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Author Topic: Rescuing bees in a cut section of tree  (Read 3642 times)
tillie
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« on: August 03, 2009, 08:37:43 PM »

A tree removal guy called me tonight and said that he had a section of a tree in the back of his truck with a bee hive in it.  He didn't want to destroy it or kill the bees and wondered if I would like to try to get them.  Help!  I have no idea how to begin. 
  • Assuming I can reach the hive through the cut tree trunk, do I cut out the comb and rubber band it into frames?
  • Do I set a hive box up with the cut comb rubber banded into the frames and leave it in the truck bed overnight to convince the bees to occupy the hive box?
  • Help!!!!!

Linda T excited and nervous in Atlanta
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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2009, 08:40:05 PM »

your first cutout!!   grin

look in the removal section. there have been some good posts with pictures but i don't remember who did them.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

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iddee
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« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2009, 08:56:21 PM »

http://www.beekeepingforums.com/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=493

If you want to talk about it in detail, pm me your number and I'll call you.
Basically, you open the log, secure brood comb in frames, let bees migrate into the hive.
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tillie
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« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2009, 09:05:12 PM »

I looked at iddee's slideshow - great detail - thanks so much. 

I don't own a chainsaw or any other cutting tools, but I'm going over there tomorrow and see what the lay of the land (or the truck, that is) is.  I'll take a hive box, some swarm lure, frames and rubber bands, my hive tool, a swiss army knife and we'll see what happens.  The guy who called really doesn't want to send the bees to a recycling center with the rest of the tree (I suppose he meant where they chip up the wood).  He'll have saws, etc, so I'll take an extra bee suit in case I need his help cutting.

I'll report back and let you all know the rest of the story.

Linda T in Atlanta around the corner from a truck with a tree full of bees!
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tillie
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« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2009, 09:32:59 PM »

Cindy Bee just called me from EAS and suggested that I ask the guy (whose truck is about 2 blocks from my house) if he would deliver the bees in the tree to my house.  She explained that I would need a plywood board on which to set the tree trunk and then another plywood board with a hole cut out of the center the size of the opening of the top of the tree trunk.  Then she said to set a hive box on top of that complete with frames and over the winter the bees would move into the box as they move up the tree trunk.  She also suggested a second super to surround a baggie with feed in it to feed them lots to encourage them to store supplies for the winter.

I hope it will happen that way.  I'll see if I can pay him to move it for me.  He can wear one of my bee suits to keep himself from getting stung.  We'll see.....

And if not, I'll try to do the cut out.

Linda T
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tillie
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« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2009, 01:04:24 PM »

Lucky me, I got a personal conference with Iddee this morning about how to deal with the tree.  He suggested, as did Cindy Bee, that we cut the tree into a smaller section to preserve the hive and then stand it back upright.  I mentioned this possibility to the person in the tree cutting office and she sounded like she thought that would be the easiest plan.

Then I suggested that the tree trunk either
1.  Stay at the Odd Job Tree Removal lot where I could work on getting the bees to move into a hive box above the top opening over the winter.
2.  Bring the uprighted tree piece to my house where it could be preserved until spring
3.  Take the uprighted tree to Blue Heron where it could be an interesting feature until the bees move into a hive box.

More of what I'm working out and pictures of the thing can be found at:
http://beekeeperlinda.blogspot.com/2009/08/heres-bee-tree-challenge.html

Linda T in Atlanta
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kathyp
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« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2009, 01:10:43 PM »

what a project.  i tried to post to your blog, but it wouldn't let me for some reason.

good luck and keep us posted on your progress!
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
tillie
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« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2009, 10:17:41 PM »

Well, this was a fairy tale and the best beekeeping adventure yet!  I can't explain it all - but here's the link to my post with the slideshow of the making of a bee gum.  We'll put a hive box on it on Thursday and feed the bees in hopes that as the winter comes on they'll move up, as bees do in a tree, into the hive box.....cross your fingers!

I feel so grateful to Iddee and to Cindy Bee who both helped tons and tons.

Here's the post:

http://beekeeperlinda.blogspot.com/2009/08/bee-tree-huge-success.html

I didn't do the actual work, but I am so pleased that Eddie, the tree guy, had a good heart for the bees to begin with and seems a little intrigued by the possibility of keeping bees - as a tree cutter, he deals with them often.

Linda T in Atlanta

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iddee
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« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2009, 10:40:31 PM »

As Hannibal Smith would say...........

I love it when a plan comes together.

Congrats, Tillie... A little patience and a whole lot of determination can work miracles.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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tillie
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« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2009, 10:50:53 PM »

Iddee,  You were great - it was wonderful to have the offer to call you and to take you up on it and find that you are even wiser in person (on the phone) than your infinite wisdom on the forum.  I appreciated having your comments and it helped me make it happen! 

I felt so confident that I knew what we needed to do after I talked to you - I'm sure that's why the company decided to go ahead with it....and they all had a great time, including the observers who were there.

Linda T happy in Atlanta
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iddee
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« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2009, 10:54:43 PM »

Careful, there.... Ya gonna gimme th' bighead.

