We’re BACK!

For every bee removal job I complete, I provide some strongly worded suggestions about what the next steps need to be. After explaining that you DO NOT want me as your repair carpenter, I provide the following recommendation:

“Bees tend to re-occupy, so return of another swarm to this location is likely, if additional actions are not taken.  Sprays dissipate eventually, leaving the space empty and smelling like honeybee – an open invitation for future occupations…. Sealing entry locations with wood filler, and painting the exterior further inhibits future swarms by removing the associated scent. “

But as everyone know, sometimes life gets in the way, and the absence of bees makes it easy to put off the repair work.

Back in March, I completed a simple removal from a front porch. For some reason, the bees had decided on a location that was not hidden away. Not tucked behind a fascia or in a wall or behind a gutter. They just started building comb right there in the open, on the ceiling of the porch.

So when I arrived, the simple swarm I was brought in to remove became a simple removal. I scraped the wax off, applied some ammonia and some permethrin to discourage re-occupation, and told Bill that the smell that kept the bees at bay would only last a little while – only priming and painting would make it permanent.

This is the picture of the hive.

This past week, I got another photo from Bill, who admitted that “life had gotten in the way.” Despite his best intentions, one weekend had turned to another without getting the priming and painting done, and suddenly it was two months later.

“You will laugh when you see this picture,” he texted me. “Déjà vu all over again.”

Exact same spot. Exact same size grouping. And they were building comb in the exact same configuration.

Side – to – side comparison?

The one on the left was this week. The one on the right, two months ago.

I mean, it was a little uncanny.

And the removal was exactly as easy as the previous one – these were very docile bees. THAT was a fortunate bit, since I am still a little off my game after the Beespawn of Sheol that attacked me last week. (I did revisit them and am in the middle of a trap-out on that location. And yes, they did sting me again when I returned. Nasty buggers).

I can’t tell whether the background music should be Rimski Korsakov or Looney Toons…

I will eventually add music to the videos that I post, but for now, I am just happy to be able to capture the overview of the work I am doing. The removal was simple enough, and the bees came home with me, happily buzzing in the top-bar hive.

…and then they left.

The comb was filled with nectar, but I did not see any brood or eggs when I transferred them to their new home, so there was no incentive for them to stay. And sure enough, a day after I opened up the box to let them get used to their new surroundings, they had taken off, cleaning out every last drop of nectar before they left.

When I went and did the final touch-up on the house, Bill promised that the painting was going to get done now. He had believed me before, but now…

“If not,” I happily told him, “I’ll be glad to come back in a couple of months, and do it again.”

Published by Company Bee

Novice beekeeper trying to help out.

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