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Removing Honey Bee Nests from Structures Print E-mail
San Diego bee removalHoney bee nests are often extensive and may contain 100 or more pounds of honey, pollen and beeswax. In general, the nesting materials should be removed after a colony is destroyed. Without live bees present to control nest temperature, honey may leak from the comb and drip from walls or ceilings causing extensive structural damage. Dead bees and brood will decay and produce strong odors. Honey, pollen and wax combs will be an attractive food source for rodents, wax moths and a variety of other nuisance insects such as ants and dermestid beetles. In some cases the cavity can be opened and the live bees and nesting materials can be removed by a skilled beekeeper. Honey combs can be cut, tied into frames and placed in a beehive located near the colony's entrance. If the beekeeper is able to locate the queen and place her in the beehive, the bees will quickly establish their nest in the new hive. Several days later, when combs have been secured in the frames, the beekeeper can remove the beehive to an apiary. Honey obtained from nests in buildings usually is not fit for human consumption due to the presence of dust and insulation.
A good bee hive removal job entails several trips to the site and considerable time and effort. While the bees have some value, most beekeepers will not consider nest removal unless they are compensated. Repair to the structure will be necessary in most cases after nest removal. Responsibility for structural repairs should be agreed upon before the job is begun. Nest removal should not be attempted by new beekeepers without the assistance of an experienced mentor.
Honey bee nests can be destroyed prior to removal, and nest destruction often is the safest, quickest and easiest way to eliminate the problem. It is important to exterminate a colony when all bees are in the nest (dawn or dusk). If colonies are destroyed during daylight, many foragers will be in the field and can return to cause problems. The best season to destroy problem nests is in the early spring when stored food reserves and colony population are lowest.
The first step is to locate the nest, which often extends several feet from the entrance. Toxins applied at the entrance frequently fail to eliminate nests and may result in highly defensive bees. Occasionally, entrance treatments result in bees creating new entrances which open inside the structure. Nests can be located by placing a stethoscope to the wall and tapping. Bees will respond to the tapping with an elevated level of buzzing. Toxins can be introduced by drilling several holes in the wall at or above the nest site. In some cases, combs may be reached by inserting a flexible tube through the entrance and into the nest.
Call Vanish Pest Control to arrange for one of our Bay Area bee removal experts to come help you.
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