Beeman to the rescue!

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Location
Wiveliscombe
Hive Type
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Or something like that :)

The council have been doing some heavy duty tree work around here over the last couple of weeks, including giving this oak a fairly serious trim.

oak-tree-bees-01-rotated.jpg


Who can already see where this is going? :D

The limbs from that tree have been dumped in the field behind it, which meant that the farmer who owns it called me when he discovered this

oak-tree-bees-02.jpg

oak-tree-bees-03.jpg

oak-tree-bees-04.jpg


Having found what I believe to be the part of the tree that was above that section, it looks as though the chainsaw must have gone straight through the very top of the nest. There's no obvious part of the nest still attached to it, so I assume what's in this log is all there is.

Any thoughts on how to effect a rescue?

James
 
If the farmer is OK with the log staying there for a few months, close off the end so they have a weather shield + small entrance, leave 'til spring + reassess.
 
Depends on the farmer.
If he can wait, I would likely wait until spring.
For now cover/seal the open end and leave the slit which looks like it is fairly well weathered the way the tree has been left lying.
Come spring do as JBM has said, also a good chance for someone with a bee vac to use on the bees to humainly transfer them to a BB.
 
Brood box with drawn comb put against the cut end, and above the cavity, hope the bees will move up into it.
Maybe plenty of smoke in the cavity

That was my initial idea. I don't fancy chainsawing into the cavity other than as a last resort really. It's possible, but it seems to have the potential of getting quite messy.

Probably a "tomorrow" job now though as I'm coaching this evening. Or possibly even Saturday, since the forecast for tomorrow is fairly evil.

I've time at least nip back and screw an old floor over the open end to give them some protection from the elements.

James
 
I shall talk to the farmer about leaving at least that one branch where it is until Spring.

I guess I could cobble up some sort of "floor" to mate up with the end of the tree and stick a brood box and comb on top of that. Perhaps over the course of the next few months they might actually move into it.

James
 
also a good chance for someone with a bee vac to use on the bees to humainly transfer them to a BB.

I've had a bee vac on my list of projects since the start of this year. Perhaps the priority has just been raised :)

James
 
I made one but never used it in real anger except on a LW colony for a practice run, it worked surprisigly well with no mortalities.
I use a 12v car type vac and a 12v lithum battery for the power unit, a few meters of 30mm Blue swim pool flexi hose and for the chamber I used a disused wine/beer fermenting tub. I placed a piece of foam pad on the bottom for a soft landing for the bees and placed a card board X section in side so they can cluster on if they are going to be inside a while.
If one wants I will get it out of the bee shed for some pics, thinking of it, there may some pics in the DIY section.
 
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Seriously you can come and look at the box if you want. The problem will be that it needs electricity for a vac. Do you have a generator?
 
Seriously you can come and look at the box if you want. The problem will be that it needs electricity for a vac. Do you have a generator?

I don't, but I can probably find someone who does. I am more inclined to leave them be until the Spring if the farmer agrees though. Especially if I can get the log stood upright so the nest is in an approximately correct orientation.

James
 
Whatever you reckon. I do have a generator but it is a heavy beast! I use my Henry on low setting with the bee vac box. It isn't brilliant but it works. I reckon you would struggle with a bee vac though. You are better off trying to goad them into a box through a pipe entrance. Good luck but if you need anything let me know
 
chainsaw must have gone straight through the very top of the nest
Reckon winter stores much reduced?

Had a similar job years ago: made a shallow pit to prop the trunk vertical, put a box on top and so on.

Fiddled about for a few weeks but the bees weren't interested, so laid the trunk down again and split it like a book, with a chainsaw.

Bees remarkably calm, queen found scurrying into a dark corner, cut out completed. Colony went on to be productive and healthy.

We did the work in high summer, and I agree with Oxnat & Hemo, wait until spring.

Stores may be a problem. Heft to check? 🙂
 
Reckon winter stores much reduced?

Had a similar job years ago: made a shallow pit to prop the trunk vertical, put a box on top and so on.

I don't think they'll have lost much at all as a result of the cutting. There really is nothing in any other part of the tree that's in the pile of branches. If they've lost anything it can't be much more than a chainsaw's width off the top of the comb. Of course how much extra they use fixing what's been messed up is a different question...

On the way to and from swimming I've been contemplating shortening the branch, standing it and putting a floor with a hole in the bottom over the top and a box with some frames of stores on top of that. I guess it's possible that they might move up into the box as they consume their winter stores and I could take them away in Spring. Hopefully if there are bees flying then the sheep in the field will ignore it.

James
 
Whatever you reckon. I do have a generator but it is a heavy beast! I use my Henry on low setting with the bee vac box. It isn't brilliant but it works. I reckon you would struggle with a bee vac though. You are better off trying to goad them into a box through a pipe entrance. Good luck but if you need anything let me know

Thank you.

James
 

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