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Newbeeneil 

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I had an interesting day today. Last night I got a call from someone who had found a rotten Elm tree that had fallen across a bridleway with a bees nest now exposed in it. I later found out it fell on Boxing day!
With temperatures below freezing last night and not getting much above zero today I was not going to attempt to remove them so I decided to wrap the tree up with a plastic bag full of glass fibre insulation and a waterproof covering until the temperatures rise.
I knew that the council would be looking to remove the tree and reopen the bridleway so I contacted them and explained the dilemma. They have said the land owner is supposed to remove the tree asap and certainly within 7 days (They did say they could stretch it to 14 days in the circumstances). The council is arranging for the landowner (a large estate) to liaise with me to arrange the best time to carry out the bee removal while they remove the tree.
Temperatures at the end of next week are forecast to be between 5-9 degs which is likely to be the warmest we are likely to get in the next two weeks.
The bees look well clustered and tucked up in the cavity with what looks like combs of honey.
I was thinking of removing the combs and bees as quickly as possible directly onto a poly nuc then taking them back to my heated shed to rearrange the combs into frames. Hopefully any bee that starts flying in the shed will return to the nuc as the temperature drops in the evening and I can put the dummied down nuc outside after ensuring they have enough food. (I'll nick a honey frame from long hive if they are short)
Any Thoughts?


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Newbeeneil 

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I'd be tempted to just crop the branch, take them as they are, just put them in a safe place and hope they make it until spring to sort out.
That's not really possible, the lump of wood would weigh about 3-400kg and the site is about 1 mile from the road. Nice idea but impracticable.

Edit. I've just recalculated and the lump of wood would be about 120kg but that's not something I'd like to carry the best part of a mile!!!!!
 
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Swarm 

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That's not really possible, the lump of wood would weigh about 3-400kg and the site is about 1 mile from the road. Nice idea but impracticable.
I was going to suggest similar but wondered about size/weight as photos can deceive.
Top marks for helping them, I'd go with your plan and good luck.
 

hemo 

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Can the trunk as mentioned once cropped be lifted ( 2 or 3 lifting) in to a wheel barrow or towed by a quad bike/ trailer to better access. I would be inclined to try that method, molly coddle/protect them somewhere and then wait for better warmer weather.
 

Newbeeneil 

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Can the trunk as mentioned once cropped be lifted ( 2 or 3 lifting) in to a wheel barrow or towed by a quad bike/ trailer to better access. I would be inclined to try that method, molly coddle/protect them somewhere and then wait for better warmer weather.
Removal with the trunk is really not possible. This track is only a matter of a couple of feet wide in certain places and has slopes of maybe 1in2 (it's on the side of the southdowns) so I would even doubt that a wheel barrow would be feasible.
The trunk is also smashed so would not be easy to remove whole.
 

Boston Bees 

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Edit. I've just recalculated and the lump of wood would be about 120kg but that's not something I'd like to carry the best part of a mile!!!!!
Glad you recalculated down from something the weight of a small horse :)

But still, seriously, saw the thing up and you will be looking at maybe 15kg. Weight of a bag of dog food, max.

You could even just move the cut section to a quiet area nearby, then return in the spring.

This is 120kg, and it's hardwood:

Kiln Dried Hardwood Firewood Logs. 120kg. Suitable for Stoves, Wood Burners, Fireplaces and More. Sustainably Sourced Hardwood.: Amazon.co.uk: DIY & Tools
 

Gilberdyke John 

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I'd be tempted to just crop the branch, take them as they are, just put them in a safe place and hope they make it until spring to sort out.
I'd not mess them about too. If the combs are knitted together perhaps pick them out as one piece and pop the whole lump inside a Polyhive box without splitting apart. If they are embedded in the timber JBMs idea would be better
 

