Live bee removal is our business!
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Bee nest removal of established colonies is significantly more difficult than swarming bees, and therefore usually more expensive, depending on the specific situation.
People sometimes call and ask whether a swarm of bees in a tree will leave of their own accord? The answer is, yes they almost certainly will! The problem is that while a swarm is hanging from a tree branch or sitting on your fence, scouts are checking out sites for a more permanent home.
The scouts look for a nice warm dry cavity which is to their liking. They will check out anywhere they can find which includes any cavity in your house walls, roof, chimney, hot-tub or under your garden shed or deck. They only need a hole 3/8″ in diameter. Once they have found a place they like, the whole swarm will take to the wing and populate their new home.
Bee swarm removal from a tree branch is infinitely easier than from inside the roof of your house. If left to their own devices a colony will build combs and might store 100lbs. of honey.
If anything happens to the bee colony and the honey is left unattended, the wax can soften and leak honey which absorbs water and soon starts to ferment. Imagine what it would be like to have 100lbs. or more of fermenting honey dripping through your ceiling, and how costly the clean-up might be.
There may not be any honey in the combs, but as Dirty Harry said, “Do you feel lucky?”
Be careful, not all companies remove bees ALIVE!
I have heard stories, from customers, of the remover saying, “We’ll try and remove them alive.”. I’ve seen photos on company websites which show loads of comb, but not a single bee. Believe me, when you have honey comb in these situations, you have lots of honey bees!
San Diego Bees only carries out live bee removals in the San Diego and surrounding area. For bee hive removal in other parts of of the country and for everything else to do with bees and beekeeping go to Bees-On-The-Net
If combs and bees are accessible in a roof space, nest or storage cabinet removal is reasonably straightforward.
San Diego Bees can remove bees from places where they are quite inaccessible, it can be a challenge. The longer they have been there, the more reluctant they are to leave and the more difficult the task becomes.
At San Diego Bees, one method which we have found successful is the cone extraction method. The bees’ entrance is blocked and a cone, made from metal screen, is placed over the entrance. This allows the bees to exit, but not return. A hive containing a small colony is placed nearby.
During the day the bees fly out through the cone and go about their normal business. When they try to return, they are not able to negotiate the cone, and so collect outside. When the sun sets and the temperature drops, they go into the hive box.
Usually some of the bees in the box act as guard bees to keep out interlopers. It seems that because the resident colony is quite small, and the entering bees have pollen and nectar, they are allowed in without fighting.
Over the course of a few weeks almost all the bees inside the structure are transferred to the hive box. A few, including the queen, are left behind. These eventually die out.
This method is particularly successful if the colony has been in its new location for only a short time since they will not have had time to build comb in which the queen can lay eggs.
Once it’s clear that no more bees are going to come out, the screen cone is removed and the bees from the hive box are allowed to go inside. Any honey which remains inside is robbed out and moved into the hive box.
The most difficult part of this method is stopping the bees from finding an alternative entrance back into their hive. If the colony has taken up residence in a wall with many cracks, it is extremely difficult to exclude the bees.