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So I'm a new beek rapidly getting myself in over my head, but I have the support from my future in-laws to get good guidance on this fun new hobby. one of the big things contributing to this is from the family that I purchased a swarm from earlier this has had two more swarms land in their bushes and they called me first and let me have them as it saved them from hassle, and they have deemed me to be a normal person, which can be hard to find on craigslist haha. so today when I responded to the text that they had a third swarm (which I figured was an after swarm as the second swarm I got from them, had been filling frames with sugar water, and no eggs, like the original swarm had done). The couple noticed that there was a decent sized group of bees on their house "where there are always around 15 hanging out" this piqued my interest as the first time I came they mentioned that one time that wall was covered with bees, which then alter had left. upon close inspection I looked at the transition of the lower story brick to the siding on the upper story and noticed some holes in the bottom of the siding transition, and some pollen laden bees heading into the holes. I felt it was best to let them know that there was most likely a hive up in their and that's most likely where these swarms were coming from. from talking with them, I think they would be willing to let me do a trap out, to get the bees, but I'm worried about that wall full of honey they probably have, I warned them that the best route would be to have the hive cut out due to the honey, but they weren't too excited about that (and as a home owner completely understand that too!) I've included a crappy cell pic of the hive entrance, if anyone has suggestions on doing a trap out I'd appreciate it, a concern of mine is knowing that getting the queen is difficult, if I smoked them with some sugar would the queen come out with the rest of them? (which still leaves a honey mess, but at least they will limit the growth of the current colony)

IMG_20140510_145109_884.jpg
 

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If the bees have not caused any problems so far, there is the option of just letting them be and collecting swarms off them each year. You could set some swarm trap boxes around the yard and they might just fly into them for you.
 

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You really don't want to try a trapout where eiher aluminum or vynil siding is involved. Too many alternate routes to the outside. The bees learn that leaving by the screen cone is not advisable and seek those alternate routes. You can spend weeks plugging those other ways in and out. Some may be 10 to 20 feet from the original.

Walt
 

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If this is a two story house and that is where the floor joist are located then a cut out would be easy to do from either the outside or the inside. I myself like the outside, if doing from the inside then through the sheet rock ceiling, much easier for repairs. As Walt said, trap out not advisable on vinyl or al siding.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
so it seems like their is some dissent in opinions (which never happens among beeks right?) regarding live and let live, or cut them out. The reading I've done indicated that bees should be cut out as the comb can leak or attract vermin, but it sounds like that may not be necessary. I prefer the capture the swarm route, and the home owners I'm sure would prefer to avoid cutting the house up. are there any more pros and cons? (I really wanted to tell them no big deal and keep getting the swarms, but I was under the impression that the cut out was the right way to go, and would rather be straight and honest with people, even if it sets me back a little. As a first year beek, that now has a couple outyards and now 8 hives, a setback not be a bad thing. It's a lot of work, but that's mainly due to my rapid expansion from planning on getting two to now sitting at 8 (and I'm not complaining, I'd love to go full time).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hogan's trap looks relatively straight forward, I'll have to figure out a good way to mount it up near the house (it's 8-10 feet up to that transition) that should be pretty do able, one concern I have relates to what Mr. Beeman mentioned up top with Honey dripping from the ceiling, if they are trapped out there are no bees keeping vermin out of the comb, and honey might start dripping to mess, is there a way to prevent this or is it just part of the process that would need to take place after the trap out?
 

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I've tried Hogan's on a similar situation. Ahem. I finally had to do a cutout. But a cutout on vinyl could result in some damage if not careful removing the siding. And cutouts that high up (yes mine was 2 story) involve a tractor lift or scaffolding and messing with stinging insects from a high perch is not for the faint of heart. Good luck whatever you do.
 

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Is the house just wooden clapboards? Easy peasy! Just pry them off carefully (number them with a pencil to know what order they came off in), do a cut out to remove the colony, stuff the void where the colony was with pink insulation, and replace the boards. That is a very difficult place to try to do a trap out (plus they can take many weeks!). If you have already caught a few swarms from this hive, they have been there too long to simply smoke out. I too, vote for the "let them bee". They will likely eventually swarm themselves to death, leaving nothing behind but spent comb. (ps...if you go this route, don't do it for free! If your carpentry skills aren't great, agree that they will have a carpenter finish the seal up job)
 

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If you are doing a trap out with hardware cloth cone this can take 6 to 8 weeks if everything go right. A hive of bees will be there the whole time. At the end of the trap out, you do not see ANY bees exiting the cone then remove it and let them rob out the old hive leaving only empty wax combs. If you see bees returning to the old hive with pollen you removed the cone too soon. Looks like a simple cut out to me. Get it over with and do charge for your work. You can catch swarms off of it at your yard much easier.
 

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I do trap out as a last resort. I much prefer doing a cut out. About the only time I would not do a cut out is on cement block. And that one failed. Just to many trips and farting around. To get it done properly. And my time is to valuable.
David
 
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