Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
874 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm really leery about this, but .... gotta go through with it: :(

A woman 30 miles from me contacted me about getting out the bees in one of her closets -- the deets: the bees're "behind some insulation" in a closet, and seem to access the area via a hole or crack under the house's eaves. The colony apparently has a history: "somebody supposedly took care of it earlier [when? last year, maybe?] but the bees came back". My thought is, a pro of some sort dug the colony out but left the queen, or didn't thoroughly cleanse the area of its strong scents (so a new colony moved in), etc. :s

OK, bottom-line: I'm going there Wed. morning, taking some stuff I'd ordinarily take for capturing a tree- or bush-based swarm (boxes, knife/clippers/syrup-sprayer and so-on). What I'd really need would probably be a bee vacuum but I'm pretty sure I can't borrow one, and sure can't afford one at this stage of my unemployment.

I told the woman I'd do what I could (odds are, nothing) but wouldn't rip out any boards or be invasive. If the colony's established, I'm sure the #s behind the insulation would only be the tip of a "bee burg".

I'm aware there're pro's locally who have the goods and credentials for bee removal, but I wanted to see if I could do any good (and mostly, for free). Sure wouldn't mind obtaining a gaggle of bees and comb for myself, too. From what I've read, a pro would destroy what had to be destroyed (wall-wise) but would repair the damage, whereas I wouldn't.

Any suggestions (other than "cancel!") would be appreciated. Sounds like a mess to me. I'm guessing I have to use a smoker -- so, going through the house with a smoking smoker? Anybody have experience with this? I looked under the "cut-out" part of Beesource but didn't really see anything pertinent.

Mitch

PS: can't say that just beginning to come off a sinus infection is helping me -- not to mention some issues with joints lately (elbow, knee and shoulder, for Allah's sakes!) :lookout:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
I can say it sounds like you have a plan, However I would not rule out needing to cut out some sheet rock or boards. If you can't get to all the comb you will not be able to get the bees out.

I realize you asked for advice and I basically have none, but you might google jpthebeeman and watch some of his cutouts. I do not recommend doing it the way he does without any protective clothing but he does have some good video on how to do the work. and he does not always use a vacuum.

Good luck in your efforts.

Happy Home.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
578 Posts
I wouldn't mess with it, I've done 3 so far, and it's a mess, I got paid $325 on the last one and felt it was worth twice that. I have a GC license and workers comp, million dollar liability insurance. People are crazy, the bees aren't worth the trouble.
 

·
Registered
2020 8 hives
Joined
·
179 Posts
I have to agree with ifixoldhouses. That being said this will be a learning experience for you. I've done 4 in the last 8 years and never was able to collect the queen. But you will have lots of workers and drones to add to any weak colonies that you have. If you choose to work from the inside dry wall is all you will have to work through. If this is an older house you can close off that room and black out all but one window. The escapees will go towards the light and you can either capture them or open the window when you are tired of trying to capture them. Don't be surprised if your hive goes into more space than just the closet wall. Be sure to take some foam to block off the entrance hole so another colony/swarm doesn't move into that space. That's more than likely the case as "wild" colonies rarely survive over 2 years. Even though people will tell you they have been here more than 10 years or whatever.

After my first cutout I told people that I would only remove the bees and a GC or handyman would have to repair my removal work. From what you have told this woman there is nothing that you can do but say, yes those are honey bees. You may want to renegotiate this if you are willing and able to do the demo work that's necessary. If not you might save yourself a 30 mile drive. Not trying to be rude, just realistic.

Good Luck in whatever you do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
874 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Much obliged, guys, for the thoughtful and serious responses. I have the feeling this would be a chore even if I felt good. As for forgetting it -- I told the old lady I'd be there, so ..... foolish or not .... I have to go. Then again, like Jim said, it'll be an experience -- and a story, I'm sure ....

Mitch
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,489 Posts
I'm really leery about this, but .... gotta go through with it: :(

A woman 30 miles from me contacted me about getting out the bees in one of her closets -- the deets: the bees're "behind some insulation" in a closet, and seem to access the area via a hole or crack under the house's eaves. The colony apparently has a history: "somebody supposedly took care of it earlier [when? last year, maybe?] but the bees came back". My thought is, a pro of some sort dug the colony out but left the queen, or didn't thoroughly cleanse the area of its strong scents (so a new colony moved in), etc. :s
I told the woman I'd do what I could (odds are, nothing) but wouldn't rip out any boards or be invasive. If the colony's established, I'm sure the #s behind the insulation would only be the tip of a "bee burg".
Wait what:scratch: You are unemployed, and you are going to remove a colony of bees for free 30 miles away, without exposing the hive/taking any boards/Sheetrock, etc. off? Red Flag, "a pro" took care of it earlier and the bees are back. If it was a pro, the bees would not be back in the same cavity, so what if they aren't? How exactly are you going to remove the colony without exposing it? My suggestion would be to identify/confirm which cavity the colony is in, convince the homeowner that something has to come off to expose the colony, find someone to help you (preferably that has done this before & has a vacuum), charge them something (I know of no one who works for free). Do keep us posted:eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
874 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Wait what:scratch: You are unemployed, and you are going to remove a colony of bees for free 30 miles away, without exposing the hive/taking any boards/Sheetrock, etc. off? Red Flag, "a pro" took care of it earlier and the bees are back. If it was a pro, the bees would not be back in the same cavity, so what if they aren't? How exactly are you going to remove the colony without exposing it? My suggestion would be to identify/confirm which cavity the colony is in, convince the homeowner that something has to come off to expose the colony, find someone to help you (preferably that has done this before & has a vacuum), charge them something (I know of no one who works for free). Do keep us posted:eek:
OK, fields -- the free part basically is re: the likelihood I'll end up doing nothing (or next-to). I'll tell the lady to give me $10 for the gas, and let it go. That's my idea. If I actually had to smash the wall/etc, there'd have to be some cash involved. I'm looking at it as a learning experience in my bee repertoire...... and maybe on getting more info before accepting a plea for help .....
 

