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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While clearing some trees in the woods we dropped an ash tree that's about 2.5' in diameter. The center was rotting so we moved up about 3 feet and made another cut. We then noticed there were bees in the lower section. We stood the section back upright and placed a slab of wood on the top to close it off. This was a month or so ago and the bees seem to be ok as they're out and about on warmer days (mid-Michigan). I'm think of setting a brood box on top of the log when the weather breaks and to start feeding. These bees seem a bit larger than Italian bees and also seem a bit more aggressive but they are in the middle of the woods with lots of nearby meadows and farm lands and shouldn't be a problem. I'm guessing that they're probably a bit heartier and more mite tolerant than the Italian bees I've previously bought. Any thoughts?
 

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I have done what your thinking about doing,if you have some(drawn) old dark comb to put in the brood box it helps bring the queen up into your brood box. I have also had some i had to do a cut out on, because the queen would not go into the brood box. A drop or two of lemongrass oil in the brood box can do wonders.:thumbsup: Good luck. Jack
 

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Ed, were you wanting to trap out the colony or just put a super on top and let them stay where they are and see if you could collect some honey from them? I think I'd just try the super to gather honey and see if you can keep them naturally in the log. If you plan on keeping them in the log, you might want to put up a swarm trap to catch any swarms that might issue from the hive in the confined tree cavity.
 

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what id did with my bee tree was cut the 6 foot section of tree out and took it home - then stood it up and placed a slab of ply on the top for a roof and a screen on the bottem

then left it there - its my swarm thrower - they are wild bees that survive everyyear and every swarm lives through the winter !!!!

why take it apart and risk messing up the great hive they have????
 

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Why? It's simple, any colony being kept by a person needs to have removeable comb so they can be inspected for disease.
 

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why -???

the bees that are in the tree HAVE survived the mites, the foulbroods, the beetles etc.

thats why i keep them - yeah its not legal in the books but it works

also i have found several bee trees in my town and the owners wont let the bees be touched ??? so ..... they are not beekeepers .... are they breaking the law by having bees on there property that are not in an inspectable hive???

i think its best to keep them in the tree ---- i got my picket sign up!!!!!!

but in all reallity yeah if i find house bees i do cut outs - it i find swarms i box them -
but its a treed hive i leave then in there - it just makes sence

also id like to know if others have took a bee tree home and had it die from lack of frames ???
 

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We got a section of cedar tree last year and the bees did fine in it, we let them be for a bit then we scooped them out by hand making sure we got the queen and put them in a brood box, they are doing ok, and its easy to check for mites and such when they are in a brood box. If you wnat to go another route and find bees in the wild, place a bait box near the area you found the wild bees....garaunteed free bees a couple times a year probably, then you get the strong genetics from that colony and you leave some bees alone hopefully helping the wild bee population
 

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If I understand most honey bee laws correctly, if a colony is in a tree or log, etc.. bee chosen location and otherwise untouched by people, it is a feral hive and not subject to beekeeping laws.

The moment you put a box on it to collect from the hive, it becomes managed and therefore subject to those laws.


I might be incorrect, but I don't think so

Big Bear
 

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It's not always feesible to keep them in the tree, we took ours out of the tree because they kept getting too much moisture and its just easier to see whats going on, plus a rotting tre is a perfect place for moisture to sit, moisture goes right to the center
 

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My neighbors griped a few years back because I had a hive in my backyard. Forget the fact it sat out there all spring until mid-summer, all was ok... But the minute they see me in a bee suit with a smoker, I had problems. A few days later, a letter arrived from the zoning department. To make a long story short, I got an outyard for my bees, but I missed watching them here at home....So, I built a nice sized squirrel house, put it about 15 feet up my willow tree, baited it with lemongrass oil, and the next spring guess who moved in? (I did reload the oil) I was hoping, as someone said earlier, that since they moved into my "squirrel house" on their own, it would be ok. Nothing was ever said.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the feedback. I think I'll leave them right where they are with a brood box on top with some drawn comb and see what happens. They seem a bit aggressive and have stung two people over the winter already but we did cut the tree down and poke around around them a bit. Maybe I can re-queen down the road.
 

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While clearing some trees in the woods we dropped an ash tree that's about 2.5' in diameter. The center was rotting so we moved up about 3 feet and made another cut. We then noticed there were bees in the lower section. We stood the section back upright and placed a slab of wood on the top to close it off. This was a month or so ago and the bees seem to be ok as they're out and about on warmer days (mid-Michigan). I'm think of setting a brood box on top of the log when the weather breaks and to start feeding. These bees seem a bit larger than Italian bees and also seem a bit more aggressive but they are in the middle of the woods with lots of nearby meadows and farm lands and shouldn't be a problem. I'm guessing that they're probably a bit heartier and more mite tolerant than the Italian bees I've previously bought. Any thoughts?
If your thought is to get them to move up into the box I have some ideas for you. In my experience the best way to get them to move up so you can remove them from the tree with less trauma is as follows. Cut the tree in such a way where an inch or so of their comb is sticking above the top of the log. Cut a hole in the plywood that is the size of the hollow of the tree, screw that down. Place a deep or medium on the plywood. If you are using a deep, put a medium frame over where the comb from below is sticking up, if you are using a medium, put a shallow frame over where the comb sticks up. Close up all tree entrances and make a top entrance, that will force the bees to go thru your box and out, which will encourage them to use it. Check the box periodically, when you see that the queen is up there laying eggs, put a queen excluder on top of the plywood to keep her there. in 30 days you can remove the tree and split it and take whatever is in there out(wax honey).
 
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