Live honey bee removal v Swarm collecting
Live honey bee removal is completely different from swarm collecting.
Swarm collection is something that beekeepers should & often do for free.
However they are limited in what they can do, i.e. collecting swarms from bushes
Live Honey Bee Removal Specialists
Live honey bee removal is what we are all about, we are specialists in live bee removal and bee relocation from properties and buildings.
We specialise in removing honey bees from places that others can’t, and are not insured to.
The honey bees may be a newly arrived bee swarm occupying a building or an established honey bee colony that’s been there for many years.
No matter the circumstances we can move the bees out and into a new home far away.
We are not swarm collectors.
Be wary of “free” advice offered by swarm collectors
Do be very careful if taking advice from your friendly local bee keeper, bear in mind that more often than not they are there in the hope of picking up an easy to collect bee swarm.
Far too often we hear of very poor advice being given out by a supposedly experienced bee keeper.
When a swarm arrives and enters a spot that is too difficult for a bee keeper to deal with they are tempted to advise one of the following:
None of this is good advice.
Often this “free” advice costs you a lot of money, because the bees have not moved on and the cost to remove the honey bee nest goes up as time passes, or because they have been poisoned and the consequent problems will cause further issues down the road.
I wait for the day that one of these bee keepers is taken to Court for the advice they give – it has to happen sometime.
You need to act fast : you need to move the bees on ASAP
Ideally you want to push the bees out from where they are and collect them, at the very least you want them to be pushed out.
We do not recommend using smoke for this
Ideally you need to find a properly insured, experienced bee keeper that has pest control experience and understands building design and structural engineering, in other words someone like SwarmCatcher, which has all this experience and knowledge which is what makes us so good at “Live honey bee removal & relocation”.
Live honey bee removal : access
If we can get to a swarm and remove or flush it out of its new home within the first couple of days then that will save on considerable expense and disruption later.
For those swarms that land in chimneys and take up occupation we have fast solutions providing we can get to the chimney easily and safely. Even if we can’t get to the chimney top we may well have a solution to allow us to push the bees out.
Just remember that generally the longer bees are left in situ the more difficult and expensive it becomes to remove and relocate them. If a honey bee swarm is to be removed later costs will escalate.
Talk to the swarm collector
More often than not they will be looking for their first or possibly second colony – that should tell you everything.
On occasion you will come across swarm collectors that do it year on year just for the fun of it – but that still doesn’t mean they know a lot about alternatives to poisoning and the problems associated with having poisoned a bee colony – unfortunately its not their business to know and they probably have not had the training in the various fields to know about it.
Live honey bee removal – chimneys
Many swarm collectors when giving out advice about swarms in chimneys will say “leave the swarm be” and “it will probably leave of its own accord”.
Please be advised this is very poor advice and most probably given because they don’t want to say that removing them is beyond their skill set.
For bees that have only recently arrived in a chimney or some other part of a property we advise removing them as quickly as possible, preferably within the first couple of days of arrival, even then it can take several hours.
Live honey bee removal – “the urgency”
Honey bees will build their hive very quickly, they can build 20 litres or more of comb in a 3 week period (this is like hanging ten 2 litre bottles of milk out in a row).
If they arrive in April or May you can expect to find more than five times that in situ at the end of summer.
Once the bees have a chance to bring in propolis (tree sap), and the queen has produced a complete brood cycle (21 days from the laying of an egg), the complete complement of the pheromones of the hive will be ingrained in the structure acting as a strong attractant for years to come; so the quicker they can be removed the better.
Live honey bee removal Specialists
Swarmcatcher specialise in the live honey bee removal of honey bees from chimneys, roofs, brick & block cavity walls, soffits and many other unexpected locations. We carry out these live honey bee removals relocating the living colony to a more appropriate location – usually our apiary initially.
To carry out these live honey bee removals we have developed several sophisticated techniques one of which enables us to remove honey bee colonies from certain locations without having to dismantle the structure and without harming the honey bees.
We are at the forefront of bee removal techniques in the UK and offer the best advice and cost effective solutions for removing honey bees alive from your property.
What does a Live Honey Bee Removal service include?
Our live honey bee removal service includes the removal of not only the bees but the comb and honey as well.
This is very important as when left in situ there would also be a residual mass of brood (bee larvae) included with the wax comb and honey stores. This brood will die without the nurse bees to look after it, and decompose if not removed; leaving not only foul odours to contend with but also possible staining.
