We get quite a few calls from both town and country residents regarding bees living in a tree on their property. Our mission is to help bees, and although we LOVE bringing more bees to our apiary, sometimes helping them means leaving them alone. I generally ask people the following questions: Is the tree dead or dying? Are the bees bothering anyone? Is anyone living nearby allergic to bee stings? If the answer to all those questions is no, then we recommend just leaving the bees in the tree. It’s wonderful for the gardens in the neighborhood to have a hive of bees living nearby.
Recently, we received a call from our friend, Sara, whose husband is severely allergic to bee stings. They had a hive move into a tree close to their house and shed where they store their lawn equipment. It was too dangerous for Mike to have bees living that close. This gave us an opportunity to do our first tree “cut out”. This involves carefully dissecting the tree and removing the bees without hurting the queen or destroying their comb.
We are very thankful that our friends chose to have the bees relocated rather than destroying them even though it meant more work for them. Here are some photos of the process. The job started at 9am with Sara’s dad cutting down the top part of the tree. This allowed us easier access to the trunk where the bees had made their home. Danny then started removing small sections of the trunk with his chainsaw until we could see the bees and their comb.
Below you can see the honeycomb! We carefully scraped that from the inside of the tree and put it into our prepared frames and box. The comb was full of eggs.
This photo was taken after we located the queen. The bees will NOT abandon their queen, so if you can find her and put her in the box…..all the bees will follow! We duct tape our boxes together just so everything stays together and doesn’t shift while we bring them home.
By 2pm we had the majority of the bees in the box and were able to close it up and bring it home. They are now living happily at Aunt Bea’s Apiary! If you ever have questions or concerns about bees living nearby, feel free to give us a call or send us a message. We are happy to help! Below is a photo of a piece of comb I was showing 8 year old Delaney. She was so interested in the whole process and toward the end she told me she thought she might like to be a beekeeper when she grew up. That made the whole job even sweeter!