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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Akron, OH
    Posts
    18

    Default Getting bees out of a house - please offer your 2 cents

    Hi, we're very, very new to beekeeping. We collected our first swarm this year and it couldn't have been any easier than it was (hanging at the end of a branch 8 feet off the ground). I just got a call from a friend that his mom has had bees in her house for a couple of years now. Apparently this weekend they chewed through the wall and were inside the house. Her son (my friend) plugged the holes to keep them from coming in but they need them removed asap. He said they are coming in from an eave. The house has aluminum siding on it. He said go ahead and cut whatever you need to get them out and he will fix it when we're done.
    I've watched videos on collecting bees from a house but I've never done it. I told him we're coming out to evaluate the situation and if we can't get them then we will refer him to a few people we know. The thing is that we really want them...and would really like to get them out of the house for this friend.
    Please...any advice is appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Manchester, TN, USA
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Getting bees out of a house - please offer your 2 cents

    look up the "hogan trap out box" and his description on how to use it. He says he has a very good capture rate for getting the queen and all bees out and into the box.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,833

    Default Re: Getting bees out of a house - please offer your 2 cents

    myfrancesca... Send me an e-mail, cchoganjr@scrtc.com and i will send you my 12 page guide to my system which has complete instructions and photos of traps in progress. (No charge, and no one will call) HA!!!

    You can make your own trap from a 5 frame nuc, 8 framer, or 10 framer.

    You can also google, " trapout, cone funnel method" and read about it. I have intended to write about it, but never got around to it. JP the beeman has a very good video on U-Tube about the cone funnel method. He tells all about how to use it, and describes each step. Very good video, but, PLEASE, wear a veil. There is a link to this video on another thread on this forum. Here is the link to that video,

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTqFbiaD_js

    I will also answer any questions you might have at the e-mail address above. Good luck, and happy trapping.

    cchoganjr
    Last edited by Cleo C. Hogan Jr; 07-22-2013 at 08:48 AM. Reason: to add the link to JP the beeman video

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: Getting bees out of a house - please offer your 2 cents

    Eaves/Soffits don't always lend themselves to trap outs, because the bees can get back in their colony at too many places. Most likely easier to just do a cutout if they can be removed from the soffit below.

    Post up some pictures of their entrance and the surrounding construction and we will be able to help you better.

    Don

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Akron, OH
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Getting bees out of a house - please offer your 2 cents

    I am going to assume a trap-out will not work in this situation because the friend said they're entering through the eaves in different areas. I can't send pictures for help until we show up there tonight after work and I believe the friend is hoping we get it done today. So waiting for responses based on pictures may not work for us.
    The friend knows cutting into the wall is going to happen.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Akron, OH
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Getting bees out of a house - please offer your 2 cents

    When we collected the swarm, we just sprayed them with sugar water and laid the branch over the nuc we brought and they all went inside.
    How do we get the bees to go into the nuc from an actual hive? I plan to rubberband the comb into the wood frames BUT how will we get them to go into the nuc? Obviously finding the queen will be difficult and we're not sure how large this hive is...so we just plan to move the comb/eggs over and hope they go in?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    965

    Default Re: Getting bees out of a house - please offer your 2 cents

    My first colony came form a house cutout.

    I was very surprised tht the bees were not more aggressive...we were prying siding boards up, using a sawzall to expose the brood chamber and cutting brood comb out for an hour and a half barehanded before getting the first sting -- and that was my fault, as I trapped a be under my finger on the bind side of a comb.

    I made an iddee style bee vac and used it to vaccuum most of the bees off of the face of combs before cutting them out.

    Rubber bands to hold comb in the frames is a lot more convenient than tying string.

    Work smoothly and deliberately, budget twice as much time as you think that you will need, put a light colored sheet on the ground below your work area to help you find the queen if you drop her, and when you are finished, with the queen confined in a queen clip in your hive body, place it as near the the former entrance at the soffit as is safely possible to gather in the stragglers.
    Leave it there until night, if you can, and then close them in with a screen you have ready ahead of time.

