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I got a call about a swarm and was about 12 minutes away. When I got there the swarm had entered the home. Should I try to cut them out quick, or wait for them to settle in a bit?

The house had a cut out a couple of years ago and whoever did it, did not effectively seal the entry. Fortunately the dry wall that was put up was not finished and the screws are still accessible (garage).
 

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Sooner the better for the bees. Having said that, if your using a beevac it easier to round up all the bees at the end of the job if they are all oriented well to their new home, so it a little easier to wait a day or two.

If you have a bait hive with a frame of open brood you can set up right at the entrance, you could still drive them out with BeeGo or BeeQuick the first couple days.

Fill the cavity with cheap fiberglass roll insulation when your done to keep others from moving in.

Buyer beware here also, don't take the Home owners word that they just took up residence.

Don
 

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yes take it out now. much less mess to deal with now instead of 2 months from now.
 

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Assuming the story is correct and they just went in there would not be any honey stored yet. Drilling a hole in the drywall at the bottom and injecting a little smoke should drive them out. The queen can still fly but if you wait and she starts laying she can't fly. Having a box with honey and LGO nearby should be a good prospect for them. I am not sure how the brood will work because it will have the smell of another queen. It will keep the swarm there once the bees and the queen decide to go in.
 

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>Buyer beware here also, don't take the Home owners word that they just took up residence.

Exactly....several cutout clients I have worked for were the biggest liars I have ever met.
 

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Thanks for all the advice!!!!

I have to admit, I kept bees in high school about 30 years ago (2 hives), but do not have any hives currently. I have been a "bee catcher" the last several years with about 30-35 swarms and trap outs, but haven't kept any. I am planning on keeping about 10 (if I get them) this year. I am going to try to be a "bee keeper" again!!!

The worst thing about this is I do not have any brood, honey, drawn comb, to use in a box.

I will give it a go this week in getting them out.

Went to get another swarm and they raised up as I drove in and I followed them into a silver maple about a block away!!!
 

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What was the result? Given the drywall already had screws in place from a prior removal I'd have strongly suggested immediately opening the drywall and using a cup or bowl to scoop up the festooning bees and dumping them into a hive body with 3-4 frames removed from the center. Dump them into the space and very very quickly you'll have the queen in there and they'll be fanning the "here we are" scent to any airborne or other bees. They'll all settle into the hive body, you put in the missing frames, close it up and take it home. Giving them any time at all will allow them to build comb. A day or two won't hurt (and might have the queen reduced from flight-worthy to laying status) but you'll still have comb to remove (and probably just junk or crush/feed back to them).

Biggest worry is as D Semple and odfrank noted, homeowners often will lie or are mistaken about how long the bees have been there. If these are honest and friendly homeowners you might even leave the cavity empty, put the drywall back up, and keep the exterior bee entrance still open. Basically, a fixed swarm trap since that has caught swarms at least twice now. (homeowners willing of course, give them a jar or two of honey for each swarm they call you about).

I have had many a homeowner swear the bees "just moved in this last weekend". I'll go and find what is CLEARLY a huge massive hive that must have been there at least a year (and in my arid area of TX it really usually takes 3-5 years to get massive). So either the homeowner is completely unobservant and didn't notice all the bees for the past year, or what I find is when bees first move in the homeowners hope they'll leave on their own or die out like the media tells them happens for 30-50% of bee hives. My experience is that feral bees have a much higher survival rate though so the homeowner doesn't call until year 2 or 3. They may believe the bees from last year had died out and when seeing bees flying in the spring mistakenly think it must be a new swarm and must be small and attractive to the beeks.
 

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They may believe the bees from last year had died out and when seeing bees flying in the spring mistakenly think it must be a new swarm and must be small and attractive to the beeks.
I think most people are unobservant about bees if they haven't kept them in the past. I gave a hive to a friend because she wanted bees for her flowers. Two weeks later there is a huge swarm in her neighbor's tree. When I went to look at the swarm there was a hive in a dead tree 4 ft off the ground that was just humming. This was 20 ft away from where I placed the hive. Obviously, this feral hive had been there for a while.
 
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