How to remove a hive from inside a tree

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Paul Cottier, Sep 7, 2018.

  1. Paul Cottier

    Paul Cottier Member

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    A friend of mine is going to be hiring a company to remove a tree from his property in october. He found the hive while the inspector was looking at it and wants me to remove the hive before they cut it down and possibly kill them. The hive is 6 ft from the ground and there is some tree debris obstructing the hole which can be removed, but i just want some advise before i dive into things. Idealy i would need to find and catch the queen but i have no idea how extensive the hive inside is or if i would even be able to. Would it bee better to cut the tree open? I had an idea of using a bee vacuum...? Ideas please.
     
  2. Sour Kraut

    Sour Kraut Member

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    Well, two options
    1) IF the tree company has the equipment to do it, cut the trunk above the colony and below it, and transport it to your place, keeping it upright (a long shot, I realize) and then you can cut it off from the top till you get to the nest, secure a deep over the opening, seal it up so they have to enter and return thru the deep, then drill into the nest from below and smoke them up

    2) build a platform to hold a deep hive body attached to the tree, then afix a wire cone to the opening, leading into the back of the deep, then when returning bees can't get back into the tree and start building combs and storing in the deep, as before, drill into the tree below the nest and smoke, smoke, smoke to drive the queen out.

    Either way is a lot of work, the first has the advantage of doing it 'at home' where you can keep an eye on it, the second will take at least 3-4 weeks for all the brood to emerge in the old nest...once that happens and you are sure the queen is in the new box, remove the cone and they will rob out all the remaining honey and take it to the new box.

    I've done the #2 thing, have pictures on the 'big' comp at home, will post later if anyone is interested.
     

  3. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Active Member

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    yes please post the pics, that sounds interesting, did you use the old tree as a swarm trap after?
     
  4. Sour Kraut

    Sour Kraut Member

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    no, 'after' it was filled with spray-in foam as it was near a school

    nuc-box hive on temporary support
    IMG_4254.JPG
    bees forced to go thru nuc box
    IMG_4255.JPG
    'traffic jam' as they try to get into the original opening
    IMG_4256.JPG
    after finding eggs / larvae in the nuc box, transferred frames to a full size box
    IMG_4272.JPG

    and positioned the 'cone' alongside to allow emerging bees to exit
    IMG_4274.JPG
    after three weeks, I took off the cone, allowed them to rob out the old nest, then filled the cavity with spray-in expanding foam as it is near a school and didn't want it re-occupied.
     
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  5. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Active Member

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    what keeps them in the nuc box? they cant get back into the tree because of the funnel but they still smell the queen?
     
  6. Sour Kraut

    Sour Kraut Member

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    when they can't get back into the tree, they start building and storing in the nuc box

    I left out a part, it got deleted somehow:

    when I saw they were doing that, I bored into the tree UNDER the main part of the nest, and smoked the h*ll out of them for about 3-4 minutes at a time every 15 minutes or so for an hour

    they came roaring out of the cone, into the box, and the queen was with them because three days later I saw eggs and larvae in the box
     
  7. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Active Member

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    ah, now that makes much more sense with the smoke...
     
  8. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    That is a good system. The worst hive to get out, is if the tree is NOT being cut down and bees are at the base so you can't get under them. But 6 foot up, I like Sour Kraut's system. I've gotten lucky and baited some out of a tree before, but someone else had damaged the hive first, I showed up a couple of days after installing the cone and strapping a nuc on a platform, carrying brood and eggs, opened the nuc and found the queen happily laying in the box. Gave them the new frames of brood and went back a few days later to pick the whole box up. (had to get a helper for that part and to pull my "scaffolding" out and load it.)