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Author Topic: Bee removal Questions  (Read 4465 times)
rsilver000
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« on: June 11, 2006, 04:18:46 PM »

I have a good friend who has a business removing trees.  This week he cut down a tree and then chopped it into quarters.  On the last chop he sawed directly into a large bees nest with about 4 feet of comb.

I am thinking about going after the nest.  The bees are actually pretty mellow.  In spite of all the racket, no one got stung and they (the bees) are happily going about thir business with the nest on the ground.

I am thinking about putting brood and bees into a hive box with rubber bands to secure to frames and place the honey into a separate container for extraction later.  The hive is in a remote location so vacuuming is not an option.  After I make a huge mess with all the above manipulations, should I just put screens on the enterance and take the box away or should I leave the hive box in the same locale for a day or 2 with the enterance open and then take the box away?

I am concerned that I may miss the queen removing all the comb, but with all the brood that I suspect is there, I could just let them make a new one or requeen if they don't all fly off!!

This will be a new experience for me.  What happens to the comb secured in the frames with rubber bands?  I assume that the bees chew off the rubber bands but how much time does that take and will I have random comb lying on the bottom board before they secure it to the frames?

Thanks in advance for all your help.
Rob
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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2006, 05:12:43 PM »

Quote from: rsilver000
I have a good friend who has a business removing trees.  This week he cut down a tree and then chopped it into quarters.  On the last chop he sawed directly into a large bees nest with about 4 feet of comb.

I am thinking about going after the nest.  The bees are actually pretty mellow.  In spite of all the racket, no one got stung and they (the bees) are happily going about thir business with the nest on the ground.


They are terrified and because of that they are mellow. They will abscond if left alone to their own devices.
Quote from: rsilver000

I am thinking about putting brood and bees into a hive box with rubber bands to secure to frames and place the honey into a separate container for extraction later.  The hive is in a remote location so vacuuming is not an option.  After I make a huge mess with all the above manipulations, should I just put screens on the enterance and take the box away or should I leave the hive box in the same locale for a day or 2 with the enterance open and then take the box away?


If you can remove the comb and and secure it to the frames go for it. If you can leave a hive box close buy with the brood frames in it do so.

Quote from: rsilver000

I am concerned that I may miss the queen removing all the comb, but with all the brood that I suspect is there, I could just let them make a new one or requeen if they don't all fly off!!


You may miss the queen it is a tough situation. It takes a month for the bees to make a queen and in that time the bees are not making new workers.

Quote from: rsilver000

This will be a new experience for me.  What happens to the comb secured in the frames with rubber bands?  I assume that the bees chew off the rubber bands but how much time does that take and will I have random comb lying on the bottom board before they secure it to the frames?

Thanks in advance for all your help.
Rob


No the bees do not chew through the rubber band. The bees will begin a mass abortion. All damaged larvae will get hauled out and dropped on the ground. The bees will begin to slowly build on the comb you have secured. if they have no queen they will also likely move in a large mass all around the box, including outside. Until they have a queen they will not be real happy. Here is one of the few times I would recommend using an excluder. At least temporaily place it so the entrance is covered. This way the workers are able to fly in and out but the queen stays and where the queen is the bees will be.  

Please note I used very thick rubber bands not thin dinky ones.

Plan on being ready to order a queen if you don't find the one in the hive.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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JP
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« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2006, 08:33:51 PM »

Rob, If you don't get the queen it would be a good idea to mix these bees with another hive, if you have one, using the newspaper method. If you get the queen, you can secure the broodcomb in frames with thin rubber bands, which they will eat through. I like to wait at least 4 days before I move them with queen so that they can attach their comb to the frames. This makes moving them less traumatic and the combs are obviously more stable then. I spray these combs with certan because the bees will be in a weakened state and the wax moths are not merciful. If you can wait and get some certan before you do this I would. Also, do you know someone who can lend you a generator so that you can work a beevac? Home depot rents them pretty cheap, also. Good luck!
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latebee
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« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2006, 11:10:05 PM »

The one suggestion I would offer is this- BE SURE that the bees you are getting for free are not diseased,before adding to to an existing colony. Check the combs for solid brood patterns and learn to recognize foulbrood(it does not always smell terrible),check for mites(either powdered sugar roll or starting fluid test) and REALLY check the combs from the wild bees. I have had some problems with this in the past and would really like to save you from some dissapointment. I think I would rather find ,raise or buy a new queen for the free bees before I would consider combining them with a proven hive. Unless of course you are willing to go on a antibiotic treatment of the hives on a semi-annual basis. Catching swarms and doing extractions is a lot of fun,but don't compromise what you already have. A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush.
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« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2006, 11:20:23 PM »

Aw, but the 2 in the bush are so much prettier because they're free.

