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Bee Vacuum

 
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Mark Young
Scout Bee


Joined: 27 Jan 2011
Posts: 277
Location: High Weald, Kent, England

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:00 am    Post subject: Bee Vacuum Reply with quote

There is an old colony living behind the external hanging tiles on the side of a house near me that is being sold. The current owner feels they will now need to be removed before he can put it on the market because they can be understandably off-putting for some.
They have been there for "many years" I am told and so could be a very large colony.
He is looking at the costs of having the tiles removed and the bees exposed so that the bees can be removed alive.
I have only ever cut out one colony which only filled 6 deep frames using elastic bands. This one could be several times that size.

I was contemplating building a bee vacuum to make my life less painful on the day and was looking for some opinions and options...

And of course anyone with experience in the area that could help is cordially invited to volunteer. (Hawkhurst, Kent)
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biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1051
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have only used a bee-vac once and I'm in no hurry to do so again. It is pretty brutal and the chances of injuring the queen are high.

I wonder if he has considered making the bee colony a feature instead of a liability? Or at least, telling prospective buyers that he will have them removed if required. He may have a queue of beekeepers wanting to buy it!

A big cut-out is not something to tackle on your own. I hope you find someone to give you a hand.
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Mark Young
Scout Bee


Joined: 27 Jan 2011
Posts: 277
Location: High Weald, Kent, England

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Phil

I have just suggested to him that when the builder arrives to quote that he asks about the option of channelling the entrance up and over the roof using a drain pipe or some other fitting that wont collect water and which looks like it belongs there. Then claim it as a non-intrusive feature. The entrance is only 12 inches from the roof so a possibility.

Time will tell...
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biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1051
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perfect. I have just had a call from a school with a similar problem and I will be suggesting a similar solution.
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Broadwell
Foraging Bee


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

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark, I'd be happy to help out if you need it, and am quite near to Hawkhurst.

I've had experience of tiling and also have quite a few reclaimed tiles of the local type, both peg and nib, at hand if necessary. Perhaps a tile with an entrance drilled in it higher up might be better than creating a very long access tunnel?

I haven't done a cut out before, but can assist if you like. The soonest I could help though would be the 8th.
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Mark Young
Scout Bee


Joined: 27 Jan 2011
Posts: 277
Location: High Weald, Kent, England

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Broadwell.

Hopefully the Builder comes up with something suitable; otherwise you have just volunteered for the job most beekeepers try to avoid. (and for good reason) Smile

I thought I was all alone in the High Weald. It's nice to make your acquaintance...

Do you/ can you/ would you collect swarms or recently moved in bee colonies? (as in small cut outs)

I get a few calls a year and can't always collect them all so currently re-direct to a local association due to lack of options.
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Broadwell
Foraging Bee


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

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No problem, just let me know if you want help with it. I'll pm you my contact details now.

Not that I've seen the colony but thinking about it more you shouldn't even need to make an entrance in a tile, but instead just provide a way under a tile, maybe by leaving a small gap in the battens the tiles are nailed to. The bats in our roof get in and out like that.

But yes, I'd be happy to help with any swarms you can't get out to. I've done it before and have several hives and bait hives ready waiting, but I haven't advertised about the area as a swarm collector. Maybe it's silly but not having joined the local association I'm wary of revealing my presence – being someone with these dangerous natural beekeeping ideas.

I've seen before you sometimes have to deal with bumble bee colonies. You'd have to let me know how to handle that as I wouldn't have a clue, as much as I wouldn't really want to move them in the first place. And for cut outs, I'd sooner have a go than the exterminator be called I suppose.
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