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Tree was felled yesterday and workers quit because of the bees. Tree that I had gotten several swarms from last year.

Went over there late when I was notified. Cut the limb away from the rest of the tree. Hollow limb/log was close to 6-7 feet long (including) a section that was cut away from the main hive and the bees left to be with rest of hive. Screened over all entrances (both ends and 1 knot hole) except 1. Why did I do that??? :doh: Should have screened off all of the entrances.

Went back today. Vacuumed out some bees. Stopped concentrating on bees in the log, closed off last entrance and started vacuuming the foragers (many bringing in pollen). And there were a lot of foragers. Started vacuuming again. Finally gave up. Sealed the last entrance and secured the others better. Put log in truck and came home with log full of bees/comb/brood/honey and a hive (part of the beevac) full of bees. High box in bee vac has brood comb with honey and some pollen from a deadout this winter. So they will have some supplies.

So tomorrow I need to open the log. Haven't decided exactly how to do it. But these bees are testy because of all of the sawing over the last 2 days. Thinking about sawing the log into 2 or 3 manageable sections and sealing the new ends quickly with screen.

Will need to vacuum bees again as I cut and seal. But I will need to replace the hive that's on the bee vac now and put on another one. Will probably place the current hive of bees where I had a deadout in my back yard this winter. Put another high box on the bee vac.

With 3 sections I can split the logs open 1 at a time and vacuumed the bees as I go and put the brood/honey/pollen comb into medium frames. Easier to take comb that is about the size of a medium rather than installing several strips in a large frame. If I am lucky I will find the queen. Will use smoke to keep the bees under some control which should help me find the queen.

Once I am finished, I can put all of the boxes together.

With that many bees I am seriously thinking about making a couple of splits with this large hive. With bees that have been in a tree that long (had to be there a long time to have that much comb), their genetics have to be really good. Never saw the 1st SHB.

What say you? Hopefully I will see a few suggestions when I wake up tomorrow.
 

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Tree was felled yesterday and workers quit because of the bees. Tree that I had gotten several swarms from last year.

Went over there late when I was notified. Cut the limb away from the rest of the tree. Hollow limb/log was close to 6-7 feet long (including) a section that was cut away
What say you? Hopefully I will see a few suggestions when I wake up tomorrow.
How about taking a piece of ply and covering one of the ends with it and drill a hole for a tube. Then set a hive with a bee escape into the hive so they can't leave. Once they come out into the hive, go cut into the log lengthwise and then beevac out what are in there. harvest comb and put all the brood into comb frames and set into boxes then shake your bees into the boxes. THey should go back to taking care of the brood. Maybe not. I'm no expert on this.
 

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Probably do something like this.

http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=227792&highlight=hollow

Get what you can. If there is a lot of brood and eggs. Split into nucs. You will know which one has the queen. Once they start marching in seal that one up. Scoop the outside bees into the other nuc with eggs for a walk away split. Chances are the ones with the queen will supercede her. They blame her for the trauma they just went though. So look for those cells to split with too.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Hambone. I might set these up as a 8-frame colony.

I just made a bunch of those 5-frame nucs that was put on the site a couple of weeks ago and have at least 3 more almost cut out for assembly.
 

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Split open like link describes that Hambone put in thread. Man I got a lot more bees. Got a lot of old brood comb. Some even had a little pollen and some had a tiny bit of nectar.

But.............................no brood or queen.

So I am sitting on top of a bunch of bees. I either need to order a mated queen or combine the bees with other hives. I have several that could use some more bees but most of them would probably go into swarm mode if I added a lot of bees.

I am glad I did the work and got more experience. But I know that it wasn't worth all of the hours I put into the job Wed evening, around 9 hours yesterday and 4.5 hours today. Temp in the upper 70s and low 80s yesterday and today. With that suit on I am just beat from the heat.

Ain't use to it yet...
 

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My advice is to quit wasting time chasing bees with a bee vac. You will be further ahead to make them come to you.

When I have cut out bees from a tree, I open the log so I can easily access the combs. I take a chainsaw, and cut a few test holes to determine comb orientation, and then split the log in half (or cut out one quarter of the log) trying to split the log between combs.

Then I take my knife and start cutting out brood combs and rubber banding them into frames. Honey filled comb that gets cut out gets tossed into a bucket.

Once you get the queen in your box, the battle is almost over. The other bees will go to where the queen is gradually.

I smoke the bees pretty good before I start sawing. I've never had the bees get aggressive or very defensive removing bees from logs. (If you have some clown with you who doesn't know how to handle bee covered combs and crushes a bunch of bees, they WILL get upset then.)

This (for me) is about a one hour job from the time I start cutting into the log until I am putting tools away. I make sure I get all the brood combs the and queen into my hive. The most time consuming thing for me is waiting until nightfall for the bees to move to the hive so I can shut it up and take it home. I just leave and come back later that evening.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I do know that it's easier to have the bees come to you IF you have the queen. This tree fell a long way down. I felt the odds of the queen being alive was 50-50 at best. I should have just gone with hoping for brood and opened the log as you said. Too much wasted time. But I was wanting to save the bees and was in tunnel vision.

Had I done as you described it would have been over in an our or so as far as cutting removing the comb and putting it in frames. But I doubt that I would have gotten the bees to come into a hive with the frames since there was no brood. These bees just wanted to hang around the split log. There must be a ball about the size of an orange out there right now underneath one side of the log.

But you are right, do it and be done with it. If there is no brood or queen then decide if you want to save the bees for use with other hives by vacuuming or another method or spraying them with water/detergent.

P.S. Thanks for your comments Countryboy. Make a lot of sense.
 

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Hey Ken, I am sure you have done this already, but check that ball of bees. It may be your queen, or what's left of her. Only queen I ever lost was when I did not check a bunch of bees that were crawling around about 20 yards from where I did a cut out. :doh:
 

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Hey Ken,
I quit cutting bee trees and took up catching swarms. The swarm catching was a lot easier. :)

I certainly wish you luck with the bee tree endeavors! I sent you an email this evening old buddy.

Oh, btw, if you have a frame with eggs you could put it in a nuc with some of your "tree bees" and see if they might raise their own queen. Just a thought...
God bless,
Fred
 
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