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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was asked to remove what we assume is a Hive of bees at the peak of that roof line. You can't really see it in the picture but bees are entering the structure between the shingles and the facia at the peak. I'm fairly certain the hive will be behind the facia in the eve. The gentleman said they had spray foam insulation in both the walls and ceilings of that Dormer.

Due to the height a ladder is out of the question and the terrain prevents me from getting a lift or even scaffolding in.

The only option I see is working from the roof, pulling up some on the shingles and cutting into the osb.

Has anyone here undertaken a similar job? Does anyone have a better idea? What would you charge for this job? I would need to buy fall protection specifically for this job.
 

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First, I would find out if your assumption is correct, and find out if it is a hive of honey bees. Second, if it is a colony of honey bees, I would find out exactly where it is located before cutting into anything. We did a relocation last year where the bees were entering from a corner of the facia and roof line, but were NOT in the soffit. Turns out they had so much spray insulation in the attic that removing them from that direction was out. Not to mention it was hot and cramped. The colony found a corner cavity that two roof lines met and had no spray insulation in it. I encouraged the homeowners to just let them be since it was so far up, but they were not hearing it. I charged what I thought at the time was plenty, but looking back on it, it could have easily been 2,500, or more :eek: with the risk & liability factored in.
IMG_2706 (1).jpg
 

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Like Mike said, leave em. The best value for the homeowner is to exterminate and plug the entrance. My bee club board of directors told me that I am forbidden to recommend that option. So that the club board members who are cutout guys can charge a few thousand to do a removal and repair. Greedy bastards giving beekeepers an bad name.
 

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I'm not a cut-out guy, but have some construction knowledge. See if there is access to the "attic" of the structure. You may be able to get them from inside at a reasonable cost and with safety. J
 

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I had a gentleman ask me to do remove similar. Bee were coming in around a chimney. House was two floors with a walk out basement. He was adamant about trying to save the bees. He had rented a cherrypicker to paint the house, so he pulled back a standing seam roof and then called me. I then cut the plywood to get to the hive. 200C6608-C2EB-4001-A98B-454D1332662E.jpg
 

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Google tracked lifts.They are becoming more common in the tree service business. They can fit through a gate,set up on a slope and reach up to 90 ft.
Anything can be rented for a price.
 

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My bee club board of directors told me that I am forbidden to recommend that option. So that the club board members who are cutout guys can charge a few thousand to do a removal and repair. Greedy bastards giving beekeepers an bad name.
Proper response:

Who the hell died and made you emperor ?
 

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trying to save the bees
Low level of people's education shows all over.
Sad.
Honey bees are NOT dying out as a species, and yet people do not get this simple idea.

The other bee species indeed need conservation (the most importantly their habitat needs conservation).

On the topic - last year I walked away from a similar project.
Was not worth the hassle and the risks (especially to get to some recent escapees, of all the bees flying about).
Recommended leaving them alone - unsure what happened later.
20180601_200327.jpg
 

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The best value for the homeowner is to exterminate and plug the entrance. My bee club board of directors told me that I am forbidden to recommend that option.
For me, the best value would be to suggest they do nothing, and let them reside in the cavity that far up, and sometimes even when they are not that far up:D, if they are not a nuisance. What may seem like a good value to exterminate and plug the entrance, in my experience, always ends up bad long term. Examples, I have seen. Pesticide dissipated, new colony moves in on the old territory or next to it. Pesticide never reaches the entire colony and is plugged, bees begin entering house, or finding another way into the cavity. Pesticide is successful, and all of the cracks and crevices are sealed, honey and beeswax begins melting down into the structure.:eek:
 

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Yes, not dealing with it in some way can work itself into a bigger problem. I know of someone who lived in an old farmhouse who was mystified that every so often she would find a small drop of a "sticky substance" on her dining room table and could never figure out where it was coming from until the ceiling collapsed and exposed a HUGE hive. Best to take care of it in some way. See if there is an attic space. J
 

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Who ever did the brick work and siding/trim, had to use scaffolding in all likely hood, maybe you should hire a General contractor for the tear and repair and you just deal with the bees.

Or better yet, have the homeowner use a GC they like/hire (to absolve you of that part) and you deal with the bees same day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I wouldn't cut into the roof. That would incur a ton of liability.

The cost would be crazy, but a scaffolding company can build up there.
I always require my customers to sign a liability waiver prior to me starting a job that requires that I damage their property.

