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Author Topic: removing strong colony from a home  (Read 2640 times)
bee bop
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« on: July 11, 2004, 04:37:25 PM »

I have an opportunity to try to remove a strong colony from a home and, as a newbie, would appreciate advice and comments on my plan before proceeding.  By "strong," I'm guessing 100,000 or more.  Beekeeping for Dummies suggests counting all bees coming and going for a minute and multiplying by 1,000 to get a rough estimate.  Let's just say that at 10:00 this moring, between three of us, we couldn't count that high that fast!

The home owner says the bees moved in last year, so this is not a fresh swarm.

The entrance is about 8' high, between the first and second stories.  Bottom story is concrete wall, which probably puts the hive area in the upper story walls or floor joists.  I have an advantage in that my husband is in construction, so he will know the best way to approach the final removal to cause minimum damage, and can repair any damage to the home.

The main entrance area is about 2" x 4", and there is some area along the siding they are also using.  I  plan to caulk the siding gaps to restrict them to the single 2x4 entrance area.  I would then need a way to guide them from there to a capture box.  Because the colony appears to be so large, I would set up a deep super (or do I need 2?) with frames and waxed foundation (I can't spare any drawn out foundation as my hives at home were new in May).

I've seen mention of a "screen funnel"  and understand the concept, but need more detail.  Is this simply screening used to guide them to a hole in the receiving box?  Do you put one of those one-way cones in the hole, the cones used to remove bees from the honey supers?

I want to pull as much of the colony as possible from the home into the hive, hoping they'll view it as an extention of their current home.  I would like to set it up as a regular hive, with a screened bottom board and sticky paper to get a mite count before I move it home.

From there the homeowner is willing to allow us to pull up carpet and subflooring from upstairs, or sheetrock from the ceiling downstairs if they are in the floor joists.  We didn't discuss the possibility of them being in the walls, but I think she'll be okay with removing sheetrock from inside walls if we can't get at the hive by removing siding, etc.

That's a long-winded way of saying we want as few bees as possible flying about the house if inside removal becomes necessary.

How long should the exterior hive be left in place before trying to remove what is left inside the home?  What do you think the ideal or max outdoor temp should be, so as to minimize damage to the interior of the home?

Bee Bop
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Robo
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« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2004, 11:17:46 AM »

If the homeowner is willing to let you open up the house to get access, don't bother with the screen funnel and exterior box.

The most efficient way is to get access to the combs and remove them, place them in empty frames with rubberbands.  If you just capture the field bees (funnel method) you will still have the nurse bees, queen, brood and honey still in the wall.   This can make for a great mess and much more damge when it starts to run thru the walls.  I would explain it to the homeowner and then just tear open the wall and remove it all.  A bee vac makes the job much easier.
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bee bop
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« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2004, 09:40:10 PM »

Thank you for the response.  I'll look into making a bee vac.  Could a wet/dry vac be adapted?  I'm visualizing hooking a second hose on the "out" that could blow them from the drum into a hive body.

I understand there would still be nurse bees, etc.  in the hive when we open the wall or floor, but I was hoping to keep the number of bees exposed to the interior of the home to a minimum.  

In my perfect little world, all the flyers would move to the exterior hive in a single overcast day of 60-65 degrees, the house would stay cool, and all the little nurse bees would curtsy and thank me as they moved willingly to a new hive, and the queen would jump up and ordain me Keeper of Her Realm.  We would all go back to my place and live happily......

But alas, as I rather expected as I drafted my post, reality is looming, ready to snap me out of it smiley

I am still interested, for future reference, what is meant by "funnel."  Are those one-way cones used, the ones for getting bees to vacate the honey supers?
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« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2004, 12:47:29 AM »

bee bop,

"funnel" in this case is a cone made from wire screen (of a mesh that the bees can't get through) formed into a cone maybe 18 inches long. The one end would be say 6 inches in diameter (large enough to completely cover the 2"-4" opening that the bees are using to get into the house) and the other end would be about 1" in diameter and located close to the entry of your new brood box that you are providing for the bees. The concept here is that you cover their entry to the house so that they can't find their way back in and you let them exit the house via your cone funnel right to the entrance of your new brood box.
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« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2004, 05:01:52 PM »

Quote from: bee bop
I'll look into making a bee vac.  Could a wet/dry vac be adapted?  I'm visualizing hooking a second hose on the "out" that could blow them from the drum into a hive body.


I'm visualizing a second hose spewing bee parts into your hive body.  A wet/dry vac CAN be adapted to make a bee vac, but the bee catching device must be in front of the wet/dry vac. The air coming from the "out" of the wet/dry vac has gone thru the fan of the vacuum.

The reason you can't just use a wet/dry vac is that the velocity of the air is too fast and will kill the bees.  You need to reduce the velocity, so that it just barely sucks in the bees. I guess you could modify a wet/dry vac by creating a second intake and reduce the velocity/suction on the hose that would suck the bees.
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SilverFox
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« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2004, 12:03:56 PM »

Cheesy  I know this post is late, just checked the site, I surf the sites on a bi-weekly schudle.  A good source for a Bee Vac is  www.beesource.com they have alot of ideas for the do-it-yourselfer.  Check them out.
Good luck Cheesy
 Cheesy I enjoy doing extractions cause each one presents its own problems and soultions.  Keeps you thinking.  Cheesy
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« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2004, 07:48:51 AM »

If SilverFox's reply was late, this is terrible late  Cheesy

I just came across a page: Removing Bees from a Chimney

They placed a hive on top of the chimney and used a one-way cone to "drift" the bees over to the hive.  

What I found interesting was the trick they used for removing the honey: After the bees had settled in the new hive, they removed the one-way cone, and let the bees "rob" their own honey. from the chimney and to the new hive.


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