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Help bee keeper up first tree.

Discussion in 'Arborist 101' started by Chad Morgan, Aug 23, 2018.

  1. Chad Morgan

    Chad Morgan New Member

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    G'day,
    Ive got to get myself up into a large white box tree about 8 or so metres to one of the branches and remove a bee colony from a hollow cavity. I will need both hands free once up there.

    There is a branch almost directly above where i need to be hanging so im trying to decide if my best bet is to use a rope and some sort of climbing harness or possibly even finding a safe way to attach a ladder to the branch from the ground and using a safety harness with separate rope and attachment point as i climb the ladder.

    Ive looked at harnesses online and im overwhelmed by the different types and no clue which would work best fot me. Id prefer something that would be comfortable to sit in for up to an hr or so but still allow me to place feet against tree if needed.

    I ve been asked about catching swarms etc from trees in the past but declined as i have no gear to enter a tree. So here i am and i need a bit of help with what gear i'd need for basic tree ascent, dangling in one spot for a while, then descending.

    Im a small man, 55kg so a small harness perhaps. I have small thighs about 6 inch diameter so something that can adjust small enough for my size.

    Im after a bit of a list of gear id need and recomendation on suitable harness along with how to safetly attach top of ladder to tree branch from the ground. Thanks.

    I will try post a pic of tree. I need to get up the branch on left side.
     

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  2. benjo75

    benjo75 ArboristSite Operative

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    Kinda depends on how much money you want to invest. All spurless tree climbing will start with a throwline and bag for setting your climbline in the tree. I'm not going to be any help in the ladder area since I won't get on a ladder for anything.

    Imo, the perfect setup would be a saddle of your choice, a quality climbline, a foot ascender, a knee ascender and a friction device. The friction device can be cordage or a mechanical ascender. This SRT setup will run you about $1,000 minimum. But it's the fastest and most efficient.

    Another option is a saddle and a rope. You'll likely still need a throwline and bag for setting your line. After throwing your line over a suitable crotch and bringing it back down to you simply tie a Blakes Hitch and body thrust up to your desired point. You can use both hands for work and won't have to hold on the the rope.

    The Tree Climbers Companion will cover everything you will need for this setup. It's a very useful book. Bodythrusting will take a little getting used to physically but if you're only going 20 ft or so it won't be very bad.

    You could use a ladder and use a rope as a backup . A Figure 8 and one carabiner would take care of that setup. Figure 8 and a carabiner will run about $25 each. A rope will be about $120. A comfortable harness will be anywhere from $200 to $600. One lanyard would be a good idea too just for a secondary tie in while working and for work positioning.
     
    jomoco likes this.
  3. Chad Morgan

    Chad Morgan New Member

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    Looks like i will be learning how to climb a rope. My ladder is a bit short of the hive. Im at the tree right now and picturing you guys probably just running up the tree like its nothing but looks likes mt everest through my noob climbing eyes haha. will pickup a copy of the book and try to figure out whats what. Thanks men.
     
  4. derwoodii

    derwoodii Tree Freak

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    Giday chap curious how your sorting this out and curious how you intend to extract the queen and colony from a within limb hollow as i only heard about bee hive lure or baits but not seen it in use..


    oh i'd go hire a bigger ladder and tie it & your self off as the leaning curve and cost to use ropes harness vs your bee suit and if wear gloves could find you in a spot of bother or harms way.
     
  5. JeffGu

    JeffGu Antagonist/Heckler

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    This HARNESS will work for you, for infrequent climbs to dig around for a queen bee. Cheap, made in China, but surprisingly good quality for the price. It's a knockoff of the older style Petzl Sequoia, and is about the same as far as comfort goes. I picked one up for a 15 year old who wants to learn to climb and was rather surprised. I even climbed in it for about an hour.

    Don't spend $500 on a climbing harness until you figure out the climbing part and decide if you really want to do this. It's not nearly as easy as it looks, and some people will get 10' off the ground and decide it was a bad idea. Keep your investment low and your climbing system simple until you feel comfortable doing it and want to advance to a more sophisticated (expensive) system.
     
