Swarm in wall over brick
At my in-laws and they have a swarm in the wall. It is a two story house and there is normal brick around the first floor. It is cedar type panel above that and the bees are entering where the panel meets the brick.
About two weeks ago I looked, and the bees were entering only in one place. There is now a second location about 10 feet down the wall. He is a good carpenter and I cannot figure out how they moved across something like 6 or 7 studs and now exiting in a new site.
Does this sound like a new hive or is this thing that big?
Second. with standard house building bricks, will bee make comb in those small 1 or so diameter holes in the middle.
We have some other major repairs planned for September, and between now and then I don't think I have time to tear into the wall and repair it. Like I said he is a great carpenter but 75 and just cannot do the repairs himself.
And these are some bees with attitude, walked across the yard towards the edge of the house and at about 6 feet, bang one loved me to death without as much as a head butt hello. But it was thundering and very cloudy, so I expect them to be grumpy. Hauling in pollen like crazy. I put on my suit and veil to get a closer look.
Any ideas how to see if I am going to need to have two hives ready.
Re: Swarm in wall over brick
I would bring 2 hive boxes just in case. You might be able to get enough bees plus comb to create a full 2nd hive. You can always order a queen. If you have access to a thermal camera you can photograph the heat signature.
Or you can try getting close to the wall and see if you can hear the sound using an inverted glass or something.
They could have 2 entrances. Do you have photos to post?
What is the configuration above the 1st floor? If it is an attic space then maybe the bees are not in the wall but in the roof-attic area.
Re: Swarm in wall over brick
Brick wall construction leaves a cavity between the brick wall and the interior wall - typically I like an inch to an 1 1/2 space (about enough room for your fingers between the walls). This is done for three reasons -
1. Brick are laid plumb and there is always variation in framed walls - lumber has crown, sometimes there are differences in wall sheeting, slight offsets in framing. By laying away we can keep the exterior plumb and strait.
2. It leaves an airspace between the two walls. That allows any moisture to eventually work its way out of the cavity. After all, brick are porous and moisture will eventually work its way in.
3. It leaves room for fingers (good for us fat fingered masons) and makes laying much easier. It also allows room for mortar to squeeze out of the back of the joints and not push the brick out of plumb.
That allows the bees access to almost any opening in the wall. That's how they are getting out in your case even if the hive itself is inside the interior wall cavity. Theoretically, the hive could be in the space between the interior wall and the brick veneer but I would almost bet that there is a place in the sheeting of the interior wall with a hole and they are in the wall cavity but are using the space between as a transit route. It could also be above the wall in the soffit or even in the attic. Both those spaces sometimes are open to the space between the two walls. I like the idea of using a thermal detector or a stethoscope to locate the hive itself. If the hive is inside of the interior wall I would then remove the covering on the interior wall (drywall or paneling or whatever), remove the hive then seal the hole in the sheeting between the two walls (spray foam would work well). That will keep them out of the actual nest cavity even if they still have places where they can get through the brick. If they are in the attic of soffit your probably can do something similar. At the same time I would continue to find and seal any areas in the brick where you see bees exiting. It's kind of a challenge with a brick building but with a little determination I am sure you'll be able to handle it.