Just remember what you are going about is how man has been getting into the bee business for thousands of years.  Be careful, check for disease, and follow all the advice given so far.  Although I wouldn't worry about the certan, I dislike chemicals.  Feral swarms are going to be the beekeepers salvation inspite of all the science we keep spouting.  The chemicals are degrading the stock they are being used on.
 So venture forth and reveal in the kindred heart of our ancestors.
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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2006, 01:56:28 AM »

Certan is not a chemical and it does not hurt the bees nor us. Brian, do the research.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2006, 07:02:49 AM »

>I wouldn't worry about the certan, I dislike chemicals. Feral swarms are going to be the beekeepers salvation inspite of all the science we keep spouting.

Certan is Bt (Bacillus Thuringiensis).

http://www.beeworks.com/uscatalog/details/certan.asp
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rsilver000
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« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2006, 03:44:26 PM »

I am going out on Wed to scope things out.  Based on what I find I might just harvest the honey and wax and not put them into a hive body.  I will look carefully for diseases as you suggested and do a quick roll test for mites.  If all looks good I'll put them into the hive body.
It is too bad that it is in such a remote location, a bee vac would have been ideal.  But I will secure the comb with rubber bands and hope for the best with the queen.  I like the idea of putting a queen excluder on the underside of the hive and letting the box alone for a few days to let them settle in.  I am not planning on a combine until I am certain that the bees are disease free and only if absolutely necessary.
Any other suggestions are appreciated.
Rob
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rsilver000
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« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2006, 03:44:34 PM »

I am going out on Wed to scope things out.  Based on what I find I might just harvest the honey and wax and not put them into a hive body.  I will look carefully for diseases as you suggested and do a quick roll test for mites.  If all looks good I'll put them into the hive body.
It is too bad that it is in such a remote location, a bee vac would have been ideal.  But I will secure the comb with rubber bands and hope for the best with the queen.  I like the idea of putting a queen excluder on the underside of the hive and letting the box alone for a few days to let them settle in.  I am not planning on a combine until I am certain that the bees are disease free and only if absolutely necessary.
Any other suggestions are appreciated.
Rob
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« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2006, 09:49:06 PM »

>>Certan is not a chemical and it does not hurt the bees nor us. Brian, do the research.
>>Certan is Bt (Bacillus Thuringiensis).

Once again my many years of beekeeping hermitage rears it's ugly head and makes me the fool.
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« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2006, 12:26:32 AM »

Rob-- I also like using rubber bands to secure the comb in frames it is so much easier than tying with string.The bees will remove parts of the bands after awhile.Be sure to orient the combs as they were built in the tree-pay particular attention to the way they were built vertically(up&down) if you put them in sideways it is counter-productive.If you get enough young brood or eggs in comb,no need to worry about a queen.As long as the combs are not thoroughly chilled,the colony will raise it's own new queen if the original is lost during the extraction. Take your time-put the combs in a hive body as close to the log as you can on top of a cheap plastic tarp placed on the ground. I am always amazed how quickly the cut comb is covered by the bees and how the little girls start to fan giving off the scent(nasnov) to call thier friends to a new home. If there is not much honey in the comb(which is probably the case at this time of year)feed them some 1 to 1 syrup either by drizzeling some into empty comb or with a feeder. Wish you good luck-I enjoy doing feral extractions as much as I enjoy keeping them. If you can't use a bee vac then be sure to use plenty of smoke during the whole procedure(directed in the log not the new hive body) as it makes it so much easier.
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JP
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« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2006, 07:47:39 PM »

The idea of using a queen excluder is not a bad one, although I rarely have them leave the hive body once removed. Not that it hasn't happened but it is rare that is does. The idea of using the smoker. I find when doing cut outs that the smoker is usually useless. In most instances when dealing with nice bees, in the early stages of the removal, the bees generally don't mind you dealing with them. Later on, even nice bees become agitated, but smoking them just doesn't seem to help. Perhaps it's because once the majority of the comb is removed, there is nothing for them to protect anymore and what bees remain are just angry. I have tried smoking agitated bees until I was blue in the face, without success. I don't bother using my smoker anymore on cutouts. And if you haven't done a removal before, the advice about positioning the comb how it was oriented in the hive is excellent advice.
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rsilver000
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« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2006, 09:57:27 PM »

Well I went out this evening to scope things out.  VERY big tree 4 foot in diameter loaded with comb and lots of bees.  I smoked them down and I mean I SMOKED them  a lot and then pulled out a piece of newer looking comb.  Opened up a sample of brood and they were just loaded with mites....yuck!!  

