Removal in downtown Albany

Posted in Bees, Cut Out on June 15th, 2012

There was a swarm in downtown Albany and it settled under a vent. Apparently the swarm didn’t find a better location, so  they started drawing out comb.

Swarm under vent

Half of the bees were vac’ed up and the comb is ready to be removed. A white sheet stopped the bees from falling in the pebbles.

Swarm under vent

Brand new comb.

Comb ready to be removed



Honey bee hive removal from wall in Guilderland NY

Posted in Cut Out on May 28th, 2012

Instead of a BBQ this Memorial Day, I remove a hive which had moved into a wall in Guilderland, NY with Anne F. Several weeks ago, the homeowner had attempted to spray the hive with pesticide and expanding foam to block the entrance. This forced 1000’s of bees to crawl along the wall and out into a bedroom, making a huge mess. Luckily the homeowner was not in the bedroom at the time. Once the bees moved the expanding foam normal hive activity resumed .

The bees were able to access a uninsulated cavity in the wall. The first floor mortar and bricks had worn away where the vinyl siding started.  Due to a gap between the wood joists and brick the bees were able to expand into 4 bays.

Below is a look at the first two bays. The yellow and white on the brick is expanding foam and caulking.

Honey bee hive in wall above bricks


The hive entrance before the removal stated. The entrance was busy suggesting a large hive inside. The various attempts at sealing up the hive can be seen.

Dead bees were found behind the vinyl siding. There was a “dead nest smell” as the siding was removed.  There was propolis running along the wooden board.

siding removed showing hive entrance

After removing the 2 by 8 the first two sections of the hive were exposed. Below is a piece of comb waiting to be lowered to the ground.

Removing comb

Here pieces of comb are being rubber banded into the frame, so they can be placed into their new hive.

Comb in frame

The queen was found after the last piece of comb was removed. She was marked with a 3 dot pattern.

Queen Found

The hive had expanded into 4 bays. No amount of spraying pesticides in the entrance was going to be able to kill 100% of this hive.

4 cavities exposed

Anne finishes stuffing insulation into the last cavity.

Filled with insulation

The hive was filled with insulation, the entrance gaps were filled with steel wool, and then caulked over.  The last piece of siding is about to go back on.

Sealed back up








Cut out with American Foulbrood in Portland ME

Posted in Bees, Cut Out on May 14th, 2012

Update: Jump right to the photos of the comb  here. Thanks to the MSBA for linking to this article.

This was a cut out in a wonderful old house in South Portland, ME. We believed the bees we getting into a cavity on the roof line. It was also possible the bees were in a crawl space off a bedroom. Sometimes it is hard to be 100% sure until you start cutting.

Setting up the ladders

Ladder jacks were setup under the hive entrance.

Looking down

I look small on the ground


A hole was cut in a crawl space to see if bee were coming into the house. Blown insulation prevented us from reaching the wall without the hole.

No Bees

No bees here. However a large amount of buzzing could be heard on the other side of the wall.

Looking out

The bees are getting in right above the lead flashing.


After removing the trim boards and a 2×6 we finally reach comb. There are no bees but a large amount of waste under the comb. A good example of why you should remove dead hives.

Removing the shingles

Richard sets to work removing the shingles.

Mess of comb

The shingles and a board are removed to expose the main hive area. There is a lot of newish looking comb but not a lot of bees.

Honey Comb

After removing more boards, some comb with honey is found.

black comb

Some black old comb. This hive has been around for a while. Still no bees.


During the comb removal we discover some bad news.  We believe this  hive died off American Foulbrood and the activity around the hive was other bees robbing it out.  Photos of the comb here.  We go ahead and remove all the remaining comb and debris from the space.

seal back up

The space is sealed off with screening and sealed up tight.

Good as new

Good as new. Sadly the hive was sick and was dead when we got there. However if this hive had of been left in place a swarm would have soon moved in and started to spread AFB. Any near by hives will need to be monitored for signs of sickness.