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Someone showed this to me and wanted to remove ithe tank from his pasture. He saw bees flying back and forth to it and discovered the tank has a colony of bees in it. The tank is solid, with only the two holes where the inlet and outlet are. Any suggestions on how to remove the bees?
Thanks
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Tape a piece of #8 hardware cloth over both holes when it is cold and the bees are not flying. Take the tank back to your apiary and uncover the holes. Do not allow the tank to roll. You have all winter to think about how you are going to cut one end of the tank off and cut out the comb this Spring. Be sure to treat them with some OAV when you get them home.
 

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Don't waste your time on it. There are so many easier ways to get another colony of bees.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Buy them from Charlie?
 

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Walk away split, swarm cell split, bought queen split, baithive, buy a package.....
If your time is worth nothing, get out the blowtorch or cutoff saw. I have better things to do in my life.

Buy them
from Charlie?
 

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I'd be concerned a torch would kill much of the colony. If you move it, keep it in the shade, that metal will act like an oven even in mild sunlight.

I like the cutoff saw idea. If it's too much work, you don't have to cut all of the hole in one shot.

That is going to be one heavy tank. Just last week I brought home a purple martin house that weighed about 100 lbs. I still need to cut it out, but I know they have plenty of honey right now!
 

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Don't waste your time on it. There are so many easier ways to get another colony of bees.
I thought that was a a rather harsh comment ... until I saw the pictures. Personally, I wouldn't bother. Some you win, some you don't. Could try a Hogan-style trap-out I suppose, or leave 'em be and hope they survive and then swarm.
Looks like the tank might be worth saving, rather than the bees ...
LJ
 

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This isn't about the economics of obtaining the bees, it about the trip/experience of retrieving them. We've all been there, done that, still doing it in some cases; that's why we know about the economics of the retrieval.


As already mentioned - personal opinion is wait until spring, maintain the tank's current orientation, recip saw, bring a large bucket of water, your empty frames with rubber bands and string - wear your veil.
 

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Set this thing on your property, in some corner, and let them be as-is.
Capture swarms from them IF they live.

Absolutely no need to follow this pattern of "cutting bees out" - no need to cut anything out.
Somehow every random bee-tree, bee-tank, bee-barrel turns in to a cut-out.
No need for cutting into an every random, poor bee colony, in fact.

Nothing wrong with a "feral" bee-tree on a property...
I mean a bee-tank.
I'd take them in a heart bit and keep as-is in the weeds.

Here is a guy in Western Ukraine purposefully keeping several log hives on this apiary.
He never does anything with them, except capturing swarms from them.
One of his statements (in loose translation): "those top bars are impossible to remove now since the last time this hives have been opened 5-6 years ago".
That is exactly his point - feral bees directly on the property.
Video shot on March 9, 2016.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssV0sBaB0Zo
 

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Almost clairvoyant when using hindsight. Oi vey, mea culpa, I should have used many of us rather than all.
 

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I have been in the landscaping business for 45 years selling labor. So I always do a cost/profit audit on these kind of proposals before getting involved. So many beginners are so anxious to expand their hive count they get involved in these silly "save the bees" projects without thinking about the economics. If you are not making the same pay as your day job you are wasting your time. In this case the time of your friends also. Bees already on frames are so easy to increase why start moving/torching/sawing a steel tank with only a partial chance of success?


Don't waste your time on it. There are so many easier ways to get another colony of bees.
I thought that was a a rather harsh comment ... until I saw the pictures. Personally, I wouldn't bother. Some you win, some you don't. Could try a Hogan-style trap-out I suppose, or leave 'em be and hope they survive and then swarm.
Looks like the tank might be worth saving, rather than the bees ...
LJ
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Ollie, don't take the fun out of it. Sometimes the economics do not matter. It is the experience that counts. I had a bee tree trapout 23 miles from my house. I visited the site at least 8 times and ultimately did not get a single bee. I would do it again, with the hopes of being a little more successfull the next time around! Meanwhile, the splits I made did much better percentagewise. I hang swarm traps too. Several hours of work and no hits this year.
 

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You are right. I don't know why I give my knowledge hard earned over decades to beginners like Charlie and Ray in an attempt to teach them to use their time efficiently. They just become competition reducing the honey market for me.
Go for it! Waste ten times what it takes to divide a hive. You are making a better world for me, I appreciate it.

Ollie, don't take the fun out of it. Sometimes the economics do not matter. It is the experience that counts. I had a bee tree trapout 23 miles from my house. I visited the site at least 8 times and ultimately did not get a single bee. I would do it again, with the hopes of being a little more successfull the next time around! Meanwhile, the splits I made did much better percentagewise. I hang swarm traps too. Several hours of work and no hits this year.
 

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I think it's important to always bear in mind that people keep bees for different reasons - which is why I object so strongly whenever anyone assumes that others must have the same motivation as themselves. Some people keep bees for the challenges it presents - others just want to get on with the business of keeping bees with as few 'challenges' as possible.

Perhaps the most important factor to take into consideration is whether or not a person places any value on their time - some don't - I most certainly do even though I'm a hobbyist, and not in beekeeping for financial reasons.

Even though it's very time-consuming, I build my own non-standard woodenware primarily because I get enjoyment and great satisfaction from doing so - even though it would make far more economic sense to buy standard stuff ready-made.

But - would I open-up (what appears to be) a perfectly sound tank in order to extract some bees ? No.
Why ? Because it's 'a pig in a poke' - you have absolutely no way of knowing beforehand what the status of that colony is. It might be a tiny caste swam, it might even be queenless.

In the time it would take to open-up that tank, you could have made half a dozen swarm boxes which will be good for use over many years. In contrast, cutting open that tank is a one-off - and a one-off which may end in failure.

But - a personal choice, depending upon motivation.
LJ
 

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If it’s an itch you gotta scratch, move it to your yard. Wait till early spring. Connect the main entrance to a Hogan style box with a hardware cloth corridor. Put a frame of young brood, some capped honey, and drawn comb in the Hogan box. Use the second hole to smoke and BeeQuick the bees out. Put a one way cone over the entrance. Later, open the entrances and let the bees rob it out. Or use a modified version of my wife’s recipe for cooking duck, which is dig a hole, bury the duck, then buy a chicken and cook it.
 

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>Don't waste your time on it. There are so many easier ways to get another colony of bees.

The voice of experience. I guess if you don't mind a lot of work for little return for the experience of it, then I would wait until spring and use a sawzall to remove one end and go from there. The bees usually are not very happy once the sawzall starts vibrating everything...
 

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You are right. I don't know why I give my knowledge hard earned over decades to beginners like Charlie and Ray in an attempt to teach them to use their time efficiently. They just become competition reducing the honey market for me.
Go for it! Waste ten times what it takes to divide a hive. You are making a better world for me, I appreciate it.
:v:
 
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