I hate bees in trees. I really do. They are hard to get out and I almost never find the queen. There are just to many places for them to hide.
Now a ficus tree has a wrapped trunk. With lots of nooks and crannies. Which just end up as places for bees to hide.
Now this tree was special. It was basically dead. Dead tree have ants and termites and tend to fall apart.
This tree was special as in the short bus to school special. I started this cutout by cleaning most of the vines off of it. Now one way to turn nice bees into bad bees is to vibrate the hive.
A sawzall is very good at that. So here I am trying to cut an opening so I can access the comb. I was using a smoker and there was a nice cavity at the bottom of the opening where the bees were. I placed the smoker there. As I was cutting the tree started cracking in a bad way. Next way to upset the bees is drop the home. Having the tree disintegrate while doing a cut out is my idea of no fun. As I am dealing with the tree starting to fall apart. I notice a strange smell to my smoker. The heat from the bottom of the smoker had caught the saw dust at the bottom of the cavity on fire. Now the tree was starting to get ready burn and fall apart. And just for fun as I am dealing with bees that are already angry come ants that were living in the tree and they are running all the nest. Now the bees are just vicious.
I decided I was going to retreat and come back with more forces.
I came back a few days later and brought 4x4 posts and rebar. I spent about an hour placing posts and rebar behind the posts so I could cut the tree and hope it wouldn't fall apart on me as I was doing it.
I also took and cut a piece of honeycomb and dripped honey to the ground and waited a while while the ants and bees went and fought over the honey and potentially dead bees.
As the ants were attacking bees that came after the comb.
I decided to try and see if the menthol on my hands would keep bees off. It would until I started the sawzall and then they were all over them. So the gloves went on. I managed to cut out all the comb. I believe I got most of the bees. But I am not sure about the queen.
The supports worked and the tree didn't fall apart on me when was a good thing.
Pictures can be seen here.http://www.brendhanhorne.com/coppermine_dir/thumbnails.php?album=145