How to recover a hive
Im new to bees i have wanted to get started beekeeping but never have. My dad had an old tree fall at his place and its full of bees should i try to recover these bees or will they be fine where they are at? I know a guy that has bees but he has never recovered a hive. I would like to move them to my house is this an option for a novice like me?
Re: How to recover a hive
It is definitely doable. You will have to have the capability of SAFELY opening the tree up...you may possibly need a chainsaw, axe, mauls, splitting wedges, etc.,. The individual combs could have pancaked against one another, trapping bees between them (queen possibly) or it could have had a gentle fall and all is still in pretty good shape. I would watch the colony for a while and see if you can see foragers going and coming with pollen and nectar.
Once you get to the where you can reach the comb and bees you would do a cut-out. Taking the *brood* comb out and rubberbanding it into frames and putting these in a hive box. Do a search on here for "cut out" and "bee removal". Check out some of JP the Beeman's videos, he's a master of bee removal. http://www.youtube.com/user/JPthebeeman/videos
Another option might be a "trap out", but you usually don't get the queen doing these unless you do a Cleo Hogan Jr. style of trap out.
Remember, you *must* capture the queen or at least have very young brood (3-day or younger larvae) to have a chance at a viable colony. Without a queen you basically have a bunch of bees that will simply start dieing out from old age...gotta have a queen for bee production.