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Hive found in abandoned house

8175 Views 30 Replies 22 Participants Last post by  bluegrass
We have found a huge hive of bees in a wall of an abandoned house. This house is going to be tore down in a couple of days.
We live in South Central Kansas.

1. Can we successfully capture these bees this time of year?
2. If so, what would be the best way to capture them?

We are newbies. We just acquired our first hive last summer by capturing a swarm. So any help would be appreciated.

Thank you so very much!
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What is your temp there? I would think it would be worth a shot, especially if they will be destroyed without your efforts. I have done a few cutouts, but none this time of year.
Cut out the entire wall and carry it home. Transfer the bees next spring. Cut the top plate and bottom plate just beyond the studs containing the bees. It should all stay together to be moved. Once carried one of these home on top of a old Volkswagon Variant ( station wagon ). Stucco on one side and wallboard on the other. Stand it up till spring so comb will be in the right orientation.
cutting out the section of wall is a great idea. This time of year is not good for trying a "cut-out" to remove the bees...too cold. The only thing I would add is after you cut out the section of wall they are in, find some way to seal the top and bottom of the wall section to keep them dry. But, make sure you are not closing off their entry point.
Really like the idea of cutting out the entire side of the wall that contains the bees. Should be easy to do with a chainsaw. And if done on a very cold day you shouldn't loose any bees. If a warmer day, staple the entance(s) shut with screen wire until you get them to your place.
Really like the idea of cutting out the entire side of the wall that contains the bees.
I'll third that. They're tearing down the house anyways. Plus I just looked at the temp in Wichita, 32 degrees. This is really your best option if want live bees at the end of the process. Good luck.
Cut out the entire wall and carry it home.
Excellent idea! I'd add one suggestion - be sure to seal the top of the wall very well, so when it rains or snows, water doesn't get into the hive and kill the bees.
Take pictures! Keep us posted!
What folks will do to get some "FREE" bees always amazes me.

>Cut out the entire wall and carry it home.
>cutting out the section of wall is a great idea

How much does a huge hive in a chunk of wall weigh?
How many people will spend how much time doing this?

>Should be easy to do with a chainsaw

Nails, electrical wires, plumbing...the cost of a new chain???

You can buy a queen in a few months and divide a hive for $20. What is the saw, gas, transportation and labor worth in this proposed venture???
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odfrank, wheres your sense of adventure?

You will want a saw's all.

If you take the whole wall, just treat it gently, you don't want the combs to break and fall inside the wall.
Frank, It only takes a few of these adventures for them to learn. :) And if they don't... Oh well.
- Saw rental and gasoline, $30?
- Transportation and value of time, $200 (figure most of a day to cut and move, probably low)
- Finding a couple of friends crazy enough to help, and moving a wall of honey bees in the middle of winter - - Priceless!

Take plenty of pix, you'll cherish the event in years to come! "The time my crazy folks cut a wall of honeybees out and brought them home!" :applause:
Some things we do, just for kicks and grinnies! Post pix!
Nobody said they were free. Thats somewhat irrelevent actually.
If 1blessedmom does nothing, they'll just be sprayed.
What somebody said about forests and trees must apply :doh:
I actually thought the idea of cutting the section of the wall out was an interesting idea. I agree with others regarding the amount of work, and I wouldn't undertake the project myself... I've tackled some huge hives in walls that would have needed a crane to move...consider how heavy it will be...
>>> odfrank, wheres your sense of adventure?

You're right. Thirty years ago I would have spent the whole weekend laboring for free, supplying a truck and saws to complete this venture for a friend.

>>>Frank, It only takes a few of these adventures for them to learn. :) And if they don't... Oh well.

But as one ages and is looking retirement in sight, with the need to save every penny for those declining days, and having learned about time and money well spent, this old man would rather build some new frames for that easy bait swarm catch in a few months than spend days on cutting out a colony that will most likely not survive the cutout anyway.
I suggest you contact Farold Hoover in Oxford - he may offer to help or at least be helpful with advice. He's nearby for suggestions on caring for hives in your area. 620-262-1534 This recent break in the winter may offer you the time and conditions you need to be successful with the capture of this colony.
I really don't see the problem with cutting out the section of the wall with the bees and taking them home. It they are in between just 2 studs then you only need to take home a section that is aprox. 18 - 24 inches X 8 feet. If the house is old then it should be a problem to open the wall on each side of the section to see what's there. If there is any wire, clip it before using the chain saw.

If you are like me, you always have a chain laying around that needs to be sharpened or you nicked up by hitting the ground when cutting a stump. I don't throw the chain away. I use it again when I need one that is going to take some abuse. I just resharpen it by hand before using it.
Go For It!!

but don't use a chain saw - too dangerous and messy.

definitely use a sawzall. or as it is called a reciprocating saw. less debris. almost no kick back and you will be able to use the tool again since it is built for the job and won't be wrecked in the process.

gotta see the pics:applause:
I was cutting out a stud in a basement with a recip saw because it was so bowed to mess up the drywall I was hanging. The next thing I knew I was on my shoulder and elbow on the ground, that at my age, took a good month to recover from - they will bind and kick, but not quite as dangerous as a chain saw blade. Be careful (I'm old and weak, tho).
and having learned about time and money well spent, this old man would rather build some new frames for that easy bait swarm catch in a few months than spend days on cutting out a colony that will most likely not survive the cutout anyway.

This past summer, my brother in law got the itch to get bees after seeing me play with mine. He picked up a hive body at an auction. Then he found someone with a fixer upper house that had a colony of bees in the wall and soffit at the top of the second story. They were going to put on new siding, and wanted rid of the bees. My brother in law wanted to do a cutout, even though he had never worked with bees. My advice was to take a can of Raid to these bees, and buy a $70 package or catch a swarm next spring, or else charge $100 an hour to remove these bees. He tells the people he will get the bees for free.

Being my brother in law, I can't refuse to help. I let him borrow a bee suit, as all he owned was a veil. I stayed on the ground, and let him be the idiot up top. We managed to get part of the colony removed, carrying combs down in a bucket. Of course, he was trying to save honey too (against my instructions) so bees and everything were covered in honey. After we got several combs removed, we discovered the hive went through a hole up into the roof, and brother in law and homeowners didn't want the roof tore off. The remaining bees in the house got the Raid I recommended to begin with.

He had the bees so ticked off that I got stung 6 or 7 times down on the ground. He stopped counting stings at 20. I never saw the queen. After 2 weeks of having the hive, they appeared queenless, so I donated a frame of eggs and larva from one of my hives. They made 2 queen cells which emerged but never started laying. The hive dwindled and died out after a couple more weeks.

He finally admitted that I was right. A package is much cheaper than spending 5 hours on a ladder doing a cutout for a hive that still dies. And he is almost 20 years older than me...
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Use A Skill 77. Bring a carbide trash blade and a metal cutting blade. The milage to the one I took was 40 miles one way. I even had to bring my own generator. The most fun was the looks I got carrying a piece of wall on the top of my VW wagon with an occasional bee flying out. Almost more stares than riding my Honda 90 motorcycle with a box of bees on the luggage rack and wearing full bee suit You are only young once. LIVE IT UP!.
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