Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Downed beehive in a tree!

On Sunday I was building a top bar hive with Ursula and Wyatt and received  a call from Annallys. Annallys had a friend with a storm knocked down tree with a beehive in the end of it. So we installed the legs on the top bar hive and headed over to help Annallys. There are only a few of us in the area with a bee vacuum, so we loaded my bee vacuum up and headed over there with bee suits.

This was a sizable hive,  in the center of a 14 inch hollow oak tree. David met us there with his chain saw, stayed a short while and took Wyatt and the chain saw home. A neighbor had already left a chain saw for us to use. Bad move on my part for not checking out the chain saw before David left with his. So when we were ready to cut the log, the chain saw would not start. Tried a hand saw and just could not cut the oak log.

Here is a report on the extraction of these bees. I mainly provided limited help, provided instruction on using the bee vac and took photos and video. Annallys and Ursula did most of the work.

 Above is the bottom of the hive, the tree split right at the bottom. Annallys and Ursula were vacuuming up the bees, normally there would have been more bees on these combs. Annallys pulled two of these combs out that were over 2 foot long, watch the last video below.
 Annallys cutting the comb inside the log.
 Some of the first combs removed  were chewed by Small Hive Beetles so these were not reclaimed for the bees to reuse. I was told they had a huge cluster of beetles on these combs.
 The log with the combs removed after we took a break from vacuuming. A queen was needed as Annallys and Ursula found a dead queen on one of the combs pulled it, it appeared she was crushed between the combs when the tree fell. An attempt was made Sunday night to get a queen to lure away these bees, no luck on that.

This video shows Ursula smoking the bees while Annallys vacuums them up! 
 Here is Ursula vacuuming up the bees with my bee vac.
The video above is the log after we cleaned it out and took a small break from the near 90 degree heat. A lot of bees returned back to the bee log!
Above in this video Annallys is rubber banding in brood comb into an empty frame.
 This video shows Annallys pulling out two combs nearly 2 foot long. She hands them to Ursula and she boxes them for her.

So we started on Sunday afternoon, gave up around 5 PM. Monday Annallys found a queen and on Tuesday she chain sawed open the log, cleaned it up and hived the bees!!! I stopped by without my camera and picked up my bee vac. The bees were happily inside a hive with two boardman feeders inside the top of the hive.

Done deal right? Nope there was a small swarm  40 foot up in a tree over the house, very small swarm. Luckily Annallys had a small hive to lure it into and I just happened to have a swarm lure in my truck. Guess we'll wait and see what happens next.

You know it amazes me, this is twice this year this has happened. Bees find there way into someones house or yard and the people living there end up taking an active roll in helping to rescue the bees! Eliza helped Annallys all along the way, even went with her to get a queen.


Birds, Bees, Berries, and Blooms said...

Funny you would think wild would be simple, but instead it is all very complicated. Good luck with your hives.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Pretty durn awesome!

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Bee vacuum is amazing. Glad they found a queen for the hive. I am in awe of all that you all go through to recover a swarm. It is so interesting.
Did you all finish watching season 2 of Downton Abbey? (or start it?)

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing.

eliza said...

thanks for the footage, but that comb is nearly 4 feet long :-)

Anonymous said...

Thank you Randy for posting these wonderful pictures!

Frank Gillespie

wiseacre said...

Now I want to go and make a video. Think I'll set up the camera and give that hornet nest a good whack :)

Hoover Boo said...

Humans do such damage to bees. Lovely to know that there are people giving bees a helping hand...

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