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Author Topic: Bees in the porch...  (Read 2792 times)
Apis629
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« on: March 16, 2006, 08:15:59 PM »

I have a second story porch that has an open area between the bottom and top of probably close to a foot.  Anyways, I was out looking at the back yard today and wouldn't you know it... a hive has taken up residence in there through one of the cracks.  There were about a dozen bees flying in and out.  I looked up there just earlier this week and there were no bees in there.  They still haven't started collecting pollen.  I'm thinking this comming Saturday I'll pry off the stucko covered, rotten wood and both smoke the bees as well as drench them with sugar syrup from an unused pesticide sprayer.  These bees are much more accessable given they are only about 7 feet above the ground.  Given the risk of africanized bees I know I'll have to be carefull but, the cost of a "Pest Controll Specialist" is just plain forbidding...$170.00 just for comming out.  All I have on hand is a nuc box to harbor them but, given this would be a fresh swarm, a nuc box should contain them...right?
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2006, 11:03:59 PM »

I went after a colony that had started just a day or two before hand. I didn't think there was any comb built but there was and the bees were covering it. There were eggs in the comb already.

Stucko huh? You do know that stuff is sprayed onto a wire base dont you? What I call chicken wire since chicken pens are made out of it. I have torn into two different walls of that stuff to get bees. One of them was fairly thin and was able to break it and peel it back fairly easy. The hammering made the bees really mad. The other was really thick. I had to get thin masonary wheels for my grinder to cut it out of the way. Grinding and power sawing doesn't make the bees near as mad as just a little hammering. In fact they usually ignore it.

I'd bet they aren't very aggresive, as long as you don't do a lot of banging. You might rip the place open one day then let them settle down over night and get them into the nuc the next day.
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JP
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« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2006, 12:21:55 AM »

Nathan,
You mentioned that stucco was covering the rotten wood. Like Jerrymac said you will probably have that wire mesh over wood lathe. It will be difficult getting through the mesh. I like Jerrymac's suggestion about opening the area, letting them settle down, then removing them. And yes, also in my experience, honeybees hate when you hammer. That hive could be larger than you think. After you open the area you can do an evaluation to see if a nuc box would be adequate to house the colony. If it is large and there is hardly any brood comb, if you can take a brood frame from another colony, this will help get them going. Good luck, don't forget the smoke.
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Understudy
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« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2006, 12:26:25 AM »

Plan for a deep box with frames. THe colony is probably larger than you think. Have a nuc box on stand by just in case. This one is not going to be any fun.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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bassman1977
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« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2006, 06:07:35 AM »

If possible, could you post some pictures of the work that you do?  That would be interesting.
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« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2006, 06:46:00 AM »

Quote from: JP
Nathan,
You mentioned that stucco was covering the rotten wood. Like Jerrymac said you will probably have that wire mesh over wood lathe.



now this depends on the age of the house, if it's a older home it might be like he said just stucco (i think they called it plaster in the old days) covering wood slatts.... I always wondered how many beekeepers have gotten hives in thier home after swarm season?
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2006, 07:24:53 AM »

There are no old houses in Florida. They get blown away every year.  shocked
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« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2006, 07:47:40 AM »

Quote from: Jerrymac
There are no old houses in Florida. They get blown away every year.  shocked


  cheesy  cheesy  cheesy  you right Jerry, Forgot he was in Florida  wink
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Understudy
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« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2006, 08:21:29 AM »

The new house get blown away.The old houses are the ones that stay. Dade Pine is one tough wood. I live in a house built in the 30's.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2006, 08:33:42 AM »

Quote from: Understudy
The new house get blown away.The old houses are the ones that stay. Dade Pine is one tough wood. I live in a house built in the 30's.

Sincerely,
Brendhan


yup, when you go to the beaches anywhere on the east cost, most houses are older homes, wood is stronger and thicker, when they put beams in them old house's they were real beam's like 6"x12", I have done some remodeling and them old houses are tough and most are built with heart lumber....
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Apis629
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« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2006, 02:05:32 PM »

I'm about 15 miles in from the Tampa Bay and this house was actually built in the mid 70s. Large enough portions have fallen off to show that there is that chicken wire but, it doesn't really look like chicken wire.  I always thought chicken wire had large, diamond or square shaped holes.  This stuff has small, 1/4" diamond holes (at the widest point).  And yes Understudy, I realize this won't be fun but, that porch has sagged about a foot and could fall any day.  I'd rather get it when the hive is small(er) than after a hurrican when the entire thing falls down.  Who knows...maybe they won't be africanized...I hope.  I'll be sure to take still photos and video.  Wish me luck.