    Then just take them home, let them calm down, and remove the screen.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Akron, OH
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Getting bees out of a house - please offer your 2 cents

    Thanks for your experience! Awesome! I won't have time to jimmy up a vac...so that is a no go for our situation.
    I'm not sure the size of the hive but our goal is to look for the queen and move her. We don't have a queen clip (we're very new and the ONLY materials we own are the smoker, brush, hive tool and a hive!) so would you suggest bringing a small container to place her in IF we find her? Mind you, we only saw our queen (the first one we've ever seen in real life) yesterday when the Director of Agri came over and pointed her out for us!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    965

    Default Re: Getting bees out of a house - please offer your 2 cents

    The purpose of putting her in the hive body in a clip is to anchor her (and therefore the colony) it the hive.
    Do not put her in a closed container-- the precaution of confining her in the hive is not usually required and it will be cumbersome and not allow access tit he queen by the bees as the clip does.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,833

    Default Re: Getting bees out of a house - please offer your 2 cents

    I agree with D Semple.... If you can do a cutout, why not get it over with. Trapouts are normally used when you cannot access the colony directly, or, you just want to take starts from a feral colony to increase hive count, but, do not want to eliminate the colony.

    Lots of farmers will let you do a trapout, but, they do not want the feral colony eliminated. They want the pollinators. Homeowners, on the other hand, normally want the bees totally removed. Some homeowners do not want you removing siding, roofing, or some other part of the house, so do a trapout. Some don't want to have the bees around for a month or six weeks, so, do a cutout. Each has their purpose. See what the homeowner wants, and go from there.

    cchoganjr

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Akron, OH
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Getting bees out of a house - please offer your 2 cents

    You all are very helpful!
    I listened to the message again and these are the friend's words:
    The bees are inside her walls of her house on an inside corner from the exisiting outside - that's how they're gettig on.
    When I spoke to him we didn't get into a lot of detail except he knows the house will need to be cut into and that the siding is aluminum.
    I can't really make sense of what he means in the voicemail but my assumption is that they're in the corner of a wall area and have now chewed through the wall into the house but they are coming in from the outside.
    Of course this makes matters even more difficult!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    965

    Default Re: Getting bees out of a house - please offer your 2 cents

    Sheetrock is easier to cut and to repair than siding.

    If you can, do the cutout from the inside. Less work, less damage, and it can be cut with a razor knife and keyhole saw.

    Two overlapping layers of plastic sheet over the door will trap the bees in if carefully frog taped at the edges.

    The hive body can go on the floor or a stepladder when you are done to collect stragglers, and simply opening the (unscreened) windows will allow leftover bees to escape when the morning light draws them to it.

    Incidentally, I know this is a friend and you may elect not to on this one, but I charge homeowners for cutouts, starting at $200 for an easy-peasy one.

    You often lose the queen, and it is a lot of work... not to mention a very valuable service to the homeowner who ikely would otherwise be paying a substantial amount to an exterminator.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Akron, OH
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Getting bees out of a house - please offer your 2 cents

    Alright so...we declined the offer to help. There was no way we felt comfortable getting into this hive and we honestly didn't know WHERE to start.
    The bees are going in a corner (you'll see my lovely drawing below) of the house under the siding and where the seam of the siding meets the brick. They go up into the siding which allows them access to the inside of the walls. Just this summer the bees have now started migrating into the crawl space under the new addition and into the chimney cavity. The difficult part is that the chimney is inside the middle of the house, so somehow they are getting from the outside wall of the house, under the house (I assume crawlspace) and into this chimney cavity. So they will not only have to tear siding off the outside of the house but also find how they have moved into the chimney cavity AND how to get them out of it!
    The poor guy said asked all sorts of questions, how much is a bee suit, do we think he could do it himself, etc. The hive has been there for 5 years but she said this Spring she didn't see them at all and then all of a sudden the last few weeks there they were again. They aren't in a financial position to 1. remodel or 2. pay for removal.

    Any ideas for them? I told him if he removes all the siding from the wall to expose the inside portion where they're going in and there is access to the hive, I will come scrape out what we can get to and then I would suggest using seven dust for whatever comes back and then using foam to seal the siding to the brick.

    bee in house.png

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    965

    Default Re: Getting bees out of a house - please offer your 2 cents

    It sounds as though the bee hive occupies at least the two stud bays at the corner of the house, as wellas a crawlspace or ceiling/floor joist bay that leads tot he interior chase.

