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Colony in a tree that has now been felled

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Normandie 

New Bee
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France - southern Normandy
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other
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2 x Dadant (European standard)
A friend (in France but about 5 hours away) has known about a colony of bees in a local tree for some time. The tree has now been felled by a local landowner and my friend wonders if there's a way of "salvaging" these bees as they're obviously productive and strong and he wants to start keeping bees anyway.

The tree is accessible in that it's on the ground. The bees have two entry / exit points. He has a good idea about where the main part of the "hive" is within the trunk.

Is it feasible to "have a go" at moving them? They can't stay there because the landowner is burning the trees he's felled so their future survival is threatened.

If it's not easy to salvage them from the tree, is there a way of persuading them to move before the tree gets dragged off for burning?
 

gavin 

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Can you top and tail the trunk with the bees and move the whole thing to a new site? I know that folk have tried this, but I can imagine that the whole thing would be heavy. Standing it on its end and adding a roof - even ultimately frames in boxes above might be possible.
 

Normandie 

New Bee
Joined
Dec 7, 2008
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Location
France - southern Normandy
Hive Type
other
Number of Hives
2 x Dadant (European standard)
Update:
I'm repeating this as I was told the story and I'm not commenting on the procedure.

Having located a beekeeper in his region, they took the tree apart with a chainsaw and the visiting beekeeper decided the queen had taken refuge in a (rotten) branch of the tree and couldn't be reached.

Shortly after work stopped, they swarmed and set themselves on a branch about 5metres from the hive. Unfortunately visiting beekeeper had to go home and wasn't going to be available until this afternoon to rehome the swarm. They placed an empty hive on a trestle table about 5m away in a different direction. The swarm was still there this morning but v.beek couldn't come back till this evening so the swarm may have made different arrangements by the time she returned.
 

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