I'm not a cut-out guy, but have some construction knowledge. See if there is access to the "attic" of the structure. You may be able to get them from inside at a reasonable cost and with safety. J

First, I would find out if your assumption is correct, and find out if it is a hive of honey bees. Second, if it is a colony of honey bees, I would find out exactly where it is located before cutting into anything. We did a relocation last year where the bees were entering from a corner of the facia and roof line, but were NOT in the soffit. Turns out they had so much spray insulation in the attic that removing them from that direction was out. Not to mention it was hot and cramped. The colony found a corner cavity that two roof lines met and had no spray insulation in it. I encouraged the homeowners to just let them be since it was so far up, but they were not hearing it. I charged what I thought at the time was plenty, but looking back on it, it could have easily been 2,500, or more :eek: with the risk & liability factored in.
View attachment 47987
From what the owner has told me that section of the house has no attic. It's a dormer, where the it's a rafter structure, osb/shingles is on the top side of the 2xs and sheetrock on the bottom side. The owner said they had spray in insulation in the gap. If that's true I'm fairly certain they're under the soffit. Either way I ALWAYs drill small exploratory holes to insure I've got the right location before I make large cuts.

But you're exactly right, I'm working off an assumption right now, that if wrong could change everything.

I was thinking that I'd need to charge ~$1200 for the job to be worth it. Even then I don't know.

I would just walk away... the bees aren't worth the risk. Unless someone will lend you a cherry picker or some other safe way to get to it...
I had a gentleman ask me to do remove similar. Bee were coming in around a chimney. House was two floors with a walk out basement. He was adamant about trying to save the bees. He had rented a cherrypicker to paint the house, so he pulled back a standing seam roof and then called me. I then cut the plywood to get to the hive. View attachment 47991
Yea. If they got me a cherry picker and an expert to run it, I might do it for the right price.
Google tracked lifts.They are becoming more common in the tree service business. They can fit through a gate,set up on a slope and reach up to 90 ft.
Anything can be rented for a price.
Unfortunately there's no way to get a cherry picker in there. Not without destroying they're landscaping and working from a slope. If it was on the other side of the house with the driveway, it's exactly what I would be doing.

Like Mike said, leave em. The best value for the homeowner is to exterminate and plug the entrance. My bee club board of directors told me that I am forbidden to recommend that option. So that the club board members who are cutout guys can charge a few thousand to do a removal and repair. Greedy bastards giving beekeepers an bad name.
He asked about this and we had this conversation. I'm always honest with my clients. I love my bees, but I wouldn't pay several thousand dollars to have them safely removed. I'd leave them in place or spray if I had to. He's afraid that they'll expand further and/or do damage to his house. He wants to save them if possible, but won't sacrifice his house for the cause. I don't blame him at all for this! It's exactly how I'd be approaching it in his shoes.

For me, the best value would be to suggest they do nothing, and let them reside in the cavity that far up, and sometimes even when they are not that far up:D, if they are not a nuisance. What may seem like a good value to exterminate and plug the entrance, in my experience, always ends up bad long term. Examples, I have seen. Pesticide dissipated, new colony moves in on the old territory or next to it. Pesticide never reaches the entire colony and is plugged, bees begin entering house, or finding another way into the cavity. Pesticide is successful, and all of the cracks and crevices are sealed, honey and beeswax begins melting down into the structure.:eek:
This is exactly the advice I gave him. He still wants to remove if possible. I told him I'd reach out to my community to see if I can find a better solution or someone more qualified to take this on.

Who ever did the brick work and siding/trim, had to use scaffolding in all likely hood, maybe you should hire a General contractor for the tear and repair and you just deal with the bees.

Or better yet, have the homeowner use a GC they like/hire (to absolve you of that part) and you deal with the bees same day.
I made that comment to my customer and he pointed out a spot on the backside that just never got painted because it was so difficult to get to.

In order to scaffolding it would need to be an extensive structure and concrete piers (temporary or permanent) would need to poured in placed for the scaffolding to mount onto.

I appreciate all of the insight!
 

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I just know how jobs usually end up with "unknowns", not in beek work, but my business, at least for me lol.

A GC set up for that kind of thing may have the equipment rtg (you may as well). Knowing my luck, i'd tear out the edge of the roof (so far easy enough repair) and some how those bees built down the wall 10' behind the brick:)

Wish you luck with it, will be interesting to follow how you end up dealing with it and what you end up with.
 

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could you get this in there (if you can find one to rent)? http://www.directindustry.com/prod/genie/product-9218-653601.html

or this?
http://www.reachmaster.com/aerial-lifts/bibilift/bibilift-26bl/


Another though is to maybe call up some painting companies and see if they have anything that could get up there? If so get a quote for them to set up the equipment for you, and then add it to your quote. I know one of the painters my brother knows (he works at Sherwin Williams in the mountains) has a boom lift with articulated/independent wheels to get to the sides of houses in difficult places.

edit: another less desirable but doable idea is a crane over the house with a man bucket. This may be even more expensive but could work.
 
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