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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I have been helping a nice older couple with their bees. When I met them was a swarm call 40 feet above their hives, I set up ladders, poles and a bucket, just to find out it was an established hive (open air). So now the wild hive is robbing their managed hives blind. My thought was to close up the managed hives, and "bait" the wild bees down and collect them, wher they could then be moved and combined.

How would you go about doing this??
 

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I think you will need a boom lift to do a proper "cutout" and strap the comb into new frames then put the whole thing into a deep brood box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Not really an option, and since this is Maine the open air hive doesn't stand a chance of living through the winter. Also if we take enough foragers to weaken the hive enough maybe the managed bees could steal back what was stolen.
 

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Could you knock the comb from the tree onto a sheet? many bees will be killed, but the standard hives will be able to get their honey, the queen may get killed, and the remaining bees may just join the hives they robed.
Just a thought.
 

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If the hive in the tree is strong enuf to do damage to the "managed" hives, then there is probably something wrong w/ the "managed" hives or they would be strong enuf to protect themselves.

I would have just cut the branch and taken them away when first up in the tree. Otherwise, yes, reduce the entrance on the "managed" hive.
 

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since the thieves are in an open air colony, they are doomed to die this winter, and stores stolen from the established colonies may kill them too. I suggest removing the open air colony. honestly, that far up. if you can do it with local ordinances, shoot the limb in two below the colony, and let them fall. unless you know someone with a bucket truck that would let you borrow it to remove them.
The longer you wait to deal with this the worse it will be on the robbed colonies. but sounds like something is wrong with the others too, so get in there and find out what it is, or everything you do might be a lost cause here.

I hate to "kill" any colony, but sometimes you have to cut your losses, and move on.
 

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Try getting a tree removal company to come over with their boom truck. Or if that isn't practical, get one of those saws that attaches between two ropes and toss it over the limb the wild colony is on and go to work! Of course when everything comes down it will be chaos. But then, you are a beekeeper so you know how to deal with chaos! And having the managed colonies closed up during all the activity is a good idea.

But to echo Mark's comments - what's going on with these colonies that they are getting robbed? Strong colonies should be victims...
 
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