Tree trimming services are often called to remove hollow trees that pose a hazard. Hollowed out trees are prime lodgings for a feral bee hive. A few days ago, I was called out by our local tree guy to take a look at one such hollowed out limb that contained a number of bees.
As you can see in the above photo. The limb was split right a joint over the brood chamber.
A great visual on how bees build comb in a spherical comb pattern. Larvae was scattered exposed to the elements at the joint. Nurse bees were hainging around to take care of the larvae. Now they will clean out the remains.
The limb was solid on one end so smoking only drove the bees further into the limb.
I had brought along another box with empty frames to try and remove some of the bees. I cut out a bit of the comb covered with bees into the box with the comb sprayed with lemon grass, a natural bee attractant. I close up the box leaving only a smal entrance and left it for 24 hours. When I returned a day later, no bees had moved in but were still firmly in the branch.
My tree guy told be the main trunk of the tree was hollow and buzzing with bees so the chances of locating the queen was very slim. The limb definitely contained only a partial hive but were difficult to dislodge without furthur cutting into the limb. We may try to cut into the limb to reach the main cluster and try to integrate them into a new hive but it will be difficult with the amount of stress they have been though.
When you find bees, contact your local beekeeping association. There ways of re-hiving feral bees. Unfortunately, I do not think this will be one of those times.