Bee Happy
June 5, 2013, 10:58 pm
Filed under: June 2013 | Tags: , ,
My Bee tree

My Bee tree

June 5, 2013

I got a phone call from a young man whom I have known for many years. He asked me if I could get bees out of a tree. He was to cut the tree down, but it ws full of honey bees.

We talked on the phone and I agreed to come look and see what I could do. The tree was a huge soft maple. It was a multi-stemmed tree. The trunk was over eight feet at its base. The tree stayed that thick for about four feet, then branched off into five large trunk pieces.

The bees were about thirty feet off of the ground. They were going in and out of the tree in two spots. The openings were about six feet apart. The openings were what was left of two old rotten branches, but made perfect doors for the bees.

We decided to just take the whole tree section rather than fell the tree and smash the bee’s home. The top section of the standing tree was a piece fifteen feet long. We cut it off four feet above the top opening in the tree trunk. We cut right through a section of honeycomb.

Holy crap! We were scrambling, but the day was very chilly and bees were real slow. We slapped a piece of pre-cut plywood over the two openings. Thank goodness for a power screwdriver and the cold… none of us were stung!

Next we had to take the bottom section of the tree down. We went about eight feet below the bottom bee doorway. A crane held the tree trunk while we cut through the hulking mass. Success! The center of the section we cut was a dark brown indicating rot, but it was still intact. I now had the entire bee home, in an eighteen foot log, laying on my trailer.

I did forget to mention that we stuffed cotton rags in the bee holes and duct taped them closed. This way I would leave no bees behind … and no bees would leave their stinger in my behind 😮  It worked out to be a great deal!

I brought the bee tree home to the farm. The bees were a bit rattled from the trip, but no worse for wear. Their house, I am sure looks a little bit different now that it is sideways!

I placed the tree out back near my woodpile. The holes are oriented towards the east and south. I laid it on a couple of logs so as to be able to work on re-homing the bees at a later date. Once the log was in place, I cut the duct tape and pulled the rags out of the holes.

I resisted the urge to look into the openings. This proved to be a good idea as several hundred pissed off bees flew out of their sideways house to attack the intruder who had caused all the havoc. I simply walked away letting them sort it all out for themselves.

Today the bees are happily and busily going in and out of the tree. They seem no way near as frustrated as they were that first morning. They are flying all over the fields of blooming clovers and plants on the farm. The job of getting them into more traditional hives will wait for a nice day when I have some time … and hopefully they will have patience.

I have no idea how much honey is in that tree, but I will estimate the comb to be at least 12 feet in length and eighteen to twenty inches across. Talk about a gold mine! That tree is laden with pure golden honey…to say nothing about the large colony of bees that I will split into at least two to three hives….. Now, that is something to  “Bee Happy” about  😮


2 Comments so far
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My worst nightmare…BEES! But at least they are the good kind! Do you sell your honey?

Comment by jkrysa@visitashtabulacounty.com

Yes, my dear reader, we do sell honey. I am going to put another batch in the solar extractor tomorrow 😮

Comment by ricelandmeadows

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