    That's a lot of comb, and if they are active all of the way to the chimney chase, much of it is filled with brood, honey, and nectar.

    If you are successful at killing the hive with poison, and no one cuts open the wall to remove all of that, imgaine what happens when:

    -There are no bee inside to regulate temperatures, and the comb softens and melts or falls down, releasing its honey to soak into the walls and leak down to the area below.

    - The brood starts to rot

    -The honey begins to ferment

    The stench and damage to the interior wall surfaces will cause a great deal of damage--probably more damage then leaving the bees in place will.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    965

    Default Re: Getting bees out of a house - please offer your 2 cents

    I'd suggest leaving them in place and finding someone who will remove them.

    Your homeowner friends, if they have any equity, can almost certainly get a home improvement loan to cover expenses if they are employed.

    If all the entrances are plugged in order to kill the bees, and then a hive place there to rob out the stores, that might work -- but the bees in the wall will start looking for new entrances and try to chew the walls to make new ones--possibly into the living space.

    And that still leaves comb brood inside to melt and possibly stain walls.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Akron, OH
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Getting bees out of a house - please offer your 2 cents

    Quote Originally Posted by Beregondo View Post

    If you are successful at killing the hive with poison, and no one cuts open the wall to remove all of that, imgaine what happens when:

    -There are no bee inside to regulate temperatures, and the comb softens and melts or falls down, releasing its honey to soak into the walls and leak down to the area below.

    - The brood starts to rot

    -The honey begins to ferment

    The stench and damage to the interior wall surfaces will cause a great deal of damage--probably more damage then leaving the bees in place will.
    This is exactly why he wants this hive removed. He knows he HAS to get the comb out. There isn't any way around it. I thought perhaps removing the siding, getting into the outside structure of the wall and removing what he has access to (if the main portion of the hive) will remove majority of it and then he can seal up the structure so nothing else can move in. We looked in the actual crawlspace from the opposite side of the house and didn't see any activity. But we know they have to be getting in through some type of connected space between the outside of the house and the chimney cavity. She said she has seen some in the upstairs bathroom. But at this point she had a good dozen bees indoors and several holes were clogged with socks or other items since they have been finding holes where they're getting in at. One of those spots are the stairs between the old and the new addition where this corner is at.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Akron, OH
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Getting bees out of a house - please offer your 2 cents

    Quote Originally Posted by Beregondo View Post
    I'd suggest leaving them in place and finding someone who will remove them.

    Your homeowner friends, if they have any equity, can almost certainly get a home improvement loan to cover expenses if they are employed.

    If all the entrances are plugged in order to kill the bees, and then a hive place there to rob out the stores, that might work -- but the bees in the wall will start looking for new entrances and try to chew the walls to make new ones--possibly into the living space.

    And that still leaves comb brood inside to melt and possibly stain walls.
    This is a woman who I believe may be retired on disability at home with a very fixed income. By looks of their home, I don't think they have a lot of extra funds. They made it very clear they do not have money to pay for someone to to come out.

    Please explain this robbing out thing further...if I were to put a trap on the wall and then put a hive out, do you think they may move the sources? However, that means all that brut are gone AND they won't be able to build up enough in time for winter. We live in Eastern Ohio.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    965

    Default Re: Getting bees out of a house - please offer your 2 cents

    if foragers find an abandoned hive containing honey, they'll rob it clean of honey.

    Try a trapout if you like - the challenge will be keeping the new entrances they find plugged particularly those that open into the living space on the interior of the house.

    I think one might be wise to assess whether or not trying to remove these bees will create more trouble than it prevents.

    If it were me, I'd either do a cut out and remove them outright, or do nothing.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: Getting bees out of a house - please offer your 2 cents

    Recommend you get some on site very experienced advice. I'm sure there are some removal experts in Akron.

    Don

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Akron, OH
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Getting bees out of a house - please offer your 2 cents

    I sent him a list of local beekeepers and 2 names of people who are known locally to do this sort of thing. If he tears his house apart and finds the hive, I'll wililngly come scrape it out and hope the hive makes it through the winter. Otherwise, I did all I could.

    Thanks for the help everyone!

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