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Author Topic: Colony fully exposed on tree branch  (Read 454 times)

Offline JurassicApiary

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Colony fully exposed on tree branch
« on: April 13, 2020, 03:00:04 pm »
There was a recent requesting help to remove a feral colony that is 25-30 feet up on a Mango tree branch.  At this point in time recovery is beyond me.  However, what's surprising to me about this colony is that they have built their entire hive fully exposed to the elements.  I have not seen this before and am curious how common/rare this is.  It seems to defy expectation as it exposes them to predators and weather--and it rains a lot here on Oahu, so I'm puzzled they did this.  I'm imagining that this started out as a swarm originally, the for some reason they decided/were put in a position to stay.  Perhaps weather forced a planned swarm to stay inside and not be able to scout new locations and then the threat of an emerging queen forced them to depart without a choice?  Thoughts, opinions and comments on this are welcome.  This photo is not mine--it is from the original post of the homeowner; I am providing it under the fair-use copyright allowance for education and commentary.

Offline iddee

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Re: Colony fully exposed on tree branch
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2020, 03:29:26 pm »
Google "open hive" It is not that uncommon in warm climates. I have seen them as far north as North Carolina.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Offline Acebird

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Re: Colony fully exposed on tree branch
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2020, 09:50:41 am »
The mango tree poses a problem because the branches are fragile and the sap can cause a serious reaction to some people.  It is tempting though because it is a ready made hive.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline JurassicApiary

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Re: Colony fully exposed on tree branch
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2020, 01:55:32 pm »
Neat stuff--had not heard of bees making open hives, let alone in wet climates such as ours.  Always learning!  Thanks, iddee. 

Acebird, it's tempting indeed!

Aloha, Matthew

Offline Joe D

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Re: Colony fully exposed on tree branch
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2020, 12:03:42 am »
Over the winter I found a hive or the comb in a fig tree in my back yard, the bees were not there.  We do get some cold days in south MS.  I don't know how I missed them in the fall, the fig tree is about half way between my shop and some of my hives, appr. 30 yards from shop to hives.  I have left the comb in the tree, it is only about five feet high.

Joe D


Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Colony fully exposed on tree branch
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2020, 07:48:03 am »
Matthew,
Over the years I have removed 6 or 7 open air hives. Rain is not a big problem for them. They usually move in side one frame and line up vertically in layers to shed the water.
They also do the same for the cold.
One year I received a call from a gate guard that watched a baseball sized swarm land in a tree in a parking lot. This was a very cold spring that year. In May she called me to remove a hive larger than a football. It was a very good hive, very gentle and I had it for many years.
Jim Altmiller

Offline JurassicApiary

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Re: Colony fully exposed on tree branch
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2020, 12:44:22 pm »
Thanks for sharing Joe & Jim.  I'm looking forward to the opportunity to see one up close in person some day; I still find it amazing that they choose to do this exposed to the elements and predators, but I guess if you have numbers on your side, anything goes. Nature's very own observation hive!