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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I ve just been called to remove a swarm from a house and never done it before. Have no tools nor a decent knowledge of. Any pointers or equipment list or general knowledge would be greatly appreciated. I have no specialized equipment whatsoever. One of those roped in by the family deals. Thanks for your time.
Matt
 

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Do you have any hives of your own?
 

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If the house is occupied, are you removing them from the outside, or the inside? Are they in a wall, or a ceiling?

If you're removing from the inside, wall or ceiling, you'll want to seal the room from the rest of the house. You'll want appropriate ladder or scaffolding, so you're comfortable. You'll want containers for comb and honey. You'll need to protect the floor somehow, because the odds are you're going to make a bit of a mess.

You'll need your usual beekeeping equipment, and smoker. I'd have at least a quart of sugar syrup and a spray bottle - that will help to spray them with syrup periodically. Cut between the studs with a sharp utility knife - have extra blades. Have empty frames, string or rubber bands, etc... in fact, take more bee equipment than you think you'll need, because the size of the colony might surprise you.

Basically for tools, a hammer, pry bar, utility knife with extra blades, cordless drill to start a hole, maybe a keyhole saw. If it's an abandoned frame house, just a chain saw and pry bar, cut the siding off, and away you go. lolol If you use any kind of saw, be REAL careful of electrical wiring in the walls.

Oh! I'd also make it understood, I'd remove the bees etc, but the homeowner makes the repairs.
Good luck!
Steven
 

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Oh! I'd also make it understood, I'd remove the bees etc, but the homeowner makes the repairs.
Good luck!
Steven
Also the homeowner cleans up the mess left behind!
 

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Are you getting a swarm or doing a cutout of an established colony?

If a swarm, just take a box to put the bees in.

If you are doing a cutout, the best tool you can have is a fellow beekeeper to help you, preferably one who has done cutouts before.
 

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in addition to what stevenG posted, take plenty of time. depending on how long they have been there, they may have filled quite a bit of space.

a bee vac will be a very good friend to you in a house cutout, especially if it's one being lived in. ( by people).

I'm still not seeing a lot of great results with sugar syrup spray. plus, it gets on other surfaces nearby unless you are shooting a stream.

smoke definitely helps.

don't expect them to be your best friends while removing them, expect to take a few hits.

take some benadryl before you start.

have a helper. this is almost a must, especially when pulling out comb.

fallen bees will be attracted to the light coming in through windows and will crowd the windows, that's the easiest place to vac them up from too, as if they get their little hook feet dug into the comb, it's hard to vac them off the comb.

tarp the floor, comb breaks easily, very easily and drops before it can be caught or handed over. if that lands in carpet. yuck!!!! the floor tarp will get very sticky .

ever had a bee shower? that's what happens when you pull a piece of comb from overhead that still has a lot of bees on it and they all fall right on you. it's exciting.

Big Bear
 

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:lpf: As Big Bear mentioned, removing such a colony can be very exciting, in more ways than one! If you have a family member or friend who can video, or take pix, while helping you, all the better. Trust me, you will want pictures! Especially of you at work! Removing an established colony or even a new swarm from inside a wall is a unique experience!
Regards,
Steven
 

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hotrod
Do you have a bee bud that can help:s
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It it outside in the underpinning of the vinyl siding. I was thinking about trying to build a bee vac out of a cordless dewalt. Do you think itd be strong enough. No got no help but plenty of time to recruit. I told him itd be a couple of weeks because I cut my finger off building hives. Thanks for all the good help
Matt
 

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here's an easy makeshift beevac.

go to home depot, pick up a "buckethead" vac fits on a 5 gal pail. ( also get a 5 gal pail, actually, get at least 5 or 6)

I can tell you firsthand that vac is powerful enough to get bees but won't kill them.

once bees are trapped in pail, cover with a screen or something for ventilation.

use the other buckets to hold comb you pull out.

Big Bear
 

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I would not do it unless you have the proper tools, and the knowledge. Been doing it for three years now. It's not easy unless you have the proper equipment. Plus you don't want to give the customer a reason to sue you for damages caused by inexperence.
 

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This will seem dumb to most folks probably, but what are some examples of something you would do that could give a reasonable person a desire to sue you?

I have been contacted to do my first cut-out. I never advertised this (I have a bee blog and was emailed to come over and remove some bees from the eaves of a local person's home.)

I am not a carpenter by trade, but have repaired eaves/soffit on one of my rental houses before.

This thread is a really good one (I am still searching this forum, but this one rocks compared to others so far). It is my intent to first locate the bees (my father had bees that were a good ways from their entry hole when he had them above his porch), and then remove the soffit and follow the advice that I have been reading.
 

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things that people would sue over? not repainting the right shade.

using the 'wrong' materials to repair/replace.

taking 'too long'

making a 'mess'.

as stated earlier, it doesn't take much to file a suit if someone insists on being litigious. On the other hand, there are folks who behave as though they are god's gift to beekeeping and treat the property owners like rubes and charge exorbitant fees and leave 'unreasonable' mess behind as well.

watch those girls. just when you think you know right where they are, they'll go and be somewhere else on you or have extended far beyond your original expectation if they are really busy bees.

just sayin.

Big Bear
 

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btw, while I am thinking about it, be careful how you use a smoker indoors... too much smoke is not a good thing and you make just smoke yourself out instead. keep a window handy.

Big Bear
 

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All my customers have been verry satisified with my cutouts. I've told them up front what I'm going to do and how I'm going to do it. I've got 25+ years in construction. I know and have equipment that identifies where electrical lines are, I have equipment that tells me weather the bees are in between the studs or between the outside brick/siding or the moisture bearier. You have to bee aware not to damage the wall with dripping honey from comb,you can't soil carpet with honey, you can't soil carpet and or cause damage to owners personel property bring in equipment to do the job. I takes tools,ladder, bee vac, vac, saws,screwguns, plastic to protect carpet tools to detect wires behind sheetrock ,studfinders. Most important, the know how of what it will take to repaire the site when you inished. Not that you are responsible for the repairs, but the know how to do the job so as to make repairs afterward easy for the person that comes after you do. Cutouts are not for inexperanced people. If you don't wake up in the middle of the nite wondering what your going to do if " this happens" and what am I going to do to rectify it, don't doo cutout's. A hammer is not a tool for cutouts.
 

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I told him itd be a couple of weeks because I cut my finger off building hives. Thanks for all the good help
Matt
Yeh, maybe you should get some help.... Mobile homes are easier than house, because you can take it apart with a screw gun. I use a little smoke until I get the siding off to where I can spray them with sugar syrup. I wet the bees pretty good(but not too much)then scoop them off into an empty hive body with a couple of frames of brood(if you can.) Otherwise , use a hive body with old brood comb, wet down with syrup and a screen door on the front. I cut out the brood combs and rubber-band section into empty frames and put it in there with the bees.
 

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You may have missed a couple of items of significance above. You say the bottom of siding? You dont't even want to think about removing bees behind a siding wall from the outside. Siding has too many paths to the nest cavity. May be six or eight feet away from the point of entry. And siding is installed with the longest lengths possible - quite destructive, although a siding installer can uncouple the runs and replace them without damage. (there is a trick to it.)

Locate the nest and do the job from the inside. Chances are the nest is located in the floor joice at the bottom or the ceiling joist at the top of a wall. Test bore with a small bit until you hit wax or honey. Small holes can be readily patched, and now you know what area needs to be accessed. Sound is not a good indication of nest location - the buzz travels well in wooden structures. Was sometimes misled by the stethoscope.

My recommendation: Apologize and pass.

Walt
 
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