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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there,

I'm a new Beekeeper and am trying to get as many free locally adapted bees as possible rather than buying them from other locales. I've already removed a few swarms and I've gotten a few "bees in my house" calls but the majority of them have been sprayed prior to contacting me so I declined. Last friday I received my first call about a hive in a house that hasn't been sprayed and it seems to be a fairly strong colony judging by the amount of foragers coming and going. It is in a newish house and I think that they may be above the vinyl soffit or in the wall above. photo (3).jpg

The problem is that the house belongs to a realty company and they want to start showing the house so they want to do absolutely no damage to the vinyl siding or soffit since it is sunfaded and would be impossible to match new siding to the old. And since I am not a contractor I have zero experience with the removal and replacement of vinyl siding or soffit. Has anyone ever had this problem? Should I try to hire a contractor to help me out or explain to me how to get them out or should I just tell them sorry and to call a pest control company. The shame of the whole thing is that someone is going to have to remove the comb regardless of how the bees are removed.

Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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Explain to them that the soffit and maybe the wall are full of comb and honey. If they just kill the bees, the first hot spell it will all be coming through the walls and eaves, dripping honey, causing ants and roaches, etc. Tell them you'll remove the bees with as little damage as possible, but you can't guaranty anything. Repairs are on them. Put it in writing. When they say no, walk away. You don't need the grieve.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I explained to them and they understand the reason for not wanting to leave the comb in the walls, the problem is that I don't feel competent enough to try and take down any of the siding myself and would feel more comfortable if I had a contractor with experience on my side. And they're fine to pay for the repairs but the vinyl siding is the issue because If I were to break a panel they would be unable to match the color since it is sunfaded and since they want to start showing the house that would be a problem for them I assume.
 

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i'm no siding expert, but i would guess that the vinyl above the soffit would come off pretty easily with a bit of ginger easing with a pry bar. i would also bet that you can get to that soffit pretty easily by removing the fascia and sub-fascia. for replacement of the vinyl siding, i would suggest to the property manager to replace the whole area if they are concerned about a mismatch in the siding color. i did a removal last night and told the couple up front that i would be as delicate as possible when removing materials but could not guarantee that there would be no damage. they understood. guess what? i broke two small pieces of wood siding. it happens.

if they're concerned about colors really matching, they could also paint the siding in question. i've had color matches done by local paint shops before, and they turn out remarkably close. my dad painted his vinyl-sided house last year, and the paint is adhering to the vinyl really well. he bought a paint from sherwin williams that is made specifically for that purpose.

those are a couple of options for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
i'm no siding expert, but i would guess that the vinyl above the soffit would come off pretty easily with a bit of ginger easing with a pry bar. i would also bet that you can get to that soffit pretty easily by removing the fascia and sub-fascia. for replacement of the vinyl siding, i would suggest to the property manager to replace the whole area if they are concerned about a mismatch in the siding color. i did a removal last night and told the couple up front that i would be as delicate as possible when removing materials but could not guarantee that there would be no damage. they understood. guess what? i broke two small pieces of wood siding. it happens.

if they're concerned about colors really matching, they could also paint the siding in question. i've had color matches done by local paint shops before, and they turn out remarkably close. my dad painted his vinyl-sided house last year, and the paint is adhering to the vinyl really well. he bought a paint from sherwin williams that is made specifically for that purpose.

those are a couple of options for you.


Thanks The Dude, those are good ideas and I will suggest it to them.
 

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Is the siding painted? The reason I ask is because I sold my home a couple of years ago, and I needed to touch up some walls. The problem is that I didn't know what color they were because they'd been painted before I'd bought the house. To make a long story short, I scraped some paint chips off the walls and took them to Home Depot. The color-matched paint for me. Lowes and a lot of other paint shops can do the same.
 

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Contact a carpenter/contractor and have him give a quote to the realtor. They do the repairs, you remove the bees.
Also,
I do not know AL brokering laws but in ME brokers would be required to disclose the presence of bees and what was done to remove them. Failure to disclose would get their license pulled or at least a fine, if it did not they would be in a civil suit brought by the new owners. Dealing with problems comes with brokering, as much as they might want to, the brokers need to deal with it.
 

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1st - The bees are in the soffit under the eyebrow roof. Removing the vinyl soffit and cutting through the old wood soffit will reveal them.
2nd - Vinyl soffit comes down and goes back up very easily, if your going to do cutouts might as well learn on this one that is only 8' high.
3rd - You can charge them up to $590 without getting a 1099.
4th - Cutout locations don't come much easier than this one, go for it.

