Found a hive Hanging on a tree....HUGE

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by R Dewhurst, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. R Dewhurst

    R Dewhurst New Member

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    I was driving home today and saw a huge honey bee hive hanging from a hedge tree in middle town. Talked to the guy about it. The hive is about a foot and a half across and high and about a foot thick. Any thoughts on how to cut it down?
     
  2. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    well a bee vac would help alot, if its just hanging down from the bottom of a big branch you start from 1 side and vac all the bees on the outside of the ball, those would be most of the guard bees then start removing the comb from 1 side and watch for the queen, remember this time of year all the food comb you pull off you will have to feed right back to them. pics of the hive would also help. watch down the branch in either direction from the hive cause sometimes with all the noise you are making the queen and some bees will take a stroll down the branch and clump up.
     

  3. R Dewhurst

    R Dewhurst New Member

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    so cutting it off and putting in a box would not be wise?
     
  4. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    no just plopping it in a box comb and all would most likely kill the queen and kill most of the brood, you are going to have to put the brood comb in frames with rubber bands or string and then squish the food comb and feed it to them in the new hive box.
     
  5. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd do what zoo describes!
     
  6. R Dewhurst

    R Dewhurst New Member

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  7. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    How high off the ground?
     
  8. R Dewhurst

    R Dewhurst New Member

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  9. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Then it is stepladder easy, but 2 people are good, both in suits, bee vac if you've got it. sugar water spray rather than smoke, good comb knife, empty foundationless frames and lots of rubber bands. you know, maybe you know all this stuff already. If you don't, maybe someone close by could show up and help?
     
  10. R Dewhurst

    R Dewhurst New Member

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    I know little of how to do this job. No vac either. I just got started in keeping and alot is new. Blue blood is near by me. What will sugar water spray do to them then and would day time or night be best? I have 3 deep hive bodies and frames. One thing is for sure, it will be an adventure.
     
  11. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hit office supply and get rubber bands big enough to strap around frames (wood - no foundation). Easily strap around, not the cheap skinny ones. Beevac is easy to build if you have a shop vac, tons of plans online or you can make up your own. Need screening, wooden box, staple gun, smooth tubing, you can search this out, here or other forum should have some plans. I handed my crew a medium box, some old paneling, the shop vac and tools and they built me a crude but effective bee vac in half an hour. Bad news, mine doesn't set down pretty to empty bees into a hive. Good news, bees don't care.
     
  12. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Sugar water spray - stickies their wings, they don't fly as fast and want to sit down and clean up, just put them in a hive body over their banded comb, and they settle right down. Smoke makes them want to run away.
     
  13. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    I think pics of my bee vac are in building plans forum easy to build, and after your done it pulls off the hive box so the bees you vac up dont have to be moved from 1 box to another.
     
  14. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    it it was head high I would have already had that puppy in my back yard. you don't need to make this into building clocks and any of several way may work but with feral there is always a good possibility that anything you try will fail.

    at this point in my beekeeping career I think trying to save or salvage the old comb is a lot of effort which may in fact (depending on season and your local) DOOM your efforts before you start. about the best you can do in the current biological climate of the bees is to save the bees and trash the rest. the essence of this approach is you look at the bees as a new package and treat it in much the same fashion. my thinking is that you should take a regular box (sized based on the volume of bees) brush or shake the bees into the box, move some distance and leave them shut up for several days. optimally you would want a couple of frames of comb in the box and some mechanism to apply a bit of feed.

    it is pretty late in the season for doing this kind of transfer but I would guess in their current location the hive has 0 chances of making it thru the winter at your location. if you can get them a start then situating them over a strong hive with a double screen MIGHT give them some chance to making the winter. you will need to feed them at some constant rate between now and winter times just as you would a nuc in the spring time.
     
  15. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Dew, I saw your PM and subsequently this thread this morning. You are more than welcome to borrow my bee vac box. All you will need is a vacuum. It will take the typical size vac hose, two of them. If you don't have two or even a vac, I can let that go for a weekend also. The vac set up is in Little Marion with another keep who borrowed a month ago. I have been meaning to get over there and retrieve it.

    That hive reminds me of the episode of Duck Dynasty where they tried cutting it down.
     
  16. indypartridge

    indypartridge New Member

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    Bee vacs are useful, but for something just hanging like that, not necessary. If you rubberband the comb in frames, most of the bees will go along without a vac. I'd do as Gypsi & tecumseh suggest give it a shot. Low probably of survival this late, but it's zero probability if you leave them there.
     
  17. 2Tall

    2Tall New Member

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    I cut one this size off a tree last year and with easy winter we had is a nice hive now.I think just cut and band comb in frames ,not that many bees to use vac.Need to hurry they will die soon if not helped.I am near Terre Haute Pm if you need help.
     
  18. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Personally, I would have difficulty putting those combs full of bees in the frames. It was challenging enough the last time I put comb in frames without bees on them. It's certainly doable though. I could get the vac box to you today while on shift if decide you still want to borrow it. If you don't have any hive boxes, don't let that discourage you. I have extra you could borrow...
     
  19. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    :thumbsup: to BlueBlood, and the use of the vac makes banding comb alot easier and there is alot more bees in that clump then you think.
     
  20. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Use the vac. It's not necessary, but sure makes life easier. Get 2tall to help and go get them. Make 2 new friends and get the bees both. It is a win-win situation.