Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Bees like the space between the floor joists on houses built on pilings. On most of these houses there are gaps around pilings and blocking left by the builders. The bees only need a 1/4 inch opening to get into the floor space and start a nest. The bees had gained access through 1/4 inch gaps around the blocking. Blocking is the wood builders place at the outside of the floor joists to close them up and keep bugs and animals out.
You can see the bees going in and out in the closeup picture of the blocking.
On the other side of the support beam you can see where the bees had chewed through the drywall to make another access into the floor space.
We cut the drywall and saw that the bees had built two nests. One close to the support beam and one about 24 inches back from the beam. We had to cut a larger hole on that side.
Once the two nests were exposed we vacuumed the bees off the comb into the bee vacuum. We then removed all the comb. The bees will be placed in a regular beehive and the queen will be replaced with a queen from a breeder of European bees. This will insure they are not Africanized bees.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
The bees were entering this stucco wall through a gap at the sill plate around an overflow pipe from a water heater. A feeble attempt to catch them with a soda bottle wasp trap was made by someone. It is not possible to stop a nest of 10,000 to 60,000 bees with a soda bottle and sugar water. Not one bee was trapped in it.
To get at the bees we had to remove the drywall from the inside wall. There was a water heater which was removed to get at the wall. Removing the drywall revealed the bees and comb. The bees were captured with the bee vacuum and the comb was placed in a tub for transport to the bee yard where the bees will carry the honey back to their hives.
The opening to the outside was caulked with elastomeric caulk and the wallboard was replaced, painted and the water heater reconnected.