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Author Topic: will the bees move into my box from a destroyed tree?  (Read 824 times)
joker1656
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« on: August 09, 2009, 05:34:07 PM »

Some folks called and requested help with honey bees in a downed tree.  A storm smashed this large oak to the ground and it contained a bee hive. 

The trunk was cracked from top to bottom and no longer weather tight.  I made a cut or two with my chainsaw, and the whole thing came apart.  There was very little comb, only about three or four frames worth.  I was able to get a little more than half of the bees into the hive. 

After several hours of messing about, I decided to let the rest of the bees migrate into the box on their own.  I had spent a lot of careful time trying to locate the queen.  I never did, for sure.  My buddy found a ball of bees on a dead queen.  She had been dead awhile, I assume, because her body was nearly dried up.  She had a couple of holes as if she was decomposing.  There were at least 10 capped queen cells.  I am not sure if the queen was killed a week ago when the tree fell, or what. 

Anyway, the bees that made it into the hive were fanning at the entrance.  Not fervently, but pretty impressively.  They were facing into the box.  I watched for a bit, and it seemed that more bees were picking up the fanning.  There were still many bees, that had been in the air, that landed back on the tree trunk.  I decided to set the box right on the location that originally held the hive. 

I called the folks (65 mi round trip drive) to see if they could see if there were still bees on the tree.  They said that the bees were going in and out of the hive, but there were still many bees on the tree. 

Will they, given enough time, go into the hive with the brood etc?  I am sure there are many things I will do differently next time, but for now I hope they go in a day or two. 

Thanks for any thoughts

Joker
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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2009, 05:45:14 PM »

did you put the dead queen and the comb with queen cells in box?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2009, 07:53:19 PM »

I've had good luck with some lemongrass essential oil and some queen juice (old queens soaked in alcohol) to lure them and make sure ALL the comb is removed from anywhere else if you can get at it.  Otherwise they will stay put, most likely.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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joker1656
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« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2009, 10:27:05 PM »

Thank you both for your responses. 

Kathy, I did not put the dead queen in the box.  Why didn't I think of that?  It is so obvious now.  That would have made complete sense.  I was actually looking her over, and dropped her.  We could not find her amongst all of the sawdust, vegetation, and other bees.  It did not even cross my thick skull at the time.  WOW! hindsight is soooo 20/20. 

Michael, I did remove all comb.  The tree was completely free of any remnants.  I did not have any lemongrass oil.  That is something I need to buy.  I also need to keep some queens in alcohol, I guess.  I have not found any dead, or replaced any yet, so that has not been an option.  That is a good thing to remember, though, when the time comes. 

I plan on going back to pick up the hive tomorrow (tuesday) night.  Hopefully things will work out in spite of me.  I plan to combine these bees due to the late season.  I would love for them to build on their own.  Do you think I should give them some time, and see how they do, or just combine them?  There was very little comb.  I think I mentioned there were only three full frames and a partial.  Huh  Thanks again.
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"Fear not the night.  Fear that which walks the night.  I am that which walks the night, BUT only EVIL need fear me..."-Lt. Col. David Grossman
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