.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Honey bees in tree trunk

    They won't make it through winter laying on the ground like that. Do you have a hive that is weak or needs a queen? It is so late here in Vermont to try and get those bees out of the tree and live through winter that the only option, in my opinion, is to combine them with a hive that has stores for winter. Decision time. Good luck.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Gloucester County, New Jersey
    Posts
    213

    Default Re: Honey bees in tree trunk

    It is best to stand it up so the comb is oriented correctly. Each cell is angled down towards the mid section of the comb. Can you cut it as short as need be, stand it up, and strap/rope it to another tree?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Dixon, MO, USA
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Honey bees in tree trunk

    If you get it upright, the cells are in their natural position. They won't be able to properly use sideway facing cells, nectar will drip out... Do you think you could wrap the trunk in 1/4" wire to keep the mice out?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Middlebury, Vermont
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Honey bees in tree trunk

    Ok so in the next couple of days I'll cut the log and stand it up. I'll try to wrap and screen off the bottom opening. I guess I'll try feeding them as well with some type of outside feeder 2 sugar to one water. I really don't know the size of the hive. I'm sure the hive was damaged from the high fall. Hopefully this will help them.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Middlebury, Vermont
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Honey bees in tree trunk

    http://i615.photobucket.com/albums/tt238/ltpaulbtv/4FE06162-606A-47E8-B630-931629E1F1F4-2221- 000008849965A4A4.jpg

    I cut the log to about 6 feet long. I used chains and a come along to raise the log by myself after I slid the log down too the nearest tree. It took about 2 hours. The log is 14" across and the opening in the log is 8" probably close to three hundred lbs or more. I figure the hive takes up about 4 feet of the log. I wrapped the log with 1/4 inch cable to keep it upright. This is step one I'm going to put some wire around the openings to keep the mice away. I'll post the other pictures.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Middlebury, Vermont
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Honey bees in tree trunk

    In this picture the log is up and resting against the tree. I used the chains to keep it upright until I could get the cable I was using as a tie down on a hive that the bears were after. The final picture is the log tied using the cable and a cover to protect them from the elements. Anything else I should do?

    http://i615.photobucket.com/albums/t...854E366AFD.jpg

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Middlebury, Vermont
    Posts
    42

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