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removing colony from attic

995 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  Gypsi
Hi everyone,
Me and my partner keep bees and we have recently been put in contact with a woman who wants a colony removing from under the plaster board in a dormer in her attic. The hive has been there 6 years but she has just moved in and wants them gone.
We are fairly inexperienced beekeepers (4 years of varying intensity and currently 11 colonies), we have never removed a hive like this but we are keen for the experience and wonder if these bees could be a good addition to our apiary and they seem disease resistant. A more experienced beekeeper went with her thermal imaging camera and suggested the colony is a very large one and has detected where the bulk of the bees are currently. If we don’t remove them the owner will have pest control in, and so we are strongly considering doing the job, but have a few questions for more experienced people than us:
QUESTION: WHEN TO DO IT? Should we be waiting till the colony has brood before attempting to remove them, due to risk of losing the queen in the process? The site is coastal north wales and has very mild weather and the bees are black in colour, so they could have brood already but we might need to wait for spring to properly start.
QUESTION: HOW TO DO IT? So far we are thinking of putting together a bee vac as seen in some youtube videos, taking the plasterboard away and vacuuming them. Do any more experienced beekeepers have any advice/reflections from personal experience or resources to point us to that could help us know the right method to do this.
Thank you,
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I hope the bees are ok, I was out doing pond work and just found this post. Removing a colony from under plaster board in mild weather isn't incredibly bad if it is sheetrock plaster board. I am not sure how hard it would be on old fashioned wood with plaster board. When the weather is mild, taking boxes and empty frames to rubberband comb into, plastic to separate the hallway from the area you are working, and doing it from the interior making the job safer (you won't fall off the roof). Take plenty of boxes, frames, rubberbands and help, to remove the boxes to a truck waiting. Have your apiary ready to receive. Stand set up, use entrance reducers after they are set up, screen and staple after they start and FINISH marching into the box where they know their queen is. You will want a lot of screening, plenty of staples, good staple gun, I wrap hive boxes in old sheets to shade them but I am in Texas. It's hot here. when it's not freezing. We have a whole forum on bee removals and I encourage you to read every post. Also plan on a smoker and do use it but don't use it much in an enclosed space. without seeing pictures I can't advise much more. You can wait for spring to start but that colony is going to get larger when it does.

Swarms, Cut outs, and Trap outs Lots of good stuff here. I quit doing removals in fall 2018 after a fall (totally not related to bees, but no more ladders for me)
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