Beehive rescued from Woombye West Home
When 92 year old Frances was advised to petrol bomb the bee hive in her wall, she decided it was time to find a real beekeeper to rescue them.
The dark side to this story is that some “beekeepers” are a DISGRACE (note the inverted commas).
Earlier this year I had to clean up the aftermath of a failed-beekeeper’s attempt at a trap-out. After he’d inevitably failed at blocking the bees out of a brick veneer house (as it's virtually impossible), his solution was to drill a hole in the wall and empty a can of insecticide into it. While he killed thousands of bees, he ultimately failed at that too, and the colony survived. Instead of a straight forward cutout the bees had spread their nest out and were entering the house from several metres from the original entry which resulted in my job taking twice as long and the hole in the wall for the homeowner was twice as big as it otherwise would have been.
Since that job I have had two other clients tell me that they received the same advice: punch a hole in the wall with a nail and spray in a can of insecticide; with zero percent regard for the bees, the environment or what is left in the wall, thousands of dead bees and kilos of honey.
I did this beehive removal for a terrific 92 year old client who just wanted to save the bees that had moved into her wall. Another so-called “beekeeper” had advised her to just tip some petrol into the hive and kill the bees (WTF!!). I could not think of a worse piece of advise. Beside the obvious fire risk, imagine the mess left behind by all of this honey and brood comb in the wall. Some people just should not keep bees. Goodness knows how they treat their own hives.
This beehive removal at West Woombye had few challenges to overcome. The bees had moved into the wall of a recently renovated room on the ground floor. The trouble was that the new walls had been built in an unusual way creating a difficult to reach cavity up behind the cornice. Rather than cut into the cornice, which would have made the repair job a lot more expensive, I decided to persist with working blind on removing the mainly honey comb from up in the awkward space created by this unconventional wall.
Fortunately the queen didn’t run off to one of these hard to get to spots in the wall. I found her right where I expected, on the last major piece of brood comb, which is why I removed it as one massive piece rather than cutting it into frame-sized peices.
All is well that ends well for these bees and thank you Frances for calling us in to do this beehive removal and to save these bees.
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