Additionally any uncapped honey stores will run and likely add to the mess. Further down the line you may well suffer additional pest infestations, such as carpet beetles, clothes moths, ants, mice or something larger.
All of this is prevented by the complete removal of the colony, stores and any dead honey bees that may have gathered beneath the hive.
Live honey bee removal – process
When carrying out a live honey bee removal we will usually vacuum the majority of the initial defensive honey bees unharmed into a bee box, the remainder of the worker bees and the nurse bees we usually leave sitting on the brood (looking after the bees to be) which we cut out and place into a nuc box.
The brood is then kept at the correct temperature by the nurse bees during the honey bee relocation process, on occasion we may assist with the use of heat pads when it’s cold.
The remainder of the colony is removed, the walls scraped down to remove as much wax as possible, and where possible the area beneath the colony is vacuumed to remove all the bees that have died and fallen.
There can be several inches of dead bees, which would otherwise be a great source of food for a large infestation of clothes moth, carpet beetle, meal worms etc. Once this mass of material is consumed all these SPI (stored product insects) will be looking for another food source – your wool carpets, silk dresses, woollen suits and sweaters.
If we can’t get to the dead bees we will discuss alternate options for preventing an infestation, and deal with them in your preferred method, normally nontoxic if practical.
Post Live Honey Bee Removal – Honey bee proofing
Once the live honey bee removal has been completed it is necessary to proof the location against the arrival of another honey bee colony. This can be a complicated part of the process dependent upon where the bees have been removed from. In some circumstances such as chimneys they can easily be proofed against after removal, in other circumstances it is in fact impossible.
Fortunately we have put a great deal of thought into this offering some rather clever solutions dependent upon each scenario. Year on year we get better and better.
Honey Bee Removal Guarantees
Seriously do not be conned by this offering.
There are some out there giving a guarantee against the re infestation of the same location – that’s a bit of a cheat really isn’t it. After all they are only guaranteeing against the recolonisation of a very specific part of the building or roof, not the whole, because it’s impossible to guarantee the whole against reinfestation without carrying out a rebuild.
To proof a specific section of roof or wall is straightforward but it’s not practical to proof the whole structure it’s just way too expensive to do.
Others are guaranteeing the removal of honey bees – one would hope so, that is after all why they are there, why would you pay them for not removing them?
So be wary of any guarantees, like most these days they are unlikely to be very useful.
Because of the strong active scent created by historic bee colonies the new honey bees will only require a 6 mm hole, this can be easily found in tiles and slates. Furthermore sealing all holes may be detrimental to the health of the building as buildings need to be able to breathe.
Fortunately we have come up with a fairly smart solution for this problem, taking into account the need for the property to be able to breathe and for the prevention of re-infestation – and it does not cost a fortune either.
Really need a guarantee?
If you really want a guarantee even after having reading it through carefully, then we will match any guarantee for a fee dependent upon access costs.
But upon careful reading you will probably see that it has no real worth, other than that of a great sales gimmick.
PS check to see that that guarantee covers the cost of access as well.
Further Live Honey Bee Removal Advice
If you have honey bees in your property please contact us; a photo can be worth a 1000 words so if you can email us a couple showing where they are entering the property, the location of the entrance with respect to accessibility, along with any historic or other relevant information, and an address so we can see the property on google, then we can advise on the best approach to removing the honey bees without having to visit. Our online advice is free!
Our honey bee relocation Specialist is waiting for you!
Swarmcatcher are the UK honey bee colony removal specialists that provide an ethical eco-friendly bee removal and relocation service across the UK.
For further information on bee removal and relocation please use the contact form in the side bar or message button below, or CALL 01297 441272 to speak to someone local who knows all about it.
If you are looking for information on removing bees from a chimney check out our article ‘Honey bees in chimney‘, or if you repeatedly have bee swarms take up home in your chimney you may want to look at our page ‘Why honey bees like chimneys‘ & ‘Everything you need to consider when removing bees in a chimney‘ which is a fairly extensive overview.
For examples on removals of honey bees from these and other more unusual places check thru our blog page Honey Bee Removal Blog and investigate our Tag cloud too.
Don’t forget a general overview on honey bee removals which can be found at ‘Live honey bee removal‘.