Bees in cavity wall

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jimbeekeeper 

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Hi

I was phoned 2 weekends ago about a swarm of “bees”. On phoning up, the home owner described them as just arriving the other day and they are coming in and out of a small hole in the house.

My first thought was they are masonry bees, and even if they are honey bees if the queen is in the cavity getting her out is almost impossible.

They guy said its Ok he will leave them there. 2 hours later I get a call “the granddaughter has been badly stung”

OK, there is still nothing I can do, if you want rid you will have to call pest control. “OK he says”

2 weeks later I received and email of the attached picture. Yes they are honey bees.

I was in the area today to have just got back from visiting.

The phonot does not do it justice, they are gathering in very large number on the exit of the hole and hanging under the soffit.

I had only been there a few minutes and he comes out with the full storey!!!

He has lived there for 12 years and he has always had bees in this hole or in the area, the previous owner was a beekeeper.

My only thought is given they looked like they are about to swarm was to site 4/5 bait hives in his grounds (I use this word because it is a Manor house) and hope they take flight to there.


 

hedgerow pete 

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i deal with that lot all year long, unless he is going to pay to have the roof and walls dismantled to remove them, just blow loads of nippon powder in the entrence hole, renta kill will charge him £75 to do that so you charge him £50 job done
 

jimbeekeeper 

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Come on Pete, give me a chance!

There is no harm in setting bait hives when he says he has had bees for the past 12 years.

OK I told him from day one that I could not get to the queen, and he understands that.

Any off now to set the bait hives. And no I will not be charging him!
 

Poly Hive 

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Well I would charge. By not charging you are to be frank not doing Pete and his ilk any help at all.

Would you expect a joiner to travel to your house assess the job and then return to start with out promising you a bill?

Unrealistic.

So why not charge for your expertise, as you are out of the helping out a fellow beekeeper here, you are into a definitely chargeable area and to not charge is just downright unfair on others.

PH
 

planbee 

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I took a call at 4-30 this afternoon from the caretaker of a vintage steam-driven pumping station near here.

It only opens so many weekends per year, and is run by volunteers, not open for two more weeks.

Swarm is on a branch about 8 feet from the ground, and he has steps, he say's.

I have ladderage on van, anyway, I'm a window cleaner, also have lot's of telescoping poles, too.

20 mins and I'm there, and they are gone!

In the time that he found me on the 'net, and telephoned, they had stooged off.

We went round all the buildings, no bee's to be seen; I did get a chance to view bit's that the public don't see, so that was nice.

Anyway, I left a 5 frame nuc under the branch, where there are still a lot of scout bee's galloping round, and some have shown quite an interest in the lemon grass smell.

I'll go back in 24 hours, just in case another swarm comes off, or a cast....trouble is, we don't know where they've come from.

Oh yes, he took a nice photo of the swarm, and in spite of me finding nothing, he forced a tenner on me, for my Diesel - never had that before.

John
 

jimbeekeeper 

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By not charging you are to be frank not doing Pete and his ilk any help at all.


PH
I do not know what Pete and his ilk are?

How can I charge for somthing I do not have? All I have done is put 5 boxes in his garden!

Remember this is my hobby, I see no loss to me or others, and only a gain if I get a swarm.
 

Hivemaker. 

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I agree with you Jim,how can you charge to put some bait hives out,do you charge for them by the hour,and as for just spraying poison in the hole thats a great idea,seen some of that done,end up poisoning every bee in the area when they come robbing this nest out.
 

gavin 

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Totally agree with you there Hivemaker. Doing someone out of his ability to poison bees and make a profit from it? Ridiculous.

Jim, do you know how long these bees have been in continuous occupation? They just might be Varroa resistant.

all the best

Gavin
 

jimbeekeeper 

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Thanks Hivemaker and Gavin.

Gavin, I thought the question about Varroa might crop up!

As I said, the guy has lived there for 12 years, and he stated the previous owner was a keeper.

The remote location of this house and the lack of known keepers in a 3 mile radius gives them good hope.

But, yes there might have been bees in this location for 12+ years, but varroa resitant? Given that it is such a small cavity, I suspect there is a very high rate of swarming/ changing of resident queen due to them filling the void.

