Live Bee Removal
Live bee removal requires a very different skillset as well as a basic understanding of building construction and systems. There are different ways to remove bees from a structure and the circumstances of where they are located as well as the danger they may pose on occupants can determine the course of action.
The most common method is called a "Cut Out" due to the fact that you are literally cutting into the structure to get the bees out of the building. These jobs can take anywhere from a few hours to all day or many days depending on the situation. I helped a crew with multiple beekeepers remove at least 5 different colonies from an old roof that took more than 3 days to complete.
Next less common means of removing bees is called a trap out. Where a cut out is not feasible due to different circumstances such as concrete block or a live tree that is near children or an allergic person. Trap outs take many weeks and sometimes are not fully successful as it requires the queen to leave and that is a difficult task. It requires building a one way cone that the bees leave but cannot get back in and a box nearby with some old comb inside and even some eggs from another colony to help lure the queen out.
The last type of live bee removal is relocation of Bumblebee nests. This requires finding the nest and digging up as much of the nest as possible to get the honey and egg pots. they make then trapping them in a new location overnight then allowing them to re-orient to their new home the next day.
If you have a need to have live bees removed please call or text us to ensure they are safely relocated. We will do an initial assessment and provide an estimate for the job once we understand what we are dealing with.
The images below show an overview of what a cutout entails from the identification of the entrance to cleanup of the job.
Entrance to the home where the bees came and went. This was an easy to find entrance as the bees were very active and it was at eye level next to stairs leading to the entrance of the home.
Using tools like the FLIR cam attachment on my phone, I can see the thermal mass of bees through the wall. We had also used an endoscope attachment to see what direction the bees went once in the hole.
Next step is to cut the walls open to find the nest. This comb is pretty dark and has been here for at least a 2 seasons. This is brood comb in the front with pollen stores behind.
The entrance is down towards the bottom of that cluster of bees. That whole comb is about 4 feet in length with 3 combs deep. Good sized colony.
A nice sized piece of comb I was able to extract with a lot of bees and brood.
Once we find the queen we mark her and keep her away from the action until we settle in.
This is how we transfer a cut out colony to a managed hive. we cut the comb as best as we can fit to frames then use rubber bands to hold it in place. The bees will reattach the comb with fresh wax to the frame after a couple of weeks they will be like they have been there all along.
The task is almost complete. All the bees and comb have been removed. We clean the area with bleach and then a final wipe down with Tea Tree oil as the bees really don't like that. Then we seal up all the holes from the inside and out to not allow any other bees to move in.
All boxed up and strapped down, ready to move to their new location.
Below is an example of a trap out we did that took 5 weeks to complete. second story external entrance in to concrete block wall. 2 colonies located here and we had 2 trap set up inside an unoccupied space which made this job a little easier. Trapped them from getting out and used tubes inside to allow them to get from the existing colony to the new boxes. the tubes required frequent check in as they got clogged up with bees. Ended up losing one queen in the process so we combined the two colonies to make one.
This shows the new location of a Bumblebee nest. Let them rest overnight then I removed the box altogether to allow them stay in that location with their brood.