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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Pleasantville, IA, usa
    Posts
    9

    Default Can I move a whole hollow branch?

    I am just getting into bees and have much to learn. I have a colony of bees in a large tree in the back yard that I want to save. They have been in this tree for several years but the tree is dead and needs to come down before it does it on its own. I am thinking of removing the branch with the colony in it in one piece. I think I can lower it down without damaging it. I was wondering if it would be advisable to do this while it is still cold out. Move the branch to where I can manage it, leave the bees in place until the weather warms then either trap them into a box or open the branch up and get them out. Is this a good idea or will they leave when it gets warm? Also would you wait until it warms to cut the branch down? Thought it would be easier to do when they aren't moving around. All ideas and thoughts are welcome.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pickens County, South Carolina, US
    Posts
    823

    Default Re: Can I move a whole hollow branch?

    I'm a newbee and have no idea but am very interested in how this goes for you. Include pictures if you can when you start whatever procedure you are advised to follow. Should be a fun "project". Wish I was close enought to help.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,213

    Default Re: Can I move a whole hollow branch?

    Wait until it is in the 60-70's consistently. This will reduce the chance of chilling the brood and killing the colony. Doing it too soon will doom them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,374

    Default Re: Can I move a whole hollow branch?

    In my opinion, if you can cut and lower the section of branch with the hive intact, safely, without dropping it, then cold weather is a fine time to do so.

    However, if the hive ends up smashing upon hitting the ground, the bees will be in a difficult situation and may die.
    Graham
    --- Practical reality trumps philosophy!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: Can I move a whole hollow branch?

    I would follow Adrian"s advise. I have removed several from trees with good success in nice weather. I just had a call last week when it was in the 30's-40's about a tree cut up after a wind storm that had a hive in it. The tree service had cut it into 3 sections before they relizied what they had. The bee reclustered in the bottom section with brood, but did not survive long. Even if you carefully cut the branch in lower temps, they will break cluster to try and defend their home, and pay for it.

    My $.02
    I'm like the weatherman- right about half of the time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Can I move a whole hollow branch?

    Raddar is right on a 50 deg day and a gentle ride!.... I have 2 hives I picked up this winter from woodcutters, FYI you will need to cut open the limb the queen will not leave on her own....... Tried it many times no joy,,,,

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Salem, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Can I move a whole hollow branch?

    My opinion is leave them till warm weather. I had a similar situation back in October with a really nice size hive. I left them in the part of the tree I cut off. I put the section in a box that mimicked a top bar hive. They did well till December and died. I cut the hive apart after they died and found they had starved. If I had cut them out and fed them and maybe put in frames of honey from another hive they may have made it. Most beeks advised me to leave them alone till spring. I have another tree with bees and I have left them alone and will use Cleo Hogan's trap on them this summer to start nucs. I think it is too close to spring to chance losing them if you really want to save them. But, at least you'll have the comb for building another hive if you do lose them.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    White County, Arkansas
    Posts
    874

    Default Re: Can I move a whole hollow branch?

    Here is what I have done. Wait till warmer weather. When you remove the limb, and if it has numerous entry points, you will obviously have to close off all except one. When evening comes screen off that opening SECURELY before moving. Carefully move them so you minimize any damage to the inside and possible queen injury or loss. I'm not sure about Iowa, but here we have one year to have them transferred to a removable framed hive, until then they are almost the same as a tree gum hive. I don't move them anymore and I did my last cut-out last fall, helping a beek friend. Too racked-up. Good luck and hope this helps at least a little.

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