A highway expansion and relocation caused the homeowner to learn that…
this tree was a bee tree.
It was so large that the roots had to be excavated and the tree knocked over.
I still couldn’t reach the bees, so we had the trunk cut and then twisted off until it fell to the ground.
I then had to figure where the hive was located inside the trunk. I made a slit near an exit, and a bee came out. I could see how thick the bark “wall” was, and made a cut. SCORE! I saw big combs deeper inside the trunk, so I made another cut to enlarge the hole. I was able to get both of my forearms in the trunk now.
The hive took a “Y” shape between the arrows and my arm was long enough to reach the far end of the Y. I found larvae at different stages, but not eggs. Then again, I could have crushed the eggs under my thumb. Brood is exciting to me as a beekeeper.
The trunk was then moved with the grappler and I trapped the bees out for a night and day. They now have a new home.
Thank you to the homeowner, contractor, and sub for saving the bees! I had fun.
I am calling this hive Iola. It’s an old girl name, and very appropriate. The new home is near multiple large vegetable and fruit gardens, maybe you can see one in the background, so these bees will be well-fed in the future. They in turn will keep us well-fed with their dutiful pollination instinct. I look forward to keeping them.