I was contact by a family friend who asked me to remove a bee colony that has lived in a 120 year old family mausoleum for the last 10 years or so. The bees have never been a problem till this year, they started attacking people who would come to visit family members. Luckily the bees haven't made it inside the building so the family now has to run inside and close the doors behind them so the bees won't bother them while they pray. Not very practical for an 80 years old grandma to do, let alone if one of the elderly visitors get severly stung.
While talking with the family they made it clear that they won't kill the bees becasue they are practicing Zen Buddist and I can't damage or cutout the building as it is 120 year old crumbling concrete building and you aren't allowed to descricate the building.
I inspected the bees and it looks like the are isolated in a concrete block roof support. So I went and gave them a good smoking and confirmed there is only one enterance/exit right above the mausoleum doors, put a cone trap out over the opening and a nuc and brood to catch them. Came back in a couple days and my trapout screen had failed. The concrete is so old and crumbly nothing is sticking to it. Over the past 2 weeks I've tried tape, glue, caulking, putty, even staples and 1/4" screws, nothing will hold the screen in place for very long, let alone a month for the trapout to work. The concrete is just too old and crumbly, lots of sand and calcium deposited to hold anything. Worse yet the only opening is in a corner making in already difficut to seal up, have to make lots of folds and creases in the #8 screen to fit it.
I got to looking around and I found a small nook from the inside of the building that appears to be part of the bees concrete block column and may have been a hidden crypt, thankfully empty. I got permission to use the smoker inside and smoked the cubbyhole heavily, left my smoker inside and blocked the hole. Sure enough, in a couple minutes the bees started reacting to the smoke and 5 minutes later I see smoke coming out of the only known enterance and the bees are exiting the hive.
So I'm thinking, can I put a trapout cone over the enterance, place a laundry net bag over the cone, then smoke them from the bottom so heavily with hot thick smoke that everyone will think the hive is on fire and queen and everyone absconds into the net bag? What about soaking wood chips in bee gone or bee quick and smoking with that as a smoke/chemical chaser?
Any other ideas? Being a fairly new beek myself I've tried all the tricks I know. I've lost 4 frames of brood to all my other failed attempts and am putting a strain on my other healthy hive robbing brood from them. Its over an hours drive away, so gas and time are getting to me too. If this family wasn't good friends with me on top of being peaceful Zen Buddist, I would've not even started this project let alone keep trying.
Is a forced abscond worth a last ditch effort or just wishful thinking? As a final solution if I can't get the bees out I was going to suggest placing/wedging a sheet of plywood between the bee enterance and the door to force the bees up and away from the door and people walking by. Either that or build a covered walkway to the mausoleum so the human enterance is 10 feet away from the bees.