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Author Topic: My first bee tree, did it have to be so high? Questions...  (Read 1742 times)
AliciaH
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« on: July 11, 2011, 12:00:25 PM »

Got a call to go catch a swarm, turned out to be a bee tree.  Hive is 25' off the ground in an old willow.  Opening is only about 5 inches high by about 2-3 inches wide.  Not very big.  From what I could see and from what I could tell with a bit of light probing, the hive isn't very big either.

The hive has to go.  This backyard is very small.  The family does everything under this tree, including BBQ.  There have been stings.  Having said that, the bees did not react badly to my snooping around the opening to scope them out.

My husband built me a bee vac.  Thought I would use that to get as many bees as I could, maybe even using a cotton ball with Bee Quick or Bee Go to encourage them to come out.  Was thinking of using tongs and my hive tool to try and get comb with eggs, larvae, whatever I can, out through the hole.  I know it will be sheer luck if I can get the queen this way.  When done, I will need to block the hole with screen to discourage another swam from moving in.

Any thoughts, comments, suggestions would be appreciated. 

Alicia H.

P.S.  Trapout isn't really an option.  I understand that that's a longer term process and though the family has been patient with the time it took us to build the bee vac, they're not into the "weeks" idea.  Also, it's a bit high for me.

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Scadsobees
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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2011, 12:55:53 PM »

I would treat this similar to a walk-away split, only without the "split" .... Wink

I hate to be a downer, but while you may get some bees, you probably won't get more than that.  Assuming you stick to the plan.  Any comb with eggs is likely to be out of reach from the hole.

Same idea as here:
http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,33550.0.html

It worked for him, but he ended up cutting the tree open.  I'm sure I wouldn't be trying that 25 feet high.

If they are bent on getting rid of the hive, and are not willing to sacrifice the tree, I'd charge them $100 and just fill the hole up with spray foam and mesh.  Even if they were willing to sacrifice the tree, the cost of removing it would be far greater than a new hive and bee package since you'd need a crane/removal service to get that down.

A new hive is exciting, but not worth your life.  There will be others, far easier and safer.
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Rick
Scadsobees
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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2011, 12:56:49 PM »

Not only all that, but 25' is way long for a bee-vac hose!! rolleyes   grin
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Rick
AllenF
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« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2011, 01:25:38 PM »

Use PVC to extend the end of the hose to reach up there.
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AliciaH
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« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2011, 02:34:20 PM »

Scadsobees, that was a very interesting read!  I would dearly love to just leave these bees alone (being that high and all) and set up a swarm trap!  But on both of my visits to see the tree, the renter had bees all over his feet.  He doesn't want to keep getting stung.  What's interesting though is the HUGE blackberry belt over the backyard fence.  The bees on his feet looked Italian, the bees in the tree are dark.  So first and foremost I'll be having a conversation with him about that.

What's different is the people involved.  The owner actually did try to call a professional pest person in.  The guy climbed all the way up, saw that they were honeybees and said, "Nope, not touching those, call a bee person."  Yes, I got the name of the company! Smiley

The owner's brother rented the house last year, so I know the bees have been there for at least two years.  I just really hate to lose the genetics, ya know?  I know getting eggs is a crapshoot, but the hive is dead either way, I'd just like to give the line a chance to do good somewhere else.  And, I'd like to have as many bees out as I can before sealing up the hole.  Just seems like a bad way to go.

AllenF:  I was gonna hang the shop vac (it's just a small 2.5 hp) and the collection box off the ladder and/or off a limb.  Lots of those on this willow!  That way I wouldn't have to be hanging onto anything and I could keep the hose run shorter. 
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G3farms
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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2011, 02:54:25 PM »

Nothing to it!! grin

http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,23430.0.html

At 25' I would do a trap out or walk away.
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iddee
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« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2011, 03:47:13 PM »

Give them as much info as you can, then say it's a trap out, or you do the same as the pest control guy. Let them make the decision, then you stick to it.
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2011, 03:50:08 PM »

What do you mean by bees all over his feet?  That confuses me a bit....

