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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Western Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    21

    Default Getting a swarm: out of a rain gutter, into my nuc

    (Alternative title: "Getting My Mind Out of the Gutter")

    I got a call about a swarm that has chosen to take up residence in the end of a covered rain gutter over the third floor of a very tall house. The gutter is beyond the reach of any available ladder, and even if I could, I'd be afraid of breaking my neck up there. The windows on the third floor don't open. It appears that the swarm landed there about five days ago, and is really settling in.

    My question: what readily available substance can be used to make the bees abscond from the gutter? I can reach the gutter with a 10 foot pole from a second story window, and I also hung a waxed cardboard nuc with Nasanov scent, some honey, and a frame of old comb just under that second story window. The nuc is maybe 10 or 12 feet vertically below the swarm in the gutter.

    Earlier today, I inserted a vinegar soaked paper towel in the end of the gutter, and tapped rhythmically on the bottom of the gutter for 10 or 15 minutes. That seemed to get them riled up some, but no wholesale exodus. Any suggestions for how best to flush out the swarm from the gutter, without physical access? No time to order any of the bee repellents from the catalogs, unfortunately. My first goal is to get them out, and then I hope, they will come into the nuc which should look pretty inviting. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Huntsville, Alabama
    Posts
    677

    Default Re: Getting a swarm: out of a rain gutter, into my nuc

    Here's a McGyver thought for ya...This may sound crazy but how bout a leaf blower blowing air UP the drain? A good strong one might irritate them and get them to leave, especially if you can get a good seal on the bottom around the blower.
    Just a crazy thought...not as crazy as me shooting one out of a tree a couple of years ago. Didn't suggest that since a gunshot may leave a scratch on the gutter!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Getting a swarm: out of a rain gutter, into my nuc

    shopvac/beevav and a loooooooooong hose????? vac dosent care how long teh hose is....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,313

    Default Re: Getting a swarm: out of a rain gutter, into my nuc

    to expand on the bee vac idea......

    A normal extension ladder against the side of the bldg. should get you up to the top of the second floor at least. It would be safe and stable. I would place the ladder 2 feet to the left of the swarm so if any clumps fall, they don't fall right on you.

    Then attach a piece of 1 1/2" Sch 20 PVC pipe to the end of the vac hose. This would provide a rigid end for you to work with and vacuum up the bees. I would proceed slow and easy and get most of the bees over a period of 15 mins or so.

    This assumes that they are out in the open (under the gutter) and mostly accessible. If they are inside the gutter where you can't get to them, it probably won't work.

    Just had another thought though...... If they are in the gutter, you could place a sprinkler on the roof. It would gradually trickle water in the gutter and entice them to move out of the gutter and take refuge underneath, where you could then vacuum them up. I would run the sprinkler for like an hour first to get the bees to move and get comfortable in a new position before trying the vacuum.

    I hope some of these ideas are helpful. Good luck.
    Troy

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