Bees Can Bee…Tricky

I’ve done many live bee nest removals.  Mostly honey bees, but a great many bumblebees as well.  If I’ve learned anything about bees is that they are tricky.  They can be clever and they can find the one place where the slightest gap, crevice or hole is and exploit it to it’s greatest new hive site potential.

I can’t beegin to tell you how bad construction is in general.  So many newly built homes and buildings are riddled with unsealed crevices, gaps, crack, holes and more.  Creating what is practically an engraved invitation to insects looking for harborage.

Not only that, but general upkeep and maintenance on buildings of all kinds is generally lacking.  Changing elements in the environment such as air temperature and humidity cause shrinkage and swelling in junctions which again, create gaps and crevices, etc… that need to be sealed and caulked not only to prevent structural damage and air loss but to prevent insect infestation and harborage.

Bees are exceptional at discovering these little places that are so often in places that we can’t see easily or inspect often.  As a matter of fact, honey bees can reveal all kinds of flaws when they manage to get into places beyond the immediate joist or rafter spaces.  They can find ways down into areas between floors and walls.  Even down in between openings in concrete blocks that make up foundation walls.

Honey bee colonies will swarm as a result of reproduction of the colony.  The swarm issues from the old hive and almost immediately begins scouting for prospective new places to build a new nest.  It is nest building time and they are in a hurry to get started.

When bees find these places, it can be extremely expensive and difficult to get to where they are to effectively remove them.  Killing them may not be enough.  Leaving the unmanaged and now unprotected wax combs often lure other pests to those areas to feast on wax, honey, pollen and other stuffs now left behind to rot and ruin.  There could even be structural damage to soft woods, plaster, drywall, etc… from honey that deferments and runs down walls.

What can help?  Prevention services.  

Having an annual inspection by a professional apiarist to identify weak points in the structure that need to be sealed or repaired BEFORE the bees show up. 

I offer contract clients two inspections per year, one coming into Spring and one coming into Winter.  These are to identify areas of attention due to the previous seasons environmental changes swelling or shrinking caulk, wood, etc…, areas of damage or disrepair and other potential issues that allow introduction of bees and related pests.

Bees go about finding and building a new nest intuitively.  It’s practically programmed into them.  All they need is a location that most closely fits the parameters of their needs.  Often, having bees move in is preventable IF one knows to be looking for it and what to look for.

 

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