Good luck. ....Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
1st - The bees are in the soffit under the eyebrow roof. Removing the vinyl soffit and cutting through the old wood soffit will reveal them.
2nd - Vinyl soffit comes down and goes back up very easily, if your going to do cutouts might as well learn on this one that is only 8' high.
3rd - You can charge them up to $590 without getting a 1099.
4th - Cutout locations don't come much easier than this one, go for it.

Good luck. ....Don

Thanks Don,

So how do you know for sure that they're in the soffit under the eyebrow roof (was wondering what to call that) and not in the walls above it? If they were in fact in the soffit that would be a much easier job than if they were in the walls. I've heard that taking down the soffit is super easy.
 

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Don is right, only very shoddy construction would let them go further. If they are inside, that only makes it more important to remove.
 

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Thanks Don,

So how do you know for sure that they're in the soffit under the eyebrow roof (was wondering what to call that) and not in the walls above it? If they were in fact in the soffit that would be a much easier job than if they were in the walls. I've heard that taking down the soffit is super easy.
Good question, because you ALWAYS want to know exactly where the bees are before you ever quote a price. And even then sometimes they will fool you.

To answer your question, the wall above is most likely attic space which bees don't like because it's too wide open and hot, or it's an insulated 2nd story wall with not enough room for a colony.

The little decorative eyebrow roof on the other hand won't be insulated at all, which gives the colony plenty of room. I would give it a 97% chance they are under the eyebrow roof, maybe a 3% chance they are somewhere else.

You can go down to harbor freight and spend $70 bucks on a bore scope to verify.

Word of caution, relators can be a pain in the ass when it comes to getting paid. Make sure you know up front who is the responsible paying party and you want the person in charge of paying your bill to sign off on your quote or work order before you proceed, and then the day after the work is done hand that person a bill with your hand out.

Now don't dilly dally, get after it, relators don't care what your charging because they don't pay the bill, but they are always in a hurry.

Tell us how it goes. ....Don
 

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Here is my 2 cents having never done a cut out. House is for sale, sellers want no residual damage.

Their choice:

(1) Sell the house with the bees and new owner can decide what they want to do
(2) Have the owner have a contractor there under their contract. Let the contractor know what you need done to access the bees. Once you have acces you remove the bees and the contractor puts the house back together.

Your responsibility will be to remove the bees once you have access.

That way the "damage" is between the seller and their contractor.

Otherwise if it goes sour you will be holding the bag for damages which may the bees and payment for removal seem insignificant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The problem with that is finding a contractor who isn't afraid of bees lol.

I'm just not sure the best way to handle this, I wish all the calls I got were for swarms, those are easy.

I've got another contractor friend that I'm going to speak with this afternoon, maybe I can get him to volunteer his services. My bees are on his property and he likes having bees there so he might just do it for me, or at least show me how to take the soffit down.

Here is my 2 cents having never done a cut out. House is for sale, sellers want no residual damage.

Their choice:

(1) Sell the house with the bees and new owner can decide what they want to do
(2) Have the owner have a contractor there under their contract. Let the contractor know what you need done to access the bees. Once you have acces you remove the bees and the contractor puts the house back together.

Your responsibility will be to remove the bees once you have access.

That way the "damage" is between the seller and their contractor.

Otherwise if it goes sour you will be holding the bag for damages which may the bees and payment for removal seem insignificant.
 

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Also,
I do not know AL brokering laws but in ME brokers would be required to disclose the presence of bees and what was done to remove them. Failure to disclose would get their license pulled or at least a fine, if it did not they would be in a civil suit brought by the new owners. Dealing with problems comes with brokering, as much as they might want to, the brokers need to deal with it.
Yep. I'm a Realtor®. Once that broker knows that there are bees living in the structure and has been informed about proper removal and cleanup in order to prevent insect or vermin infestation he or she HAS to do it properly or suffer the penalty. At the very least they disclose the presence of bees to potential buyers. The problem is that a new mortgage company will probably want it cleaned up correctly before they'll finance it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Awesome,

Thanks Barry

Yep. I'm a Realtor®. Once that broker knows that there are bees living in the structure and has been informed about proper removal and cleanup in order to prevent insect or vermin infestation he or she HAS to do it properly or suffer the penalty.
 

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I didn't read everyone else's replies so I don't know if it's been mentioned....

See if you can go through the interior of the house to the hive. It would be a lot easier to drywall and repaint a room than match vinyl siding.
 

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Vote for Don; remove the 2x2 and that soffit is loose.
 

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Vote for Don; remove the 2x2 and that soffit is loose.
:thumbsup: +1.
Each section of soffit may have a small nail in each end. Still very easy to remove and put back. I'd bet they're not in the wall, but then again I'm way over here and have nothing to lose.
 
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