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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Quincy, Illinois, USA
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    276

    Default Missouri Bees from a Walnut Tree, turned into log hive

    The landowner was trying to burn out a raccoon from an old Black Walnut tree. Things got out of hand, the tree burned and fell. It was when he was trying to log it up he discovered the bees. This was 3 weeks ago. My wife and I responded to try to save the colony. The bees even though they had been laying on their side for about 3 weeks, were very active, it appeared to be a large hive, it certainly was a large tree. We got it cut out, and into a truck and brought it home. Put screen over their entrance, and plywood over the base where lots of debris was, my wife said she saw some comb up in there. We unloaded the log and have kept it in the position we found it approximately. Our plan is to try and overwinter the colony that is if they recover well from this transition. There is no way for us to know if comb got busted lose in the original fall, or what is going on in there. They're plenty pissed I know that. I got nailed on the temple when checking them out. The log weighs about 250 to 280# I would say. Not easy to move around at all.

    QUESTIONS:
    Should we set the log up on end closer to where it would have been originally while the tree was still standing? Or is it safe to assume they're adapted to the new angle of life and comb?

    My plan is to remove the screen tomorrow, and let them get acclimated to the new environment. Would anyone think that it is better to leave the screen on for a few days?
    We transferred them about 50 miles.

    Thanks

    Here are photos

    http://s1134.photobucket.com/user/ma...rom%20Missouri

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Clintwood VA USA
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    56

    Default Re: Missouri Bees from a Walnut Tree, turned into log hive

    It would be best to set it on end in the original position as bees draw cells in a slightly upward position otherwise they might abscond. good luck!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Greene, Missouri, USA
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    554

    Default Re: Missouri Bees from a Walnut Tree, turned into log hive

    If it were me, even though it has been a few weeks since the tree toppled, I would stand it on end. I would do it as soon as possible and then remove the screen ASAP. They need to get out and find water and get their location figured out. The sooner, the better. I have moved them several miles and let them out the very next morning with no problem, so you should be fine. Wish I could see the log. Post photos.
    No one famous.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Quincy, Illinois, USA
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    276

    Default Re: Missouri Bees from a Walnut Tree, turned into log hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Bee Whisperer View Post
    If it were me, even though it has been a few weeks since the tree toppled, I would stand it on end. I would do it as soon as possible and then remove the screen ASAP. They need to get out and find water and get their location figured out. The sooner, the better. I have moved them several miles and let them out the very next morning with no problem, so you should be fine. Wish I could see the log. Post photos.
    should be a photos link to Photo Bucket in my original post.

    I've only been able to make the photo up loader on this site work once.

    Hope it works.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Quincy, Illinois, USA
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    276

    Default Re: Missouri Bees from a Walnut Tree, turned into log hive

    Thanks.
    That was my initial thought to get the comb cells right. I opened up the screen a bit, enough to give them room to get out. The smell of honey is strong. I have other hives and don't want robbing to go on. My guess is if they made it OK, the numbers are good enough to be able to protect themselves.
    I'll open it up all the way in a couple days, and stand the log up. Wish I could see what's going on in there.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    adair county, kentucky, usa
    Posts
    461

    Default Re: Missouri Bees from a Walnut Tree, turned into log hive

    Personally, I would transfer them to a regular hive. I think you will have a much better chance of getting them through the winter. You can rubber band any usable comb to frames, and if they need feed it will be much easier to feed them.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
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    1,833

    Default Re: Missouri Bees from a Walnut Tree, turned into log hive

    Quote Originally Posted by BeePappy View Post

    I've only been able to make the photo up loader on this site work once..
    Bee Pappy.. Maybe this will help.

    Most common problem with failure to load, is the size of photo and file type.

    Check size before attempting to upload. If too large, a red X will appear in the upper right side of box. If too large, downsize and try again.

    Site will only accept certain file types. jpg works best for me (and is a common type for most cameras). Photo type can be changed to jpg then upload.

    When mine won't load, I get some kindergarden student to do it for me. HA!!

    cchoganjr
    Last edited by Cleo C. Hogan Jr; 08-18-2013 at 07:16 AM. Reason: add info

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Quincy, Illinois, USA
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    276

    Default Re: Missouri Bees from a Walnut Tree, turned into log hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleo C. Hogan Jr View Post
    Bee Pappy.. Maybe this will help.

    Most common problem with failure to load, is the size of photo and file type.

    Check size before attempting to upload. If too large, a red X will appear in the upper right side of box. If too large, downsize and try again.

    Site will only accept certain file types. jpg works best for me (and is a common type for most cameras). Photo type can be changed to jpg then upload.

