A fast response from the home owner resulted in one of our quickest jobs ever.
When a swarm moves into a cavity of a home, the faster it is removed, the quicker the job. This Buderim home owner had noticed scout bees actively checking out the weep holes in the wall of his brick veneer garage, the following day he was fortunate to witness the swarm move in.
A swarm is not easy to miss, with thousands of airborne bees, the sound and experience is intense. However once they land and disappear into a cavity everything can go quiet within 20 minutes consequently if no one is around a swarm is easy to miss!
Once a swarm enters a new cavity to set up a new hive they immediately get to work building comb. This is their first crucial job as the comb is needed for the queen to start laying eggs into (and start to increase the population) and it is also required for the colony to store nectar and pollen. This hive of active comb building happens inside the hive away from view and therefore it is unsurprising that most home owners are completely unaware of the fact that there are thousands of bees inside their wall or ceiling when they can see just a few hanging around out the front.
Because I was able to get to this job within 24 hours, I was able to treat it like a swarm removal, rather than a cut out job. With barely any comb built, I just needed to find the queen, cage her and let the rest of the colony know where she was so that they could all follow her into their new home. This was a relatively small swarm, perhaps 5000 bees, which made the job of finding the queen relatively straight forward.
I could have used and alternative method of removal called a “forced abscond” however this method is really risky when dealing with a colony inside the walls of a brick veneer home. A forced abscond uses a combination of smoke and replant to drive the colony outside but the huge risk is that the bees can simply move to a different part of the wall away from smoke and replant. (This is also the reason a “trap-out” can never work on a brick veneer building). It is a much more assured option to be able to directly access the cluster if possible.
Once exposed, it is simply a matter of scooping up the cluster of bees and searching for the queen. And without a doubt, the most important guarantee of successful swarm capture is to catch the queen. Catch the queen and you catch the swarm.
Thank you Matthew for calling us in to do this beehive removal and save another colony of bees.
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