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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    watertown,wi.,USA
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    479

    Default Newbee that found a window swarm.

    window swarm.jpgI saw a gentleman spraying a can of something at a window sill outside of a church today. I had to turn around and find out if they were honeybees, they were. I am a first year beek and usually I post on the beekeeping 101 thread but now I am interested in this chance at a swarm, cut out or whatever it is called. The bees are flying into 1 or 2 little holes in a window sill. The gentleman said that they must be crawling down between the brick(outside wall) and the drywall/plaster(inside wall). So opening up the wall is not a possibility, at this point anyway. I called the 2 local bee suppliers near my area and they said it might be close to impossible to get the queen or any of the bees out without cutting out the comb too. I was hoping someone here would give different advice but imagine it will be nearly impossible to get the bees out without opening a wall. I thought a pheremone lure to an empty box or vacuuming them out. As I said though, I have no experience in this area of beekeeping, I plan on reading my books and looking online after I post this to try and find an answer in addition to all of you. I have attached a photo that shows the entrance holes, window and sill. By the way, the orangish/yellow stuff to the right is great stuff insulation used last year when the bees were there, not a queen cell. The sill is up about 7 feet so it was a bit hard to take a decent shot. Any quick accurate help is greatly appreciated, as I think the church wants to get rid of the bees one way or another very soon. Thanks a ton, juzzerbee

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    789

    Default Re: Newbee that found a window swarm.

    Assuming he was spraying some sort of insecticide, I wouldn't bother. If I did, I'd charge him double. -js

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Novato, CA
    Posts
    554

    Default Re: Newbee that found a window swarm.

    Look up trap outs and read about it. Any chance he would leave them alone until spring? If you can't do a cut out then a trap out to gather bees to build a new hive would be your only choice and it is pretty late to do that. Once those holes are sealed he will have dead bees, moisture and honey inside his walls...not a good situation. Hope you get better advice but start at the forum section and Mr. Hogan's sage advice.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    917

    Default Re: Newbee that found a window swarm.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaBees View Post
    Look up trap outs and read about it. Any chance he would leave them alone until spring? If you can't do a cut out then a trap out to gather bees to build a new hive would be your only choice and it is pretty late to do that. Once those holes are sealed he will have dead bees, moisture and honey inside his walls...not a good situation. Hope you get better advice but start at the forum section and Mr. Hogan's sage advice.
    I got a Hogan trap out box from Brushy Mountain this summer and have done trap outs at a tree and a wall--both sucessful, and both with Cleo's help. The box has paid for itself with the bees I got from the trap out box, and it was very easy to use.

    It sure is a bummer about the spray though, not sure what I'd do in that situation. You are not taking comb, that's a plus.
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
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    2,757

    Default Re: Newbee that found a window swarm.

    Cut out the drywall and get the bees from the inside. IF the comb is allowed to remain in the wall there could be far worse problems than the bees themselves.
    Read on:


    Extracting honey bees from buildings is considerably more difficult than collecting swarm clusters. When the colony is first established, only a few pounds of adult bees are present, but these bees rapidly build combs, collect honey, and begin to rear more bees. A well-established colony may have up to 100 pounds of honey, many pounds of adult and developing bees, and many beeswax combs. Removing such as nest is a challenge. The first step is to determine the exact location of the combs and size of the colony.
    Although honey bees can be killed in place inside buildings by using pesticides that are labeled for killing bees inside of structures, this removal option often leads to undesirable consequences. (Note: These chemicals are available only to licensed pest control operators.) If the adult bees fall into a large pile, they may hold their body moisture and rot in place, producing a very bad odor. Liquid from the decomposing mass frequently penetrates the structure, leading to costly replacements.
    If the colony is well established, there are further issues associated with killing the colony. Unattended brood can also rot and become very odorous. Unattended honey stores can absorb moisture and ferment, creating gas that causes the cappings holding honey in the cells to burst. Gravity will start moving the honey down attached surfaces until it encounters a horizontal impediment, such as a window frame, doorframe, firebreak, ceiling, or floor. Honey then seeps through the drywall, leading to large amounts of cleanup and expensive replacement. If pesticides were used to kill the bees, then the honey, wax and, dead bees are contaminated and must be handled as hazardous waste.
    A better procedure than applying insecticides, especially if you have a beekeeper who is willing to help, may be to eliminate the bees without killing them. First the beekeeper will need to locate the nest by tapping the wall and listening for the hum of the colony. Some beekeepers rely on stethoscopes to find the edges of the nest. Others drill extremely small holes in the wall and insert a fine wire to find the periphery of the nest. To take honey bees and their combs from the nesting spot requires opening a fairly large hole in some portion of the building. That is best done by a professional contractor so that the hole can be easily closed after the bees are removed.
    If the bees are to be saved, the beekeeper gently removes them and their combs. If the bees aren’t going to be saved, they can be removed from the void with a vacuum device such as a Shop-Vac. This process tends to stimulate the bees to release an alarm pheromone that smells like bananas and increases defensive behavior, so everyone nearby must be fully clothed in a bee suit. Many beekeepers have baffles and collection containers in their vacuum lines to try to protect and save the bees.

