Urban beekeeping in New Mexico's largest city.
I've come across an interesting situation that our next door neighbor's have. I had noticed bees flying around one of the corner's on their house and went over to talk to them about it. Being just an aspiring beekeeper at this point I couldn't offer them a lot of answers.
As it turns out the colony of bees took up residence in their house sometime last year. They did mention that they didn't want to have to cut into their stucco so they have just chose to leave the bees there. I told them I did not know if there was any way to coax the colony of bees out of the house and that I would ask around.They're very conscious and said they did not want to exterminate the colony.
I had told them that I want to keep bees and they were very cool with the idea. Woohoo!
They also mentioned that a nearby apartment building has a good size colony living in it which is where their bees may have come from and also the swarm that was in our yard back on the 4th.
So my question, for my neighbors is, is there a way to coax a colony of bees out of a building?
I have never done this, but there is something called a Trap Out. I know that Ed Costanza does this as a pest control operator. You make it difficult for the bees to get into the hive, but easy for them to get out. Then you put an alternative right next to the entrance, like a nuc! The bees return to the nuc. You need some comb and preferably brood to do this, because the bees will eventually make their own queen. Over the summer, you can start several hives by doing this, apparently. I think you can also put some sort of repellant into the colony too, but I don't know anything about that. At some point your neighbors will probably want to have the bees removed, though. They can cause water damage to the house which is not good.
I'll pass on the info to them.
I have doen a trap out. It works very well. You cover all the entrances to the hive with the main entrance covered with something that allows the bees to exit the hive but not return into the hive. There are a number of ways to make something that works to keep the beees from being able to return into the hive. Then you put a hive or nuc right by the main entrance. It is best if the hive or nuc is queen right (meaning that it has a good queen) and has open brood. You can put bees, brood, and eggs in the the hive or nuc and let them raise a queen, but this does not always work. When the bees can't get int the hive you are trapping out they will move into the hive you put by the entrance. After 5 or 6 weeks the queen inside the trap out hive will leave or die, and all the bees will be out of the hive. Then you unblock the hive so the bees from the hive you put by the entrance can go and rob the honey from the hive. That way you don't leave all the honey in the wall or where ever the hive was. After the bees clean out all the honey, you need to seal the hive up so a new swarm does not move in. The down side to doing the trap out is that you need to check on it often to make sure the bees have not found another way into the hove, and to move comb brood, and honey out of the hive you put by the entrance, because it will get crowded very fast with all the bees moving in. If you would like to talk about it, you can give me a call at 505-750-7733. Steve