Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The bees I rented in spring 09 were Russian bees. There were 2 hives. One entire box swarmed into a VERY dead poplar tree in my yard. There is a hole about 30 ft up where they seem to be very content. They have been there since June 09. My fear is that the tree will not make it through another year. (10' sections of branches have been falling from the top for awhile.) I am not opposed to leaving it alone, but concerned for the bees if much more of the tree deteriorates. The owner would like to collect them back, but since it has been so wet, there was no way to get any equipment to the tree, plus the owner of the bees has no equipment, so we will be the ones to have to get the tree down. Any opinion on this would be greatly appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,265 Posts
we will be the ones to have to get the tree down. Any opinion on this would be greatly appreciated.
Is the "owner" of the bees going to reimburse you for any expenses?

Did you steal his bees and hide them in that tree? :no:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,548 Posts
the only way possible i see at that height is a cherry picker. PLUS, if the owner has the need and want, he should be willing to pay for expenses like BC said. If the tree must come down....then, well, chainsaw....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Probably not. I don't mind helping him out, since he did lease me his bees when I was in a pinch. ( My regular guy forgot me...and I had berry blooms for the bees to work)
I do have an empty hive....I wouldn't mind them staying awhile!::shhhh:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,548 Posts
30 ft is higher than it looks....i fell 22 ft...landed on my feet and SHATTERED my left wrist when i used it to balance myself....and i was VERY lucky.....If the tree is fine, id say leave them and set up a swarm trap......but thats just me....from reading, Russins are prone to swarming....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have considered just cutting it down, but I imagine a "skilled" scramble would have to follow. I have only helped once in collecting a swarm, but they were alot lower to the ground. We just used a 5 gallon bucket on a pole. I'm pretty sure getting them out of this tree will not be easy. And what kind of mess will it make after impact?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,309 Posts
If you want the colony to survive, I would not drop the tree to collect the bees.

I've had two experiences this past year with storm downed bee trees. Both times I sectioned the tree above and below the colony, then reached in to remove comb and tie into frames. Both times the queen was dead. Apparently the impact of the bee tree hitting the ground kills a lot of bees, especially the queen. Or as comb breaks loose from the impact, some suffocate. The end result was lots of dead bees and queen by time I was done. And it was too late to get a replacement queen.

If you have access to a cherry picker, you can manage to cut the colony's portion of the trunk, lower it to the ground, then remove the colony. But all that is expensive and time-consuming. A trap-out might work, but that's rather high, as already mentioned.

Another option, if you want a hive of your own, just get a new one, either nuc or package, and get it off to a good start. Also, set up a swarm trap. Then, when nature takes it's course and the tree colony swarms, you might catch the swarm. or if the weather drops the section of the tree the colony is in, then you can unite the survivors with your existing package/nuc colony, and away you go!
Good luck, and keep us posted!
Steven
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,378 Posts
Wouldn't it be cheaper to buy a Nuc of Russians and give it to your Beek as a thank you gift and consider these bees a gift to the wild. If you gave him a gift of bees, then it would remove you of the obligation of returning bees back to him.

Just think that if all that you wanted was pollination, then you would get it for free at least until the tree fell. I would be interested in finding out what caused these bees to abscond their original home. Perhaps, next spring they would swarm from the tree back to the empty hive.

But if the tree were to fall and someone/property would be hurt, then it would be in your best interest to cut down the tree and ask the Beek to assist in gathering them up. Otherwise, I would let nature take control.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,548 Posts
Did they abscond, or swarm.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
508 Posts
I agree with Devdog, I would leave them and set up a swarm trap. Since you're just beginning this would be a nice start for you. If the owner wants them back, it's his responsibility to get the swarm not yours. Don't risk life and limb for someone elses bees.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,430 Posts
Believe by the common Bee Laws, those bees swarmed and took up residence on your property making them your bees. If they had swarmed somewhere else and no one knew where they went, the beek would still be in the same position.

Having said that, if you want him to have the bees, then give him the okay to get the bees any way he wants at his expense.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I don't mind if the owner wants his bees back. I feel bad that they "absconded", but I don't see where it would fall onto me to fix the situation. I did pay him for his rental services. My bees were not available when my blooms set in the strawberry field, so I leased these til mine arrived. I don't mind the bees in the tree at all, it's just that this tree is literally falling apart. I will make an attempt to find a swarm trap from another beekeeper. the fact that these bees left thier hive completely, makes me wonder if a trap would do the trick. I was really hoping they could be saved somehow. But then again, sometimes mother nature knows what she's doing. I just hate not to try at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
533 Posts
Its a dangerous deal, unless you have a bil-jax or something, and even then probably not worth it. By law, they are yours. I would not let the beek in to try to get them "back" either. It just isn't worth it, especially if he hurts himself in the process. If and when the tree comes down try to salvage whats there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just another thought...if they do come down with the tree, and the queen is non-retreivable, has anyone ever mixed italians (the 2 hives I have already) with Russsians? ( This may seem like a really stupid question.) I was curious, since I do have one hive that is really struggling right now. Finding dead bees in the bottom with small abdomens. I am assuming they are not getting enough to eat, and the cold is really becoming a problem the past 6 days, with no signs of a break for me to try and feed them.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top