Today, October 5 2017 to be exact, I was privileged enough to assist Ross with Pueblo Bee Rescue in removing bees from a decorative patio pillar.
The homeowner wanted the bees removed as they would visit her as she enjoyed her patio. She noted that the bees just recently arrived, but had overstayed their welcome.
Ross had met with the homeowner and had performed an initial inspection of the pillar, so that when the extraction date arrived he would be properly prepared. And today was the day.
We arrived at the Bessemer residence around noon. The high was forecasted to be 75, but it was overcast and in the low 60s. Nonetheless, Ross quickly got to work. The initial opening of the post involved cutting out a few nails and removing boards to expose the bees.
During the deconstruction, the bees remained peaceful. Once the colony was exposed, we found it to be relatively small. There was minimal honey stores, little brood, and a few waxworms.
When it came time to physically remove the comb, it was time to suit up. The bees remained surprisingly calm during the entire event. The comb was removed one by one, looking for the Queen as he went. Each comb was trimmed to fit a frame, rubber-banded in place, and put into the deep box.
All of the combs were removed, but the Queen had not been spotted. As Ross was preparing to vacuum the remaining bees, her highness was spotted running across the patio! She was captured and safely tucked away in a queen clip and placed in the hive.
The remaining bees were gently vacuumed out of the cavity. Once removed, the cavity was sealed and boards relocated.
At this point, the majority of the foragers that attempted to return home inside the pillar had found the hive and were starting their orientation flights. The hive was left until dark, when the bees successfully relocated into the hive, and the hive and all the bees were removed.
The entire process took about 5 hours. In the end, the bees were removed making the homeowner happy. The bees were safely removed, making the beekeepers happy.
If you live in the Pueblo, Colorado area and have bees that need removed from a structure, Ross can be contacted at 719-671-0204 or Pueblo Bee Rescue.
Ross cutting nails to remove boards
Boards removed and exposed the colony inside
Colony of bees
Taking a closer look. Notice that Ross doesn't have his bee suit on and the bees are leaving him alone
Removing the comb, one by one
By the time all of the comb was removed, several bees landed on Ross. They didn't show any signs on aggression however.
Using the Bee Vacuum to remove the stragglers
Comb and bees removed and relocated into a hive