These pictures of a fallen tree limb which contained a live bee nest were sent to me a few days ago by a walker in the New forest UK
Towards the end of January 2021 this section of trunk snapped off about 9 metres above ground, fell and rotated into this final position.
No dead bees observed. Some sections of comb were lying on the ground having been thrown out of the tree during the fall.
The bees are still alive and have retreated deeper into the remaining cavity, and the nest has been further protected with logs by the person who discovered it. With the shock of the fall, the coldness of winter and the risk of attack from animals such as badgers their future is uncertain.
As fallen trees in the forest are left to rot, there is a chance with good weather that the bees may re-group and find a new home in the spring.
From the condition of the comb we can tell this is an old colony. The Natural Beekeeping trust receives many reports of bee trees in the New Forest. To the best of our knowledge nobody is studying these colonies.