    When mine won't load, I get some kindergarden student to do it for me. HA!!

    cchoganjr
    Hi Cleo, thanks. Yes I re-size all digital images I create using professional caliber photo editing software. All are downsized to 72ppi at a max of 8" width. No more than 550k file size, RGB jpgs. I just tried another at a reduced size at 120k with the same results, I also tried a png (220k). I would suspect it's more browser issues. I use Firefox on a Mac 10.6.8 OS. The frustrating thing is I got it to work once. And from the posts I see on the site, I'm not the only one with issues.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Illinois, USA
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    276

    Default Re: Missouri Bees from a Walnut Tree, turned into log hive

    http://i1134.photobucket.com/albums/...Loginplace.jpg

    http://i1134.photobucket.com/albums/...bdonemaybe.jpg

    http://i1134.photobucket.com/albums/...creenonlog.jpg

    http://i1134.photobucket.com/albums/...heentrance.jpg

    http://i1134.photobucket.com/albums/...uri/biglog.jpg


    OK, hopefully these images upload OK from PB.
    I was out of town for the last two days. Checked the log hive and it is still laying down as seen in photos. So now it has been 3 weeks plus. I've provided water nearby, and opened the scree just a bit from the bottom to keep some protection, and also allow them to get in and out.
    There is a lot of "normal" activity going on now, they seem much calmer, seem to be going out and checking the new surroundings. Tell me again why it is best to stand the log back up versus just leaving it lay down like this. My fears are that when the tree came down, it hit the ground and could have dislodged the comb inside. Or maybe in transit it could have shifted.
    Is this a real possibility?
    Would they correct any internal problems with the comb position?
    If the consensus is to stand it up, then I'll do it. I just hate to get them riled up again. Maybe standing them up would be less stressful than I think. I have limited knowledge on a log hive and only first year beek, so input is appreciated. The log is pretty heavy, maybe 270+lbs.
    Is there the proper amount of time (this season) to open the log, cut the comb out, strap into frames and have them rebuild in a box?
    the distance from the hole to the bottom is about 40". We saw the end of the comb about 6" in from the bottom.

    Thanks

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Park City Ky
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    Default Re: Missouri Bees from a Walnut Tree, turned into log hive

    I would stand it up. I have done several of these over the years, and even if it has been down for a while, the combs were arranged from top to bottom and I would try to get it set back up the way it was.

    That said, that is a good size log, and just maybe, they have rearranged the comb, tying it to the sides of the log. Could be a close call, but, guess I would go with standing it up.

    cchoganjr

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Greene, Missouri, USA
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    554

    Default Re: Missouri Bees from a Walnut Tree, turned into log hive

    If you are concerned about any damage to the hive, you may have to open it up and frame the comb into a box hive. As short as that log looks, is it possible to remove the board and examine the comb? I have seen hives that have slammed to the ground when the tree toppled, and many were not even harmed; not sure why. So, the guessing, or the "could haves" and the what if's, are all speculative. Anything is possible, but not necessarily be probable. If you can't stand wondering, open it up and take care of it.

    The reason I am saying to stand it up is that obviously the bees originally found the tree standing upright and built their comb accordingly. If it was intact and full of brood or stores, those areas of comb may be still in use. If it has been damaged, they will eventually rebuild, but they chose the location at a time when the tree was vertical, not horizontal. My thought is, since you don't know if there is damage, why make them rebuild? They may have already started that process, but which would be easier for them to restore; their entire hive, or just the work from the past few weeks?

    I think I would either stand it upright, or I would open it up and build a new hive with their comb tied into frames. Just saying what I would do and why.
    No one famous.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Quincy, Illinois, USA
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    Default Re: Missouri Bees from a Walnut Tree, turned into log hive

    Thanks guys.
    I guess I could remove that bottom board to take a peek. There was a lot of debris, rotted log, probably animal stuff, etc. I could see before putting it on there.
    My thoughts on how that would disturb them trumps my "need to know." The left side of my face got lit up pretty good from the one sting I got after I had the log in position, and decided to take off my gear. So I'm going to leave it buttoned up.

    your reasoning makes sense to stand the log up. I think I'll make some sort of a brace to hold it up in case the way the bottom board is attached, throws the balance off.
    I'll need to eat my Wheaties to get that thing to stand up, or maybe just stand it up off of the pallet.

    Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and experience.

  13. #13
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    Apr 2013
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    Quincy, Illinois, USA
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    Default Re: Missouri Bees from a Walnut Tree, turned into log hive

    I got the log stood up on end this morning. First attempt the log went over and took me with it. So we both hit the ground. Needless to say that woke up the girls and they threw a reception for me. I had to walk away, then come back and take a second shot at it. Took all I had to get it stood up. The bees were hitting my veil and hat so hard I thought it was raining. I'm going to let them settle now. I'll post pics maybe after work tonight. This section is not the main trunk of the tree. This was part of a "Y". Currently their entry is 'cupped' up and would act like a funnel to rain and snow, etc. Makes me wonder if it possibly could have been on the underside or perhaps at an angle in it's previous natural positioning. I may need to build them some sort of a roof.

  14. #14
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    Feb 2010
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    Park City Ky
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    Default Re: Missouri Bees from a Walnut Tree, turned into log hive

    BeePappy... Good idea to build something to help them out at the entrance, but, if you don't they will build their own system to divert water or snow if they have time before a big rain.

    cchoganjr

  15. #15
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    Apr 2013
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    Quincy, Illinois, USA
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    Default Re: Missouri Bees from a Walnut Tree, turned into log hive

    Here is a photo of the log on end now, and then a closeup of the girls on the entrance. The entrance is just below that branch nub. They're pretty active, and very protective. I was suited up and had one of the guard bees follow me over 100 ft. to the house.







