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The tree is about 18/20 in. dia. . Hard to determine where the comb in in relation to the entrance. Location of the tree will make a difficult cut. I placed a couple of boxes with some honey/empty comb near by an dribbled some EO on the entrance. Any chance of luring them out with going in after them?
 

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I think unlikely, unless in a swarm trap type of situation. If they want to move scouts may already have established a new home. How long has the tree been down? The bees may try to obscond once a decent flow hits. You could try trapping-out a nuc of bees or put up swarm traps.

I removed a massive colony from a giant old beach tree 3-4ft in diameter last summer with a bee vac. The tree cracked in half when it fell in the rain storm, so was easy. Atleast 20-30 lbs of bees, they were all gorged on honey so weighed a bit more than usual. SHB were pretty bad, they had layed a massive amount of eggs while the hive was stressed.
 

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If there's only one entrance (or if you could block up all but one) you could try a Cleo Hogan trapout. Do a search for it. Or, as The Valley mentioned, a simple long one-way funnel and place a hive box with it's entrance *very* close to the original entrance. The bees come out the long funnel but when they return they attempt to enter at the base of the funnel close to the original entrance...unable to enter they *may* enter the nearby hive box. Bait it with some comb...some folks have used a frame of brood and nurse bees to lure the foragers in. Eventually the situation inside the tree will get bad with a low bee population and shb and wax moths will begin to have the upper hand...the remaining bees and queen will then abscond (most likely won't go into your hive). The Hogan trap can get the queen, too.

Nothing's guaranteed, as my mentor tells me, "The only thing absolute about honey bees is that there's nothing absolute about honey bees!". ;)

Best wishes,
Ed
 

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Once I was able to drive the queen out by drilling a 1" hole below the entrance and heavily smoked them.
After 10 minutes the queen appeared and I was able to cage her, placed a nut on a ladder and hang her in between the frames.
By night time the colony was in the box.
This was a swarm that just moved into this tree a couple of weeks ago, so I am not sure if you will be able to replicate the same things with a well established hive.
 

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Luring them out now? No. However, you may catch the swarm in mid April or so.
If you can make the cut, take the section they are in and set it up just as it was in your bee yard, place a hive body over them with some drawn comb (I fasten my box to plywood with nails or screws which is then attached to the top of the tree trunk. The plywood has a hole the same size as the tree, letting the bees come into the box). I block the tree entrance and force them to enter/exit through the box.
My wife and I cut a tree today (best removal ever!), and there was a ten foot section full of bees, comb, and honey. It is now in the bee yard and is fixing to have a box placed on top. I might post some pics later if possible.

Oh yeah, for those who say that bees ALWAYS enter at the bottom and work their way up in a natural hive, these have their entrance at the very top (yes, it's a ten foot section of tree). This is also not the first one I've seen like this. Bees will build however they want to......period.
 
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