Inaccessible swarm

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Tonyf 

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Hi, looking for thoughts.

A swarm has recently (7 days max) rehomed itself in the roof/cavity of a house near where we have some hives. Might be ours might not but we want to help resolve.

They have multiple entrances through a significant cracks in the wet verge along the roof. Once in the fabric of the building there's a list of inaccessible places they could be (sealed loft etc) but some have found their way into an interior room.

The householder isn't up for any option eg cut out, that damages the building.

I can't see any option beyond euthanasia via insecticide powder at the entrances but interested to hear thoughts.

Thanks
 

Earthboy 

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1. Locate where the nest is precisely. (use a thermal camera if you have one)
2. Seal any vent and escape holes and cracks except for their main entrance through which they will escape and you will vacuum.
3. Use bee-repellent and smoke to drive them out (a continuous labor of using heavy smoke laced with repellent).
4. As they come out, bee-vacuum, a very time consuming chore as the foragers return in numbers.

But this can be done. I just finished this job today and it ain't easy to force an abscond. The problem of this forced absconding, invariably, is inside the cavity there are still combs and the queen (often), but you will be entombing them inside the least number of bees--without having to take apart the house. It works but demands the home owner a vigil against the next swarm.

You can try a trap-out--if you have time (6 to 8 weeks), but a recent swarm might take shorter.

This is not an ad, but you can see a footage here:


I could not upload the video sine the file was just a tad too big for this forum. Sorry, Dani.
 

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Tonyf 

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1. Locate where the nest is precisely. (use a thermal camera if you have one)
2. Seal any vent and escape holes and cracks except for their main entrance through which they will escape and you will vacuum.
3. Use bee-repellent and smoke to drive them out (a continuous labor of using heavy smoke laced with repellent).
4. As they come out, bee-vacuum, a very time consuming chore as the foragers return in numbers.

But this can be done. I just finished this job today and it ain't easy to force an abscond. The problem of this forced absconding, invariably, is inside the cavity there are still combs and the queen (often), but you will be entombing them inside the least number of bees--without having to take apart the house. It works but demands the home owner a vigil against the next swarm.

You can try a trap-out--if you have time (6 to 8 weeks), but a recent swarm might take shorter.

This is not an ad, but you can see a footage here:


I could not upload the video sine the file was just a tad too big for this forum. Sorry, Dani.
Thanks Dani
 

hemo 

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An established colony won't be driven put by smoke.
Powder isn't a satisfactory way to kill them as other bees will or can later access the colony and come in contact with said nasties, with multiple entrances it's a no, no & someone leaves them selves open for prosecution should said nasties kill someone else's colonies.
Many years ago a pest controller was prosecuted (by Defra) and heavily fined for not following due diligence killing off a chimney colony, it sent alarm bells through the industry and reason why most will not now touch bees.
 

hemo 

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The issue on it's own isn't all about nasties used but sealing up the old colony 100% as honey will be the major attractant for other bees to rob, thus coming in to contact with said nasties.

If the job can't be done 100%, then it;s not worth doing at all. Once in the fabric of a building either cut outs partial property disturbance is needed ( insurance 100% required) or leave it to chance and a die out (in years to come).
 
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hemo 

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If a single entrance was the only way in a trap out may be possible of the flying bees using a one way entrance and an adapted nuc box, the process may take some time to deprive the remainder of stores and foragers. Eventually they will starve out.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Too many - but not nearly enough
or you can sit like a dummy on a ladder for a couple of days waving a hoover around :icon_204-2:
 

Erichalfbee 

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I’m sorry but I think with multiple entrances you’re stuffed.
I would walk away. They are going to be sure the bees are yours so you are going to keep your head down.
 

ericbeaumont 

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leave it to chance and a die out
Least expensive option: ask the owner to watch for flying on a warm spring day. If all is quiet during the week while other insects are flying, the roofer can go in and seal all points of access, though this is tricky and must be thorough.
 

ericbeaumont 

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What powder is licensed for bees?
Law changed a year or so ago (JBM may know more) and options are limited; main risk is with robbing of the nest following poisoning and as Hemo said, you run the risk of prosecution and at the least, contravening the spirit of the Wildlife and Countryside Act.
 

Tonyf 

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Thanks for the advice all. Good news, it appears it was a new swarm and didn't settle...they appear to have gone. Have advised the home owner to seal up the gaps and cracks ASAP!
 

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