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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have tried several times and all I get is upload failed. Cannot get pictures to show. Did once before, why not now ?? I give up.

Found what I think was once a beehive on big old Maple tree today.
Top of tree was broken off years ago - still alive growing in different direction now.
What would have been the top of the hive is where got broken off - so wide open.
Pieces of what I think are old comb as soft - but we have had 4" rain in last 5 days.
Looks like old comb to me - but I don't know squat yet.

Question - how old can comb be and still be of interest to bees ??

Thinking to create new roof and maybe they investigate come spring ??

Something to talk about on rainy night.

Curious your thoughts - thanks

sorry no pictures - on computer and my cell phone.
 

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Yeah, image upload didn't work for me tonight either; had to link to Photobucket. Brood comb is used until it gets progressively tighter and tighter (bees become smaller and smaller). Most old comb is consumed from abandoned hives by wax moths, new bees move in and the cycle starts over!
 

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>Question - how old can comb be and still be of interest to bees ??

Yes if it's there it can attract a swarm, also the propolis and any comb debris that falls to the bottom. The size of the cavity around 7 deep frames, height 10-15 ft, entrance size around 1.5 square in, partial to full shade are a few other factors you may be able to control.

A few drops of lemon grass oil with old brood comb will give you the biggest edge.

Are you trying to attract a hive and plan on leaving them in the tree?

If your goal is to attract a hive for beek than I would close the bee tree and make swarm traps with removable frames. Cut outs can sometimes abscond leaving you with a SHB mess and a lot of work with nothing to show for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks - Flower Power
The hive was not as big as you say to begin with. 3 1/2' long by 5" wide x 5" deep.
Since the gap is now wide open top to bottom from tree breaking off years ago, I'm thinking attract bees, but not leave them there.
Am thinking much better to spruce up old hive to use it as first attraction point, but set up some traps for them so I can put them in standard hive that I can work.
As newbee, I'm hoping to get some old brood comb from someone at bee club to use in trap.
 

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3 1/2' long by 5" wide x 5" is too small, Africanized select smaller cavities than European's. Not sure if this mean that tree is more likely to attract Africanized or not. There will be many swarms that will pass on something that small.

You really don't want to do a cut out on a small hive like that if you can attract them to a swarm trap instead.

I would cut it down split it open and cut the comb out and glue the pieces into frames, use those frames in traps and start catching swarms.

The only comb I had when I started trapping was pieces from a cut out, I glues these pieces some no bigger than 3" by 3". Set them up, and 33% of my traps caught ferial survivor that needed no treatment. The next year when I had full frames my traps were 50% successful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you Flower Planter

Really want to attract them to a swarm trap placed very close.
Just wondered if they might come back there to check things out.
Only just a very few slivers of comb left. Nothing to cut apart.

I'm hoping to get some old comb from someone to put in the trap.
I don't have any of my own yet. All boxes new and besides LGO, would like to put something else in boxes as an attractant.

Hopefully I can be as successful as you in time.
 

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Leave the tree alone. Relish in the wonder. Place your swarm trap & cross our fingers.
 
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