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Joe Newton

Bees in trees and the law

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I've been asked by a company I contract to to help out with inspecting a large oak. The tree is in proximity to houses and has multiple decay pockets, one of which is home to bees.

 

To ascertain the depth of decay could mean disturbing them.

 

Anyone know the law regarding this, and if the tree needs removing how to go about relocating them?

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If we're talking honey bees I don't think there is any law. If one of my colonies swarms and settles in someone else's tree they are now their bees to do with what they want.

 

At this time of year they should be a fairly small colony but starting to build up. You should see them flying now on a warm day.

 

If you want to be sure you could contact the BBKA:

WWW.BBKA.ORG.UK

National Charity for 25,000+ amateur beekeepers

 

Or even find your local Bee keeper who may possibly help you remove them here (scroll down to the bottom of the page to find you local collector:

WWW.BBKA.ORG.UK

Beekeepers are often approached about winged, flying creatures, especially in the spring and summer period, when...

 

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Bees in the Uk are endangered but not protected. Have only removed one tree that was home to bees, used hessian sacks around the hole that they went in and out of and carefully rigged the section down - they were not happy! We have a local bee keeper near us who will come out and take the swarm if it is at low level and I’ve used their protective clothing to prevent getting stung. They need to get the queen with the swarm is my understanding. Guess you could use a thin metal probe/spike to measure the extent of the decay but I’d expect a few unhappy bees! Have a look on the British Bee Keeps Association as there may be links to guys local to you how would come out and take the swarm away if needs be. At what height is the decay pocket?

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Regarding your question, friend is a Bee keeper, pretty sure he gets a lot of calls to come to remove bees from premises and public areas. May be contact a local Bee keeping club for more local advice?

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Cheers for your answers lads. I've kept bees before in a previous job but we're going back over a decade.

 

If it was a swarm it would be somewhat easier, I remember how to move them. Just wondering how I might relocate them should the tree need to come down. I'd prefer not to fell a stem full of bees if I can avoid it. 

 

When I come to look at the tree I'll get in touch with the local BKA to see if they can help. 

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There’s many things you can do,  but the main thing is not to purposely kill them. 
so my advice would be fell the stem, ie the wind does blow over trees at times , normally at night is best. The bees will be pissed an out it but should be able to find the  home ( although there is a rule in keeping bees don’t move the hive more than 3 ft. But you can move it more than 3 miles, the bees will reorientate to the new home. So fell the stem on a cold day when the bees are not flying, or just be for dusk.

 

so you got the stem on the floor and the bees are happy going in and out. Then you need a beekeeper to remove the colony into a hive.

 

or you take the log with bees in to the place, more than 3 miles away.

 

but if you look at your area there should be a local bee club that has a swarm collection part. 

you need to contact them and ask them to help.. you should be able to get someone, and they will be able to guide you in all the scenarios that are possible. And the timings involved. A crane would make it simpler thou.

 

if you need any more help. Just ask I can advise you on possible things as I’ve been a beekeeper for more than 15yrs  I’m in Brighton. 
 

Edit,, you can’t really start poking things down in there front door of there home and them not answer you with a mass gathering of sharp pointy things sticking out of there butts 😉😂

Edited by Wonky
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19 minutes ago, Wonky said:

There’s many things you can do,  but the main thing is not to purposely kill them. 
so my advice would be fell the stem, ie the wind does blow over trees at times , normally at night is best. The bees will be pissed an out it but should be able to find the  home ( although there is a rule in keeping bees don’t move the hive more than 3 ft. But you can move it more than 3 miles, the bees will reorientate to the new home. So fell the stem on a cold day when the bees are not flying, or just be for dusk.

 

so you got the stem on the floor and the bees are happy going in and out. Then you need a beekeeper to remove the colony into a hive.

 

or you take the log with bees in to the place, more than 3 miles away.

 

but if you look at your area there should be a local bee club that has a swarm collection part. 

you need to contact them and ask them to help.. you should be able to get someone, and they will be able to guide you in all the scenarios that are possible. And the timings involved. A crane would make it simpler thou.

 

if you need any more help. Just ask I can advise you on possible things as I’ve been a beekeeper for more than 15yrs  I’m in Brighton. 
 

 

Thanks for your reply. I can say for sure that a crane won't be happening, but moving the log sounds like the better option. I'll get in touch with the BKA when I go to inspect it. 

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5 hours ago, Joe Newton said:

I've been asked by a company I contract to to help out with inspecting a large oak. The tree is in proximity to houses and has multiple decay pockets, one of which is home to bees.

 

To ascertain the depth of decay could mean disturbing them.

 

Anyone know the law regarding this, and if the tree needs removing how to go about relocating them?

There's no law, I'm an avid bee keeper (over 35 hives) and work for local pest control agencies doing bee rescue. Look up your local bee groups and contact them. We regularly do relocations if honey bees etc. If it's up a tree you may end up donning a suit and doing a little work as the bee keepers aren't usually tree climbers! 

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It’s about time bees are protected seeing as they are endangered and with out pollinators our out look is bleak. Fair play for asking to get it right 

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