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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Stronghurst,Illinois
    Posts
    168

    Post

    Found an old wooden corn crib that has a colony of bees in it . New owner wants them out without tearing down any of the building . I would like to force them out and capture them . I am new to beekeeping but I do have a mentor close by . Due to his age he doesn't get around well , he is 84 but still keeps bees .He says forget em and seal it up .

    Would anyone have a good way to force them out ? The entrance is about 15 feet high but they have several other holes they have used over the years . I can trace they were in this same side of the building for about 30 years .

    Drifter

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    A 30 year old colony is a valuable asset to the beekeeper and the species. It would be a terrible waste to loose such an asset. You really want to get the queen, but failing that. See if you can get enough egg brood to have a hive raise a queen from them for you. Failing that if you can get several drones you could have someone artificially inseminate a queen or few from a favorite line, though that might cost you if you can't find someone who wants to do it for you.

    Charles Martin Simon I think says you can extract a queen using the cone method of hive extraction, but many people say that the queen is often lost using this non-destructive method of hive removal. I would contact him directly and see if he has any advice, I think he is friendly to inqueries of this nature.

    ------------------
    Scot Mc Pherson
    "Linux is a Journey, not a Guided Tour" ~ Me
    "Do or not do, there is no try" ~ Master Yoda
    BeeSourceFAQ: http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/beewiki/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,427

    Post

    The cone method is about the only non destructive way I know to get them out. Search on that and you'll find some discussions on it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,803

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    Around here, most of the feral hives were lost to mites and re-populated by escaped domestic swarms. I question if a thirty year old hive in a building has 30 year old feral genes worth spending a lot of time trying to get. I have always questioned the cone method especially for a beginner beekeeper. You need an introduced queen or nuc for the excluded bees to join. And how many times is the old queen going to march out of your cone ?
    You are only capturing bees that will live for a few more weeks. You are not removing the mess from inside the building. So, what are you accomplishing ? I don't see how you are getting the old hive without first starting a new hive, anyway. So isn't your time and money best invested in a whole new hive to start with ?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    odfrank,
    the point is to get the bees. The bees will leave the hive a little at a time, it takes several weeks to extract a hive using the cone method, so you will continue to get bees as they emerge, as the queen reduces laying because the cluster size is continually shrinking, eventually she'll have no bees to attend to her and she "may" also leave and join the captured hive. The way charles martin simon does this is to entice the bees to enter and stay in teh new hive by placing it RIGHT NEXT to the old hive, and having brood comb in their to keep them around. If you keep brood comb in their the bees will generally stick around and hopefully the queen if she emerges will also recongize that this is HER colony and join them.

    Because of exactly what you said about feral hives dieing out, is exactly why a 30 year old hive is an asset. It DIDN'T die out with the others and knows how to stick around.

    Plus you ARE procuring a new hive, you are just populating them with bees from an extraction job.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Stronghurst,Illinois
    Posts
    168

    Post

    I understand what you are saying here odfrank. The new owner wants these bees out or they will get the hole plugged trick on the whole bunch .

    With all the old beekeepers here being all but wiped out I find myself wondering how these have survived as long as they have surrounded by the mite infestation .

    I would much rather tear a hole in the siding big enough to grab brrod as well as the queen if I was permited to do so .

    Thanks for all comments on this .

    Drifter

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,427

    Post

    >Around here, most of the feral hives were lost to mites and re-populated by escaped domestic swarms. I question if a thirty year old hive in a building has 30 year old feral genes worth spending a lot of time trying to get.

    It is true it may just be a different bunch of bees occupying the same space, or it may be a 30 year old colonly.

    >I have always questioned the cone method especially for a beginner beekeeper.

    I agree. Actually anything but a package gets a bit complicated for most beginners, but that is how a started, with the cone method and cutting them out of houses. You learn fast or you give up.

    >You need an introduced queen or nuc for the excluded bees to join. And how many times is the old queen going to march out of your cone ?

    I've never had the old queen come out yet, that I knew of.

    >You are only capturing bees that will live for a few more weeks. You are not removing the mess from inside the building. So, what are you accomplishing ?

    I'm fond of baiting the old entrance, putting a strong hive there and letting them rob it out, but it doesn't work so well to put the bees you just removed there because some will start moving back in.

    >I don't see how you are getting the old hive without first starting a new hive, anyway. So isn't your time and money best invested in a whole new hive to start with ?

    Probably true.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    johnstown N.Y.
    Posts
    131

    Post

    Hi. You said no tearing, I have gone in to do to many evicitions, Some were fire up the chain saw and others were carefully remove the siding and cut out the combs. and put the siding back up. Also remember walls have two sides. I have taken bees out fron the inside wall, remove sheet rock to get at them. The most important tool in my bee eviction gear is my bee vac. It makes the job so much safer for you and the bees. I have plans to make one and it was under
    $ 100 If you do not have a removal contract there was one on the forum a few weeks back. Charg a fair price, remember we are the only game in town . Most exterminators will not touch honey bees, Any questions feel free to E-mail me Thanks Dan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
    Posts
    1,914

    Post

    I think Dan gave some good advice here. I have been battling some colonies that I have been trying to extract from trees for over a month. I tried the foam sealant that some recommended for sealing the edges of the wire cone, but the bees ate through it... In short, I am ready to cut into the trees with a chainsaw and save any further expense/ time. If the owner will in ANY WAY allow you to open the wall, you can turn a three-week plus effort into an afternoon task. Putting some brood in the hive you intend to "catch" them in should help.

    WayaCoyote

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