The Magic Tree

May 25, 2019

The magic tree has been hosting bees for more than a decade.

This red cedar grows on the campus of the Strawberry Plains Audubon Center in Holly Springs, MS. It displays a long crack on 2/3 of the lower part of the trunk with access to the cavity between 15 and 20 feet high. It is unclear when the bees moved in, but the tree has been busy for more than a decade. It has produced swarms every single year; some had settled in other hollow red cedars of the property, some have moved in the attic or the walls of the Davis House. I have captured one of the swarms in 2018 which has been placed in a long DeLayens hive in Hudsonville. Hudsonville is a 2 miles crow fly from SPAC and the properties almost touch. The DeLayens did not swarm in 2019, it is a strong hive though.

The picture below shows when I placed a baited box in March 2018 to host a swarm of the magic tree. It is the tree on the left of the picture with the crack facing us. The large triangular scar at the top of the crack from a dead branch long gone is through where the bees access the cavity. The Davis house also hosts two swarms from the tree. A swarm moved in the baited box in the first days of May 2018.

The colony swarmed in May 2019. The swarms were visible high up in the trees, some may have moved into one of the small hives we installed in March 2019 about half a mile away. The Video was shot on may 25, 2019.