Bee removal can be difficult, even for experienced beekeepers. It can involve working in close proximity to stinging insects and can be physically and emotionally exhausting.
Removing bees from a structure requires knowledge of best management practices, experience with the stinging insect and safety equipment. If the bees are ensconced in a structure, it may be necessary to find a licensed contractor who can complete structural repair after the bees have been removed.
Identifying the Colony
When a swarm is spotted, the beekeeper will first need to identify the colony. It is possible to do this by inspecting the swarm cluster (if there is one) and its flight pattern.
The swarm cluster might be located in a tree, in a shrub, or wedged into the corner of a building. A beekeeper may also use a camera, borescope, or a red-light flashlight to help identify the cluster.
Once a swarm is identified, it can be captured in a trap box. The trap box must be set near the colony’s principal entrance and include at least one frame of brood.
After the colony has been trapped, it will be moved to a new nest site that will have a better chance of surviving. The hive will then build combs, collect honey, and rear more bees.
When a swarm has been removed, all access holes must be plugged to prevent other swarms from entering and taking over the cavity. This can be a time-consuming and difficult process, so it is important to take precautions before the swarms return.
Identifying the Entrances
When beekeepers put their hives in the yard, they are careful to place them where they will not be a problem for people or animals around them. They also make sure to keep the entrances facing away from areas that will be occupied frequently.
For instance, it is a good idea to point the hive entrances toward the south or east. This helps the bees catch a good amount of sunlight during the late fall and early spring.
Another sign that a beehive is alive is the presence of pollen in the hive. This indicates that the bees are raising brood or perhaps they have a queen about to give birth.
Orientation flights are also a good sign that the bees are moving in and out of the hive with purpose. They will usually face the hive entrance and hover back and forth until they settle into their home.
Identifying the Location of the Hive
Bees have a very specific way of identifying their hive location. They fly small figure eights in front of the hive, looking back as they orientate and gathering information about the sun, the direction and landmarks around them.
Once they know where the hive is, they will try to return to it even if the hive has been moved. That’s why it is generally recommended to only move a beehive a foot or two each day when you’re planning to move it to a new location.
It is also important to choose a location that’s not directly on a property line or in a shared backyard. Moreover, bees need water to survive so be sure to choose a location near a natural water source or build one out of a shallow container filled with rocks or pebbles.
Identifying the Need for Removal
Before beginning any live bee removal, a beekeeper should survey the site and determine what equipment they need to accomplish the job. This includes power tools, extension cords, generators, hand tools, goggles, and face masks among other things.
Bees can become a hazard to the public when they are not removed properly, so it is important for beekeepers to follow proper safety precautions before performing their services. Moreover, all beekeepers should receive training in the proper methods of live bee removal under the guidance of an expert in this field.
Removing honey bee colonies involves a significant amount of work and can result in damage to property. To minimize these damages, beekeepers should clean up any remnants of the colony, seal entrances and create a temporary patch over the hive cavity or entrance to prevent re-colonization.