    I'm sure there ar parishoners that can repair the wall free of charge.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    watertown,wi.,USA
    Posts
    479

    Default Re: Newbee that found a window swarm.

    Thanks for the quick responses! keep them coming in!!!! The man was spraying brake cleaner at the flying bees in front of the window. He wouldn't get closer that 15 feet from the bees, wimp! Not even when I was right over the bees taking pictures without any gear on. So......as a first year beek and a "never before swarm/cut out" person, if you were me, would you pass on this opportunity? It sounds quite messy, both physically and possibly legally if something went wrong. I just really thought it would be neat to try and get some free bees out of a wall and not let the little ones get killed since they aren't "pests" in my eyes. Maybe I will try it if I can find an experienced person in my area. I will look into what a trap out is. Even if it is late in the season, I might go for it since these are going to pretty much be "dead bees" as of now anyway. Thanks, juzzerbee

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,947

    Default Re: Newbee that found a window swarm.

    juzzerbee.. contact me ... cchoganjr@scrtc.com I will send you the complete instructions on how to do a trapout with color photos of trapouts in progress.

    It isn't that difficult, and you can build everything you need.

    cchoganjr

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    watertown,wi.,USA
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    479

    Default Re: Newbee that found a window swarm.

    Cleo, I just sent you an e-mail. Thanks for the help. juzzerbee

    Also, IF it would be possible to get inside the wall, would it be better for me to do a cut out or still a trap out in this situation? Being a new beek and having never captured a swarm, I am worried I will be opening up a, "wall of bees" if I would open the wall and have no clue what to do next with thousands of bees. And.... I don't want to bite off more than I can chew!


    If there are any other suggestions from others, please continue to post. Thanks, juzzerbee
    Last edited by juzzerbee; 09-18-2012 at 08:36 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    789

    Default Re: Newbee that found a window swarm.

    If you want to proceed with a cutout, be sure to go to youtube and watch all the videos by "jpthebeeman". That will give the the knowledge (and confidence) to do a thorough job and to it correctly. Trapouts are great for trees but not so much for buildings as they do not solve the problem of what to do with the comb and stores. -js

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Lafollette,Tennessee,USA
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Newbee that found a window swarm.

    All good suggestions. Consider this - If you do a trap out, it can take a few to several weeks. If you do a cut out, you will end up with bees with little stores and a nest that has been torn apart and put back together for them to have to re-build and fill with stores for winter. In either case, the odds of survival for the bees are not good. I ran into this exact scenario (bees in a church) last week, and persuaded them to leave the bees till spring, at which time I will do a cutout. I would suggest you try to talk them into waiting (they will be hibernating (more or less) in a few weeks and shouldn't pose much of a threat) and use the winter months to learn all about both methods. Good luck in what ever you decide to do.

    Keith
    Integrity - Doing the right thing when no one is watching.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Newbee that found a window swarm.

    Too late in my opinion to do a cutout or trapout in your area. Convince them that the bees won't hurt anyone if left alone till spring and formulate your plan for then.

    I have two colonies, one in a tree and one in the roof of an old hotel, that I have convinced the landowners to leave alone till spring for me.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

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