So I rethinked things and realized that I am now not so enthusiastic about taking them home.  My buddy needs the bees removed so I think I will just harvest the wax and honey and kill the bees.  There is at least 4 feet of combs with a internal diameter of the hole of 2 feet.  What is the best way to get rid of the bees once I pull out the comb?  I realize that the total disruption may make them leave but i don't want to leave it to chance.

This was an interesting learning experience.  Not everything for free is exactly good and worthwhile.
Rob
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« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2006, 06:20:27 AM »

Rob, you can still keep the bees if you want to. If the comb you inspected was drone comb you can harvest the bees and treat them with apiguard or something else non chemical, and don't harvest the drone comb. You can also look at them as a new package and feed them, if you get the queen fine if not re-queen. Sounds like a lot of work? Yeah, but sure would be nice to save them and get more honey from them next season, and the feeling of having saved them is very fulfilling.  Now, if you decide to kill them and take the honey, you could put the brood comb back into the cavity of the tree and the bees will return to the tree. Then, you could seal the cavity to contain them and you can decide how you want to eradicate them then.
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« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2006, 10:41:09 AM »

Rob,
   If you change your mind about keeping the bees,you can treat for mites organically or chemically. If you do not take the brood- the mite cycle is broken and as the adults have mites on them externally they are an easy target for all the organic products-even just plain old powdered sugar dustings(see previous posts here on this forum) should knock the heck out of them.Don't despair,as long as you do not combine immediately with another hive,these bees can help you in developing management stratigies for the future. IF you decide against taking them any garden dust that contains sevin is very toxic to bees as is plain soapy water sprayed on them.If you use sevin any comb for wax or any honey will be unfit for use.Like you said though, this was a good learning opportunity for you no matter what you decide to do.
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rsilver000
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« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2006, 03:38:39 PM »

If I can get a power source for the vac out to the tree I just may save them and harvest the wax and honey.  I am thinking I'll establish them on new foundation and treat them for the mites and then do a combine later in the season after checking that the mites are under good control.  The brood I took out of the tree was not drone comb and I saw about 3-5 mites per larva pulled out ....not nice!  Interestingly, it was a very strong hive and has lots of bees, so they must have adapted pretty well to the mites.  Or they may be on a down-swing and would be dead by the end of the season, who knows?
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« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2006, 05:23:09 PM »

Feral bees are going to be our salvation when it comes to mites.  I'd venture to say that if the hive is strong with the amount of mites contamination in it you might just be seeing the results of mite resistance buildup.  I'd harvest the bees, treat with natural methods, and see what happens.  If they are truly mite resistant you might have a gold mine.

As a precaution you might want to place them in a more remote part of your bee yard to avoid drift.
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« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2006, 09:06:48 PM »

>Feral bees are going to be our salvation when it comes to mites.

That's one part of the solution.  I've also found natural sized comb essential.
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Jeffrey Tooker
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« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2006, 10:47:57 AM »

Quote from: Michael Bush
>Feral bees are going to be our salvation when it comes to mites.

That's one part of the solution.  I've also found natural sized comb essential.


Brian and Michael:

I have decided to try feral bees on natural comb.  I am now looking for a few feral hives around my area.  We are in a remote area so they will be in trees and abandoned buildings and such.  If I find them I will have to feed them this winter.  There are feral bees that come to my yard.  They are small probably mostly Italian bees.

If I keep the bees on the south (mild weather & sunny) side of the house and feed them well with syrup and pollen can I get them to increase over the winter?  Or do bees just slow down for the winter no mater what?
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wayne
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« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2006, 12:45:30 PM »

At least one local beek uses the log like an old gum hive.  He mounts a super on top and lets the bees work up into it at their own pace.
  He claims they accept the box easier that way.


waynw
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