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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Deming, NM
    Posts
    105

    Default Doing a thorough cutout?

    Once you have removed the comb and vacuumed/swept up the bees, what other measures do you normally take? Things like cleaning out the honey, removing propolis/wax residue, sealing the exterior entrance? Anything to discourage a new swarm from moving in- spraying the space where the hive was down with something noxious (vinegar or a mild acid?)?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Richmond, VA UNITED STATES
    Posts
    163

    Default Re: Doing a thorough cutout?

    Scrap out as much wax as you can, then spray with a can of Kilz. That'll cover the wax and propolis smell. Then use spray foam to fill the gaps that let them in the first place, then unfaced insulation to physically fill the space. Bees won't build a nest where there isn't room to draw out comb.

    This past weekend I ran out of insulation, but I had a roll of screen in the truck. I unrolled it, then bunched it up and filled the cavity with that. Not quite as cheap as a roll of insulation, but it works, and won't absorb moisture.

    Got to think like a bee. They only need a hole the size of pencil, but won't build if the nest area is beyond 3 feet of the entrance hole, so you need to take up space for 3 feet from that entrance if you can.

    Rob.
    www.mongrelbees.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,383

    Default Re: Doing a thorough cutout?

    Quote Originally Posted by RobWok View Post
    but won't build if the nest area is beyond 3 feet of the entrance hole,
    Not quite. I'll be doing a cutout tomorrow and will take pictures. Their entrance hole is the roof soffit, but the nest is 5 to 6 feet up in a rafter space that forms a cathedral ceiling for the room below. In fact, there are two separate colonies just 10 feet apart. But very true about filling empty space with insulation. They are masters of finding that one spot where the insulation didn't get put in.
    Regards, Barry

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    780

    Default Re: Doing a thorough cutout?

    be sure to scrape the cavity of wax and propolis as much as possible. I then spray it down with Pine-sol. Then fill the cavity (loose, but full) with fiberglass insulation and seal up the entrance. The spray foam stuff is useless for keeping bees out. I have a contract on a bee removal that is a good example. Previous colony "taken care of" by filling the cracks with spray foam. That was last year. This year, the little buggers chewed a new entrance right through the foam. -james

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Richmond, VA UNITED STATES
    Posts
    163

    Default Re: Doing a thorough cutout?

    That's good info James. I was wondering about the foam and that possibility. I back it up with caulk on the outside and galvanized hardware cloth as much as possible. My main use for the foam is just to block the entrance from the inside so I can finally take off my hot and sweaty suit. I was also hoping the foam would be useful to encapsulate any wax I couldn't get to in a case where they are in concrete block, to cut down the smell.

    And Barry, thanks for that info. HoneyBees never seem to follow the rules. Little rebels.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,383

    Default Re: Doing a thorough cutout?

    Another lesson I just learned. Thoroughly check the surrounding structure where the nest was. I did this cutout yesterday.


    Hive #1 attached to plywood from this spot.




    Hive #2 attached to plywood from this spot.

    Today, the carpenter called me and said as he was reaching in and pushing insulation back in, his hand went right into more comb and bees. Turns out the nest was also in the adjacent rafter space. 2/3rds of the comb and bees were out of sight. I guess a rafter running right through the center of the nest works for the bees. I was lucky enough that the queen was in the section I took out. After I removed the comb and bees from the side I saw, there wasn't any indication that there was more of the nest just inches away. In fact, I even stuck my head in the space to vac up the last few bees and never saw a thing. Unfortunately the remaining bees were put down. My mistake, lesson learned.
    Regards, Barry

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    642

    Default Re: Doing a thorough cutout?

    Nice creative scaffold setup Barry, beats trying to accomplish a job like that off of a ladder.

    (and I'm sure your safety tie off rope was just attached to your fall protection harness. )

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,383

    Default Re: Doing a thorough cutout?

    Yeah, and both of them were attached to the grass! The owner is in the development/construction business, so I was fortunate to work with a couple of his guys that had already done the prep work. I couldn't have asked for a better setup.
    Regards, Barry

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Deming, NM
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Doing a thorough cutout?

    Just a followup question:

    What about the remaining bees? I recently did a cutout and there were still a couple hundred bees in the shed. No way I could vac them out. I am concerned they will try to restablish the hive, even though I think I got the queen. Did the Kilz thing.

    I advised the owner to fog the shed with insecticide. She has a commercial grade fogging machine. I figured that would get the last of the bees or at least drive them out of the shed.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    780

    Default Re: Doing a thorough cutout?

    Quote Originally Posted by jdawdy View Post
    Just a followup question:

    What about the remaining bees? I recently did a cutout and there were still a couple hundred bees in the shed. No way I could vac them out. I am concerned they will try to restablish the hive, even though I think I got the queen. Did the Kilz thing.

    I advised the owner to fog the shed with insecticide. She has a commercial grade fogging machine. I figured that would get the last of the bees or at least drive them out of the shed.
    Just make sure you capture the queen and rubber band her (in the queen catcher) into the hive. Leave them as close as possible to the old entrance until after dark. That should ensure you get at least most of the stragglers. -James

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