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Author Topic: Colony on pine tree branches  (Read 1355 times)

Offline spencer

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Colony on pine tree branches
« on: August 24, 2009, 02:52:57 PM »
Two weeks ago my father called me and said he heard and saw, a swarm of honey bees go down his chimney. He said he was going to start a small fire in the woodstove to smoke them out. The first 2 times he just lit a paper bag in the stove and all the smoke came rolling back into the house. On the 3rd try the bees came flying out of the top of the chimney and settled on a pine tree about 50 feet away and about 15 feet off of the ground. He called me a week later and said the bees were still there if I wanted them. I figured that I would get half way there (an hour drive) and they would of taken off. He emails me on Thursday and says they are now building comb on the pine tree. This peaked my interest as I have not seen this before in my 5 short years as a beekeeper. So I drove out to get them on Saturday which was cloudy, damp and only around 65 degrees outside. I wasn’t sure how to get them since my dad only had a 10 ft ladder. I decided to place a deep hive body with a solid board strapped on the bottom, at the top of the ladder and I would climb the tree through the center, cut off the branches that were holding the colony up and place it in the box. I would guess the comb measured 10” across X 12” long X 6” deep. Needless to say I climbed the tree and starting cutting branches and forgot that since this comb wasn’t very old, some of it was dropping with the braches I had cut. I cut the last branch and tried to lower in into the box and the whole thing fell on the ground – bees, comb, branch and box. I thought for sure they would be very mad about this, but surprisingly they weren’t. I was able to string together 2 brood combs into 2 empty frames. After about a hour of brushing (doing this I was able to smell, the banana smell, alarm pheromone), shaking branches with clusters of bees on them, I had almost all of the bees in their new home. After all was said and done it was a very rewarding day.

Offline kathyp

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Re: Colony on pine tree branches
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2009, 03:09:03 PM »
funny that they stayed.  can you update your profile with your location?

tarp!  and i don't mean the government type.  i always spread a tarp when i work because i either drop the branch or knock down clumps of bees.  + i don't want to haul  boxes up trees :-)

good job getting them!  it's a rush, isn't it?
.....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