Please help - I have a garage FULL of bees!
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Johnstown, OH
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    273

    Default Please help - I have a garage FULL of bees!

    In a bit of a predicament and thought you guys might have some advice. I just finished extracting and bottling honey, but since I had to work today I just left all my equipment in my garage where I was working to be cleaned when Iím off again tomorrow. Well, after a 12 hour shift, I came home to an open garage FULL of bees. My husband wasnít aware that it needed to stay closed, opened it to get something out when he cam home from work, and it was open for a few hours before I made it home. There is a lot of open honey from a few spills, the extractor, the cappings I hadnít cleaned up after I let them drift, etc. and the bees were having a feast. Worse, the sun had set and the garage lights were on, so there were bees all towards the lights.

    What in the world do I do?! I turned all the lights off in hopes they would head home, but itís been about an hour, and while they are out of the air, there are still bees covering me work area and perched bees all over the walls. How can I get them out? Will they head out on their own when the sun comes up? Or will they just head home to tell their sisters about the plentiful honey source they found? Do I need to just keep the doors open until theyíve cleaned it all out, or is there a way to encourage them to leave? I have some appointments tomorrow and I really donít want to leave the garage open (or partially open) all day.

    I canít be the only one to land in this situation. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    sparta, tn
    Posts
    111

    Default Re: Please help - I have a garage FULL of bees!

    Put your bee suit on and go clean up, cover or remove as much equipment as you possible can. Turn the lights off but leave the door open. Anything you can't clean, remove the bees and put it indoors (cappings especially). Hopefully, they will be gone in the morning.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Johnstown, OH
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    273

    Default Re: Please help - I have a garage FULL of bees!

    Quote Originally Posted by f650cs View Post
    Put your bee suit on and go clean up, cover or remove as much equipment as you possible can. Turn the lights off but leave the door open. Anything you can't clean, remove the bees and put it indoors (cappings especially). Hopefully, they will be gone in the morning.
    My suit is in the garage and literally covered in perched bees I'm going to go and try to get it and then try to move everything out as best I can. Yikes!

    Plan B. Bee suit and the hanger it's on are covered with at least 100 bees. My cappings were in a double uncapping tank and had already mostly dripped out (extracted on Sunday and bottled yesterday), with some of the latter drippings tucked away under the upper tank with the wax. I'm hoping (praying!) that they will clear out once the sun comes up, or possibly bring friends, finish the clean up job, and clear up before too far into the morning.
    Last edited by clarekate; 08-28-2018 at 08:07 PM.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,415

    Default Re: Please help - I have a garage FULL of bees!

    I'm still wondering why you would be afraid to leave the garage door open. Do you really think someone is going to go into your garage while there are thousands of bees buzzing about? Seriously, use the smoker to get the bees off the suit and get covered up. Drag what you want the bees to have outside and then use the smoker to get the bees off the cappings so you can take them inside the house. Of course, if you do nothing, in a few days they will have all the spills and equipment cleaned up so there will be less work for you to do

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
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    2,453

    Default Re: Please help - I have a garage FULL of bees!

    It is now 10:00PM CST.
    All bees are gone (almost all).
    Just close the garage door (if not done so already).
    Go to bed.
    Tomorrow or any later day take care of what needs be. No rush.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
    Posts
    482

    Default Re: Please help - I have a garage FULL of bees!

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Do you really think someone is going to go into your garage while there are thousands of bees buzzing about?

    If you leave the door open 1-2 inches the bees can come and go but almost nothing else could. The only concern I would have with this would be mice. At this point I dont think you are going to easily get all of the bees out of your garage without a vacuum or something similar.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    4,616

    Embarrassed Re: Please help - I have a garage FULL of bees!

    I have had the experience too. Smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke, until you cant stand it! I did not find the bees interested in stinging so would not worry about suiting up. Your bees may b e more aggressive though.
    Frank

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    1,122

    Default Re: Please help - I have a garage FULL of bees!

    I had the exact same thing happen to me this year too! I put on the suit and removed frame after frame and brushed off any bees on them. I took the frames into the house for a couple of days and turned the lights off in the garage and left the door open just a little bit to let some light in. The bees moved out in a few hours. After a couple of days they stopped trying to get back into the garage.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,453

    Default Re: Please help - I have a garage FULL of bees!

    ...
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,453

    Default Re: Please help - I have a garage FULL of bees!

    I would not even bother with any bee suite in the garage.
    Bees don't care of you much.
    Unless you have AHBs in your garage maybe, not really needed.
    Why sweat when don't really have to?
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Perry County, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Please help - I have a garage FULL of bees!

    I had a similar situation last fall. My next door neighbor left his garage open and a big bin of mostly empty mt. dew cans with the lid off. The bees set to robbing the mt. dew and they shut the door in a panic and trapped all the bees in there. By the time I got home, it was dark out and their garage was filled with bees, like a swarm sized mass.

    I ended up having to wait until the next day, have them shut the mt dew can bin and leave the garage door open until dark, then the bees all went home and they kept the garage shut and the cans closed after that.

    Luckily it was late in the year, so the bees only flew around looking for mt dew for a couple weeks before it got cold.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Geauga, Ohio
    Posts
    409

    Default Re: Please help - I have a garage FULL of bees!

    lol mt dew - too bad those caffeinated bees couldn't have been put to work foraging!

    I too have had a pole barn full of bees. After I put away the empty brood comb that had attracted 200 bees' attention, it took them 2-3 hrs to convince themselves that really, there wasn't any honey, and go look elsewhere. Smoke and darkness were not deterrents, just time seemed to work.

    Bees have a big footprint, potentially. it's good to be aware they can be a pest (and call some friends to be a bigger pest still). I am very careful now to keep my brood-smelling or honey-smelling gear in a plastic bin. They've never been interested in my suit or bee tools though, just that empty brood comb.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Cullman, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,240

    Default Re: Please help - I have a garage FULL of bees!

    I can truly empathize.
    I closed tbe garage door asap. I reopened the door right at dusk, still light enough for the bees to find their way home, ut affer most bees (foragers) would be in the hive for the night, then losed up again later at night.. As mentioned, the bees had little interest or aggresion to me as i i carried all tbe equip ment out to clean it. Spilled honey, they were all about it, and cappings too..
    Dont smoke your cappings if you are going to try to let the bees clean them up.
    ( i put mine in pans under /in an empty super above an inner cover. This really did not work that wel....)
    Seems like after the garage door was closed, most of the bees were trying to get out of tbe garage
    Good luck ...ce
    Started summer of 2013, just another new guy, tinkering with bees.

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