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Bees inside a tree - thoughts?

A tree in my pasture has a opening in the base. Apparently, a swarm of bees have made it home and are well established. I do not plan to cut the tree down. The opening is too narrow to get a hand in etc.
My thoughts are that I may be able to smoke them out of the tree and try to capture the queen when she finally comes out. Then place her in a hive and let the bees march in too. If successful, it leaves me with a few questions.
Will they simply leave the hive and return to the tree which wouldn’t be too far away ?
If they stay in the hive, and given that I wouldn’t be able to remove the brood, pollen, and honey from the tree, would that be an invitation to robber bees ?
Or, if I kept the queen caged in the hive for a few days with the hive next to the trees would the bees move the pollen and honey into the hive ?
Would I be better off just to leave them alone and gain nothing other than their pollination services ?

Hi Sam, my vote is for leaving them alone.

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Hi Sam, we talked about this a few weeks back in your other topic. I would forget about smoking them out. I’ve been there, done that. I shared my video where I attempted to smoke bees out of a cable drum. I came to the conclusion that “smoking them out” must just be a myth.

Have a look at my video, in particular the last half where I use a trap-out. You’ll be able to do something similar with the bees in the tree.

cheers

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Hi Jeff, I’d love to see this video but am unable to find it. Would you mind linking it here for me?

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Hi Bianca, I replied in the other topic “Lucky Coincidence”.

cheers

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@JeffH
I think I remember watching that video. I thought in the end you had them out and in the hive. Although, if I remember correctly, it took you a couple of days.
Maybe I need to find it again and review it.
Thanks

Hi Sam, definitely do that. Let me know when you’re about to do it, there’s a few finer points I can share.

cheers

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@JeffH
Ok
It won’t be real soon, I will be tied up for a while getting the 2 nucs I am picking up this weekend established. After I have them stabilized (and hopefully thriving), I may start looking at that tree again :sunglasses:. I am just trying to come up with an effective strategy for when I do. I will review the video again later and make contact again before I actually do something.
Many Thanks

Interesting Jeff! I love watching your and Wilma’s videos, the commentary is gold.

I didn’t have enough time up my sleeve to watch it all but the gist I got was that you basically acquired a split from this colony rather than relocate it. Is that right and if so, is there any real method for removing a colony other than breaking things apart and relocating the comb and colony?

Ref for video - Lucky coincidence!

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Hi Bianca & thank you. We got the whole colony by using the trap-out which we show roughly 2/3rds into the video. We did this over quite a few days. The trap-out in conjunction with a frame of open brood is an effective way of extracting a colony out of something that can’t be easily pulled apart. The queen normally doesn’t come out, however with open brood, the first bees to get trapped out normally commence building emergency queens, once they move into the lure box. This is why I suggest setting it up early in the morning, so that you get a good buildup of bees onto the frame before the usual number of bees come out to do orientation flights later in the day. They are the easiest bees to lure into the box because they are doing orientation flights. Once the field bees start working the lure box, it’s easy to see how further trapped out bees will join them. The only trick then is to make sure that the exiting bees don’t block the funnel, or start using the funnel as an entrance. On top of that, make sure the bees don’t find an alternative entrance & start using that.

This video didn’t start off as a trap-out video, however it finished up being one. It’s our only video that shows my trap-out method.

PS. A few years ago we trapped bees out of a large tree. Over a period of quite a few days, I kept taking nucs away as soon as they were strong enough to do so. I’d replace them with another frame of open brood, leaving enough bees behind to cover that frame. By the time the last bees came out, I had collected 3.5 nucs.

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