If you are looking for live bee removal keep on reading – we are experts.
We specialise in doing the impossible with bees.
Not only do we carry out honey bee swarm removal, we carry out live removal of bee colonies from chimneys, roof voids, flat roofs, gable ends, dormer windows, and amazingly we also remove colonies of bees from cavity walls.
We are one of only a couple of professional pest control businesses in the UK currently offering a live bee removal service.
Other than our selves in the UK we are only aware of a couple of uninsured amateur bee keepers that are familiar with the techniques we use for live bee removal (live bee extraction) from wall cavities.
Most of what we do has been passed on to us from the experiences of some very knowledgeable people in the States and then developed by ourselves over the last couple of years here in the UK to allow us to successfully carry out live bee removal and bee extraction from otherwise inaccessible locations.
At the end of the process of removing the bees from a cavity wall we will reintroduce the bees so that they can collect any honey stores remaining in the wall cavity, leaving only the wax used for the construction of the bee hive.
By doing this we are able to successfully remove bee colonies from inaccessible cavities without having to use any poison or leaving in situ anything up to 40000 dead bees, fermenting honey stores, kilos of dead rotting larvae, which all combined with a nerve agent makes for a very unpleasant toxic mass.
To carry out live bee removal successfully we use a variation of one of two methods apart from swarm collection. Method 1 for live bee removal is generally referred to as a trapout, this is the least common method of bee removal and requires access to honey bee colonies at the right stage of colony development as part of the process. The second method for live bee removal is generally referred to as a cutout, often this requires a certain amount of reinstatement, be it some new plaster on the ceiling, the chimney recapping or otherwise.
Below we have given a more detailed description of both these methods of live honey bee removal.
Honey bee trapout
Trapouts can only successfully be carried out once the bees in our apiary have started producing eggs and creating new bees, at which time we separate out a couple of frames of brood with new worker bees and move them to a trapout site.
This will be on a dry warm day, on arrival we ensure that the bees can only exit the hive thru one egress point and position the nucleus box. Over the next few weeks the bees leaving the hive will not be able to return and will join those in the nucleus box, where they will create a new queen. In the meantime because all the bees being sent out for food and water are not returning the old queen stops laying eggs, and starts on a diet to allow herself to get to a flying weight. After 3 weeks from the queen having stopped her egg production all bees within the hive will have emerged and dependent upon the time of the year will swarm with the queen to a new location. Once this has occurred and there are no more bees exiting from the hive, we remove the one-way valve to allow the bees from the nucleus box to enter the old hive to “rob out”any remaining honey stores over the next few days. It maybe necessary for us to change out frames in the nucleus box to provide space for the robbed out honey.
On completion the nucleus is removed and returned to the apiary, and the egress hole in the cavity wall sealed.
The trapout shown was for bees located in the cavity wall of an office block, the bees had entered thru an airgap in the brickwork.
We arrived a couple of days after the swarm had turned up and become unwelcome residents and tried various methods to oust them before it was decided that they were too firmly entrenched.
At the start of the trap out we filled each of the other air gaps along the front of the building with some insect proof brush to allow for the continued circulation of air but at the same time would stop the bees entering or leaving other than thru the one-way valve that we installed. On completion the one way valve was removed, the bees allowed to renter the cavity for a week to clean out any stores, and the hole sealed from future bees.
The honey from this particular hive had a minty taste, because the bees were picking up nectar from water mint flowers along a local canal bank.
On reflection we would probably suggest an alternative method of dealing with this situation which would be both quicker and less time consuming. This trapout took approximately 9 weeks and as many visits.
Honey Bee Cutouts
We perform cutouts in various locations, from chimneys, flat roofs, in voids above ceilings, behind removable facades, basically from anywhere that we can access safely.
When carrying out these cutouts at height we prefer in order of preference to be utilising scaffolding, mobile towers, mobile access platform (better known as a cherry picker) and finally a combination of ladder & roof ladder, which if used requires being properly secured to the wall and for us to be wearing safety harnesses.
Once we have reached the hive and set ourselves up, be it at the top of a chimney, above a ceiling, beneath a flat roof, we will normally use our bee vac to catch the guard bees and the returning foragers which we vacuum into a specially prepared National brood box (so as to not have to transfer them again at the apiary keeping stress levels to a minimum), this allows us to more easily cut down and collect the individual honey combs.
Where practical we will cut out the sections of comb holding the brood (eggs, larvae and pupating bees) and insert them into National brood frames and put them in with the vacuumed bees.
Whilst cutting out the brood and vacuuming up the workers we look for the queen which if we successfully find makes the further collection of the bees much easier.
Once we have removed all the bees and comb we will seal the area as best as possible to prevent any passing foraging or exploratory bees gaining access who may identify the location as a good place for a new swarm to settle.
For further information please call us on 02920 552243 or fill in the contact form