Saving Honey Bees. With a chainsaw!

This is a great story.

The Step Son called us out of the blue, “Hey, I’ve got honey bees, you want em?”

Our response was a mixture of “um.. sure…”, but more of  “What the hell did we just get ourselves into?!?!?”

We are really new to the bee scene, and have two hives.  We’ve already gotten a couple of gallons of honey, and despite the bear attack, we are doing pretty good.  A Wild honey bee hive was something totally, and I do mean TOTALLY new for us.

What the heck, we’ve all got to die someday.  Hopefully it’s not in a swarm of 10,000 honey bees…

So, the Step Son dutifully dropped off a 15 foot tree, and another half dozen pieces that were hollow and filled with honey bees and a ton of comb.

here it is on the truck:

 

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They dropped the logs and ran…  Not sure that I blame them.

So, fired up the trusty Stihl and started cutting.  Yeah with the bees still inside.

I’m sure it was a fashion statement wearing my chaps and a bee coat, but it worked and I didn’t piss them off too much.  The strategy was to cut everything in 18 inch sections and then carefully split it in half with cuts being made gingerly into the center, without going too far.

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then start scooping bees and brood out of the logs and put them all into a new hive.

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THUNK the frame and the bees drop off; a little dazed and confused.  it’s all good though.

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We took all the comb out of the logs and the viable pieces we tied into the frames on the new hive with fishing line.  We got a lot of bees.  No idea if we go the queen though.  Time will tell to see if we saved the hive.

 

 

4 comments

  • Granny

    you guys have WAY too much free time on your hands!

  • Granny

    was that tree Locust or Sassafras?

    • The Son in law told me it was a Locust tree. I have to say that really doesn’t make sense tho Granny. The tree was hollowed out at least 12 inches on the inside by carpenter ants. I always thought that Locust was insect resistant.

      Never seen a Sassafras tree before in my life. Are they native up here in the WG area?

  • Granny

    Yes they are native from Maine to NY. Very similar bark to a Locust. Honey bees are living in a Sassafras tree behind my neighbor’s house. He’s an expert with trees and knows his stuff.

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