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Author Topic: More than I can chew!  (Read 3681 times)
philinacoma
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« on: February 16, 2010, 07:51:01 AM »

I was asked to help remove a feral hive from someones back yard. I went around to have a look tonight.









The ferals are mostly living in a possum box. I say mostly because that bulbous shape at the front is comb covered in bees. For those who are not familiar with possums, a possum box is about equivalent to 5 frame nuc. They are about 3 1/2 metres off the ground and the box is attached to the tree, but I can't see how. They have been there for a few months, but the home owner was not too worried. She is planning on hosting a party in her back yard for her mother's 70th. The yard is only small and she is concerned about gate crashers from the neighbours up the tree. I suggested inviting them and offering them a beer or two, but no.

I think this one is much beyond my experience and I will have to find someone else willing. I don't think I could relocate them into a box in a reasonable amount of time. It looks like a 2 man job.

Thoughts?

Phil

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iddee
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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2010, 08:10:40 AM »

Simple solution.........

Smoke them well. Use a pry bar to remove the box from the tree. Set the box at the base of the tree until nightfall. Return at night and take the box home.

PS. Get help before throwing your backyard party.  grin
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SlickMick
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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2010, 08:19:15 AM »

Lovely Phil,

Do what Iddee says and you have a free colony.. nice

Slicko
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philinacoma
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« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2010, 08:43:25 AM »

What can I use big enough to contain the box until relocated? I don't want a swarm of angry bees messing up my handsome complexion while I drive.
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JP
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2010, 08:52:04 AM »

What can I use big enough to contain the box until relocated? I don't want a swarm of angry bees messing up my handsome complexion while I drive.

If you drive a truck just set them in the bed. If they have to go inside your vehicle with you, just put the entire thing situated upright in a large box with lid. Smoke them, spray lightly with a little water & close the lid. Make sure they have ventilation.

All will be fine.


...JP
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Pete
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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2010, 07:04:59 PM »

Yeah but how will you get that heavy box close to the ground? rope and pully?

What suburb, i might be interested in a few giggles and giving you a hand...never tried to remove a feral hive and that looks like a few laughs  grin
« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 07:22:34 PM by Pete » Logged
JP
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« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2010, 07:19:02 PM »

Yeah but how will you get that heavy box close to the ground? rope and pully?

What suburb, i might be interested in a few giggles...never tried to remove a feral hive and that looks like a few laughs  grin


Ladder and eye screw w/ rope or ladder up to it, pry it away and bring it down with you.


...JP
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kathyp
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« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2010, 07:23:17 PM »

i picked up a swarm in a box once and had to carry it home in the car.  i just wrapped the box loosely in a sheet and they were fine until i got home.  probably squished a few bees, but most made it without leaking all over my car smiley

that looks like an easy and worthwhile removal once you figure out how to lower the box.  maybe like the one i had to lower over an apartment balcony?  rope it up and lower it down.  looks like you have some good branches to work with.  the hardest part part would be the height.
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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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« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2010, 08:24:16 AM »

Oh that's a cinch.
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danno
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« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2010, 12:54:08 PM »

off subject but what the heck is a oppossum box used for?
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iddee
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« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2010, 03:43:41 PM »

a possum down under is quite different from our possums. They are wanted, and the boxes are nesting boxes used to attract them.
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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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Pete
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« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2010, 04:20:45 PM »

Its to get the possum to camp in the box instead of your roof...but what ends up happening is the little blighters breed in those boxes and the young move out of the box, and into your roof Smiley

I just google Opossum, they look like they bite? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Opossum2.jpg

Ours dont bite. http://australianmuseum.net.au/image/Common-Ringtail-Possum/
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iddee
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« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2010, 04:34:09 PM »

A much better link to the American Opossum.

http://www.opossum.org/facts.htm

Of the hundreds of them I have caught, none have ever bitten me. Of course, I tried to keep from giving them the opportunity.
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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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philinacoma
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« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2010, 01:52:58 AM »

I've talked the property owner into leaving them where they are now.

There's a screen of bushes between the hive and the grassed area. The earliest the bees could be moved would be Friday night, which means that the straglers would be hanging around on Sat night all lonely and lost with no home to go to and probably itching for a fight.

I pointed out to her that if she had called last week, it could have been sorted out in time.

It was a nice sized colony, so I've suggested if she still wants to move them on sometime after the party, I'ld willingly give it a go then. It could be interesting.

