Peter is 6’5″ and is new to beekeeping. This cabinet is about 6-7 feet up. I was getting ready to move the little cabinet under it and put up the ladder. Peter said he could reach it. Just reached up and started scraping the comb and bees out. His friend Kevin was video taping the whole thing. Kevin didn’t have a bee suit so he made one out of a cap, some netting and his hunting clothing.
Doing removals is interesting most of the time. Sometimes it can be frustrating. This was the latter case. I used my inferred camera to find the bees in the wall. I saw they were in the ceiling also a little bit. When we opened the wall we found termite damage. Some of the wood was so damaged by termites it wasn’t really there, just some very thin wood. We took the large piece out first and found they had attached a lot of comb on it. Then we started the removal. Part of the problem was that there was only one window that had a removable screen, so the bees were stuck in the other windows. Then we realized that we couldn’t get to the bees without taking more of the sheetrock out. We got all of the comb and bees, foamed the holes they were using and replaced the sheetrock. The gray putty will dry white.
He called and said he had just gotten back from vacation and there were bees on his outside sink. He had covered it with a tarp, and found they had attached themselves to the faucet. He said that he saw bees so he moved the tarp to see what was going on. I asked him if things got exciting about then. He smiled and said that he was getting too old for that kind of excitement.
A while back someone had us remove a speaker with bees in it. We took the whole thing including the box. We sat it with some of our other hives meaning to remove them soon. We got busy and time went by, the box was made out of particle board and it was in the rain. When we finally got to it they had filled most of the box. when we started touching the box it fell apart. We got them into a new hive and they are doing great.
I got a call about bees in an outside couch. I got there and needed to cut the back open a bit so I could see what was going on. As soon as I started cutting the material, they started coming out ready to rumble!The people said that the bees had been there only a few days, however, there was comb that was tan to brown so there must have been bees there before. Or they could have been there for awhile and the people didn’t notice. They filled 5 frames of brood, that queen was working!
Sometimes you get to go places that are very interesting. This abandoned building is in an old plantation village. In years past sugar cane and pineapple growers built villages for the workers. There is a lot of history in these places. When the companies moved out they left all of the buildings, this was a machine warehouse at one time. The entrance to the place was overgrown. We had to cut a path to the door so we could get our equipment in. I you look you will see a brown streak on the sheetrock. That is were the bees were waling from the entrance to the window to fly out. They were a bit more aggressive than I hoped for. Both of us got stung several times. The comb panels were 2 feet across and 4 feet long! It was hard working with something that big. We got the job done and moved the bees to a better spot. In about 1 month they are going to knock the building down.
What happens is the original hive gets crowded. The queen takes half of the hive and leaves. They hang out in a tree or bush in a ball about the size of a football. They start sending out scouts to find a new place to live. Generally they find the place and leave between 3-5 pm the next day. They like to find a space that in enclosed and is easily defended. This guy found out his cabinet was the perfect place for them. They had moved in 2 days prior, and had a good amount of comb by the time he noticed them. We got them out of the cabinet and into a nuc, and took them home.
Some times you have to wonder what people are thinking. This was a house that was going on the market, but they had bees in the ceiling. The agent kept asking me if I would do it for free, I kept telling her no. So she had us come do the job. While we were on the way she texted me and told me the inside painters were also working in the house! I could not believe it. The painting crew was professional so we worked it out, but we had to wait an hour before we could get started. Then the crew chief kept asking when we were going to be done.
Humans are so good to bees. They build these boxes in the ground, put covers with a hole in it and then go away for a long time. We remove bees from irrigation boxes all of the time. With all of the new timers and moisture sensors the landscaper doesn’t need to go back for a long time. That was the case with these girls. They had been there for about 8 months the way the hive and color of the comb looked. The problem with this one was that the comb went every which way, so it was hard for Penny to get it into the frames. I’m so glad she likes puzzles and can get it done quickly.
I have said before that when doing removals I come across some interesting places. The guy called and said he had bees in a truck toolbox. He didn’t tell me it was an old military vehicle. He said the vehicle was stored at a riding club/stables at Barbers Point. As we drove I saw the old storage areas that were built durning WW2. These used to house planes and equipment, and protected them from bombing and strafing. The guy restored military vehicles, he even had an amphibious landing craft. The bees were not that hard to get out, except that it was a bit hard to get into all the little nooks and crannies they had built their comb