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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Fallbrook, CA, USA
    Posts
    10

    Default Large feral hive hanging in tree

    feral.jpg

    I've been asked if I can help with a feral hive. The swarm is about 40' in a tree and I have to climb the tree to get to it. I have no way to get a lift into the yard. My only thoughts are to tie some rope and try to cut and lower the branch. I could try a bucket on a pole. I can get to about 3' from the hive before the branches to to thin for my weight.

    The bees are well mannered as I've jostled them pretty good (200 lbs has a tendency to move tree branches) and they haven't come after me.

    Part of me says leave it to someone with more experience. I can't get any interest from my local bee society and the homeowner had a professional out to "save" a swarm in her fence. They just killed them. I've tried setting some bait boxes in nearby trees and got nothing. Not that I really had hope for that.

    Let me know if you have any ideas. I appreciate it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    665

    Default Re: Large feral hive hanging in tree

    Try talking with one of the local fire chiefs about having them help you out with one of their ladder trucks. They generally like taking the trucks out for a ride now and then and may be willing to assist. I remember one time I called our local fire dept because we had a kitten climb about 75' up a huge maple tree in the front of our house and wouldn't come down for a few days. They were there in 30 minutes and the kitten was rescued. Things like this are always feel good stories for the local newspaper and a front page picture of you saving the bees with the help of the local FD might go a long ways to some postive beekeeping news. I was not able to open your picture link?
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Fallbrook, CA, USA
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Large feral hive hanging in tree

    feral.jpg
    Thanks Riskybizz, that's a great idea. The fire department was out to her house when the gardner found the first hive. Better to ask them to help than pick me up after I fall...

    I'll try the picture again.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Large feral hive hanging in tree

    Remember, no bees are worth your life, or ability to move around.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,093

    Default Re: Large feral hive hanging in tree

    That isn't a swarm? Is there comb under all of those bees?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Fallbrook, CA, USA
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Large feral hive hanging in tree

    I smoked them pretty good and counted 9-10 sheets of comb. It was kind of hard to tell on some of them. I think it has been there for a couple of years. What is amazing to me is it has been one of our coldest winters and they survived exposed like that. I realize cold in San Diego is not that cold, but we did have several weeks where the temperatures were below freezing at night.

    If it was just a swarm I would probably go for a bucket method. Not sure how that would work with all that comb. If it was at my house I would just leave it because the bees are super mellow and it is just plan cool to look at.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,093

    Default Re: Large feral hive hanging in tree

    Thanks Dude. An interesting thing to be involved in. Seems like a bucket truck and a chainsaw are in order. You'll need help too.

    Like you, I would say leave it alone.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Fallbrook, CA, USA
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Large feral hive hanging in tree

    photo-1.jpg

    Well I went for it today with the help of a friend. It filled three deeps, there are five frames in the top deep the rest is the feral hive. I figure I would move it to the new location and then work on rubber banding the hive into raw frames. They covered the five frames that I could fit in very quickly. I really am amazed.

    It definitely did not go as planned, including droop the hive about 20 feet. The bees stayed much calmer than I expected.

    Some things I learned:
    • Use 550 cord and not rope. Would have held the branch much better.
    • Bring more hive bodies that you think you'll need.
    • When sawing a branch full of bees slower is better.
    • Beesource rocks.


    I knew that once I had bees on the landing with their butts in the air and bees marching toward the opening I was in good shape. Learned from various beesource posts of course.

    I have video of the whole incidence that I will try to get posted.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,592

    Default Re: Large feral hive hanging in tree

    TRY to get a video posted!? You best just DO IT! lol

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Fallbrook, CA, USA
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Large feral hive hanging in tree

    You got it Beeman, I will get it posted. Wish I would have seen your swarm capture jug a day earlier...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,592

    Default Re: Large feral hive hanging in tree

    If it helps I was going to make it a day earlier.
    Work prevented me from assembling it when I wanted to...... dang work! lol

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