P.S.  With the smoke I'm hoping to use and UNUSED pesticide sprayer to apply a 1/2 to 1 sugar syrup to aid in calming them with the smoke.  Every little bit helps, right?

Quote
yup, when you go to the beaches anywhere on the east cost, most houses are older homes, wood is stronger and thicker, when they put beams in them old house's they were real beam's like 6"x12", I have done some remodeling and them old houses are tough and most are built with heart lumber....


The outer and inner walls of the house, with the exception of a second story addition and a half bath downstairs, are all concrete blocks with rebar.  Let me put it this way, mounting photos on the walls is a pain in the @$$!  I guess it really had to be built that way given the termites are everywhere, year round.  One final note (FINALY!!!!!) I'm on the WEST side of Florida.  Hurrican Francis (I really don't remember...all of the hurricanes in the 2004 season seemed to be constant) came within about 30 miles (the eye that is) and the winds were battering.  I know a few beekeepers around here (6 or so) that were forced out of business given all their hives were flooded, blown apart, or just went into the alafia river out to sea.  Then came red tide to kill the fisherman's paycheck...florida is not forgiving to those who seak to make a proffit in agriculture.  Now there's citrus canker...whats next!!!!!

I do beleive I just wrote a book and fell WAY off topic.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2006, 02:51:21 PM »

Quote from: Apis629
This stuff has small, 1/4" diamond holes (at the widest point).  


Expanded metal?Huh
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« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2006, 03:49:11 PM »

The metal you are referring to is used to support stucco or cover vents.
Since I don't have a life except for work. I could come out there on Sunday(day after tomorrow) and work with you on this. But I have to go to Chicago next weekend for two weeks. So let me know and we can whip this together really fast.

Also to pull no punches this is going to mean you will need to do some repairs to the sophet afterward (no matter who removes the bees). I don't know how much and won't know untill I get there. And the home repairs will have to be done by someone else.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Apis629
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« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2006, 12:05:30 AM »

While I appreciate the offer, I'm probably not going to take you up on it.  West Palm beach is a fair ways away and this colony should be rather manageable given it's appearantly small size, and the fact that the guards must all be sleaping.  This morning I looked at it before catching the bus and there were a few bees buzzing around the crack.  After school I returned to find that it was practicly devoid of bees (the enterence at least).  I waited for about half an hour and no bees showed up.  At this point I became immpacient that they may have left and hit the enterence area with a rock (like any adolecent) still nothing happened.  Finally, I got a coat hanger and like an idiot, jabbed it into the enterence (I was wearing a veil and gloves with a lit smoker)  still no bees came out.  Would it be uncommon for a hive to completely abscond just a few days after their arival?  Could the bees have senced that they were making thier hive in a VERY unstable area?  I'm just sort of puzzled right now but, if I see more bees at that crack again tomarow morning I guess I'll tear it apart and see what's there.  Good news is that it souldn't affect anything structural given the hive is actually the farthest possible location from the walls of the house.  In summary, thankyou for the offer of assistance, but, I feel that, that would be best reserved for if a fully established hive were found on my property.  I'm just a little confused right now, if I hadn't seen those dozen or so bees flying in and out of that crack yesterday, I'd never beleive there's a hive there.
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Jack Parr
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« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2006, 06:16:30 AM »

Sometimes bees will do that, act like they want to set up shop and then leave.

I just, this past week, encountered such a situation. The bees, about 30 or so managed to enter into the  attic of a home and couldn't find their way out. I was called by the owner to investigate and I determined what had happened.  I simply vaccumed all the bees, against a closed window in the attic and released them outside.
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Apis629
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« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2006, 09:17:25 PM »

I got a strong flashlight and looked in today.  There weren't any bees, comb or anything...not even propolis.
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