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Author Topic: Wild Hive  (Read 816 times)
Deb-Bee
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Location: Woodinville, WA


« on: July 26, 2007, 11:01:25 AM »

A "friend of a friend" called yesterday and wanted us to come get the bees that "fell out of the tree."  I thought maybe he was seeing a swarm or, more likely, confusing a fallen paper wasp nest for bees.  But I was wrong.  He has bees about 20 feet up in a tree.  The comb must have gotten heavy and and broken off and fallen to the ground below.  There is still a portion of the hive (a litte bigger than a basketball) up in the tree and I am assuming the queen is up there with them.  They seem to have built comb all around this limb.  We've had our 4 hives for just over a year now and I've learned a few things about keeping bees but I guess I'm pretty ignorant about wild bees.  I assumed they always built hives in enclosed spaces.  This one seems to be much more out in the open than I would have expected - probably the reason the hive broke off.

In any case, this person would like me to come back and get the bees - both the ones that are all over the fallen comb and the ones up in the tree.  I've successfully collected swarms before but not wild hives.  Any suggestions for me?  I love the idea of wild bees so my inclination is to clean up the fallen comb so the homeowner can have his yard back (they've blocked it off to their kids and pets) and leave the bees in the tree but I'm afraid the homeowner will just destroy them if I don't take them.  (Illegal, I know) The homeowner is willing to cut the branch - it's really not very big.  If I do try to take the whole hive, how do I transfer them from a wild comb hive to a box and frames?  Seems a bit of a mess to me and I'm not sure quite how to proceed.  Any suggestions anyone?
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deantn
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« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2007, 11:21:04 AM »

Sounds really simple to get to the limb that they are on so just cut it after tying it off to an upper limb and let down slowly.
Then cut the comb from the limb and put in frames of your choice. Rubber band them in the frames to hold them until the bees attach them to the frames. Put in hive body and you have another bee hive to work and enjoy.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2007, 11:33:13 AM »

If there are still bees all over the fallen part I would guess that it is the biggest part of the brood area. If it appears there is still living brood there I would tie those into frames. It is possible the queen is there also. And it is possible she got killed in the fall. Be sure to look for queen cells.
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JP
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« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2007, 05:50:34 PM »

After you get the hive at ground level and put the combs in frames with rubber bands, leave the hive body at the site for at least 2 days so the bees can secure the combs to the frames, before you move them. Also, by leaving the hive, all of the bees will aclimate to the hive body. Its important that you get the queen so look carefully for her and place her in the hive. I prefer to cage her so she doesn't leave, some may suggest you use a queen excluder to keep her in. If you can't get the queen or she gets killed its good to leave the hive anyway with pheremone to attract the bees to the hive, lf you don't have pheremone, lemongrass oil can substitute. Good luck and have fun. Believe it or not, the exposed ones are the easy ones.
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Deb-Bee
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« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2007, 08:15:18 PM »

Thanks for the info!  This will be a new experience for me.  I'm heading over there this evening to give it a try - I'll let you know how it goes...
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