Cut out in the crawl space

Posted in Bees, Cut Out on September 4th, 2011

The hive after having the plastic and insulation pulled back. The hive was located in the floor. Rodents had removed the insulation leaving a space for bees to move into.

The above photo shows the three joists which bees were in. While it looks small there was about 30″ worth of comb. While not a very tricky cut out this was taxing in other ways.


The crawl space ranged from 5′ to 3′ tall, forcing us to crouch down for most of the removal. In this photo Richard is setting up the bee vac. The hive stand on the left is where the removed comb was stored. All the removal items had to be pushed in and out of the space.

This is the cavity with the comb and bees removed. This was a large hive population estimate in the 50,000-60,000. The bees entrance was sealed up and insulation was packed into the area.


Cut out

Posted in Bees, Cut Out on June 6th, 2011

Vacuuming Bees

Last weekend we helped out a home owner by removing a hive from their child’s bed room.  This was an excellent example of why it is important to  remove a hive from a house. The hive had been there for 6+ years. The drywall had become wet from the moist of the hive and had started to crumble. A stray baseball or leaning against the wall would have punched right into the hive. It also showed that spraying pesticides just doesn’t work. The hive had been sprayed three times by an exterminator last year. This hive was so strong it was getting ready to swarm.

Hive ready to be removed

A great looking hive.

Swarm Cells

Swarm cells on the comb.

Bee Vac

The bee vacuum ready to be filled with bees.

End of Bee Removal

The wall ready for paint completely bee free.

Week two: The cut out continues.

Posted in Bees, Cut Out on August 3rd, 2010

A week later we were back at the house. This time for the other side. There was a lot more bee activity and we believed there maybe 2 hives.

A combination of ladder jacks and pump jacks were attached to the house.

The bee vac and tools were hauled up to the platforms. Having some knowledge of the house construction, we started by removing the trim.

Richard wanting a “clean” cutout vacuumed up years of bat waste and dirt. The bottom board has been removed exposing the first hive.

Richard offers up a large piece of comb. The honey comb was separated and placed into a honey bucket.

Comb with brood was placed in frames and held there with rubber bands.  The area was then filled with insulation and sealed back up. A smarter pair would have stopped for the day as it was already well into the afternoon.

However we pushed on to the very top. While it appears the bees are close they are actually about 6′ above our heads at this point.

Looking down.

The bottom board proved much harder to remove due to the fact we could not reach the top nails. After this photo our ground support left to go get lunch, so there are no more photos. There were some photos taken of the hive close up, however are not available due to the camera falling off the ladder.

There ended up being two more hives. One was dead and had been sprayed several years ago. The bees had simply crawled around the board and setup a new hive away from the spray. The old comb was extremely hard to removed and had to be scraped out. The remaining hive proved extremely difficult to access due to the height. We had to cut down the boards on the pump jacks and raise it up to the max height. Richard then stood on a super box remove the last of the comb. The void was then stuffed with insulation and all the entry points were sealed with caulking.

A final photo of the house sealed up is not available because by this time it had gotten very dark and lights had to be setup for the final clean up.

The overall lesson for homeowners is spraying a hive will not kill it but in fact make the removal much harder.