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Author Topic: bees in the wild  (Read 779 times)
wetland bee
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Location: East Berlin PA, USA


« on: December 28, 2009, 08:02:57 PM »

I was called to remove bees from inside a pear tree last spring.What intrest me is there living conditions.Top entrance at about 7', old cut off limb.Bees traveled down 3' to a open area in trunk. about 9" dia. by 30" in length with walls about 8' thick. below this very soft roted wood very soft. easy could have been removed by bees to make a larger home. four combs none wider than about 8". so total hive not larger than one med super. total storage of maybe 25 or 30 pounds. tough winters here in Pa. I believe the heat from ground traveled up inside of tree and out top entrance.According to property owner bees had been there 4 years and swarmed once each year.so every year new Queen.  Yet as a beekeeper we provide two full deeps of food and still can run out of food by spring.I am trying one 7 watt red light bulb in bottom of each hive this winter.From Dec 23 till spring  to try to simulate this same concept in my colony's.just looking for others thoughts.
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Russ
doak
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Location: Central Ga. 35 miles north of Macon


« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2009, 08:48:05 PM »

there is always something new with Honey bees, or something new we discover.
Always has been, always will be. They can probably give us more ideas than we cangive them. :)doak
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homer
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Location: Smithfield, Utah


« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2009, 08:59:13 PM »

I was called to remove bees from inside a pear tree last spring.What intrest me is there living conditions.Top entrance at about 7', old cut off limb.Bees traveled down 3' to a open area in trunk. about 9" dia. by 30" in length with walls about 8' thick. below this very soft roted wood very soft. easy could have been removed by bees to make a larger home. four combs none wider than about 8". so total hive not larger than one med super. total storage of maybe 25 or 30 pounds. tough winters here in Pa. I believe the heat from ground traveled up inside of tree and out top entrance.According to property owner bees had been there 4 years and swarmed once each year.so every year new Queen.  Yet as a beekeeper we provide two full deeps of food and still can run out of food by spring.I am trying one 7 watt red light bulb in bottom of each hive this winter.From Dec 23 till spring  to try to simulate this same concept in my colony's.just looking for others thoughts.

We as beekeepers also desire the most honey out of our colonies as possible, so we give them as much room as we can to let them grow.  Honeybees in the wild are only looking for a suitable place to call home.  I would dare guess that many hives in the wild are as small as the one you describe.  We beeks try to provide them with 2 full deeps of honey going into winter, but we also had 2 full deeps of bees all summer long.  Add to that, our hives that are mad of 3/4" thick wood (in most cases) have a far lower insulation value than that of a tree trunk.  The better the hive is insulated, the less honey the bees will consume trying to keep it warm.  I know that Robo has used bulbs in the bottom of his hives in the winter with much success... maybe he will pipe in!
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G3farms
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« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2009, 10:20:02 PM »

Something else to think about in the thickness of the tree (or insulation) is when it does get cold and the bees cluster for the winter , they will take longer to break cluster also. The heat of the sun will take longer to penetrate into the cluster and warm them. I have a bee tree here at the house and they are always the last ones out and about. The insulation not only holds the heat generated by the bees in, but will also hold the heat from the sun out.

G3
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see my swarms and cut outs at https://www.youtube.com/user/soapy22bullet?feature=mhee

those hot bees will have you steppin and a fetchin like your heads on fire and your @ss is a catchin!!!

Bees will be bees and do as they please!
JP
The Swarm King
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I like doing cut-outs, but I love catching swarms!


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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2009, 10:07:56 AM »

There are so many variances I run across, hives loaded with honey & numbers this time of year, many though down to a couple of fists of bees and hardly any honey stores. Perhaps just enough stores to get them by until spring.

I had to remove a colony from a fallen tree last night & was able to cut a small stump like piece with a knot where the bees were primarily clustered. I gave them to my friend Bailey. He knows they will have to be fed.

Thing is, the tree had been down for about a week. In warmer temps shb would have devestated this colony within two days time. SHB did some damage but the bees were able to survive & hopefully they will survive come spring.


...JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

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