Worst thing about possums is what they do to your fruit trees. (they can clean out a tree in a few nights) Luckily they don't hang out in my area as the locals care for their fruit trees too much.
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Lone
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« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2010, 06:19:28 AM »

Pete, I'm sorry to be so contrary, but the brushtail possum is much more common than the ringtail and the one that usually eats your roses and scratches all night in your ceiling and spends almond season throwing an almond down on your caravan every 15 seconds overnight until he's gone through the whole tree.  I don't know they wouldn't bite, either..I just don't like to give them the chance to bite or scratch.  I also beg to differ with Iddee
Quote
They are wanted
  The only person I ever met who wanted one was a wildlife carer who asked us to bring her some prunus to feed her charges so she wouldn't have to go around under cover of dark knocking off all the neighbours' roses again.  To be honest, we are all proud of our cute possums, and do love them dearly, and sometimes sneak them some snacks, but we just like them to be someone else's problem  Wink

  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Brushtail_Possum

http://yfrog.com/5npossum8506j

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westmar
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« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2010, 09:52:54 PM »

hi
    if you do end up having a go at getting them down be carefull of the weight of it .can suprise you when you are up a ladder
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kathyp
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« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2010, 09:57:16 PM »

ours are disease ridden pests.  some people eat them.

i'd have that box roped and secured to a limb before prying it loose.
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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
iddee
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« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2010, 10:47:06 PM »

Kathy, that is news to me. What diseases do our possums carry?
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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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« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2010, 11:07:11 PM »

they can carry S. neurona a shed the sporocysts in their feces.  if horses eat food or water contaminated with it they can get a neurological infection called EPM.  it's very difficult and expensive to treat and many horses either die or never recover enough to be used.
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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
philinacoma
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« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2010, 01:36:02 AM »

I was worrying about the weight, I know how heavy a full super is. I thought the suggestion of throwing the rope over a branch and lowering it down was a beaut.

A suggestion I heard last night at the local bee club was to wrap a peice of shade cloth around the box before taking it down and stapling the cloth to the box to contain them. That way, I was told, it dosn't matter how cranky they get.
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iddee
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« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2010, 07:54:55 AM »

Thanks, Kathy     Although I had human diseases in mind, the way it was posted. I guess one horse disease would qualify. Of course, house cats and others also seem to be riding in the same boat.

>>>>Recently, S. neurona sarcocysts have been identified in the muscles of cats, raccoons, armadillos, sea otters and skunks. Recent studies from Michigan and Florida have reported  S. neurona antibodies in 5% of domestic cats. A subsequent study has confirmed domestic cats to be natural carriers of this parasite (Stanek et al., 2003).<<<<
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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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kathyp
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« Reply #21 on: February 19, 2010, 09:50:55 AM »

probably not something that anyone would know unless they had horses.  i had never heard of it until a few years ago when some horses in our area were sick with it.  since, it has either gotten more attention, or is better diagnosed.  it's not uncommon.
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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 #22 on: March 05, 2010, 05:24:41 PM »

Philinacoma, just a suggestion, but what about a hessian bag with a strong draw string? rope the possum box up,pry it off the tree, when it's hanging in mid air leave it for a little while so that the disturbed bees return to the box. Then after a little time slip the hessian bag over the box and pull the drawstring tight. Throw another rope over the branch and attach that to the now closed hessian bag and lower away... the hessian bag should be strong enough to take the weight of the possum box and, if you need to put it in the car, the hessian bag should contain them.
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kedgel
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« Reply #23 on: March 05, 2010, 07:17:02 PM »

Phil:

I took down a similar hive that was in an owl nest box up a phone pole.  I smoked 'em up good and used duct tape to seal the gaps in the wood and then plugged the hole with a big sponge.  It expanded nicely to seal the entrance without cutting off the air to them.  I put the box on my shoulder and climbed down the ladder.  Piece of cake.  I stood it up in the bed of my truck inside the rungs of my folding ladder and drove the 30 miles to my house without a single escapee.  I posted some pics of it awhile back--can't remember what I called the posting, though.  huh

Kelly
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philinacoma
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« Reply #24 on: March 08, 2010, 06:39:17 AM »

The duct tape may not be helpfull in this case as there is at least one big comnb on the outside of the box. I think the hessian bag would be a goer though. Someone else suggested shade cloth and a staple gun, but I think a sack already to go would be quicker and easier, thanks. I think I'll do that one if the lady gives me a call back.

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westmar
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« Reply #25 on: March 09, 2010, 12:24:34 AM »

hi
    the chaff bag is a a good bag.i heard that they make good swarm bag.get good air flow through it
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D Coates
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« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2010, 05:54:59 PM »

I've learned more off this post than I care to admit.
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philinacoma
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« Reply #27 on: March 27, 2010, 07:40:42 AM »

Learning new things is always a good thing.
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