(oops, I realize now that there is a sub-form/child-board, mods, please move)
Scenario: Bees arrived at a clients' home three days ago. They are in a narrow
chamber between wall studs, on a portion of a roof gable that is high up and
hard to reach. They haven't been there long enough to build enough comb (rear
brood, make honey) to make a mess when they leave.
Safest thing for the bees and the easiest thing for me would be to convince
them to abscond - hopefully to my swarm trap. If not, that's OK too - will
probably meet up with them later anyway. If I can get them to abscond, the
landlord will seal the space off (was left open by a contractor after fixing a
I've read that bees hate tea-tree oil. I placed a cotton ball saturated with
tea tree oil in close proximity to their entrance. I would have liked to drilled
into the outer wall on the far side of their chamber and put the cotton in
there, but was unable to reach that. I used my tallest ladder and a long stick
to place the cotton in a crevice.
After placing the cotton w/ tea-tree oil, the bees were very unhappy with me
(one followed me a good 100ft, bumping my veil, and didn't give up until I left
completely). Yes, they need to be unhappy in order to abscond from their current
location.... my concern is that someone in the neighborhood might be randomly
stung. Hopefully not.
How would you convince bees to abscond from a short-term residence before the
queen starts laying?