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  1. #1
    Veteran Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    Default Splitting a bee hive out of a tree?

    For a while I've wanted to start a bee hive.

    I'd like to get a local capture hive, rather than moving bees around the country... hopefully avoiding importing diseases into the area that I wouldn't already have, and would rather have a generally wild bee than a domestic bee.

    Anyway, Mom has a bee's nest in an oak tree right behind her house.

    I don't want to damage the tree, or hurt her hive, but if I built a hive, is there any way to force some of the bees to take up habitation in my hive, then eventually split it?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Splitting a bee hive out of a tree?

    For the hive to work it needs a queen. The queen is going to stay in the tree hive until a) the hive fails b) the colony replaces the old queen with a new queen c) the queen and a large number of bees leave the old hive and find a new home (swarm).

    If the hive swarms you may or may not be able to capture it. If you can capture the swarm you could install it in an empty hive.

    The only other way to split the hive that I'm aware of would be destructive to the tree hive.
    Kubota M8540HD ROPS, LA1353 FEL

  3. #3
    Veteran Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Splitting a bee hive out of a tree?

    I have read that if one has a multi-tiered hive.
    With bees throughout the hive.
    Then one separates parts of the hive, so half a hive discovers it is queenless, then it will generally force a new queen to hatch, as if its queen had somehow died, and one hive becomes two.

    I haven't done it, but in theory it sounds quite logical.

    So, I was hoping to make a hive, and hang it on the tree near the nest, hoping some of Mom's bees would take up residence in my hive.

    However, the bees don't enter the hive through a small hole, but rather through a large gash where a very large limb (half the tree) had split off years ago. The bees only moved in a couple of years ago, but the limb had been missing since before 1980.

    Yeah, I might start hunting for a swarm, and telling all my friends and neighbors to find one for me. Some people advertise on Craigslist saying they're looking for swarms.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member troutsqueezer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Splitting a bee hive out of a tree?

    The Internet is your friend. I recommend doing a little research on beekeeping. It is not as simple as you are hoping it would be. You can split hives but only in a well-controlled manner armed with knowledge of how the hive operates.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Splitting a bee hive out of a tree?

    Set a empty hive body with frames in it on a platform as close to the hive opening as you can, real close. and make a screen cone that is small enough for only one bee to come out of the small end and big enough for the large end to cover the opening to the hive. The bees will come out and not find their way back in and enter the hive you set there, face your hive toward the hive opening. After a week add a queen to your hive and after a month take the cone off of the tree and the new hive will rob the honey from the old one. At least that is what a book said. No I don't remember what book but It might be The Hive and The Honey Bee.

  6. #6
    Bronze Member Soapandbacon's Avatar
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    Default

    Like Ed said, that will work, you can also add a swarm pheromone or lure to the hive body, I would suggest getting a bee supply catalog like brushy mountain and start reading up on it. The Internet has a bunch of good stuff about it. Pm me and I'll forward you some additional info . I've had bees for years !

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Splitting a bee hive out of a tree?

    Like Ed and S&B I would suggest putting an empty hive body next to the hole connected with a pipe or something that restricts their movement only into the box. I would also use lemongrass as a lure if I didnt have a pheromone pack.
    If you go to beesource.com and check out the forum there is one gentleman who has posted plans of his swarm capture hive.
    www.stormspoons.com my website
    http://www.etsy.com/people/Forgeblast?ref=pr_profile
    Is where I also have spoons listed.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Splitting a bee hive out of a tree?

    You might also be able to smoke them out. But most of the wild hive harvesting stories I've read all involve cutting down the tree.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Splitting a bee hive out of a tree?

    I don't want the whole hive, just part of the hive.

    I certainly am not cutting down a 200+ year old oak tree (about 4 feet in diameter) just to get some bees out, but you've given me some ideas of forcing the bees to at least travel through my hive to get out, and perhaps some would take up residence in it. If only I could figure out how to seal off their access as it is a pretty big entry way. Even the bark is pretty course.

    Perhaps I'll just hunt a bit more for a swarm.

    And I do need to do some reading and building. The "top bar" hives sound like a good idea.

  10. #10
    Bronze Member Soapandbacon's Avatar
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    Default

    Look up bait hives or swarm removal , I'm sure you'll find a method that will suit you. You should also source a new queen as it may be unlikely that you will be able to "remove" her from the tree.

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