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Removing bees from a cavity wall.

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The Riviera Kid 

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I have just had a call from a member of the public about a colony of honey bees that have taken up residence in the cavity wall of their house. they are using a hole drilled through the masonry as their entrance and it's about 2 or 3 feet off the ground.

The hole happens to be right by their back door so it's rather inconvenient.

The lady was rather rambling and it was hard to get her to answer my questions rather than just repeating what she'd already said!! I am certain from her description that they are honey bees though and not bumbles.

I can't see any viable way of moving it without knocking holes in the wall.

Any other suggestions please?
 

The Riviera Kid 

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They aren't masonry bees. Masonry bees have little or no sting and this lady did say several times that her dogs have been stung.

also, masonry bees are solitary - not social like bumble and honey bees. They do congregate from time to time but from what the lady was saying the bees in this nest are coming and going in quantity and from the shape she described I would say that they are certainly not bumbles.
 
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Sorry if I was asking the bleedin obvious - our next door thought they had a similar problem but after seeing them in the flesh they turned out to be wasps (easy solution!).

If you cannot get the queen out it is hard to see how there can be a satisfactory conclusion to this. Over smoking perhaps?
 

The Riviera Kid 

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Your question was completely valid and not obvious!! I asked more or less the same thing to her - regarding the quantity of bees. When she said "loads of them coming and going all day" I decided it probably wasn't masonry bees.

It was a difficult call - aside from the ramble - as she accepted that they couldn't be removed without taking bricks out but she didn't want them killed but she didn't want them left alone... she wanted someone to come and entice them out...

I told her that they would only follow a queen and that this was not possible - but that didn't stop her asking again.. and again...

I told her not to cover the hole (in case the bees find and even less convenient way out - i.e. through the internal wall) and warned her about using insect killing spray. If she kills the queen and not all the workers then she is going to have lots of very very angry non-queenright bees that will sting anything that moves!!

If she wants rid of them I think that it's a professional job to be honest.

smoke might get a few out but you would need a lot to fill the whole cavity as the nest may not and probably is not right behind the hole.
 

The Riviera Kid 

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I had similar problem- Just in the process of doing this- may be the answer

http://www.bedfordshirebeekeepers.org.uk/page24.htm
that's an interesting idea. not sure how useful it would be simply as the hole is near the ground but the nest *could* be any where in the wall (e.g. right up near the roof) in which case there's no way the suction would be enough to pull them out. you could leave it running at the entrance and catch the worker bees I suppose but it's the queen that needs to come out. Aside from that I haven't got one of those handy devices!!

I think she's going to have to go down the pest control route... :(
 

The Riviera Kid 

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Nope, i would say:
a) Knock holes
b) Seal them in ( Not a happy choice :( )
I more or less said (a) - I agree that (b) is not a happy choice but can also be unwise as the bees can find other ways in and out which could be even less convenient.
 

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