  16. #16
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    Feb 2010
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    Park City Ky
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    Default Re: Missouri Bees from a Walnut Tree, turned into log hive

    Bee Pappy

    I would definately configure something to divert rain. The way the log is standing looks like it would run right into the hive.

    cchoganjr

  17. #17
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    Apr 2013
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    Quincy, Illinois, USA
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    Default Re: Missouri Bees from a Walnut Tree, turned into log hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleo C. Hogan Jr View Post
    Bee Pappy

    I would definately configure something to divert rain. The way the log is standing looks like it would run right into the hive.

    cchoganjr
    Thanks Cleo. That's what I was thinking. It would be my guess they built their home on the underside of that section of trunk, probably well protected from everything. I'd also guess this colony is pretty old considering the amount of debris at the base, the rot in the remainder of the tree, and other assorted clues.
    As I had mentioned, the entrance forms a 'cup' that will catch all the run-off. Not fair to them as that's not how they engineered things.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Imperial, MO, USA
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    166

    Default Re: Missouri Bees from a Walnut Tree, turned into log hive

    I do a lot of work with a couple of big arborist companies in St.Louis, and overwintered three log hives just like this. I screen closed their entrances before daylight, mark where I think the top/bottom of the hive is, they cut the log free and gently lower it onto my trailer with a crane. All three were too heavy for me to stand upright, so I laid them in a position that kept the comb running vertically (so turned about 90 degrees or less from its' original construction), covered the "extra" entrances with plywood (top/bottom/OtherBranches) that weren't existing before the log was cut free, and (if the original entrance is Open to rain/snow) put a "raised cover" over the entrance. Last year all three of my logs overwintered well, I cut them all out in April, and they all made extra honey this season. If possible, I'd prefer to stand them up and secure them at their "original" upright position, but they seem to be just fine if you treat them gently.
    "Teach your kids to hunt and fish, and you won't have to hunt for your kids"
    Four Ridge Apiaries www.fourridgebees.com

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Quincy, Illinois, USA
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    276

    Default Re: Missouri Bees from a Walnut Tree, turned into log hive

    Quote Originally Posted by rlsiv View Post
    I do a lot of work with a couple of big arborist companies in St.Louis, and overwintered three log hives just like this. I screen closed their entrances before daylight, mark where I think the top/bottom of the hive is, they cut the log free and gently lower it onto my trailer with a crane. All three were too heavy for me to stand upright, so I laid them in a position that kept the comb running vertically (so turned about 90 degrees or less from its' original construction), covered the "extra" entrances with plywood (top/bottom/OtherBranches) that weren't existing before the log was cut free, and (if the original entrance is Open to rain/snow) put a "raised cover" over the entrance. Last year all three of my logs overwintered well, I cut them all out in April, and they all made extra honey this season. If possible, I'd prefer to stand them up and secure them at their "original" upright position, but they seem to be just fine if you treat them gently.
    Thanks for that. We had thought of trying to catch a swarm from it in the spring, but a cut out sounds more feasible. How did you cut yours out? I had thought of driving steel wedges in to split it instead of a chainsaw, thought it might be a bit less intrusive. Any photos of your log hives?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Imperial, MO, USA
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    166

    Default Re: Missouri Bees from a Walnut Tree, turned into log hive

    Quote Originally Posted by BeePappy View Post
    Thanks for that. We had thought of trying to catch a swarm from it in the spring, but a cut out sounds more feasible. How did you cut yours out? I had thought of driving steel wedges in to split it instead of a chainsaw, thought it might be a bit less intrusive. Any photos of your log hives?
    Usually if you look at the end of the log above and below the hive, you get a good idea of the thickness of the log "wall". I use a small chainsaw to cut a perforation ALMOST that deep, in a straight line the length of the log. I try not to cut all the way through to the hive. Then I roll the log 180 degrees, so my first cut is facing straight down, and do the same thing on the exact opposite side. Then I use several log splitting wedges, inserting them into that cut and tapping them in starting at one end and moving to the other. The most I've used is four wedges on a side (for a log about 10' long). When you tap those in one at a time, the log will start to split slowly on that side, from one end to the other. Then I roll it back over the first cut and do the same thing there, starting at the same end I did with the first pins. When you start putting those pins in, the log will split open and lay there like two dugout canoes. Then you handle it like a normal cutout, removing the comb as gently as possible, trying to locate the queen, etc.

    I probably have picture or two of these on my website: www.fourridgebees.com
    Here is a pic that I just pulled off my website of one of them from earlier this year:
    Last edited by rlsiv; 08-21-2013 at 08:01 PM. Reason: add pic
    "Teach your kids to hunt and fish, and you won't have to hunt for your kids"
    Four Ridge Apiaries www.fourridgebees.com

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