Well bait hives set, fingers crossed.:cheers2:
 

Poly Hive 

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I was not refering to setting out bait hives I was referring to removing the bees.

By the way for some of the sharper members on this thread, when I took bees out I opened up and cleaned up then sealed off.

Then I realised that working on a tall ladder on top of forty feet of scaffold was not the best of ideas and stopped answering such calls.

Put your knives away lads.

PH
 

hedgerow pete 

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i am sorry to say these things but since i am already in everyones bad books and already have a noose around my neck, i have nothing to loose.
Jimbeekeeper asked about the bees in the photo graph, end off
they will be either in the cavity of the wall or in the eves of the roof, neither will be accessable EVER with out someone taking it apart, time is money so these things cost!
If said hive has been going for 12 years( i doubt it) then the hive would be around 5 square feet in size in a cavity as a single comb but less if its two or more( been there done it , i know what is there) also these bees WILL SWARM, ever year at least once maybe twice and maybe if you are flippin luck and have twenty years to spend breeding it out of them you will still have someone elses cast off in a hive ( no thanks )
the idea that setting bait hives will do anything is a waste of time at the very most you will only get a swarm off a swarmy hive ( why would you want it)

now the money, i am fed up with every muppet and his dog , because of all the latest press publicity , any thing of more than three flying anything is a swarm am i am expected to run up and down collecting them for free ( yer right) so far this year i have had 57 call outs to BEE SWARMS all but tonight one was bumble bees the worse was one old fool called me out at 9 pm at night because there was three bees! in his bathroom window curtain, this is why i charge £25 a time ( reduced to a fiver for little old ladies or inocent callers muppets pay full price
as per tonight swarm bees collected free of charge, thank you very much!
as for the poisining of bees

i love bees and as long as they are not a nuscense they can live any where they want i dont mind but, and its a big BUT , if they are in the way i would expect any bee keeper to protect the good name of bees by removing them from harming anyone, ie REMOVAL PERMANATLY FULL STOP, spray nippon powder around the entrance for a day or to and when dead seal up holes to prevent robbing that is the end of that hive, and you expect me to do at least three trips to someones house out of the goodness of my heart!!!( think very rude words, lots of many times)
the council will not deal with them and rent a kill will charge £75 plus call out fess as a minium, all i want is me petrol money and a pint, and for that i am classed as pete's kind

i have been messing around with bees since 1981 and have done so ever year barr three when i lived and worked abroad , but still found the time to talk and play with the local bee populations, so my kind proberly knows alot more about swarm removel than you think

and finaly the end of pete rant is nearly here, all my bees were nick several years ago and i had to restart again, all of the hives i have are breed nucs every single one, each queen is of a perfect source and of known history i will and have never ever kept a swarm i think they are a complete waste of my time to keep they are swarmy by nature( think about it) and you do not now what else is wrong with them, diease, temper, weekness, aggression, i want my bees to be my bees not someones muck up or cast off's
i collect swarms give them straight to one of my learners and tell them to buy a new queen asap and to restart the colony again,

ho if you are wondering yes i to do take bees out of chimneys 16 last year and the highest wast 38 foot up on a proper scafold , so me and my kind are off now ttfn
 

jimbeekeeper 

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Pete

Discounting your noose and rant! Are you a professional pest controller? if not I assume you are on some swarm catching list? If you do not want to catch swarms is not not just a case of taking your name off the list!

As for the hive, and 12 + years. I never said they had been there for 12 years, but bees had been in this and many other holes and trees in his grounds over the 12 year period.

