Live Honey bee removal from trees
Moving bee swarms and colonies on bushes and trees is a pretty common activity during swarming season in the late spring and summer months. Honeybees can become a problem when they swarm around or nest in and on trees. Before we can deal with them we need to understand the difference between a swarm and a colony.
A bee swarm is a term for when the bees are not living on honeycomb in a colony but are on the move. They are often found in the form of a mass of bunched up bees on top of each other often hanging from a branch of a tree, but this can also be on the side of a building too. The bees are looking for a desired new colony location where they will make a honeycomb and live for many years. Private bee keepers can help but often not immediately and it can be a massive risk leaving the bees to settle without intervention. They may just end up flying away but they could also end up choosing your chimney or property roof as their new home. If this happens it will be a challenging and costly location to remove them.
Swarming will occur when the old queen will leave an existing bee colony that now has a new queen. Due to overcrowding, she will leave with about half of the bees to construct the new hive. She will look for a new place to settle – often in a cavity of a tree.
The number of bees within a swarm can be a few hundred to thousands consisting of drones and worker bees who provide fertilisation, food and wax to construct the new hive.
If the colony has made its new home within the cavity of a tree a method called trap-out can be attempted but it is not often successful. Trap-out is the process by which the bees access to their colony is limited to just one entrance. They are then lured out with the assistance of a bee box. This process can take a few days and is seldom successful.
In most cases the tree will either have to be cut away – to reveal the bee hive or the area cut down and the trunk/branch removed with the colony intact.