Honey Bees in Walls
How to remove honey bees in walls
Having honey bees in walls can seem like an impossible situation to remedy, especially without knocking a great hole in the wall, but here at SwarmCatcher we specialise in removing and relocating honey bees in walls and don’t necessarily have to knock a hole into the wall to do it.
If you have bees in walls then there are a couple of options on how they can be removed. Dependent upon the type of wall and for how long the bees have been in the wall we will use one of a variety of methods to remove them safely without the use of any toxic pesticides.
Which method we use to relocate honey bees in walls is mainly determined by the amount of time the bees have been in the wall and the type of wall cavity it is.
Unfortunately the longer they bees have been in the wall the more difficult and costlier it becomes. The other main factor none surprisingly is the type of wall cavity the bees have occupied; we remove bees from all sorts of walls, sometimes doing it from within the building, other times from outside of the building.
How long have the honey bees been in the wall?
If the bees have only recently turned up to occupy your wall cavity then they can often be pushed out in one of a couple of ways thru the use of smoke or a blend of herbal essential oils. If this doesn’t work we have a few other options (that I can’t tell you about as we keep those to ourselves).
If the bees have only just turned up then smoke can be a good way to move them on, the problem with pumping smoke into a wall cavity is that it can cause a bit of a stink in the whole of the building, but it can be very effective in moving bees on. For those that don’t want smoke used then we can utilise a blend of aromatic herbal essence oils, possibly not as effective as smoke but certainly better to live with if you don’t like the smell of smoke or take the risk of smoke damage. These two methods are usually effective if the bees haven’t been in situ for long, but for those that have been in the wall for anything more than 5 days another method needs to be used. Even after only a day or two it can be very difficult using these methods to get honeybees in walls out.
For bees that have been in a wall for any length of time up to 3 weeks that are more difficult to move it may be possible to carry out a form of honeybee exclusion. When using this exclusion method it’s very important that we know the arrival date, which we then need to be able to confirm with an endoscope camera to ensure that the bees had arrived on that date and not just begun swarming on that date.
If the honey bees have been in the walls for longer than this then there are really only two main options for the removal of the bees nest from the wall cavity, either they need to be cut-out or trapped out.
Honey bee trap-out from a wall
The least intrusive or destructive method for removing honey bees in walls is to carry out a trap-out, the result of which is the removal of the bees and the honey. But this is not a quick instant method for the removal of the bees, in ideal conditions it takes 6 weeks but with British weather we find it actually takes longer than this. Generally this needs to be carried out during the late spring and summer months although there are various variations on how this can be done dependent upon the circumstances and the desired outcome.
Honeybee cut-out from a wall
This method is not normally as intrusive as it sounds, here we dismantle a section to access the honey bees in the wall and remove all the bees, the comb and the honey rehoming the honey bees in an apiary.
The honeybee cut-out may be carried out from within the property or from the outside of the property dependent upon circumstances and accessibility.
This method offers a fairly immediate solution for the removal of the bees and is usually completed within the day.
What types of walls do honey bees nest in?
We have come across all sorts of honeybee nests in all sorts of walls.
We have been to brick cavity walls with bees in, honey bee nests behind fascias, honey bees entering airbricks, honey bees behind hanging clay tiles.
We have cut-out honey bee nests from behind walls in top floor flats, from within the space beneath a window frame, and removed honeybee nests from behind block cavity walls with structural facades. We have removed honeybee nests from the space made between an old windows and protection boarding. We have taken out honey bee nests from within the soil pipe boxing in a bathroom, from behind wooden facades, even from behind lead sheeting.
Often we remove and relocate bees that have been entering an airbrick just below the eaves of a property, or possibly thru a gap in a soffit board. More often than not these bees will be building the honeycomb for their honeybee nest downwards from the top, suspending the wax honeycomb from the rafters into the wall cavity for anything up to a metres or so. On occasion some of this honeycomb can be seen from the inside of the roof but not always.
Whether we remove these honey bee colonies from inside or out will depend upon practicality, normally we need to be able to at least access the external entrance area. But often it can be easier to get to the bees from within the property and easier to carry out any renovations required invisibly if they are internal.
For further information on bee removal and relocation please use the contact form in the side bar or
call 02922 401649 to speak to someone local who knows all about it.
If you are looking for more info on removing bees from a chimney check out our article Removing bees in a chimney, for information on bee removal and relocation from roofs you may want to look at our page Honey bees in roof, or if you have bees in a wall our page Honey bees in wall maybe of use, For additional examples on removals of honey bees from other more unusual places check thru our blog page Honey Bee Removal EXPERTS and search for “unusual bee removals”.