There are many of on here who enjoy this as a hobby, know one has the right to knock people back for doing right.
 

hedgerow pete 

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i am not a profeesional pest controller, i have had possessionof a posion liecence tho,

i also know what is posible to do and what is not, i have tried all sorts of ways to remove bees from wierd areas so i can prove what i say is posible or not,

bait hives will do what exactly?
collect more swarmy swarms or are you just expecting all the bees to go "great theres a new house lets all move today", sorry but i find that insulting to the bees inteligence aswell as mine,

and as for this enjoy hobbie bit , i have been enjoying this hobby for 20 + years and as all my hobbies, chickens , ducks, allotments, and a few others they all pay for them selves, never will i have to spend hundreds of pounds to do nothing, if i spent a pound on a hobbie i expect it to return to me at least a pound back,

yes i am on a list or two, try the police the local council pest conctroll, enviromental departments. and several charity list,i am also the only person how is willing to do this for the whole of sandwell, west midlands, why because i love bee , bumble or honey i find the whole hobby fasinating. but why on earth do people expect me to travel etc etc and do all these things for them for free, and people then question my payments as if i am extoring money from the helpless, try calling up rent a kill and ask them to turn up for free
 

jimbeekeeper 

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bait hives will do what exactly?
Lighten up Pete! People who put bait hives do it for many reasons but I would say must do it for a bit of fun. If you get one it is a bonus!


but why on earth do people expect me to travel etc etc and do all these things for them for free,
No one expects you to, you are the one that has put your name forward and on the lists!

, if i spent a pound on a hobbie i expect it to return to me at least a pound back,
I agree, but not every hobby can
 
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jimbeekeeper 

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Progress Update

Well, despite some people’s doubts, one of the planted baited hives received a very nice sized swarm. I am not stating it came from the cavity wall, but regardless it now gives me a hive of bees + queen to progress onwards.

So now onto part B of the operation.

Removal of the bees from the cavity.

Using a combination of ideas from the two links

http://www.beesfordevelopment.org/info/info/managing/using-flexible-pipes-to-r.shtml

http://www.beesource.com/point-of-v...ndamentals-finesse-of-structural-bee-removal/

I drilled a hole in the side of a super to accept some 42mm drain pipe. On the inside of the super an attached a double cone bee escape made from wire mesh (picture to follow).

As a precaution that either the swam queen try’s to escape back or a virgin try’s to get out from the cavity I have included a QX above a crown board with two openings in it.

Also as with any swarm I get I have also added a QX under the brood box which I remove after a couple of days.

The hole from the super was then piped up with the drain pipe to line up with the hole in the house wall.

Then using spray expanding foam I created a seal around the pipe thus preventing bees getting in or out from the location. Note in picture 3 that intailly a lot of bees got stuck in the foam until it formed a skin over it.

After about 30 mins the bees re-orientated them selves to the hive entrance and where also fanning to draw others in.

I plan now to visit for the first week every 2 days and then aim to remove the hive after 2 weeks.

The hole in the house will then be sealed up and the hive taken away.

I hope people find this interesting, and it does not become a discussion about charging or not charging to collect swarms!

I did this for the interest in this capture alone and nothing else!

More progress reports will follow

Jim







 
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hedgerow pete 

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i complement you on your ingenuity and resolve, a most wondefully heath robinson contraption, absolutly wonderfull, but can i put just one very small question your way, and in no way is this negative, but what about the contents of the colony inside the wall, wax and honey?



there is a way to speed up the exiting of the bees and that is to drill a hole 13mm round as low as you like in the wall and to pump your smoker into it, as for the removal of its contents you could remove a whole brick and start to use a steamer to melt and remove the contents which will come down and out via your brick hole
 

jimbeekeeper 

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Thanks very much Pete, heath robinson is what I do best!

Pete I think on my next vist this Thursday I will ask the owner for permission to drill as you say a 13 mm hole. I am actaulay not clear if the bees are in the house wall or more likley in a void behind the white facia boards and onder the bay wanyder roof cavity.

I think drilling into the wood pannel will be simplest to start with.

I think firstly I need to check that bees are using the white pipe and starting to exit the house into the hive.

On reading the attached links they sugest opening back up the cavity and alowing the bees to rob it out, but I think WHEN I get that far I and the house owner will be happy to call it quits in 2 weeks time and me be on my way with a new hive and the house owner be rid of bees...for a while.

He has allread said I can leave a bait hive there for the rest of the season for any other swarms.

Jim
 
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paulgeoffrey 

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Jim,
They will be in the bay window roof. The house wall is solid 9" brickwork, note the header courses at every other course (English bond).
Go Gett'em lad!:)
Paul.
 
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