elainemary 

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I had an interesting day today. Last night I got a call from someone who had found a rotten Elm tree that had fallen across a bridleway with a bees nest now exposed in it. I later found out it fell on Boxing day!
With temperatures below freezing last night and not getting much above zero today I was not going to attempt to remove them so I decided to wrap the tree up with a plastic bag full of glass fibre insulation and a waterproof covering until the temperatures rise.
I knew that the council would be looking to remove the tree and reopen the bridleway so I contacted them and explained the dilemma. They have said the land owner is supposed to remove the tree asap and certainly within 7 days (They did say they could stretch it to 14 days in the circumstances). The council is arranging for the landowner (a large estate) to liaise with me to arrange the best time to carry out the bee removal while they remove the tree.
Temperatures at the end of next week are forecast to be between 5-9 degs which is likely to be the warmest we are likely to get in the next two weeks.
The bees look well clustered and tucked up in the cavity with what looks like combs of honey.
I was thinking of removing the combs and bees as quickly as possible directly onto a poly nuc then taking them back to my heated shed to rearrange the combs into frames. Hopefully any bee that starts flying in the shed will return to the nuc as the temperature drops in the evening and I can put the dummied down nuc outside after ensuring they have enough food. (I'll nick a honey frame from long hive if they are short)
Any Thoughts?


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Good luck trying to save the bees, well done! 🐝
 

ericbeaumont 

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Edit. I've just recalculated and the lump of wood would be about 120kg but that's not something I'd like to carry the best part of a mile!!!!!
Chainsaw, Neil.

Get the arborists to work with you: chop it, seal the ends with mesh and clout nails (or just wrap the whole in garden mesh) and put it under cover somewhere. Bees unlikely to budge.

Arbos will have ropes, maybe a trailer and a 4x4.
 

Newbeeneil 

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Please understand me, because the trunk is shattered it would not be possible to secure it at all.
The idea of taking a section out of the trunk and removing it was the first thing I thought of when I saw pictures of the scene last night but when I was walking to the site it was obvious removal of a section was not an option. When I arrived the shattered state of the trunk confirmed this.
The picture below gives a better indication of the track and the slopes we are dealing with.
 

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Antipodes 

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I was thinking of removing the combs and bees as quickly as possible directly onto a poly nuc then taking them back to my heated shed to rearrange the combs into frames. Hopefully any bee that starts flying in the shed will return to the nuc as the temperature drops in the evening and I can put the dummied down nuc outside after ensuring they have enough food. (I'll nick a honey frame from long hive if they are short)
I'd do that. They'll be fine.
All the best with it.
 

Apple 

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Sad but true.....
I know of some beefarmers who would happily destroy any feral colony or swarm due to possible disease issues that could threaten their own stock of managed bees.
Petrol would possibly be the kindest option ( do NOT put a match to it!!)
 

Hux70 

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Could you just remove the section of trunk to the side of the bridleway, preferably out of sight, and cover them as best as you can to give them some protection?
 

Into the lions den 

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Sad but true.....
I know of some beefarmers who would happily destroy any feral colony or swarm due to possible disease issues that could threaten their own stock of managed bees.
Petrol would possibly be the kindest option ( do NOT put a match to it!!)
I don't know ANYONE who would not be sympathetic to this issue. Might not want to get involved as there is a very high chance of being on a hiding to nothing, but do not go thinking that being commercial means we would just gas this. We are all bee lovers at heart, just some of us have had the great good fortune to turn it into a life.

That good luck does not turn us into evil incarnate as some would have.

Any beekeeper getting this colony would be wise to quarantine it, but callous and possibly foolish to destroy without having weighed up the options to save.
 

Curly green finger's 

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I don't know ANYONE who would not be sympathetic to this issue. Might not want to get involved as there is a very high chance of being on a hiding to nothing, but do not go thinking that being commercial means we would just gas this. We are all bee lovers at heart, just some of us have had the great good fortune to turn it into a life.

That good luck does not turn us into evil incarnate as some would have.

Any beekeeper getting this colony would be wise to quarantine it, but callous and possibly foolish to destroy without having weighed up the options to save.
I agree, if I was you @Apple i would give those bee farmers a talking to.. I would say that most bee farmers are only bee farmers because they are so attached to bees and love the hobby so much..
I've only come across one ferel colony and they were left in the tree sometimes you do need to leave things alone..
Fair play to Neil on this occasion and many he has saved colonys and has a lot of respect from me.
 

Boston Bees 

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Sad but true.....
I know of some beefarmers who would happily destroy any feral colony or swarm due to possible disease issues that could threaten their own stock of managed bees.
The bees were lucky to find a cavity that some muppet hadn't filled with expanding foam :rolleyes:
 

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