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How to capture them?
Some friends have a hive of honey bees in a standing Royal Polonia tree in their backyard. The bees (or at least a recurring hive) have been there since before the friends bought the house (2+ years ago), and they'd like me to take them away. Bees' hole is 16-17 ft above ground level in the main trunk and only 1-2 inches in diameter. The two additional holes near ground level only communicate with each other, not with the bee hole (determined by smoking the lower holes). The owners love their tree and have no interest in it being cut down.
Is there a way to hive this colony?
Smoke the bee hole (a lot)?
Force them to abscond?
Leave an empty hive nearby with pheromonal bait?

Thanks,

David in Baltimore
 

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try searching on "escape cone" There is a method where you can put a one way exit over the hive entrance, with a new hive right at the entrance of the old one. The bees will leave the old hive, not be able to return, and go into the new hive. You'll need to install a new queen once there are a decent number of bees in the new hive. Once the new hive gets strong, and when you see few to now bees leaving the old hive, remove the cone and let the strong hive rob out the now weak hive. This could take a few weeks or more, so be prepared to be patient. and make sure your friends are willing to have a stapled-together hive tied up in their tree for a while!

justgojumpit
 

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"Bees' hole is 16-17 ft above ground level in the main trunk and only 1-2 inches in diameter"

At that hight I would say let the BEE!
 

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It is difficult to get bees to abandon their home at best, especially when it's in a tree.

The cone method is the only practical method to get them out, but that will not get the queen or any of the brood. And even the cone method can be frustrating and usually results in so many confused bees in the air that the homeowner (mistaking confusion for anger) will end up spraying them. I'd be tempted to use a bait hive, but I woudln't hold my breath. The bait hive will probably work better if it's a ways (a few hundred yards will do) from the original, but sometimes they will go only a short ways.
 

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> The cone method is the only practical method to
> get them out

There are LOTS of other ways to remove the bees
without killing the tree, but if they are 16 feet
up, how could they pose any concern at all to
the homeowners?

Sounds to me like the best option is to leave
them alone. They aren't going to bother anyone.
If the bees were a serious problem for anyone,
they would not balk at opening up the trunk
with a hole large enough to remove the comb,
which is a required step if the tree is to
avoid being infested with other, more damaging
insects after the bees are removed.
 

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>There are LOTS of other ways to remove the bees
without killing the tree

There are many ways to dispose of the bees. Not many ways that I know of to get them out of the tree alive without destroying the tree. If you know of any, please share.

The only other one I can think of is to flood the cavity in the tree. This may or may not succeed depending on where the water finds to go and how good you are at the top of a 20' ladder with bees all over you and if the nest is above or below the hole.

 

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Quote by Jim Fisher:

"There are LOTS of other ways to remove the bees
without killing the tree"

Yes, as a newbie, I would like to hear about these methods. I've already had a request for a removal similar to this one, though not this high up. Of course, I declined and passed it on to an experienced beekeeper, and it hasn't been removed yet, but I'm very interested in methods for removal that don't harm the tree, so if you'll share, that would be great.

I expect the homeowners want them gone because every time they come near to mow or trim the guard bees come out and zizz around their heads in warning. If the hive is established wouldn't they tend to be a bit defensive, unlike a swarm?

KYBee
 
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