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New Bee
Mar 27, 2009
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Winchester, Hampshire
Hive Type
Number of Hives
The farmer whose land my hives are located on, has a colony of bees living in the roof of his farmhouse. He's only recently moved in, but he believes the colony has been there for a few years.
He'd like them removed if possible, although I guess this time of year isn't too good for doing that. The bees are getting in at the top of a pitched roof, the access isn't very easy, and to make matters worse, the power line for the house goes in very near to where the bees are entering. He's not sure how easy access will be from inside the house.
I've collected a couple of swarms now, but this seems like a big job, which will require more than one person.
Do I encourage him to leave it until spring time, or could the bees be removed now?
Anyone fancy coming to have a look with me? :cheers2:
I'd leave them until the spring - they might die out before then, but they will struggle if you managed to block up the access to exit only and put a hive up near the entrance for the flying bees to go into.

Power lines are always to be approached with caution anyway.

If the nest can be seen from inside the roof space (ie loft) in the early spring it could be easier to take the nest apart inside, comb by comb and remove internally.

If this was possible, I'd take a couple of Nuc boxes up into the loft space, line the rafters with boards to make it safe to work, use low light or if there is a roof light window, open it as the bees will get drawn to it.

Then, with empty frames cut the wild comb to fit and hold in place with strong garden wire wrapped around twice, side to side and top to bottom.

Once complete, I'd also leave a frame of brood in a nuc in the loft close to the entrance if possible to capture any more bees over the next day, then remove the nuc entirely and close the entrance from within.

If destroying is the only option, the comb really needs to be removed 100% as other bees will find it attarctive in years to come.

Let me know how you get on, PM me if necessary as I'm not far away (nor is Mark, Admin) either
Thanks, I thought it was probably better to wait until next year. I'll try and put him off until then. I'd like to save the bees if I can, but I think they are going to be very difficult to remove from there. I'll let you know if/when I tackle it!
If you use smoke when you move them be very careful about fire - just a few sparks on some old cobwebs could be enough. Probably best to use a water spray.

I have heard of chemicals being used to drive bees out of confined spaces. The sort of stuff used for clearing supers.

An alternative approach would be to make a swarm vacuum cleaner. Then as you take the comb apart - assuming you can get at it, just Hoover up the bees and if you can wait until March to do this, then just chuck them directly onto some foundation and feed with syrup.

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