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Author Topic: Removal of colony!?  (Read 3354 times)
EOHenry
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« on: March 17, 2006, 11:42:11 PM »

I was contacted today by  a retired beekeeper who sent me to a building owner that had a bee hive in the wall of a wharehouse.  He noticed it last fall and knows it is honeybees as there was some run out of honey down the inside wall. He was looking for someone to remove or kill all the bees.  I would like to save the colony and him some money.  I have captured acouple of swarms last year, but never tried to remove a colony from a bld.  Should I wait until the weather warms up to a certain temp. here in Mich.? Any suggestions of articles I can read before I attempt this project?

Thanx for any help!

EOHenry
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2006, 12:03:11 AM »

There are many places in these forums where we have talked about removals. What kind of walls does this warehouse have? Sheet rock is the easiest. And probably the cheapest when it comes to the repair after a removal. In other words, it is usually easier and cheaper to go in from the inside rather than tear out a bunch of bricks or metal siding and stuff. After you get to the bees you want to cut the comb out of the walls and any brood you would want to tie into frames and place into the hive body. Hopefully you can find the queen while digging everything out. If you get the queen and the brood into the hive body and all the comb out of the wall then you sit back and wait for sunset. All of the bees will/should find the new home by then.

You can't tie the honey filled combs into a frame, they will only fall apart. So you will want to take along a bucket to place that in.

Yes you will have a cloud of bees flying all over the place, more so than when you are simply inspecting a hive I think.

You will really want the temps in the mid to upper seventies so you don't chill the brood too fast.

I will probably think of more later. What kind of wall are we looking at?
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EOHenry
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« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2006, 09:26:23 AM »

I was told that the inside of the bld walls were plywood which I'm hoping are screwed in.  The outside walls are sheet metal, so the inside is the way I was going. He thot the colony was only about 6 ft up the wall on inside.  My first concern is whether the temp. is more important than the time of spring I do it.  Better later or earlier before nector flow starts?
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2006, 11:47:05 AM »

The bees will enter a wall and go up until they hit a horizontal place they can start building comb on. Most walls means the bees are all the way to the top of the wall because that is where they find a horizontal surface. I have seen them a couple of feet off the floor because that is where they found that surface.

Another thought to ponder. As you are attacking the nest and digging it out the bees will normally go up and cluster in a corner. Sometimes I have had them find a crack/hole that allows them to go into another part of the wall that I can't get to. Unless I want to tear out a whole bunch more wall. I'm wondering if this warehouse has the metal wall studs instead of wooden. Those metal ones have holes all over them don't they?

It would be nice to have the colonie established before the flow, but I would not want to remove them in less than mid seventies temps if I was going to try to save any brood.
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Jack Parr
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« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2006, 08:04:29 AM »

if they are conventianal  as in " ribbed panels "  sheets of metal on the outside. Probably what this warehouse is built of, have horizontial " purlings " attached to the upright  columns and the sheets/skin outside are screwed in to these purlings.

The purlings are usually spaced 4 to 5 feet apart. But you should be able to see the screws on the outside. Sometimes, prior to installing the sheets,  erectors place a sheet of insulation on the pearlings and then the sheets are screwed on top of that.. If not, then there are some holes at each rib inside which would provide  the bees a passage to climb up.

Would it not be feasable to remove the outside sheets? Depending how high the warehouse is of course. Outside sheets are very easy to remove and replace usually without damage, at all.  

  smiley I'm also thinking that IF YOU are a fireman YOU should know everything about how building are erected smiley Those little details about " firestops "   that are incorporated in building codes smiley You should be tellin' us smiley
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EOHenry
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« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2006, 02:51:08 PM »

Thanx for the insight so far!  I was not thinking so much of how the bld was constucted as when I should attempt to remove the colony.  But, I had not even thot that they would travel upwards until they reached a firestop or cross member.  I plan on going to ck out the bld this week. I'll know more then about how it is built. I still have to clean out some hives that died this winter before I go and try  to remove the nest.
What should I do with the honey comb I remove?  If I feed it to my bees, should I put it in the yard for them to clean out or inside the top of some supers?

Henry
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2006, 04:11:32 PM »

I always just set it out in the yard. All the bees from around here get some of it then. But I suppose you could set it up somehow inside a hive body on top.
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ian michael davison
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« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2006, 05:19:10 PM »

Hi all
EOHenry: As a rule don't put honey from an unknown hive in your yard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. It could contain disease. KEEP IT FOR YOUR OWN CONSUMPTION OR PUT IT BACK ON THE HIVE CROWN BOARD AND PUT THE LID ON. If the hive has just been moved it could probably do with a feed to help it get going again.

Good luck
Regards Ian
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Jack Parr
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« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2006, 07:34:28 PM »

that you would not feed to bees because of disease but rather you, a homo sapian would eat it  without concern smiley

Better to feed some of the honey to a few bees AND then if the bees don't  perishes then  you would fell safe eating it smiley

When I have some stripped comb containing honey I place it in the yard near the hives and let the bees have at it.  They are all my bees, even the feral ones. The comb is cleaned and how. I mix some water with it to prevent the bees from getting stuck on sticky honey.

