Prodigious Red Oak Bee Tree and Growth Factor Equation

Discussion in 'Swarms, Cut outs, and Trap outs' started by blueblood, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

    Messages:
    2,056
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Good Morning! Well, received a call as a result of being listed as an IBA member which has handsomely produced similar perks. So, met with the contractor of the small town to discuss an action plan. This ole gent of a tree will need to come down to avoid impending destruction of two homes under its shadow. The tree guys estimate 400 years old, I estimate 264 years using the TREE AGE FORMULA: DIAMETER IN INCHES AT CHEST HIGH/4.5 FEET (OR CIRCUM/3.14) = DIAMTER X GROWTH FACTOR. 66" X 4.0 = 264 The tree appears to have been two trees so that variable is beyond my comprehension. The bees most likely moved in around the first week of June. I am 5'-11" which equates, roughly to my arm span. I was standing a few feet in front of the tree which makes the tree seem smaller in the background. But, when I was back to the tree on the opposite side, my span matched the diameter of the tree.

    I proposed to place a #8 mesh over the entrance late night before or early morning of the topping. The tree guys will be safer from stings. Next, we hope to cut down the trunk and stop above the colony. If we cut into it, I can place plywood over it. Finally, the trunk is welcome to stay put until next spring and I will trap it out or take the contractor up on his offer to help cut the trunk open. The beauty part is, the owner and contractor want the bees to be as safe as possible! :grin: I just don't see how it would be possible to take this whole trunk to my house considering it's size. I will update this thread as things move along.

    DSCF9127.jpg DSCF9129.jpg DSCF9128.jpg DSCF9126.jpg DSCF9131.jpg
    [video=youtube;ZlWW4nzraBs]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlWW4nzraBs[/video]
     
  2. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    It's hard to know just how high up the hollow part of the trunk will be. Instead of being prepared to close it up with a plywood cover, bring an empty super, or better yet, a super with a few built frames for them to move up into. If you want to speed up the process of migrating up, you can hammer on the trunk till they get the idea that you don't want them down below. It may take a lot of hammering but eventually the bees get the message. Of course, you have to be prepared for the unexpected so bring all sorts of equipment with you for the "just in case" scenario. If you're lucky, you just might take a new hive home to your yard.
     

  3. tmrschessie

    tmrschessie New Member

    Messages:
    385
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If you can drill into the bottom area and find the approximate depth. You could then spray in some bee go or something similar to force them out of the upper hole. I just did something like that today to seal up an entry point to the screened off area. I then opened the side closest to the box. Once a sprayed just a little of it they scrambled out and started for the catch box. Something to keep in mind while getting them out. Tom

    P.S. The entrance hole looks big enough to possibly get a bee vac hose into it.
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    He's in the middle of Indiana. If he does the removal now, the bees will not make it through the winter. The best he could hope for would be to boost a weak hive.
     
  5. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

    Messages:
    2,060
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Dave the tree is a 2 chute split from the roots however many years ago. Its age may only be 1/2 the diamiter calculations you did because it is two trees sharing one root. The hollow cavity could go up the center to where the 2 large trunks split. Once the tree is topped down to the bees you could get him to cut slabs off the sides to get it to an manageable size I would think you could loose over 1/2 its thickness. You should be able to deturmin the wood thickness by hitting the side of the tree with a hammer and listening to the sound. You will hear one of two sounds, either a solid thud meaning lots of wood left, or a hollow sounding we are getting close. Unless you go to far then the 3rd sound will be "OH SHIT I'M GETTING STUNG"

    Smoke them well before you start and occasionly during the process to keep the bees a little more subdued keep the smokey going in case you need to chase them back in thru their escape hole. Steel wool to stuff in any cracks along with an asortment of other boards screens and stuff.
     
  6. Scott Derrick

    Scott Derrick New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I agree. Let them live in the trunk through the winter and get them in the early spring. Tree jobs can be really destructive to the bees. Really stressful.
     
  7. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

    Messages:
    2,056
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I understand about how destructive it can be fore them. BUT, the small town council is taking this tree down regardless. For two reasons: one, the limbs are just about ready to take out two homes. Second, they are taking the right of way to install sewer lines. However, they don't want to kill the bees. I was able to talk them into leaving the trunk till spring when I can cut or trap them out. So, they called yesterday and said they are cutting it next Wednesday and they requested I be there with them in case something goes haywire. The plan is to seal up the entrance Tuesday night. In theory, this will keep the bees at bay while they cut down as far as they can. If we cut into the top of the hive, I will have some plywood ready to use as a cover. If they offer to cut this trunk at the bottom and haul it to my house, I will take them up on that offer. A bee tree hive in my yard would be very neat especially with that enormous size of this oak. The contractor for the town said he was going to ask the council to compensate me for my stand-by time as well :grin:. I will take some pics and vids for sure.
     
  8. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Paid to watch = :thumbsup: :mrgreen:
     
  9. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

    Messages:
    2,056
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I thought so too Perry, ha!
     
  10. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    To me it seems totally logical---after all, isn't a policeman's job described as "keeper of the peace"? :grin:
     
  11. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

    Messages:
    2,056
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Blessed are the peace keepers...yeap! :grin:
     
  12. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

    Messages:
    2,056
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well, the tree proved too mammoth to move to my yard. We measured the circumference and came up with 18 feet! It was 72" wide looking at it straight on. The bees did real well. I ended up with 5 of the 10 ricks of red oak firewood and a stipend for assisting. I will cut or trap out the bees in the spring before the rest of the tree is removed.
    DSCF9399.jpg DSCF9400.jpg DSCF9401.jpg DSCF9403.jpg DSCF9404.jpg DSCF9405.jpg DSCF9407.jpg DSCF9408.jpg DSCF9410.jpg mms_picture (81).jpg
     
  13. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    All's well that ends well. Congrats on a job well done.
     
  14. Lburou

    Lburou Member

    Messages:
    553
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    That looks pretty tall. Was that you up there? Whoever it was gets the merit badge. :)

    Always sad to lose a tree like that.
     
  15. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

    Messages:
    2,056
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It was the tree boss of that crew. I am not real fond of heights. Yes, real sad to lose old gents like that one. It was an old one for sure.