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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Glen Arm,MD
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    192

    Default open hive removal

    i contacted someone who says they have an open hive in a tree about the size of 2 basketballs. i haven't verified yet wether it is realy honeybes and not a hornet nest. anyway, if it is a honeybee colony, what is the best way to remove. winter is just starting and it is snowing today. should i try to remove soon? can they survive till spring if they have enough stores? i was thinking if possible to cut the whole branch and put into a box as is until spring, then cut and band the comb into frames. i would probably have to make a larger box to fit them as is if the hive is as large as he said it is. any thoughts or recommendations appreciated.
    Crabbydad

  2. #2

    Default Re: open hive removal

    I would think you should try to get them sooner vs later. Just pick a mild day 45-50 degrees minimum. Being cold actually helps somewhat as the bees aren't so flightly. But they will cling to you for your body heat...

    Be darn careful to find the queen and not harm her, and transfer as much brood and stores as possible. If you hurt the queen, even if they try to raise a new one, there are no drones to mate her, so they'd be doomed. Once home with them, offer 2:1 sugar syrup, or maybe even straight honey if you have it.

    As long as you move them safely, their odds of survival in a box should be much greater than on a limb. Good luck!
    After 20 months I'm over a 20 hives and growing. See my videos! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fVrmUsyYlRuASdX6UQk1g

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    3,044

    Default Re: open hive removal

    I'd find a box big enough to cut the whole portion of the limb off if possible and stick the whole thing inside w/o cutting it apart or anything. use the limb to keep it supsended in the box.

  4. #4

    Default Re: open hive removal

    I agree with Jrg13. What would be even better make a box that would fit around it and leave it to spring. Even if it was just try stryafoam with some long nails or coat hanger for long pins to hold it together.
    David

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    5,041

    Default Re: open hive removal

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    I'd find a box big enough to cut the whole portion of the limb off if possible and stick the whole thing inside w/o cutting it apart or anything. use the limb to keep it supsended in the box.
    Desmond did just that last fall with a colony intertwined in a camellia bush. With a bit of trimming it fit into a double deep brood chamber and produced a few mediums of honey. When it dies off it will go into a melter.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Glen Arm,MD
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: open hive removal

    i'm waiting for the guy to call me back with more info. hopefully it is honeybees and not hornets. my thoughts were to go measure and then make a box with cutouts for the branch. if it makes it thru the winter, i will cut and band the comb into frames.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: open hive removal

    You can even use a cardboard box that you could makes shift as you're there so you can move them. You'll just need to duck tape a couple boards to the side to hold the branch. (That is unless they're pretty heavy) I totally agree that sooner is better than later. They won't survive outside in our conditions. This snow honestly may do them in. (Cold and wet is a bad combination)

    On another note I have gotten a lot of bee calls this fall with hornet nests just after the leaves fell. They then saw them and thus I got the call. I hope it works out for you!!

    Keep us posted!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: open hive removal

    If they are honeybees, there is no way they would make it thru the winter in the open like that, first thawing snow would wet them down and wipe them out.

    If there hornets and its already frozen, its worth 50.00 on ebay easy, just get it before the bluejays do.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Louisville Kentucky USA
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: open hive removal

    I pulled a hive like that out of a tree in Louisville Ky a couple of years ago. I got them in October, cut the whole limb and sat it down in 2 deeps and threw a piece of landscape cloth over the top and then covered it with a tarp. The hive seemed light when we took it down but it made winter just fine and in fact the next spring they built out and attached the hive to the inside of the deeps before I got them out.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Deford, Michigan
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: open hive removal

    Keep us posted with what you do. Pictures too if you have them.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Glen Arm,MD
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: open hive removal

    the guy finally replied back with address. this was from an ad on craig's list. he must have had others interested. he said first to come and get it can have it. its only 1.5 miles from my work. i may stop and look after work tomorrow. don't now if its worth packing up a ladder and equipment. he didn't answere any of my question so i still don't know anything. the snow is supposed to turn to rain tomorrow.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: open hive removal

    If it's not a big deal I'd be prepaired to take it since you're going to stop by anyway.

    How is a hornet nest worth $50 on ebay? People actually will but that?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: open hive removal

    Quote Originally Posted by delber View Post
    How is a hornet nest worth $50 on ebay? People actually will buy that?
    I was wondering that myself.

    ETA: Well, I just looked on ebay and there are a number of them offered for sale. I never would have thought of it myself.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: open hive removal

    Oh heck yes.... decorations. for that "rustic look"

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Glen Arm,MD
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: open hive removal

    just got back. it was only 1.5 miles from work so i left early for lunch.....it was a hornet nest. i kinda thought it was , but the guy wouldn't give any more info or call me. i just had to go in case it was a hive.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: open hive removal

    ebay???

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Glen Arm,MD
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: open hive removal

    i didn,t get it. only had a 6 ft. ladder and a pruning saw. i may go back another day with my pole pruner and get it for my sons. my dad did treework, he would bring them home to me when i was a boy. he once brought me home some honeycomb full of honey out of atree that had blown over

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: open hive removal

    and then you wanted to be a beekeeper. That's great!!! I also thought it would be a hornet nest because I also got a few calls about them. I am also surprised that people buy hornet and YJ nests. That's surprising to me. Well to each his own.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Deford, Michigan
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: open hive removal

    Bummer I was hoping you would get some free bees....

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