We were called out today to assist a feral hive that had long ago set up home in a very large tree hollow on Mt Taylor in the ACT. Arrived 15 minutes before dusk and with the help of the caller, who was kind enough to spot the ladder, managed to reduce the hive entrance with a few hessian bags to limit the weather extremes that the bees were exposed to. The hollow was 4 metres up the branch that fell from the tree had been down for approx. 4 weeks so the girls had likely been through the worst of the winter weather over the past few weeks. The exposed colony colony entrance was reduced from 1.5 metres long to 700 mm long (or thereabouts), the bees were very bad tempered but come to think of it if I was living in a tree hollow with a giant hole in it that was effectively a giant front door to my home that was now jammed permanently open I too would likely be far from anything else…
No harm was done to the tree, which is listed in the ACT as a ‘significant tree’, as the two empty hessian bags that were used to reduce the entrance to the hive by 50% were tied into place with some rope.
All in all not much can be done as the permission is now being sought to remove the bees from the tree and relocate them into a hive to that they can be cared for by a beekeeper.
When permission is secured to rescue these bees out of the tree hollow I will lodge another post to update you all accordingly.
Anyway, thought it was worth sharing with you all,