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Author Topic: Brick Step Cutout  (Read 1123 times)
landellapiaries
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« on: June 21, 2011, 11:58:07 AM »

I have a cut out to do in the front steps of an elderly couples home. The steps are brick and have a 3 inch concrete slab on top. The bees are entering along a crack on the side of the steps.

I have not done much masonry work, so my initial thoughts were to gut the grout around the bricks on one side to access the colony. I am not thinking there might be block behind them, or at least multiple layers of brick?? and the best way is to cut the slab with a demo saw and remove them from there.

Any suggestions on how to do this one?

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Kris - Ulster County, NY
sawdstmakr
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« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2011, 12:27:50 PM »

I just recently removed a 3 year old hive from a 30" x 30" brick pillar. What I did was I used a bee vac to collect the bees as they came out of the opening, trying to get as many of the guard bees as possible. I used a circular saw with a diamond tip blade to cut 3/4 of the way through the mortar. Then after all of the cuts that are are done to make a big enough opening to pull out the comb, about 12 inches, I used chisels and hammer to slowly pull out the bricks. The mistake that I made was not keeping a mist of water to keep the dust down and wash off the bricks before you open it up. I lost the queen and half of the bees because of the cement dust. Luckily I used 2 inserts into the bee vac because when I poured the bees into the hive box the from the first box collected most of them were dead and I had to use 2 hands to scoop them up an I put them on the front board so the live ones could go into the hive. There were so many dead ones that the healthy ones got sick form handling the sic ones. The queen was in the second box but she still died. do not use the vacuum while the dust is flying. You will know when the queen is in the vacuum because the free bees will go to the exhaust side of the vacuum. I weighed the bees and had vacuumed out 7 pounds of bees, that is about 25,000 bees.
Good luck.
Jim
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G3farms
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« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2011, 12:35:00 PM »

Sounds like a lot of work, I would just do a trap out on them if the home owners would let them stay that long.
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landellapiaries
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« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2011, 01:51:05 PM »

I wanted to do a trap out, but then found out both homeowners are allergic.  I won't do a trap out on a home with allergic residents.  I'm meeting with them to give them a quote today.
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Kris - Ulster County, NY
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« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2011, 02:10:50 PM »

Can the underside of the porch be accessed from under the house? That's the only way I would try a cut out. A trapout will not cause the bees to be any more aggressive than they are normally. I have never had a home owner get stung during a trapout.

Have you questioned them about their allergy? Do they have epi-pens. Have either been through anaphylactic shock before? If the answer is, "I swell terribly bad", then do a trapout.

The trapout should take no longer than the bees have already been there. If they moved in within the last week, the trap should be over in a week, ETC. If they have been there for months, they can wait for the time the trap takes.
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landellapiaries
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« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2011, 02:24:26 PM »

Iddee- I am going to try to persuade them to do a trap out when I talked to them.  At this point I may just walk away if they don't go for it as there is just not much space to work with for a cut out.  
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Kris - Ulster County, NY
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« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2011, 07:38:18 PM »

Ya, see if you can get under the house to see if the back of the steps are open. 
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danno
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« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2011, 08:26:08 AM »

Dont all get fired up on me but if the owners are allergic and the bee's have picked a home like this maybe a beekeeper isn't the right guy to call.  I wouldn't in a million years disasemble someones brick porch to catch a few pounds of bee's.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2011, 11:34:47 AM by danno » Logged
landellapiaries
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« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2011, 08:44:47 AM »

I met with the owners yesterday.  The wife has gone into anaphylactic shock before and the husband is only allergic to wasps and hornets, not honeybees.  Because of this I have abandoned the trap out idea, and they do not want a bait hive on the property.  There is no access to the colony from behind the steps and from what I could see with a borescope, there is all new white comb.  This was probably a swarm from this year.  I gave the homeowner a quote to remove the top landing and extract the bees, but, they are concerned with the allergy issue and asked me to just exterminate.  I don't do exterminations as I am not here to kill bees, but left them with a quote and proposal if they change their mind.
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Kris - Ulster County, NY
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« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2011, 09:06:50 AM »

For what its worth, I would never go in from the top on a set up like this, unless you want to rebuild the entire step.  Wink

If its a raised house, the best bet would be to go in from the back side, but I would definitely consult with a contractor/engineer before that move.


...JP
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iddee
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« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2011, 10:12:18 AM »

You did good. A walk away is many times the right choice.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

*Shel Silverstein*
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