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Author Topic: Hive advice for me  (Read 2229 times)
Understudy
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« on: June 18, 2006, 02:28:09 PM »

Well I need some advice on how to get a feral hive out of a difficult location.
Here is what I know.
1. The bees have a home in the base of a Ficus tree.
2. The access is difficult because the opening is receesed in the trunk of the tree.
3. The tree is healthy and can't be cut down.
4. The tree is about 6' in diameter
5. I have no access to the comb inside
Here what I am not sure about:
1. There is a second entrance where a few bees appear to be standing guard. However it could be a second hive. It was raining so I do not know if they travel with both entrances.
2. I don't know how big the hive is inside the tree.

The hive has been there for about a year.
I want to remove them with a minimal loss of life.
I was thinking of using a bee vac but the entrances are not large enough for me to go in deep enough.
I was wondering if there was a way I could get them to abscond and catch them as were leaving.

Suggestions needed.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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ctsoth
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« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2006, 03:51:41 PM »

I am a novice, so please take my idea with a grain of salt.  If the hive has two entrances, perhaps you could use one of those chemicals used in harvest that the bees absolutely hate the smell of  [The chem is used to drive the bees out of supers].  Pump some of the stuff in the lower entrance, and if they hate it enough, maybe they'll abscond and get outta there.  Or maybe the upper entrance would work better for the chem, IDK, but I just thought I would share my idea...
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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2006, 04:02:54 PM »

never tried to remove a hive like that, I only have one answer, CHAINSAW Wink
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Apis629
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« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2006, 04:57:10 PM »

Those restrictions don't give us alot to work with.  As far as I can tell, the best option would be to make a 1 way conical exit on both holes and have a weak nuc EXTREAMLY close by.  The bees will hopefully drift to it.  You won't get the queen or the comb but, at least you got about 90% of the workers/drones.
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Understudy
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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2006, 05:03:19 PM »

ctsoth:
I think you may have the right idea. There is a spray they use to move bees from a hive box when you are getting ready to pull it off for extraction. Maybe enough of that I can force them out and into a swarm trap or a nuc.

I would really like to try and get the queen.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Diver
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« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2006, 06:23:01 AM »

Have you considered drumming them out?
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Understudy
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« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2006, 07:06:47 AM »

What is drumming them out?

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Apis629
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« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2006, 10:23:19 AM »

To drum them out you usually have to expose as much of the tops of the comb as possible then, with a hammer of fists, beat on the sides of the hive at 40-60 beats a minute.  Usually, not to many will take flight but most will go vertically, INCLUDEING THE QUEEN(usually), and about 90% of the bees.  Be sure to have a box w/ frames ontop for them to go into.
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Understudy
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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2006, 07:27:48 PM »

Quote from: Apis629
To drum them out you usually have to expose as much of the tops of the comb as possible then, with a hammer of fists, beat on the sides of the hive at 40-60 beats a minute.  Usually, not to many will take flight but most will go vertically, INCLUDEING THE QUEEN(usually), and about 90% of the bees.  Be sure to have a box w/ frames ontop for them to go into.


I cannot expose any of the comb. That would require a chainsaw to the healthy tree and that is not happening.

Didn't they have a chemical to cause bees to move from a super. I thought it was Bee B Gone but I can't seem to find it.

Maybe I could send pressurized air in the one side forecing them to fly out the other side?

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2006, 08:14:44 PM »

Brendan,

The best approach is probably to apply all of the suggestions given.  Use a weak nuc (you can set one up special for this) having only 1 or 2 brood frames and no queen).  Set it up as close to the main entrance as possible.  
If there is a second entrance use a wad of cotton as a fume board or drill a hole where it is sure to tap into the cavity the bees are occupying and use that-- a 1 inch hole should be fine and can be tarred over after removal.
Once the fume wad is in place use to stick (about 1 inch dowling or similar) and drum the trunk starting at where you believe the base of the cavity is and work up towards the entrance.  Stop near the main entrance then begain again at the bottom.  Place most of your strokes at or near the bottom and make the run towards the entrance rapid.  Say 12 beats at the base with a run up and reapeat.
If it's possible string some dryer hose or such from the entrance to the nuc should help.

Above all, smile, have fun, and report your success or failure so we can all learn from it.
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Diver
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« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2006, 08:10:11 AM »

drumming does not require you to cut into the tree and Brian has given you a good description of how to do it.
Apis629 describes the quick way to get them out of a felled log, the longer method is to set a hive body over the top cut and wait for the bee's to move up on their own accord.

I personally would only drum at the base of the tree hive (assuming the entrance is at the top) the vibration should resonate throughout the hollow.

I like Brian's idea of the hose connecting the two hives. Flying can cause some problems for the drummer.
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Understudy
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« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2006, 08:15:35 AM »

The entrances are at the base of the tree about 2 feet off the ground.

The tree has one other unique feature it has a certain hollow space that amplifies the sound of the bees. The sound of the bees is amplified and can be heard down the block. It is quite amazing.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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rsilver000
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« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2006, 03:22:05 PM »

You could also smoke the heck out of the opening.  I have done this in the past and it is amazing to watch the bees roll out of the hive/tree.  Just don't get too enthusiastic and start the tree on fire!  Make sure there is only one opening at the base or where ever you want to have them exit. Have a vac at the base ready to go and suck them out as they come.
Rob
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2006, 10:38:11 PM »

""The entrances are at the base of the tree about 2 feet off the ground.

Set the hive on the ground, this simplifies things considerably.  If the cavity goes up then Start your drumming above the entrance and work down as I've descripbed in my previous entry.

>>The tree has one other unique feature it has a certain hollow space that amplifies the sound of the bees. The sound of the bees is amplified and can be heard down the block. It is quite amazing.

This sounds like fun.  Do you know Morse Code?  Set out drinks and refreshments you might have a block party on your hands. LOL.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2006, 10:20:20 PM »

Drumming, and smoking, will get some of the bees to leave for a little while.  It will never get all the bees to leave and never for any longer than the drumming or smoking lasts.  Drumming moves the bees up.  Smoking moves the bees away from the smoke, which in the case of the tree will probably be the entrance.
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