It's easy to work with someone who wants to learn.
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JP
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« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2009, 11:03:50 PM »

a tree removal guy called me tonight and said that he had a section of a tree in the back of his truck

God bless, I had no idea the section was so HUGE! Looks like it was certainly an adventure.


...JP
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tillie
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« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2009, 11:08:49 PM »

Right now I wish I were taller - at 5' 2" I went to buy a more stable ladder to keep in my car so that I can deal with this hive on Thursday and in the coming weeks/months.

Linda T in Atlanta
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« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2009, 11:38:57 PM »

Wow!!  Congratulations Linda for taking this on. I don't think I could have even begun to think about it.  But I did learn a lot from reading this post and I am curious how it will all end up. Keep us posted how the hive is doing and what you are doing with it.

Annette
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tillie
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« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2009, 10:06:33 PM »

Tomorrow I am going to put a hive box on the top of the tree section.  I have a plywood square (2X2) to put on the top of the tree with a hole that will be cut in the center to allow the bees hopefully to move into the hive box.

Should I nail the plywood to the tree section?  I'm thinking yes because it will keep it from slipping and covering up the hole into the tree which is only about 4 - 5 inches in diameter.  After they've experienced the chain saw, surely nailing will not be any more disturbing to the bees!

Any thoughts about nailing vs. just setting it on the tree top?

Linda T in Atlanta
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« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2009, 10:08:32 PM »

i would, and also attach the box to the plywood.  one bad wind and you could have a disaster.  better to many precautions than to few.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2009, 10:58:56 PM »

I would not only nail the plywood down, but I would use silicone caulk and seal the plywood to the tree. You can just run a large bead of caulk on the bottom of the plywood, outside the hole. It will keep the ants and bugs out, and prevent the bees from making an entrance below the plywood.

Did they cut the top of the tree enough to expose the comb? If not, they may not move up. They may just seal the hole with comb from the top of the tree down. It should be cut enough to expose the top of the combs.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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tillie
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« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2009, 11:20:56 PM »

Yes, they actually cut through comb at the very top...so we should be in good shape.  I'll do the caulk thing as well as nail the board.  I'll also put a rock on top of the hive box top - even though I don't do that at home.

Cross your fingers - or at least I'm crossing mine!

My own bee club wouldn't send the pictures of this event to the membership because they said they didn't want to be seen as promoting my blog - I couldn't believe it - I don't need them to promote my blog - it gets plenty of notice without the help of my bee club.  I think this was the most fascinating event and I would think they would go for education rather than whatever their objection was about.


Linda T in Atlanta
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« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2009, 11:46:26 PM »

Crikey!!! "In the back of his truck..." and I was thinking it was just a pickup truck. Man, that thing is HUGE!

God bless the man for going to all the extra trouble (because it is) to save those bees!! If he ever decides to take up beekeeping, he ought to bait the first (prime) swarm that comes from that gum in the Spring! He deserves it. You keep the gum and those good survivor genes!!

I loved the slideshow!! I'm going to share that around! Wow.
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« Reply #19 on: August 06, 2009, 08:21:50 AM »

Linda,

Make sure the hole in the plywood is at least as big as the hole in the tree.  Any type of restriction will reduce the chances they will move up.   Also make sure the box you put on top is drawn comb,  otherwise they most likely will continue filling out the tree cavity and will only consider moving up ones they are crowded in the tree cavity.  Of course,  they may take that approach even with drawn comb.   Your winters are much milder than mine,  but up here, I wouldn't expect the queen to move up and start laying in the top box until spring.

Best of luck,  the success rate of getting bees to move up out of a log is not very high from those that I know that have tried.

rob...
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tillie
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« Reply #20 on: August 06, 2009, 10:10:28 AM »

Thanks, Robo - I put a combo of drawn comb and frames in the box above the hole which is about 1/2 inch bigger all around than the tree hole and I put a baggie of 2:1 sugar syrup on the top.  We'll see - maybe they'll move up and maybe they won't but I'm giving them the best chance I can.  I'll post pictures of setting the box up later.  The bees were all clustered at the hole and using it as a top entrance.

I called Iddee because the box was slanted side to side and I didn't think that would work.  He said it needed, if it had to slant to be slanted front to back.  Simple fix - I turned the box 90 degrees and now it slants with the back lower than the front by about 3/4 "

We'll see what happens.

Linda T hopeful in Atlanta
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tillie
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« Reply #21 on: August 06, 2009, 01:56:25 PM »

Another question:  Should I prop the top of the hive box that I put on the tree?

The bees were already using the opened top as a top entrance and now with the hive box over the hole and the top covered they no longer have the opportunity to do that.  One thought would be that opening the top of the box would allow them to move on up through the box I provided if they want the top entrance!

Or would propping the top encourage robbing since I have a baggie of sugar syrup under the cover (which is an inverted bottom board and not an inner cover and telescoping cover?

LInda T in Atlanta who now wishes she had a pickup truck!!!
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« Reply #22 on: August 06, 2009, 02:00:24 PM »

iddee will no doubt give you a better answer later, but i would say no if they have the original entrance.  you want them to move up and live there, not just track through on the way out the door. 
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #23 on: August 06, 2009, 04:40:56 PM »

I don't know a better answer than that....

Yes,I think it would start robbing from other hives.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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