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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got a call yesterday from a lady who said that she had bees in an apartment wall. She wasn’t sure if the bees had been sprayed, but the previous “exterminator” tried to seal off the hive with expanding foam and it didn’t work. I asked her if she could wait until March when the bees would have the best chance to survive and her response was “why would I want them to survive? I want them gone or dead”. She is seeing tenant lawsuits and is having nightmares of bee attacks up and down the block. I told her that I would get out there as quick as possible and take a look.

Here’s hoping for an easy January hive cut out. Lol. Luckily it has been unseasonably warm. I am going to go out there on Sunday - supposed to be highs in the low 70’s.

Ryan
 

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If you have a box of honey to give them, the odds of survival is near 100%. I did a January cutout a few years ago for a colony that was broodless and moved them into a shallow super full of honey. The bees readily accepted the new box that was on some boards nailed to the side of the tree I cut them out of. A sunny day near 60F is ideal to do a broodless cutout. I moved them that evening with all of the bees inside the box.
 

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Whenever I hear an "exterminator" has been at a removal site, I count it as a clean out, & charge accordingly. Finding the queen is essential in Winter removals if there are no eggs or larvae. Good Luck, hopefully something will be salvageable. You should know immediately if they have been sprayed with something once the colony is exposed:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Whenever I hear an "exterminator" has been at a removal site, I count it as a clean out, & charge accordingly. Finding the queen is essential in Winter removals if there are no eggs or larvae. Good Luck, hopefully something will be salvageable. You should know immediately if they have been sprayed with something once the colony is exposed
Thanks. I kinda thought the same thing. I have not seen one that had been recently sprayed. Is it the lack of bees that makes it obvious?
 

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Thanks. I kinda thought the same thing. I have not seen one that had been recently sprayed. Is it the lack of bees that makes it obvious?
Depending on the season, some of the obvious things I have seen are dead/decaying/dying bees in the cavity/on the comb. Smell, and pesticide residue (typically powdery white substances) in the cavity. Also in several amateur cases cans of hornet/wasp killer around the site. If the bees are still flying in and out of the cavity it is likely that if something was used it wasn't effective, they are on there last leg, or they are dead & their honey is getting robbed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks y’all!

So I made a recon visit. Found them busy going in and out loaded with pollen on a cooler day. The exterminator tried a fogger through the maintenance closet wall (see pic) and expanding foam. They just made an alternate entrance.

I’m going to attempt to go from the inside closet and just pull off some of the sheetrock. Hopefully I can get to the whole hive from there. We will see. Since the fogger was used, I will likely just try to find the queen and get the bees, and trash the comb. Start them off like a swarm and feed them good. Any pointers are appreciated as I’ve not done one quite like this before.

Ryan
 

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When you took the can out of the wall did you see comb, or were you able to track bees moving to a particular area? I would first locate where in the cavity they are before tearing anything apart. An infrared thermal camera would be ideal for this since it is sheet rock on the inside. Or a borescope since you already have a pretty big hole. I wouldn't decide to trash the comb until I saw what was going on in the colony. For instance, if the spray foam is where the original entrance is, they may be occupying the bottom wall, or be totally at the top of the wall in a different cavity that was fogged. Therefore, the "exterminator" cans may have totally missed the colony. In addition, since you are in Texas, they will most likely have brood on some of it (which could be essential for them to stay in your boxes if you do not collect the queen), and treat them like a swarm:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
When you took the can out of the wall did you see comb, or were you able to track bees moving to a particular area? I would first locate where in the cavity they are before tearing anything apart. An infrared thermal camera would be ideal for this since it is sheet rock on the inside. Or a borescope since you already have a pretty big hole. I wouldn't decide to trash the comb until I saw what was going on in the colony. For instance, if the spray foam is where the original entrance is, they may be occupying the bottom wall, or be totally at the top of the wall in a different cavity that was fogged. Therefore, the "exterminator" cans may have totally missed the colony. In addition, since you are in Texas, they will most likely have brood on some of it (which could be essential for them to stay in your boxes if you do not collect the queen), and treat them like a swarm
Yeah good points. I’ll check it out and make sure where the fog went before I do anything drastic. I never saw any comb. I kind of feel like they’re in a different stud cavity. I need to find someone with FLIR. Thanks!
 

