We are relatively new beeks, but we have a friend who wants us to remove a hive from a crawlspace that is relatively 8 to 10 inches. This seems to be an enormous hive. They also get relatively hot whenever you bother the hive. It has been in place for two years or there about. The owners are highly allergic and just want us to get them out. We used an engine light and diagnostic camera to look into the hive which really pissed em off but for as far as you can see it is filled with bees. Camera light reaches at least two feet. What is the best options for going in and retrieving this hive. We have a bee vac and boxes to capture them in and have some dishpans to place the comb of brood and honey. I know that as a new beek this probably isn't a great idea but the owner doesn't just want anyone doing it and he said that he really doesn't want them killed. Any help will be appreciated.
Re: Need input
Well, I have only done 6 cutouts, but I will be glad to help. I would get in there as quietly as possible, and gently but thoroughly smoke them. Also make sure to have close on hand a unused weed spayer full of light sugar syrup. Once the smoke has taken effect, go in and spray (not soak) all exposed bees with syrup; this gives them something to do while you get to work. I normally start on one end by cutting the first comb off and quickly and gently vacuuming the bees off both sides of the comb, and then spraying the bees on the next comb with syrup to keep them occupied repaet for each comb, always keeping a sharp eye out for the queen, because it is really nice if you can cage her so that you know where she is. When you get to the brood area, make sure to save this comb in as best condition as possible, because when you are finished with the cutout, use rubber bands to secure the brood comb into at least 10 empty frames, so that the bees can have emerging brood to sustain the population while they get reorientated and reorganized.
The bee vac will probably be a lifesaver for you. It can be very helpful, especially for beginners.
Stay calm, never panic, just keep your head together and think about a good logical solution to each problem.
Save everything you get from the cutout; you can melt the extra wax down and sell it, and you can eat or give away the honey.
It will probably seem horribly sticky and hot, but just perservere. Feel free to ask me any other questions.
Re: Need input
Consider a combination approach. Setup a trapout. That will get most of the flying bees out of the space before you go in.
two days later do the cut out. using a bee vac you will clear most of the crawler.
Swap houses with the owners or tell the to go to a hotel for a couple of days.
Get all the bees and the comb. seal the intereted.
What you can't get spray with un-sented RAID or other such. Spray the entire cavity
Make sure they are out of every window in the house. and turn off all pilot lights, set off bug bombs in the house.
Give it 24 hours. Check for bees.
Old Guy in Alabama
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