·
Registered
2020 8 hives
Joined
·
179 Posts
I agree with ifixoldhouses. You are wasting your time without a bee vac. I also made mine. Easy to do if you have wood working equipment. The bee vac puts the bees in an enclosed space so you can remove them. Other wise they are free to fly away.
Take a reciprocating saw with you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
301 Posts
I've done one cutout "for the experience" and it was enough. I learned that "nothing is free" it will cost YOU, but I am sure you will learn something. You will need some BeeGone repellent, a bucket of water, smoker and fuel, some insulation to fill the void, several plastic tubs and buckets with lids, roll of plastic sheeting, ladders and 29 more things that you will not think about until the bees start flying. Take a benadryl before you start. If you don't seal it, stuff it, and use repellant they will be back next year. It's hard work but the honey, bees, and experience are good. Make a video and good luck. I'm 74 and I catch swarms in the woods or make nucs for fun and experience. Cutouts are for young beeks. Look at 628 Dirtrooster on youtube.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
161 Posts
Did a cut out from a pre- civil war house (war between the states) in May. All went well. Got the bees, comb and queen. The family said bees had been there off and on for fifteen years. Yes you need a bee vacuum and I would suggest multiple canisters. You do not need a smoker. Remove all bees and comb. Leave a small strip for the foragers that are out to come back to. Get them late evening or night. I have gotten the leftover bees at the crack of dawn as well. Make sure you seal it all up or bees will be coming back. Best of luck to you and hope this helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
874 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Did a cut out from a pre- civil war house (war between the states) in May. All went well. Got the bees, comb and queen. The family said bees had been there off and on for fifteen years. Yes you need a bee vacuum and I would suggest multiple canisters. You do not need a smoker. Remove all bees and comb. Leave a small strip for the foragers that are out to come back to. Get them late evening or night. I have gotten the leftover bees at the crack of dawn as well. Make sure you seal it all up or bees will be coming back. Best of luck to you and hope this helps.
Related to the General? Good info. I'm adding my experience in the next thread .....

Mitch
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
874 Posts
Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I've done one cutout "for the experience" and it was enough. I learned that "nothing is free" it will cost YOU, but I am sure you will learn something. You will need some BeeGone repellent, a bucket of water, smoker and fuel, some insulation to fill the void, several plastic tubs and buckets with lids, roll of plastic sheeting, ladders and 29 more things that you will not think about until the bees start flying. Take a benadryl before you start. If you don't seal it, stuff it, and use repellant they will be back next year. It's hard work but the honey, bees, and experience are good. Make a video and good luck. I'm 74 and I catch swarms in the woods or make nucs for fun and experience. Cutouts are for young beeks. Look at 628 Dirtrooster on youtube.

Thx for the input, Tommy. I'm writing a little about my experience in the next thread ..... and yeah: this kind of job is for lithe young beeks. Which I ain't.

Mitch
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
874 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
For what it's worth, guys, here's what I found at the couple's house this a.m.:

The closet had a little "crawlspace door" (?) leading to a tiny open area. The area was surrounded with insulation. A carpet of dead bees was on the space's floor.

I tapped all around the insulation (not wanting to tear into it w/o reason); no response, and I heard no buzzing of any kind from "beyond" the insulation. Hard for me to imagine my aged carcass crawling into there and ripping out the stuff to search for pissed-off bugs. And using the bright light the old gentleman gave me, I was thinking The Girls wouldn't be crazy about that -- in a dark attic-like space. I surrendered. I was shown the outside of the house; on the roof -- right about where the crawlspace would be -- there was a 1-foot slit between 2 sections of roof ... and bee traffic was enough to make any beek envy it.

Looking back (and knowing what I didn't know then), I guess I could've made it work. Maybe not a super-big issue to (I"m thinking) slicing out the comb and places it in boxes, and using a spray (gelling) foam to seal the open slit. Really early in the a.m. would be my choice, not 10:30 a.m.

The couple just contacted me and said they found somebody online who'll remove the bees "free" and only charge for travel compensation. Not a bad deal -- unless the person's coming from the west coast.

Like "Murdoch" (and others) said, I can imagine it having been a true ordeal, and not worth the struggle. In future, I'm gonna limit things to doing swarm-trapping .... and only from shrubs and low-limbs on small trees ..... Much obliged, troops.

Mitch
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top