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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, while I've been trying my best to capture a swarm, my friend just gets them without even trying. Unfortunately he got them in the wall of his apartment (he's the tenant, not the owner):


They just moved in this afternoon.

Is there a good way to evict a freshly-immigrated swarm? Or does he need to do a standard trapout? Or a cutout if a few days have passed?

He is potentially interested in beekeeping, so if there's an easy way to hive them, that would be awesome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I just remembered that I have a bottle of bee repellent (can't remember which brand, and I'm not home right now).

I we were to spray a healthy dose of repellent in there, would they abscond?

And if we put a LGOed bait hive a few feet away, could we catch them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I hope it's not that! This is my friend's apt, and he's never noticed bees near that vent, so I don't think it was an outbound swarm.

Anyway, I loaned my bait nuc, some LGO, my Bee Quick, and a frame of old, black comb to my friend last night, and he put it up on a pole next to that screened vent.

There's lots of bees checking it out right now, but he hasn't pumped in the Bee Quick yet. I keep telling him the queen won't leave without a good reason, so I'm hoping he heeds my advice before they build the Taj Mahal in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Here's a follow-up. Exactly 3 weeks ago my friend put a bait nuc next to the vent hole and pumped Bee Quick deep into the wall:

Birdhouse Birdhouse


He said "all the bees" exited the wall and went into the nuc, but I hadn't had a chance to check it out.

In the intervening 3 weeks I've loaned him some frames, and he built some of his own woodenware:

House Tree Security lighting Plant Night


2 weeks ago he bought a suit and transferred the frames into the new box, but he put them in and closed it up quickly, because he didn't know how to do an inspection or what to look for.

So today I went over and finally got a chance to see his colony:
  1. Whoa! It was a big swarm. He has tons of bees. They seemed pretty docile; we smoked them a tad, but they pretty much just went about their business while we did the inspection.
  2. They've fully drawn out at least 5 deep frames (it may have been 6; I didn't wear the GoPro today), to go with the one frame of donated comb.
  3. He has at least 3 frames of capped honey and a couple that are about half full of wet nectar
  4. There is some open brood, but I saw only a few capped cells.
  5. Tons of fresh eggs, everywhere. They're all single eggs, standing upright, right in the middle of their cells.
  6. His home-built woodenware isn't exactly to standard size, and he had some cross-comb, but we cut it out. His dog ate the scraps.
  7. I'm recommending that he build or buy standard-sized woodenware.

If the swarm had had a mated queen, I would have expected a lot more capped brood on day 21. Do virgins ever go out with large swarms?

If it was a virgin swarm, what's the typical delay until she gets mated and starts laying?

How come everyone else's hives are healthier than mine?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If the swarm had had a mated queen, I would have expected a lot more capped brood on day 21. Do virgins ever go out with large swarms?

If it was a virgin swarm, what's the typical delay until she gets mated and starts laying?
If the swarm was a virgin swarm, would that have given us the extra time necessary to force the absconding?

I was doubtful it would work, since he didn't get the Bee Quick in there until more than 24 hours after move-in, but they still moved out.
 

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I don't think the swarm was that big if it's only 5-6 frames of bees. They can have a virgin queen, sometimes it takes a week to get laying as well depending on how much comb was available.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I just had an occasion to use this technique again, and it worked! We're 2 for 2 on this.

A panicked neighbor called because a swarm had moved into her block wall. Again. She'd brought an exterminator in 7 years ago to kill a hive that had infested that wall, and they'd sealed up all the holes with foam. But in the intervening 7 years the foam and mortar had broken down, creating ways in:


The cap bricks on top of the wall were loose, so I was able to open it up and take a look.

There was no comb hanging from the cap brick, and I couldn't see any in the cavity, but there were a fair number of bees. The homeowner had seen a "cloud of bees" earlier in the day, so it was a reasonable assumption that they'd just moved in.

I sprayed a generous amount of Bee-Quick onto two rags and dropped them into the cavity, then placed my baited nuc box about 3' away. It had 5 frames of drawn comb and a drop of LGO.

The bees came pouring out the wall formed a layer on the side of the wall, and on me:



I scooped up a few hundred and dumped them directly into the nuc, and then put the lid on. That seemed to do the trick, and within 5 minutes I had bees Nasonoving on the front porch, and a steady stream of bees moving in.



They were mostly in by nightfall, but I left the box there for 24 hours because I couldn't make it back that night. The next night I collected the nuc and brought it home. It was full of bees, and there were zero bees in the wall. Success!

I charged a small fee for my services :lpf:

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Very interesting, I wonder if that would work if there was brood in the colony.
I would guess not. Bee-Quick (and all the honey-harvesting repellants) has a short lifespan, and that's by design.

As soon as the Bee-Quick evaporated, the scent of brood would draw the bees back to their original digs.

You might be able to keep them in the catch box if you brought a frame of open brood that was bigger than whatever was in the original colony.

I suppose it also depends on what your goals are. I always try to get every last bee, and a new colony, so I wanted to make sure I got the queen and completely emptied out the wall.

If all you wanted to do was to get rid of the problem for the homeowner, then you could pump in the repellent, collect what bees you can, and then fill up the wall cavity with gravel. Even if the queen were left behind with a few hundred bees, they'd die out within a very short while, and the problem would be solved.
 
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