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  6. Chad Morgan

    Chad Morgan New Member

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    Appreciate the help guys, we've been lucky enough to get some rain so i will need to wait till it dries out a bit and warms up for this particular hive removal.

    Theres a few ways to get the bees out depending how big of a hurry im in. You can cut the section of tree out and move the whole thing, or, whats called a forced abscon where a irritant is squirted in the hive and you attempt to vacuum the bees as they rappidly vacate or steer them into a waiting empty bee box.

    A cutout is another method where you cut into the hollow and remove the combs and rubber band them into empty langstroth frames and transfer them into an empty hive along with the queen if you can find her. Otherwise you introduce the bees with a new queen which is organised prior to the cutout.

    Another way is to make an opening into the tree at the bottom where the brood nest is and attach an empty hive to that opening and wait for the queen to naturally move in and lay eggs in the new extension of her hive.

    On this particular tree i am in no big hurry so I will be doing whats called a trapout. A flyscreen cone is attached to the bees entrance with plywood and expanding foam and all other entrances are sealed off. An empty hive is roped onto tree so the entrance is very close to the base of the cone. A drop or 3 of lemongrass oil in the new hive and we simply wait as long as it takes for the bees to move into our empty hive. Over a couple of weeks the new box fills with flying bees or workers from the tree and since there are no resources or bees going back into the tree, the young emerging baby bees and queen eventually abscond the tree and go into our hive. Around here the success rate of getting the queen out is high due to the amount of small hive beetles in the area. The resident beetles in the tree run riot with no bees in there to keep them in check and they quickly slime out the old hive forcing the queen and young bees out.

    If its a very large nest in the tree, sometimes we can fill the hive and then relocate it and add a frame of eggs and young nurse bees from another hive and let them make their own queen as we set up another empty box on the tree and so on till they are all out.

    Over the last few days ive been reading up on climbing and went to bunnings and found some 1750 kg braided rope about 40 bucks for 30 metres and doubled it over and made a swiss chair type harness, along with the strong D shackel off my ute tow ball and a figure 8 knot with long tail and my newly learned blakes hitch knot ive managed to hip thrust my way about 15ft up a nice strong tree in my yard for practice haha. The kids standing round wanting a go as well. Ive seen that harness you linked on ebay and wondered if it would do the job. Maybe a secondary bridge out of rope as an insurance and i think i might feel safe enough to get up a tree or 2 in future for sure. Im finding it very interesting and been watching youtube vids of arborists in action but hopefully i dont need to get that high. The trees around here are unpredictable and seem to drop large branches randomly so i will be paying close attention to where i tie in. White box and gum are the worst for it here.

    Heres a pic of a trapout ive done before.
     

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    derwoodii likes this.
  7. derwoodii

    derwoodii Tree Freak

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    great info chad i sadly but thankfully rarely i need to destroy bees when they hive & get grumpy too close to public passage.. Knowing that i can lure them gives me means to avoid this..
    Im guessin your NSW some place as see grateful of the recent rains fyi next month in Wellington NSW is the Red bull Climb competition get along scope out the gear and techniques Im going to run the kids climb tree where we keep the billy lids amused..

    https://www.redbull.com/au-en/events/red-bull-branched-out

    Wellington NSW for the 3 days 20, 21, 22nd of September


     
  8. Chad Morgan

    Chad Morgan New Member

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    Got a false crotch setup in the tree yesterday arvo to get hive in right spot. Took a lot of rock throwing with fishing line to get the ropes setup. Extrension ladders cobbled together got it high enough. I might shorten ladder slightly before climbing up to get angle set right. All has been setup from the ground at this point and the plan is that after cone is foamed on, i will drape another thin line over foam so that everthing, ropes, hive, ladder tie on points, and cone can all be removed from tree from the ground when completed. Ladder top rung is tied to tree and base will be tied to ute gunnel rail before i go up it. Along with a double rope climbing line and blakes hitch attached to me and my swiss chair harness should be fine. I will get a propper harness though as the ropes on swiss chair dig in a bit.
     

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  9. BC WetCoast

    BC WetCoast Addicted to ArboristSite

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    If you're tied in, then tying the ladder is overkill. You're just using it for a foothold, the same as standing on a branch.
     

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