Well, this went okay, but not as good as I had hoped. This colony entered at the top of the brick exterior, and made its way into a stud space on the interior. I located its position with some info I gleaned from the pros on here, namely Robo. I was able to get a good idea of which stud space inside just from feeling the temp change in the wall.
The reason it did not go as well as I had hoped is that when we moved the lathe and plaster that we cut out, the plaster collapsed. Basically the 1'x4' section we cut out folded up like an accordian. It was devastating to the comb, bees, and to me. Too many bees were smooshed. It was very frustrating.
In hindsight we should have done what we discussed in the first place, cut onexone sections until we reached the bottom. There was a lot of weight on the thing, even though we had good support under it right away.
I was still able to salvage several frames of brood. I captured several pounds of bees with my vac. I also salvaged some comb for the bees to rob out. Most of it was too dirty, though.
While putting what comb I salvaged into frames, I noticed a waxworm. I did not notice any others, but wonder if maybe there were many more. Other than that they appear to be pretty healthy.
I am afraid the queen might have been crushed during the collapse. I have nothing to base this on except pessimism. I did not see activity that would indicate otherwise. I will give this new group of female phenoms a bit of time, and then requeen if neccessary. That is, if they stick with their new home for the time being.
Anyway, lesson learned. All in all a good experience. http://img16.imageshack.us/img16/576/dscf6061.jpg
Their entrance was straight up the left side of the ladder, and just below the band board.http://img16.imageshack.us/img16/8792/dscf6075k.jpg
My contractor friend , Steve to whom I defer when there are unfamiliar construction issues, is locating the studs and header to begin cutting. http://img16.imageshack.us/img16/9349/dscf6063i.jpg
What is left of the hive after the collapse. http://img196.imageshack.us/img196/8468/dscf6064.jpg
Emptied, cleaned, and put back together.http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/9343/dscf6072.jpg
I caulked the entrance and closed off all potential entrances. I also took some fiberglass insulation batts, and filled the stud space. We thought it would be a good preventative.
Took me six hours start to finish, which included washing down the wall we worked on, and sweeping the floor. I also wiped down the stairs....thought we might have tracked a tad bit of honey.