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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last fall I had a tree guy cut down a chunk of a tree that contained a hive. On advice from this forum I decided to leave it alone for the winter as they would not have much time to rebuild the hive. I added a feeder to the front and left it alone. It made it thru the winter.

Last weekend I *Think* they swarmed and on Monday I finally got a chance to get into the hive.

What I found was a "Smallish" hive with several capped queen cells and lots of brood, mostly capped. Surprisingly little stores.

What I did was split the tree hive into two regular hives each with a couple queen cells. This was probably not the best idea but getting everything out of the tree was somewhat of a rough process and I figured I had better odds with a few cells in each.

I ended up with ~8 medium frames in each hive that I banded in that are mostly capped brood and an additional two frames of mostly honey. I then placed these boxes on top of a deep with drawn comb. I tried to split the population evenly and probably have enough to cover 3-5 frames in each. I then placed a feeder on top.

Anyone want to poke holes in my approach and or give advice on what I might change?

~Matt
 

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Sounds like you have a couple hives that are primed to build really fast. My only thought is I'm not sure I would have put them on the deep until their population filled the medium box. Might be too much space especially if there are only 3-5 frames worth of bees to cover 8 frames of brood in each box.

How did you open the log up? Got pics?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was worried about that but was also thinking they would go from 3-5 frames to bloated in a week or so. I saw a mere handful of open brood so I'm guessing a good portion of the capped brood has been capped for a while and will be emerging shortly. I was concerned about them having too much space but was also concerned about a population explosion and them not having enough space.

As I told a couple of my friends, you haven't lived until you've plunged a chaninsaw into a tree you KNOW is filled with bees :)

LAst year I made a support stand for the tree, it was probably 6.5' tall and 18-24" in diameter. I took two cuts across, you could feel when you broke into the chamber and then connected them vertically and basically pulled out a window of wood. I was surprised at how little comb stuck and at how docile the bees were.

From there I had a better idea of where the chamber was, how big etc and simply repeated the process until the entire hive was exposed on one side.

I then started at the bottom cutting the comb in widths to match the opening in the medium frame and wrapped them in with rubber bands. Rinse and repeat shaking as many bees as I could into the hive as I went.

About the only change I would make would have been building a bee vac. I left quite a few bees on the tree because I simply could capture them.

Sadly no pictures as I was alone and working against the clock as I started later in the day. Was a very cool experience and gave me an interesting look at what they do when left to their own devices. Made me wonder if I should start making my hives out of thicker wood though and sealing them up right for winter :)

~Matt
 
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