Any ideas how to get colony to return?
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  1. #1

    Default Any ideas how to get colony to return?

    I have a single hive that decided to abandon their hive late in the season to occupy a vacated squirrel hole located 40 feet above the ground. Our hive moved maybe a 100 ft to their new home. The tree is very dangerous (several dead widowmakers) and due to its location next to a river can not be cut down. The tree is on a very steep slope and would be almost impossible to trap them out.

    What should I do, I plan to get a new colony but don't want to have another colony near by that will be untreated for verona. Does any one know of a way to lure the hive back?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    SE Michigan USDA 6a (Macomb Co.)
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Any ideas how to get colony to return?

    Quote Originally Posted by tmorrill13 View Post
    I have a single hive that decided to abandon their hive late in the season to occupy a vacated squirrel hole located 40 feet above the ground. Our hive moved maybe a 100 ft to their new home. The tree is very dangerous (several dead widowmakers) and due to its location next to a river can not be cut down. The tree is on a very steep slope and would be almost impossible to trap them out.

    What should I do, I plan to get a new colony but don't want to have another colony near by that will be untreated for verona. Does any one know of a way to lure the hive back?
    Hopefully the squirrel hole is smaller inside than you think, and they may wear out their new home quickly. If that starts happening this spring, it would be nice to have a nice inviting swarm trap baited with lemongrass oil nearby that scout bees might find right away... If that works, you'll get most of them back and the "unmanaged" squirrel hole left-over hive will eventually die out due to varroa contamination. Not sure otherwise, you already covered most of the other typical retrieval methods, and it sounds too risky to try anything personally either. Worst case, just take it as a loss, split one of your other hives, and try to figure out what happened, so perhaps such an event doesn't reoccur with a different hive. Perhaps the OSBN method described by other members to reduce potential for swarming? Be safe, good luck
    USDA 6a, 8 frame equipment

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