Did a tree service wipe out my hive?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Victor, New York, USA
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    36

    Default Did a tree service wipe out my hive?

    I had a strong hive in a neighbor's yard and 3 weeks ago it seemed to be doing fine. Yesterday I found a dead hive with lots of bees (and a few yellowjackets) laying on the screened bottom board. There were some lively bees in the top box I used for feeding and I assume they were robbing the feed. There was a small amount of capped honey and no bee butts sticking out of comb.

    Two weeks ago this neighbor had a large tree taken down and the logs were dumped in the swamp within 5 feet of the hive. My suspicion is that the tree cutting guys were bothered by the bees (perhaps stung) and sprayed bee/wasp killer into the hive entrance.

    Does anyone have a suggestion for how I might test my suspicion, other than simply asking (which I intend to do after I speak with the neighbor)? Thanks.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Hartford, CT
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    639

    Default Re: Did a tree service wipe out my hive?

    Send in the wood for testing and then sue them for damages.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Olympia, Washington
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    1,352

    Default Re: Did a tree service wipe out my hive?

    That makes sense.
    I'm sure the court will decide that the hive is worth thousands, and any award will more the cover the expense of his time, the laboratory, a lawyer, proving that any poison sprayed came from the tree service, and the few hundreds the hive is likely worth this time of year.

    Unless, of course they do as they normally do and require more than a strong suspicion and circumstance to make an award.

    (It certainly is likely the tree service sprayed the hive, but it will likely save him a lot of hassle - not to mention stress from keeping anger stirred up - to simply forgive them.)
    Last edited by Beregondo; 11-24-2012 at 10:21 PM. Reason: spelling

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Hartford, CT
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    639

    Default Re: Did a tree service wipe out my hive?

    has nothing to do with now it has to do with estimated product over it's life time.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    10,867

    Default Re: Did a tree service wipe out my hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBuzz View Post
    Send in the wood for testing and then sue them for damages.
    Well, the hive is not on Kettle Ridge's property.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kettle Ridge View Post
    I had a strong hive in a neighbor's yard
    And he had not discussed the situation with the neighbor (as of his post).

    Quote Originally Posted by Kettle Ridge View Post
    ... other than simply asking (which I intend to do after I speak with the neighbor)?
    Perhaps gathering the facts might be in order before deciding to file a lawsuit?
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Las Piņas City, Philippines
    Posts
    590

    Default Re: Did a tree service wipe out my hive?

    $$$ It will cost you no matte what you do $$$



    BEE HAPPY Jim 134
    Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA.
    http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Laurens, georgia, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Did a tree service wipe out my hive?

    Ask the owner. To have his company kill an obvious beehive, not a wild wasp nest, is pretty bad, does not reflect well on his company. It is like shooting your dog. Certainly talk with your neighbor first. My guess on damages is that there is no way this will be worth your time to sue anyone. Probably will just be the cost of replacing the bees,($100?). It will cost you that much just to file. And it will take much to much of your time and energy to pursue it. Talk with everyone, maybe cuss them out if they did it and don't care, then let it go.
    Another avenue may be reporting them to state agriculture, or is there a licensing bureau for the forester?

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
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    2,080

    Default Re: Did a tree service wipe out my hive?

    You could send in a sample to Beltsville and have them check for the normal suspect hive diseases. That would not be too expensive. It most likely died from normal causes. If it had been sprayed there would be piles of dead bees on the bottom board and in front of the hive. The dead yellow jackets leads me to believe the hive was under some kind of stress to begin with. If the hive was health and someone sprayed it, I would not think many yellow jackets would be inside a healthy hive. Most wasp sprays have a short half life.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
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    1,313

    Default Re: Did a tree service wipe out my hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by johng View Post
    You could send in a sample to Beltsville and have them check for the normal suspect hive diseases. That would not be too expensive. It most likely died from normal causes. If it had been sprayed there would be piles of dead bees on the bottom board and in front of the hive. The dead yellow jackets leads me to believe the hive was under some kind of stress to begin with. If the hive was health and someone sprayed it, I would not think many yellow jackets would be inside a healthy hive. Most wasp sprays have a short half life.
    With out a witness you don't have a leg to stand on . you should not lay blame till know know for sure. I think JOHNG has it right.
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 31 hives==== T{OAV}

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Victor, New York, USA
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Did a tree service wipe out my hive?

    Thanks everyone. I will look into sending a sample to Beltsville. I will let the neighbor know my suspicion and ask him if the tree guys made any comments about the bees. I know he will feel terrible about the dead hive and will support me if I end up calling the tree company and asking them directly. I don't really want to make a mountain out of a molehill as I still have six other hives (in my own yard) to keep me busy.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Florence SC USA
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    28

    Default Re: Did a tree service wipe out my hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kettle Ridge View Post
    Thanks everyone. I will look into sending a sample to Beltsville. I will let the neighbor know my suspicion and ask him if the tree guys made any comments about the bees. I know he will feel terrible about the dead hive and will support me if I end up calling the tree company and asking them directly. I don't really want to make a mountain out of a molehill as I still have six other hives (in my own yard) to keep me busy.
    IF it turns out that the bees were poisoned, you don't have to prove that the tree company did it to a certainty, only to what is reasonable under the circumstances. Since there is no other reasonable explanation for the poison, the court will likely accept that the tree company put the poison there. Also, it is not the value of the boxes and bees alone, but also the honey losses from a thriving hive over the next few years. It will not cost you a lawyers fee or a lot of money to persue this IF it turns out to be poison. Most states have a small claims court that handles claims up to $5000 or $10,000 depending on where you live. Last and probably most likely is that IF poison is found, the tree company will just pay a reasonable amount of damage just to be through with it. In that case, you may not even have to file. Of course, it all depends on the poison being found !

    Ed

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    13,203

    Default Re: Did a tree service wipe out my hive?

    Is it not possible that the hive died from natural causes like varoa and then got robbed out? If it were a tree service I can't imagine they would poison a hive on a customers property without getting permission. I can see them refusing the job until you the customer removes the hive.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

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