Homemade “Natural” Tree Cave
In the fall of 2017, I made Thomas Seeley an offer he couldn’t possibly refuse. I offered him 10 of my just finished Beeloggers to use in the Arnot Forest in the natural tree caves he knows. I wrote him an e-mail with all the information about the data loggers and offered to climb into the trees with him. Thomas Seeley answered quickly and firmly: Unfortunately no time.
After this unexpected refusal I decided to build my own “natural” tree caves. My friend Tom (not Seeley) sawed me several caves at dizzying heights into living trees according to the average geometries of natural tree cavities determined in “The nest of the Honeybee”. The caves are arranged in the trees in such a way that the thinnest wall thickness on the side of the flying hole is 10-12cm. Several Beeloggers are mounted on each tree and record the humidity at the edge of the cave, in honeycomb construction and even in the wood surrounding the cave.
The first tree cave is now inhabited by a colony of bees. The colony is a natural swarm of one of my untreated colonies for several years. The Varroa infestation is of course regularly controlled by means of a bottom control board.
The sensors are already recording everything. They are evenly distributed over the entire height of the cave. In addition, the moisture level of the wood surrounding the cave is also recorded.
The peg installed in the top element can be removed to attach a honey chamber. All three elements can be removed at any time to control the colony. The inside of the elements is covered with a wax sheet.