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Discussion Starter #1
I've been asked to take some feral bees out of an old Western Red Cedar. This tree will be cut down either before or after the process. I'm familiar with the process once I can get to the combs, but how to get them out of the tree is a bit elusive.

I've never done this before, and any advice is welcome.

Thanks in advance.
 

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You can trap them out or cut them out. Trapping them out is pretty straight forward and clean though it will take a couple of months. Cutting them out is a different ball of wax.

http://s196.photobucket.com/albums/aa190/Drew454/

The tree in question was actually a limb that had fallen in a storm. I used a chainsaw and crowbar to get into the hive then it was pretty simple. I thought the'd freak out over the chainsaw but they didn't and it was really the only way in there.
 

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Well, if your gonna do it before spring, you do it by taking home the whole section of tree that the bees are living in. If your gonna wait till spring you do it like any other cutout, just the tree will dictate where to cut. But I have never done one, I'm sure others will chime in.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'll do it once the weather turns. What I'm most concerned about is how to split the tree open w/o damaging all the combs.
 

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I wouldn't worry about wreaking the combs. save what you can. get what you can and they will fix/rebuild the rest. i would think the main thing is to get the bees a some brood.
 

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Top the tree, if you can drill some test holes to estimate where the top of the cavity is, or guess at 4 feet, brace or tie it off so it won't slam to the ground if you can, cut at or below the hive opening, cut the tree lengthwise on one side gently drive in wedges, as little pounding as possible, saw the opposite side lengthwise, lift off the upper half, put all the comb you can in your new hive. It is much easier with a partner that is comfortable with bees and chainsaws. I have done it alone because it is hard to find beekeeping woodsmen. Axes and hammers will promote defensiveness. I am not comfortable in a veil with a chainsaw running. Self-amputation is more painful than beestings to me.
 

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I read somewere; cut out the section of tree with the hive in it, put a top and bottom on it, move it to wereever, and capture swarms as they occure.
I do not know if this is pratical for you, but getting the bees out can be a real PAIN!! I have done a couple of them, NO more.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Americas. That's real helpful, especially the part about drilling test holes. I was wondering how to determine where the top of the cavity was. Since this is a big western red cedar, I may try knocking a splitting wedge into a side after it's been topped and see if it'll just split apart.

Hopefully I can get some pictures soon and see what I'm up against.
 
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