That pest control guy can be your best friend when it comes to getting swarms and cutouts!!   Smiley
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Rick
twintrades
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« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2011, 04:32:48 PM »

Hey yea that was my thread. Ill tell you this........... The hive is way bigger than you'd expect ! Mine was "soposed"to be a easy Small 2 YR OLD hive. Well These bees can do alot in 2 yrs !

I know you dont want to hear it either but try doing the trap out. If it is taking to long then do what needs to be done. But Just to let you know. If you stick your vac hose in there. Im garunteein you there gonna go farthre into the hive. And if you try to stick the vac inbetween frames your gonn make a mess. I had the luxury of cuting my tree open and taking the comb away giving them no where to go but in my box or vac.

Try whatever you want, you wont forget it.

I also im wondering about the bees on the guys feet...... Mabey there sick. Best to keep whatever you get away from othre hives till you can get a good idea how there doin.

Remember im new to all this. If you want you can Pm me. Im on alot
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AliciaH
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« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2011, 02:21:30 PM »

Well, I gave it a shot, just really wanted to try.  It didn't work out for the bees, but I learned a ton, which is why I wanted to try it, I guess.  Nothing can substitute for experience!

So, first of all, the opening just wasn't big enough to get anything out of.  I tried to get some comb but ended up with mush.  Also, there weren't that many bees.  I was able to determine the cavern size, but the only comb with brood was way at the back, and there didn't seem to be much of it.  I tried using Bee Quick to chase them out, too, but didn't get much of a response.  I almost wonder if they weren't a healthy hive?

So what I learned was:
  -  I need to modify one of my bee vac screens.  The bees clustered around it, I lost some suction. 
  -  I learned that you can lose a lot of suction when the hose is longer.
  -  And that I don't have a problem with heights if I have bees to concentrate on!  Smiley

I want to thank everyone here that provided input, I took it all into account, really I did!  Now that I've tried it and have experienced the set backs first hand, I think I can make better decisions about that aspect of bee retrieval in the future.





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RayMarler
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« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2011, 02:35:11 PM »

Drill 2 holes at the top of the cavity,
one for the water hose and one for the bees to exit through.
Plug the hole they are using.
Insert water hose turned on slow.
Have a catch-box hive with frame of eggs in place for them to goto as they exit the tree.
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Sitting in the shade, drinking lemon aid.
Enjoying the breeze while counting the bees.
Haddon
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« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2011, 03:21:56 PM »

Ray I was thinking that have you tried it in practice will they come out??
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AllenF
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« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2011, 03:56:22 PM »

Ya, has anyone tried water to drive bees, and get bees out alive.    I can see using smoke or Bee Quick.
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kathyp
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« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2011, 06:06:16 PM »

was the cavity big enough to put the tree in danger of coming down.  i don't mess with the trees except to put up swarm traps, but i have looked at a number of them to help people figure out what to do.  every one that i have seen was a hole big/deep enough that the tree needed to be taken down or trimmed down.  one good wind.......
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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
AliciaH
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« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2011, 07:41:02 PM »

The tree was a willow and that section of the tree is where it branches out in several directions - very thick there with lots of knots.  As far as I could tell, the cavity the hive was in was less than 1/2 the width of the tree.  As for depth, it was deeper under the hive entrance, but got shallower towards the middle of the tree.

I don't know enough about trees to make a determination on its safety.  Maybe I should call the owner and recommend he have an arborist come out?
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RayMarler
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« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2011, 10:25:52 AM »

I've not done the water trick myself but do know someone who has.
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montauk170
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« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2011, 04:09:29 PM »

I've thought about using the water trick before as well. Haven't tried it yet. If I do I'll film it.
But would hate to try and kill all the bees.

Or i was thinking of using a funnel and tube and put bee quick at the bottom but if there's brood
they most likely won't leave.
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kathyp
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« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2011, 04:31:05 PM »

i washed a swarm out of some farm equipment lat summer.  they survived until they got attacked a month later by yellowjackets......
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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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