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Author Topic: Storm fallout  (Read 1056 times)
dfizer
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« on: November 05, 2012, 08:57:14 AM »

Ok... As a friend of mine was cleaning up after Sandy he has noticed in the branch of one of the trees that fell was a colony of bees.... My question is what can I do now?  There is probably no hope to transplant them to a new home given the low temps here now are in the 20's (-4 or so Celsius).  Can I combine these bees with an existing hive of mine?  Does that make sense or should I just let nature take its course.  Please advise...
David
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JP
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« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2012, 09:14:23 AM »

If you get creative you could place them in a nuc with feed, seal the hive and place them inside until the weather warms, then do a proper combine. May have to 86 the queen though.


...JP
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sterling
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« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2012, 10:31:39 AM »

Can you just save the branch with the bees inside until spring?
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Robo
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« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2012, 11:18:24 AM »

Can you just save the branch with the bees inside until spring?

That would be my suggestion.   I have had trees come down in the dead of winter with bees and they survived.  If you can leave them in place,  just put some protection over the entrance if needs be to prevent snow/rain from running into the nest.
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« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2012, 11:26:35 AM »

Perhaps cut section w/ colony, bring in garage/bsmt/attic, position as natural, build screened porch-package box- over entrance so they can come out to feed. Maybe even have them come through a hive body, they might start comb. B fun to watch them throughout winter.
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Drew
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JP
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« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2012, 08:29:22 AM »

For some reason I had the notion this was a swarm and not an established colony. Being that its an established colony, they are likely set to over winter inside the tree branch. I have to wonder though if the colony/comb sections were disrupted much when the branch hit the ground. Did the branch in fact hit the ground?

If they seem to be doing fine I have to agree that the best option would be to allow them to over winter inside the tree branch and do a cut out come spring time. You may want to consider giving them a wind break and pampering them with open feed away from the hive on warm days. They will take feed if they need it.


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dfizer
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« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2012, 10:33:20 AM »

the tree came down, all the way down... the branch is very close to the ground and the entire colony has been very disrupted by the trauma - of which included the farmers chainsaw that cut into the tree / hive.  The property is over an hour away from me so I haven't seen the situation first hand yet although I am going over to his property tomorrow to have a look,  He closed the hive up as best as he could until I could get there. 
After tomorrow I'll no better.
Thanks for the advice and please let me know what to do should everything be in such disarray that it cant be left alone to overwinter.... more than likely I'll try to combine the bees from the wild hive with one of my existing hives although I really don't want to introduce any diseases or parasites.... ugh!
David
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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2012, 11:08:22 AM »

Worst case would be the comb all broke loose and honey oozing which would have most likely killed a large portion of the bees.   There is not much you can do with that.

More likely is that most of the comb survived the fall (ie.  branches cushioned the fall).   If the tree has not split open exposing large portions of the comb,  then if possible, I would leave in situ if at all possible and provide any needed protection to the entrance and close up any major holes.   If the split has major comb exposure than a possible emergency cut-out is the only option.   Anything in between,  you have to use your judgement.   If there is anyway to patch/repair the situation as is, that will give then the best chance.   If you have to move the tree section,  be as gentle as possible and don't roll any more than needed.

Good luck, let us know how it goes.  Pictures are always helpful as well.

Rob....
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dfizer
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« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2012, 06:49:33 PM »

hello everyone -
good news - for the bees that is - the tree that they call home came down during Sandy and during the clean up a farmer friend of mine called me to come have a look.  well - indeed the tree is on the ground and has bees inside but that's about all I could see since he did exactly as instructed which was to seal up the end that he cut off.  The bees were doing well however I am concerned about the orientation of the tree etc... its literally laying on the ground where once it was standing hear vertical.  With our winters up here I am certain in no time that the entire log will be buried in snow.  Should I tell him to set the log up on its end and lean it against another nearby tree to get it as clost to vertical as possible?  Other than that I don't know much else to do.... any suggestions would be appreciated however my strategy at this point is to check back in the spring to see if any bees are alive and if so do a cut out/removal then.
Thoughts?
David
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Robo
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« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2012, 08:03:55 PM »

If standing it up into it's original orientation is possible without doing further damage, that would be best.  Securing it to anther tree or object is a good idea so that it doesn't topple again.   With that said, I had one fall entrance down towards the ground and survive through the winter with snow.   It wasn't buried for long periods of time, but spend weeks at a time covered.  The tree was in bad shape and I was afraid if we tried to move it it would fall apart.
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« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2012, 09:00:46 PM »

I would worry that broken honeycomb would drown B's.
Cheers,
Drew
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dfizer
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« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2012, 07:56:07 PM »

Other than worry what would you do about that possibility?  Please advise.
David
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« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2012, 08:54:14 PM »

I canít think of much (ok, anything) that you can really do about the state of comb inside a tree hollow short of cutting the truck open.  Seems too risky to me at this point.  Itís COLD here already.  Iím sure itís cold in NY too.  

I wouldnít worry too much about it, because there really isnít much you can do.  Worry about other things until spring.  I would try to do as Robo recommends since the bees originally had their winter honey stored vertically over their heads.  That honey is now horizontal to the bees and the bees donít move as well horizontally in the winter.  Come spring, horizontal comb is also going to be problematic for brood.  Iím sure they would still brood (nature always finds a way), but probably not too efficiently.
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Vance G
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« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2012, 09:05:26 PM »

Snow is a fine insulator!  I would stand it back to close to it's original orientation so when the bees start brooding in the spring, they won't have to do major remodeling.  I wouldn't worry about snow covering them.  I have had bees under snow for four months that did very well.
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