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Yeah good points. I’ll check it out and make sure where the fog went before I do anything drastic. I never saw any comb. I kind of feel like they’re in a different stud cavity. I need to find someone with FLIR. Thanks!
I am wondering if a cheap ir thermometer would work, start pointing it at the walls and moving it around until you find warm sections. This would probably work better at night/early morning when the sun will not be shining on a wall. A stud detector may also give you an idea of where the framing and cavities in the wall are at.
 

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I’ll check it out and make sure where the fog went before I do anything drastic. I never saw any comb. I kind of feel like they’re in a different stud cavity. I need to find someone with FLIR.
Don’t go with feelings:D I have read that iPads have an infrared download?, if you have or no someone who has one. Also, I would check the ceiling below underneath the cement patio?, if it is not solid. Especially if the walls have no heat source. I have run across an apartment building that had an open cavity underneath the cement patio, but it did have a Sheetrock ceiling on the lower floor...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I am wondering if a cheap ir thermometer would work, start pointing it at the walls and moving it around until you find warm sections.
You read my mind. I’m planning to head to the hardware store tomorrow AM to pick one up. The MX closet is not heated so it should be pretty cool Where I’m going through the wall. Should be easy to pick up on thermo differences if the cluster is still strong. I’ll let ya know.

Fields - I will check on those possible cavities you mentioned. Good tips.

I’ll report back to you guys and let you know how it goes. Lord willing I will find the queen. I also plan on getting the brood comb too if possible. I’m gonna try to film it on YouTube. We will see. It’s great all the help a fella can get on this site. Many thanks!

Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So I uncovered the bees. They are confined in the ceiling of the first floor between the floor joists. The exterminator fogger missed for the most part, as it was sprayed in at the bottom of the second floor wall, and there is a bottom wall chord between the fogger hole and the hive cavity in the floor. However there is a pile of dead bees in the closet of the lower floor, so some of the poison apparently got to them. As you can see by the pic, the cluster is still very large.

Also, I found out that the hive was sprayed before the new owner bought it on 11/15/19. So it has been a while. There’s about 6 to 8 gallons of honey up there. This thing was packed out. What are your thoughts on framing up the honey in the hive even though it was fogged??

I am headed back tomorrow to finish it out. The worst part is that there’s nowhere else to work on them except directly below the hive, which is going to leave me honey covered. Lol.


Ryan
 

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My thoughts on framing of the honey (especially if it is capped, less poison penetration), is I would set it up is a “normal” ten frame hive. 3-5 honey frames on the outside & brood frames on the inside make up the difference. Are you fitting them in one ten frame box or two? Or? Did you capture/spot the queen? Any eggs, larvae, capped brood? If using more than one box, I would never put cut honey comb on top of them, unless it has a huge population to collect it before it starts “drowning” them. I definitely wouldn’t risk eating or feeding any of it to other bees, but who knows it obviously didn’t do enough to knock them off:cool: If you put it in a yard with other bees, you might consider a robber screen. If you don’t have a quarantine yard, keep two close eyes on them:D:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you! Planning to put them into a single deep 10 frame. I haven’t seen brood or a queen yet. I only removed one of the combs and then I stopped. Working straight above your head sucks bad! Honey everywhere, bees ticked off. Lol. I’m going to put on a full suit tomorrow morning and get ‘er done. I’ll likely frame up all of the brood I find and then frame up what honey I can to surround it in the deep and call it a day. That should get them through the rest of winter in East TX.

I’ll keep this hive alone here at the house and keep an eye on them.

Ryan
 

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an easy call for me to make."thanx but i am to busy right now" of course it was -16f when i got home last night, might be different if i lived down south
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Well..., how did it turn out? Looks like a lot of comb there. Two pounds at least outside ot the comb you were going to save.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well..., how did it turn out? Looks like a lot of comb there. Two pounds at least outside ot the comb you were going to save.
So I got them all vacuumed up and the comb scraped out. I’m sorry to say, but I didn’t get the queen. There was a bunch of queen cells when I checked on them yesterday. I’m about to go tear out the queen cells and newspaper combine them with another queen right hive this evening.
 

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You don't have drones yet? You will lose whatever genetics that hive has to offer if you destroy the cells and combine.
 
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