October 31, 2018

Bee extraction

Our arborists occasionally come across bees that have made their home in a tree that needs to be removed. Often these bees have made their way into the tree through a cavity that has been made by another insect. These cavities negatively impact the structural integrity of a tree and it will eventually need to be removed if it poses a threat -- it’s not a great home for the bees because it is temporary.

As has been widely reported recently, the bee population in America has been in steady decline. As helpful, vital pollinators for our ecosystem, which includes aiding in growing healthy strong trees, we would like to help maintain our bee population.


While we want to maintain safety for our clients in their homes and gardens, we don’t want to contribute to the population decline. New Urban chooses to move the hive if possible instead of simply removing the tree without any regard to their longevity.

Bees don’t particularly like disruption. Keeping the bees calm and together is important in moving so that the hive remains in tact and ensures that they will thrive in their new location.

NUF is fortunate to know Dan Long, a Georgia Master Beekeeper with Tallassee Highlands Apiary who is always willing and ready to help us with hive extraction and removal.


Last week we had the occasion to call on Dan to help us to move a hive from a large water oak.  Dan determined the part of the tree where the hive was and NUF climbed up and cut away as much as possible around the piece with the bees, then they put it off to the side. They put the piece carefully to the side away from the crew.

Dan was in a full suit and mask with a smoker to cut away the wood using a small electrical chainsaw as not to disturb the hive. It was a careful process, and took about 30 minutes. Then he carefully cut away the wax using a knife.  He put the part with the brood and bee eggs in one box, then put the wax with the honey in another box.  He used a vacuum connected to a bucket to suck out the bees, then he put the bees into empty bee boxes.

The bees were relocated to a standard hive box and brought back to the apiary where Dan is  watching and feeding them in hopes they do well here.

We just received an update from Dan that the colony is settling in and so far looks pretty good.
Thank you Dan for helping NUF and the bee population!

The queen bee and her swarm.
The queen bee and her swarm.