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Honeybees in brickwork

 
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janegodden
New Bee


Joined: 13 May 2014
Posts: 4
Location: Cleghorn

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 3:34 pm    Post subject: Honeybees in brickwork Reply with quote

Hi, my place of work is in a 12th century building. I have noticed today that there are honeybees that are extremely active going into a brick vent in the wall. I am assuming they are in residence either in the vent itself or in a cavity within the walls. Long-term the bees cannot stay where they are, any way I can get "woo" them from their perfectly good home and into my warre hive? I don't want them destroyed but unfortunately with the listing and age of the building the owners will have to take this action due to the location of the hive. Please help. Thank you in advance for any advice.
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Broadwell
Foraging Bee


Joined: 22 Jul 2013
Posts: 122
Location: UK, Kent, High Weald

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jane,

Are you sure they are not mason bees rather than honey bees? They do look quite similar, but don't live in large colonies.

But even if they are honey bees I can't see how they pose any threat to the building. I live in a listed house and there are bumble bees nesting behind one beam, and blue tits in another. The presence of bats in the roof was even catered to as part of listed-sanctioned works made by the previous owner. No doubt these creatures have been living in the cracks and crevices of the place for centuries, and it's still standing.
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1563
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jane and welcome

The method you need to remove them is called a "trap out" but you need some brood comb with brood in a nuc box to perform it.

If it is a swarm that has just gone into the wall in the past couple of days you might be able to smoke it out, but once they have built comb and have some brood they are very unlikely to leave and the trap out is the only way other than making a hole in the wall and physically removing the nest, (ie a cut out) but that doesn't seem to be an option in this case.

If you do a search on You Tube for "bee trap out" you should find at least one useful video. If you have any further queries come back and ask.

Good luck. I hope you manage to save them but perhaps if you are unable to remove them, you could perhaps persuade the owners of the building that they are really no more of a problem than having bats.

Regards

Barbara
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janegodden
New Bee


Joined: 13 May 2014
Posts: 4
Location: Cleghorn

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 4:55 pm    Post subject: Thanks Reply with quote

Hi Broadwell, thank you for your response. They are definitely honeybees. I know where you are coming from with the listed building info. We have bats in the attic that are protected, and also another hive living in a disused chimney which are being left to get on with it. Unfortunately these are in a structural air vent (well at least that is where they are entering) and will have to be moved. If I can clarify that they are entering there and only in the wall cavities then all is well but if they are in the actual vent attached where they are entering then the move is a must I'm afraid. Fingers crossed they are in the cavity and we can leave them to it.

Barbara, thank you also for your response. I will investigate the "trap out" method and see how we go. I am very bee conscious when I am around the building and am pretty confident they have not been there for long.

Thanks again to you both
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Broadwell
Foraging Bee


Joined: 22 Jul 2013
Posts: 122
Location: UK, Kent, High Weald

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you knock the side of a hive the bees will audibly respond in chorus with a buzzy groan type sound. Maybe you might be able to put an ear to the wall and locate whereabouts in the wall they are, perhaps by knocking it too?

There are also those flexible inspection cameras, but I don't know how much they are to hire or buy.

It might well be that they are just using the vent to access a cavity large enough for a bee nest within the wall, I'm guessing the vent isn't that big...?

Anyway good luck with it from me too.
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janegodden
New Bee


Joined: 13 May 2014
Posts: 4
Location: Cleghorn

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 5:20 pm    Post subject: Thanks again Reply with quote

Thanks again Broadwell, I will be getting up there tomorrow to investigate with stethoscope in hand. It is about 12feet up the wall. The vent is one of the brick type about 10" by 4" that has about thirty or so holes on it. There is also another entry point a few inches from it where there is some cement missing between the bricks. Hopefully I can "guesstimate" roughly where they are and take it from there. Thanks again.
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janegodden
New Bee


Joined: 13 May 2014
Posts: 4
Location: Cleghorn

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 5:44 pm    Post subject: UPDATE Reply with quote

Hi, just thought I would let you know that I have managed to convince everyone that the bees are best left where they are and no damage will be done. I have a few bait hives about so if they swarm maybe I will be lucky enough that they will come and live next to me but in the meantime we will leave them "bee."
I have put together everything I would need in the event I need to try the trap out method.
Thanks everyone for your help and advice.
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Broadwell
Foraging Bee


Joined: 22 Jul 2013
Posts: 122
Location: UK, Kent, High Weald

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good news, and good luck with your bait hive!
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