Maybe youse gois do things different in GB smiley  Tongue
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Apis629
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« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2006, 08:51:09 PM »

Quote
that you would not feed to bees because of disease but rather you, a homo sapian would eat it without concern  


People don't get AFB!
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EOHenry
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« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2006, 09:48:17 PM »

I checked out the bld today.  The inside of the bld has 4 x 8 sheets of plywood screwed on. There is several little streams of semi-dry honey running down the 4' block wall, inside and outside.  The outside of the bld has 3' wide sheets of corragated steel that are at least 10 -12' tall. I found the entrance to the nest under on of the sheets where it was dented out and the insulation missing. I could see comb near the entrance and the honey seepage was aprox. 3' each side of it.  What causes the honey to seep out on both sides? The owner stated he saw bees inside and out acouple weeks during a warm spell we had here so I am assuming they are still alive altho it is too cold now to notice any activity. Any thots on what I may find when I take the plywood sheets off?  Will the batts of insulation be interwined with the comb up and down the wall? Should I smoke the entrance before I take walls off?  Should I spray the bees with sugar water after I take walls off? I plan on waiting acouple more weeks or more until the weather is at least in the 60 s.

Thanx!!
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2006, 11:21:32 PM »

The seepage is probably due to the wax getting too hot. Is it on the sunny side of the building?

The top of the comb will be securely attached to something. The sides are usually attached in spots, so it shouldn't be entangled in the insulation. I am guessing on this as the insulation I am thinking about in steel buildings is covered in plastic for the most part.

I have removed bees without smoking. As I have mentioned elsewhere, it seems to me that if the bees are calm you don't need smoke, and if they are mad the smoke don't help. But perhaps it's just me and I don't smoke properly.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2006, 11:24:52 PM »

I will ad here that if... IF... you can unscrew the panels and gently remove them without any POPPING the bees won't pay too much attention to you until you start tearing into the nest.
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ian michael davison
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« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2006, 01:57:43 AM »

Hi all
EOHenry: If you have not done this before take a load of frames with you that are made up with out the foundation, a large assortment of elastic bands and a sharp knife.
 If you can then remove large pieces of comb, put the frame over the wax and cut to size trying to save as much brood as possible. Even quite small areas of comb can then be secured in the frames with the bands. I would use at least a couple of horizontal bands and another couple of vertical ones.
In a few days the bees will start to chew through the bands and start to attach the wax to the frame.


Regards Ian
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Jay
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« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2006, 09:54:15 AM »

Kinda like this:




This is a removal I did last summer. Cheesy
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ian michael davison
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« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2006, 11:35:46 AM »

Hi all
Nice pictures and it works a treat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! cheesy


Regards Ian
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EOHenry
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« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2006, 06:51:51 PM »

Thanx for the tips and great pics!!  Makes me anxious to get started removing the nest. But it only got up to 37 today and maybe mid 40 s next week.  I'll wait and work on cleaning my deceased hives.
  Did you use bare hands or gloves on to attach comb with bands to frames? Seems to me it might be clumsy to use gloves,but not too willing to get my hands all stung up so early in season.  How did you gather all the bees up? Hopefully I capture queen and they follow her into brood box?  Did you crush honey comb and keep or give to bees some how?

Thanx agan!

Henry
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #17 on: March 23, 2006, 07:59:00 PM »

Before you start, stretch a few rubber bands (min. four) over four or five frames. This way you won't have to fight them with gloves on. These would be verticle on the frames (top to bottom). I never placed them horizontal and managed to transport many miles over bumpy roads.

If you get the brood into the hive body and manage to get the queen also, then just leave them alone. By night fall all the bee (usually) will find their way to the new home. Sometimes, as mentioned earlier, they find hiding places. If the queen is in one of those hideouts the bees will mostly stay with her. Sometimes you can brush them into the box, or other container and dump them in. I guess you don't have a bee vac??? You really don't need one, but sometimes it helps.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #18 on: March 23, 2006, 09:42:56 PM »

And I usually place the honey comb out in open somewhere and let the bees clean it out. Some people advise against it. And sometimes I keep some for myself.

BUT has anyone sprayed pesticide around trying to get the bees out??? Might want to check before using the honey for anything.
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« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2006, 12:53:30 AM »

EOHenry, One thing I have learned from doing removals is that I have never found a queen on the comb, they leave the comb (for me) every time when I start removing the comb,  I have done 8 removals so for and haven't found a queen on the comb yet, I usually catch them with the bee-vac not knowing but when I am getting the remainder of the bee's, Only found the queen once and it wasnt even me, my wife found 2 queens in one hive after I removed all the comb and they were crawling on the wood were the comb use to be....good luck!!!!
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« Reply #20 on: March 24, 2006, 12:55:58 AM »

the honey I give to the home owner if they want it or my wife keeps it, and then it is crushed and strained...
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livetrappingbymatt
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« Reply #21 on: March 24, 2006, 01:03:39 PM »

this has been a good post.
i too remove colonies,for the last 15 yrs.
everyones ideas are well founded,honey that comes from buildings can be poisoned they will not tell you or don't know! watch for areas of miss- shapened comb,old black hard w/ white powder.
i give my combs away to a nwco who uses it for animal bait,if suspect.
      be prepared for a lot of work cleaning out the colony and many return trips to look at new bees that are there to clean up any spills.hard to explain this pattern to non bee keepers.
THERE ARE NO FREE-BEES.
bob
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