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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well folks, my first cutout was a bust. In the pic I have attached, you can see the main entrance at the corner of a soffit. I suspected that the brood nest was located in the soffitt and used a stethoscope to confirm. I could hear bee sounds for about four feet from the main entrance. I made a 1'X1' opening on the end with my saw and, much to my dismay, I found insulation and no bees.

I made some comparisons with my own bees on the farm. On the first trip out there a couple of days ago, no bees were flying. My bees were flying, although not much. Today mine were flying like crazy, and the bees at the cutout location had pretty good activity, but not the same as mine back home. I'm sure that this is due to a population difference.

Anyway, we looked all through the soffit and didn't find anything. I went into their attics and didn't see anything, with the exception of a few bees flying in a small attic storage space adjacent to the main bee entrance. Most of the walls/floors/ceilings in there were insulated. I checked them all with a stethoscope and couldn't find anything.

Any ideas folks? I've heard of people using infrared thermometers, etc.

Next step I'm going to attempt is a trap out.......

Cutout.jpg
 

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A trap out is frustrating if there are multiple entrances--they can chew through a lot of stuff to get back to the brood nest. One inch holes are pretty easy to repair, so you might try punching in a few more...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
A trap out is frustrating if there are multiple entrances--they can chew through a lot of stuff to get back to the brood nest. One inch holes are pretty easy to repair, so you might try punching in a few more...
I actually made a 1 square foot hole....:( Learned alot of valuable lessons today.... First is to use a hole saw on a drill to check before cutting. Thinking about getting a scope as well.

I was able to look all down the soffit through a crack at the top where I could peek in. No bees. On the right of the pic, the soffit takes a 45 degree turn up to about a 30ft high peak. No insulation, so they could be in there, but the ladder they had wouldn't go all the way up. There was no crack for me to be able to see in there. I did listen with a stethoscope and didn't hear anything.

Anyway, I guess my concern was that there were so many possibilities that I didn't really know what to do next. The could have been in the wall just below the soffit, because it's the garage wall and uninsulated. They could have been in the wall on the left side around the corner, because again, it was uninsulated. The could have been in the soffit going up to the peak. Could have been in the floor between the two levels, however, most of this is insulated because it was above the garage. The homeowner said that one of their older sons thought he heard bees in the wall on the other side of the house. Too many possibilities!

I wanted to look inside some of the possible cavities some more (I would have gotten a hole saw), but felt weird about just making holes blindly as opposed to taking an educated guess...When it gets to a point such as this, what do you do?
 

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I am not a fan of trap outs because it leaves everything in the walls, only to have something else get "in" it. Is it possible they are running under the roof? There seems to be lots of possibilities. My suggestion would be to rent (wish I could afford to own one) an infrared thermal camera and run it all over the possible walls and floors. They will show up easily because of the heat a hive emits.
 

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When it gets to a point such as this, what do you do?
If the distance to travel was not too great, I would seriously consider a trapout. It could save the homeowner some damage to their house.

This time of year, the bees will have minimal stores. So leaving the comb/honey in place is not as bad. People have told me stories about placing a small colony near the trapout entrance and letting that colony rob the honey out. I have NOT tried that, so I cannot comment on the success ratio. With the scenario you describe, you probably not get the queen if you do a trapout.

Shane
 

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My guess is they are in that wall behind that fascia board. You may be able to hear them in the wall from the inside, through the sheet rock.
 

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my guess too. Check the wall, do a better job looking. Try to Peal off a few boards to watch where the bees go.

Tearouts are really the only way to go on a house, because eventually you will need to open up the wall and pull out the comb and honey so other pests don't come in. I would never leave comb, pollen, anything in the walls of my own home, unless the hive is totally unacessible. Trap-outs are good for trees, a way to harvest a package of bees.
 

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Total removal of the bees and hive is the right plan of action.
Put on your detective hat and pull of the blinders. Check from the inside of the home with your stethescope. Also for 30.00 you can purchase a laser thermometer which in most cases will pinpoint the brood chamber of the hive with a slight rise in temp. (2-3 degrees).
In my experience, in certain situations, bee sounds can resonate quite a distance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Is it possible they are running under the roof? There seems to be lots of possibilities.
The room adjacent to the soffit is a FROG and the drywall for the ceiling is attached to the joists that hold the roof. The spaces are insulated., although there is a run of about 3-4 feet where there is no insulation. There is an attic storage area underneath that.... I was able to look in there and didn't see anything.

Also, when I started checking, the bee activity was went from fairly busy to almost non existent. It was getting later in the day, so maybe that's why....
 

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The insulation doesn't matter. I have done cutouts where as soon as you removed the vapor barrier the bees were behind it and had chewed up and thrown out the fiberglass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
My guess is they are in that wall behind that fascia board. You may be able to hear them in the wall from the inside, through the sheet rock.
I'll try that. I tried listening through the masonite siding, but couldn't hear anything.....

Also, while we were cleaning up last night, a couple of the neighbor's kids came over and said that they had bees a few weeks ago and they called an exterminator and got rid of them. Is it possible that these are the remnants of that colony? Another concern that I have is there are not tons of bees flying in and out like there are in my hives....
 

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Swarm scouts?
 

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Had a job last summer where I had good activity when I was there and middle the day. When back the next day for the cut out and found nothing. Figured they where all scout bees
David
 
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