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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Kekaha, Kauai, Hawaii
    Posts
    8

    Default Zen bee trapout - forced abscond?

    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.

    Thanks,
    Cory

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Sheboygan, WI, USA
    Posts
    127

    Default Re: Zen bee trapout - forced abscond?

    Wow, what a tough job. Whatever you do, once the bees are out you're going to have to do a really good job plugging up that hole. The comb inside will attract stray swarms indefinitely. It sounds like you won't be able to get it out when your done.

    As for your strategy to remove them I think you're on the right track with the with the bee go. But don't burn it, you could be creating something really toxic, to the bees and yourself. I would just stuff some heavily soaked paper towels of bee go on the back side of the hive and wait out front with a bee vac. Hopefully there is power at the site. You could add some smoke if you need to up the intensity. Just a note, bee go works best on hot days and it would be good if you had a fan behind it to blow it in.

    Good luck,
    Little John
    To find out more about me go to
    www.broomsbylittlejohn.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,780

    Default Re: Zen bee trapout - forced abscond?

    I'm thinking a combination of smoke on the inside and beevac on the outside just might do the job, then fill the cinderblock with greatstuff foam, and caulk the exterior opening so the bees don't go back in?
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Sheboygan, WI, USA
    Posts
    127

    Default Re: Zen bee trapout - forced abscond?

    I've tried greatstuff foam with bees, they chew right through it.
    To find out more about me go to
    www.broomsbylittlejohn.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Kekaha, Kauai, Hawaii
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Zen bee trapout - forced abscond?

    I don't thing spraying bee go on a rag will work. The hive is up on the top corner or the door and the cubbyhole is 8' below it on ground level. I took a flashlight and mirror to see up inside but couldn't see the hive. it looks like the hollow cement tile was either partially filled in or just so much spiders, rubbish and bugs have filled it up over the years.

    I have bee quick that I use and it is supposed to be natural organic, thats why I was thinking of maybe burning it with the smoke. I have an old bottle of vomit stuff that was given to me but never used it or for matter of fact ever opened it after the first and only time of smelling that S**IT.

    What about injecting the bee quick into the opening but using long surgical tubing? I was afraid that if it got injected into the middle of the hive, half would go down and find their way to the cubbyhole opening and inside the building...which would be even worse situation.

    Cory

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,780

    Default Re: Zen bee trapout - forced abscond?

    If smoke drives them out, do you have a beevac? (I've also heard beequick doesn't work, right after I bought a bottle.)

    And if great stuff won't work - I stuffed my cutout area with solid fiberglass - but I don't think that's going to stuff in a small hole well. I had a large opening. So what do you use?
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Sheboygan, WI, USA
    Posts
    127

    Default Re: Zen bee trapout - forced abscond?

    Fiberglass is good. As for the logistics of the site, we might need some pics to be of better help.
    To find out more about me go to
    www.broomsbylittlejohn.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,712

    Default Re: Zen bee trapout - forced abscond?

    pics and plenty of them would help immensly.
    Maybe, again without seeing the entrance, you can build a larger base for your trap out cone and support it with 2x2 or 2x4 from a more stable surface?

    FYI, supposedly Great Stuff has a new insecet resistant formula. Must taste like crap I'm thinking.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,936

    Default Re: Zen bee trapout - forced abscond?

    I have had sucess with only one attempt to smoke and Bee Go, to get all the bees and the queen. It worked on a hollow column on a front porch of a church, but other attempts failed, and I have not tried it in several years. You will likely get enough to kill the remainder of the colony that stay behind, but not real likely to get all the bees and the queen to come out. Could happen, and you don't have a lot to lose if you try, and see what happens. So given the parameters of your situation, I would give it a try. Nothing to lose.

    Most often the bees will ball around the queen, the workers will stick their heads in honey cells and just wait the smoke out. Cone with smoke and vac combination is likely the best situation, probably won't get them all, but will deplete the colony enough, that the remainder will die or be over run by Small Hive Beetles or Wax Worms. If Wax Worms invade, the comb will be such a mess that another swarm might not move in next year during swarm season. If not, and the comb is left intact, next year you could reasonabley expect a swarm to move in, if there is swarming activity in the area.

    Good Luck.

    cchoganjr

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    884

    Default Re: Zen bee trapout - forced abscond?

    I once (only once) got a colony with queen out of a cinder block wall using smoke and continuous banging on the wall with a metal object. My sweetie kept the smoke pumping in and I started bangining on the wall. First a few, then more and more. They swarmed to a nearby branch and were about the size of a small watermelon. We cut the branch and put it into a hive box.

    I am pretty sure the only reason it worked is because the colony had been in the wall for just a few days. Still, it was pretty cool and the hive has been a great producer. This happened at my son's house in my first year of beekeeping.
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Zen bee trapout - forced abscond?

    I would use the great stuff to fill the cavity and use some steel wool to plug the entrance. You could let the great stuff flow out around the steel wool to hold it in place. Works for mice, so I doubt the bees could chew through that to get back in.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Rock Port, MO. USA.
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Zen bee trapout - forced abscond?

    A beek in Biobees used an unusual way of catching a swarm in a wall. See this link.
    http://www.biobees.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11881

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,780

    Default Re: Zen bee trapout - forced abscond?

    I like the great stuff/steel wool combination. I use steel wool, often by itself, or with a plastic or tin lid cover, to block up rodent openings. I think the combination would be perfect.
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

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