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The first is not far from my house and the bees have been in the tree for at least 3 years. They were somewhat aggressive when I checked them out last summer but didn't have time to trap them out and get them established before winter.

This is a huge.....UGLY, NARLY tree. It has knots on it's knots. Something out of a scary movie. Anyway I decided to build a platform early enough that the bees would not be coming out because of cold weather. Due to my hand surgery I just got around to building the platform. And had to setup the platform in the warmer weather because I was (did) to have surgery the following Monday. It was in the high 40s to low 50s. Never saw the first bee while setting up the platform. Went back the next day and it was even warmer and still no bees flying.

Could the bees be so far inside this huge tree that they are insulated so well that they don't know that it's warmed up? Knowing my luck, the bees died out over the winter from all of the cold rain, snow, freezing rain. The tree has a tracking area coming down the outside of the tree that would allow water to track directly into the slit/entrance into the tree.

I hope not. Will post some pics as soon as I can get over there with my camera and not hurt myself since I had shoulder surgery Monday.
 

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I've just gotten interested in trying this -- there is a fairly accessible tree-hive on the back creek at my place that I'd like to trap. Been reading, etc., but it will be better, IMO. to listen and learn from your experiences.
 

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Hang in there, Ken. My guess would be that the bees are just staying indoors right now. The natural opening of the tree should be above the hole/entrance, since that is the portion of the tree not getting nourishment due to the damage which created the hole. If so, the bees will be mostly unaffected by any amount of rain coming in. If they have been there for three years, they have already dealt with difficult weather anyway. You might put a swarm trap in the area as well, as this hive should have thrown at least a couple over the last three years.
Just be careful with that shoulder. No bees are worth permanent damage to that or yourself. Keep us updated on your progress. Love to learn from others.:D
 

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Check for dead bees outside the entrance. I've occasionally checked my hives when it's cold. Seeing dead bees on the landing board tells me someone's still in there keeping the place clean.
 
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