Help with bee tree, Please.
Ok, here's my question about a tree I have posted on before. I hope to get some good advice here.
A while back I was having some timber cut to build some outbuildings and one of the trees had a large hive in it. When the tree fell it caught in a snag and the tree being a dead and decaying Poplar broke and the part with the hive landed on the ground with the entrance hole straight up. Advice attained here was to leave it till spring and protect the opening. Seems plausible to me.
Now here is the kicker: I hooked on to the tree top which is simply a pole about 16 feet long and started to pull it out of the brush so I could put some sort of roof over the hole and noticed the bees went crazy so I left it for them to calm down. Today I went back to inspect the hive and here is what I found.
The break went right thru the hive. Absolutely all of the hive is in the pole that I pulled out of the brush. When I got it so I could see the break I was surprised to see 4 or 5 large combs about 36 inches long hanging from the log about 2 inches from the ground. There is a cluster of bees about the size of a 3 gallon bucket clustered on the comb about 4 inches from the ground. The hive is completely open to the elements and to vermin.
The weather is still fairly warm and dry here so I thought I would cut off this log to about 48 inches long and put it in a box resembling a top bar hive for the winter. I also think this will allow me to insulate the bees and also feed them sugar or fondant. If they make it thru I will rehive them in the spring. They are beautiful golden honey bees and I hate for them to die.
I'm not sure if they have adequate stores as I can't see into the hive well enough to determine that.
Any opinions here as to my plans or better ideas? How should I feed them? I am open to any ideas that will save them. Thanks ,John Brewer