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feral bees in a statue base

1348 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Cleo C. Hogan Jr
Noob here from the San Francisco Bay Area. I installed my first bees a month ago in a Langstrom hive and they appear to be thriving. Inspection yesterday showed a few frames of solid brood.

In my backyard we have a few statues on hollow plaster bases. The bases are about 2x2x2 feet and rest on a wooden deck.

For years, it appears that bees have been entering the plaster bases between boards in the deck planking and have set up hives in the statue bases.

I'm now considering capturing one of these feral hives and transferring it into a deep super.

Advice, tips, warnings?
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Do bees "always" build their combs hanging from the top or sides of a box? What are the chances that the hives in the plaster statue bases have comb that is not attached to the wooden decking that the base rests on?

I'm wondering if I can smoke the statue base and then tip it a little to slide a piece of paneling under the base and seal them inside.

once sealed, I'd flip the base upside down. Now it would be like working with an open box.

I could then rig some stuff into the cover to do a trap out or connect it to a vacuum to decrease population and do a cut out.
Do you need to relocate them right now? If it was me I would lean more towards letting the bees swarm by putting nuc boxes or bait boxes out for them to swarm into.
I guess I don't *have* to relocate them. Just curious to see what their hive looks like.

How far from the hive should I put the nuc box?
You might have a problem flipping the statue on its side. If the comb is not fairly old it can break loose and crush bees. I would either cut into the statue where it stands or leave it alone and do trap outs from it. If they are not bothering you and the bee inspectors don't pay attention to them leave them alone.
If it was me I would lean more towards letting the bees swarm by putting nuc boxes or bait boxes out for them to swarm into.
Swarm boxes are hit or miss at best. More often miss.

My first choice would be a cut out if I wanted them out of the bases.

If it did not matter that the feral colony stayed where it is, I would do a trapout. Take a couple of colonies, then let them build up for Winter. Take a couple more next Spring. Trapping is a sure thing, swarm boxes are not.

If you don't want or need additional colonies, then sell the ones you trap out and help pay for your other hives or other hobbies.

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