I love to see videos and photos of live bee removals. I learn something from each one I watch. That and I really like to see bee stuff.
Something that I think that bears mentioning though is how often the repair of the structure goes unaddressed. Putting the structure back together is just as important as getting the bee nest out.
As a matter of fact, there are some that too often leave the impression that once getting the bees out, it’s all over but the relocation. Sadly, I know too many beekeepers who are just in it for the bees and will leave the structure worse off than they found it after they have gotten the bees.
No, I’m not saying every beekeeper who does live removals does this, but there are still far too many who do.
In any structure that is inhabited, the removal of both bees and the next are crucial. The nest must be removed even if the combs won’t be kept or used. Leaving pollen and honey filled wax combs behind is leaving “roach bait” to create another problem.
Left behind old comb in a structure can attract other pests such as roaches, ants, spiders, mice and many others that if not attracted to the combs, are attracted to those critters that are attracted to the combs.
This represents a health threat because of diseases and sanitation issues caused by the presence of those pests.
It also represents a structural threat because the melting of the wax leads to rot of pollen and fermentation of the nectar and honey. This can stain walls, floors, and ceilings and smell horribly. The presence of the rot, decay and fermentation can also lead to mold, mildew and fungus growth in the walls and voidspaces.
The old comb, ALL of the next, MUST be removed.
Once bees and nest are completely removed, the job still isn’t properly finished.
The voidspace should be filled so that new comb cannot be built in the same space. In addition, exclusion methods should be implemented to prevent bees from even accessing that voidspace again.
Reasonable efforts should be made to not only remove bees and the nest but to prevent it from happening again.
I can’t tell you how many cutouts I’ve been called to finish up after a hobbyist came and hacked open a hole in a roof or wall, vacuumed bees out and then walked away with their “free bees” leaving the residents high and dry with a mess and more problems.
This is why I approach live bee removal as a pest control service first. I am there to help people solve a problem. I am a registered contractor with the state. I have business liability insurance to cover my work. I have invested in having the right tools and equipment not only to remove bees alive but to do structural repair as well.
If the bees survive the removal, and sometimes they don’t, it’s a great thing, mission accomplished in terms of bee conservation. Even if the bees don’t survive, I finish the job at hand. I make sure that the client not only has the bees removed, the nest is removed also. The opening made to access the bees is probably cleaned, filled and closed as completely as possible to make it look like it hadn’t even been opened. At least to not have it look like a hack job.
There is so much more to live bee removal from houses and buildings that are in use besides getting the bees.