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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Dublin, California
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    197

    Default Located a feral colony in a tree trunk

    I was putting out traps yesterday in a canyon with trails behind my house and I ran across a feral hive inside a large oak tree. Is there a way to pull them out or just leave them alone and hope they move to one of my swarm traps? There is no way I can cut out the tree because it's huge and public trail I would need to coax them out if possible...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,594

    Default Re: Located a feral colony in a tree trunk

    Reasearch Cleo Hogan Trap-Out

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Farmington, New Mexico
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    6,703

    Default Re: Located a feral colony in a tree trunk

    There's no reason to move bees that aren't bothering anyone.
    Nobody ruins my day without my permission, and I refuse to grant it...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    202

    Default Re: Located a feral colony in a tree trunk

    I used this site when making swarm traps and I liked what he said about finding bee trees and placing traps up to a mile away vs. trying to cut into the tree to get the bees out. He says if they have survived winter they will swarm in spring. The videos are interesting.

    http://letmbee.com/youtube/

    3 years-5 hives-T
    brooklyn-queen.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,968

    Default Re: Located a feral colony in a tree trunk

    Why does everyone say trap out? Trap outs of old hives are rarely successful at getting the queen so what's the point of stressing them out by removing their field force, especially if it's just an attempt to get 'free' bees and not because the colony is bothering anyone. Like others have said, put out some swarm traps nearby and best of luck.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,594

    Default Re: Located a feral colony in a tree trunk

    He said swarm traps were set-out. Trap-out bc is better than cutting out the hive and/or cutting down the tree.

    Calm down buddy.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Dublin, California
    Posts
    197

    Default Re: Located a feral colony in a tree trunk

    I have 5 traps in the area already and just stumbled across them on the trail. I agree I don't want to stress them out because they are right on trail and I would hate for somebody else to pay the price. On the other had it would be free bees.. The dilemma

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Dublin, California
    Posts
    197

    Default Re: Located a feral colony in a tree trunk

    Quote Originally Posted by Margot1d View Post
    I used this site when making swarm traps and I liked what he said about finding bee trees and placing traps up to a mile away vs. trying to cut into the tree to get the bees out. He says if they have survived winter they will swarm in spring. The videos are interesting.

    http://letmbee.com/youtube/

    Really good video and I agree with most likely leaving them bee and trying to catch the swarm instead....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Farmington, New Mexico
    Posts
    6,703

    Default Re: Located a feral colony in a tree trunk

    Yeah, I like the idea of leaving the mother colony alone and collecting swarms. It just seems to me that feral and survivors should be left where they are given the huge problems we're having with managed colonies these days.
    Nobody ruins my day without my permission, and I refuse to grant it...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Frisco Texas
    Posts
    168

    Default Re: Located a feral colony in a tree trunk

    I know of two trees with hives and I catch swarms every year and have been doing so for about five years. I know some will not agree with me on this but all of my stock is now from these hives. The way I look at it is if these hives can survive in a tree for at least five years without any treatments and dealing with SHB i am happy to have them.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Dublin, California
    Posts
    197

    Default Re: Located a feral colony in a tree trunk

    Quote Originally Posted by Slee View Post
    I know of two trees with hives and I catch swarms every year and have been doing so for about five years. I know some will not agree with me on this but all of my stock is now from these hives. The way I look at it is if these hives can survive in a tree for at least five years without any treatments and dealing with SHB i am happy to have them.
    Your only catching the swarms right now pulling the main hive from the trees?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Frisco Texas
    Posts
    168

    Default Re: Located a feral colony in a tree trunk

    I place swarm traps within about 200 yards from the trees. I place the traps about seven feet off the ground. I also use nuc boxes that have housed bees (bees will find these nucs because they smell like a hive). I place the nucs at the end of March and start checking them in April once a week.
    It is just so cool to walk up to the hives and see that a swarm has moved in. I leave them for about a week to make sure they are drawing comb and the queen is laying, then I move them to the bee yard.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,998

    Default Re: Located a feral colony in a tree trunk

    I don't know. you could say the bees were not very smart or they were desperate. The entrance is much larger than what is optimum. If you don't want to trap them out then I would make an attempt to close down the entrance so they would have a better chance of survival. But then again why did they chose this cavity?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,014

    Default Re: Located a feral colony in a tree trunk

    Because it is a suitable size Brian. I thought you were familiar w/ Tom Seeley's book in which he explains how bees choose a new home. If not, I suggest reading it. It is quite readable.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,237

    Default Re: Located a feral colony in a tree trunk

    I would just set swarm traps. As I understand it, that region of California is bursting with swarms every year. You are almost certain to catch a few. Search posts by "OD Frank" of San Mateo for tips - he catches dozens each year.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,998

    Default Re: Located a feral colony in a tree trunk

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Because it is a suitable size Brian. I thought you were familiar w/ Tom Seeley's book in which he explains how bees choose a new home.
    I did read it and the cavity size is only one criteria for choosing. The entrance size is another which is why I suggested closing down the entrance to make it more suitable and keep them from abandoning it. Except for the height you could also make this a breeder hive by attaching a structure to the entrance that could house removable frames. With such a large entrance the queen will freely go from inside the tree to the breeder box outside the tree.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,553

    Default Re: Located a feral colony in a tree trunk

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    With such a large entrance the queen will freely go from inside the tree to the breeder box outside the tree.
    Oh? Did you read this in Seeley's book?
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,014

    Default Re: Located a feral colony in a tree trunk

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    I did read it and the cavity size is only one criteria for choosing. The entrance size is another which is why I suggested closing down the entrance to make it more suitable and keep them from abandoning it. Except for the height you could also make this a breeder hive by attaching a structure to the entrance that could house removable frames. With such a large entrance the queen will freely go from inside the tree to the breeder box outside the tree.
    It also has something to do w/ alternatives. If there are no other more suitable sites to be found they will choose the one most suitable. I have a maple tree in the front yard which has bees in it. It has a pretty large opening. I have seen it unoccupied in the Spring. I have never seen it abandoned.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN USA
    Posts
    685

    Default Re: Located a feral colony in a tree trunk

    Just another vote for leaving the hive alone and using it as a swarm generator.

    Only way you're really going to get it is if you cut the tree down, and frankly cutting a tree down just for one colony of bees is incredibly wasteful and shortsighted.
    Beekeeper since 2013. Read my bee blog at:
    http://harrisonbayhoney.blogspot.com

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,998

    Default Re: Located a feral colony in a tree trunk

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    I have never seen it abandoned.
    How do you know it is not abandoned if it is unoccupied?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

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