After this morning’s hive delivery in Sunnyvale my dad and I headed back to my place for lunch before heading out to Redwood City for a bee removal. John called last week and said their neighbor informed them of an established hive in their stucco wall, probably moved in about 2-3 weeks ago. We arrived a little before 1 PM and got started right away.
After getting our equipment ready we first cut a hole where the bees were entering and exiting, and upon closer inspection we couldn’t see any combs from below, even after sticking in a longer tool to reach deep inside to no avail. Then we notice a ton of bees all over the place like they were swarming. Then we see bees entering like five feet away so we thought maybe there were two hives or entrances. We make a small hole and also see bees inside. We let the chaos calm a little and all the bees refocused onto the main location.
That’s when we decided the way this stucco wall was made there’s no 2×4 in the center so it allowed the bees to walk way up to head level to start building their combs. We make a small cut first and bingo, there they are. Opened up the stucco some more to expose the majority of the combs. There were some way up behind a major support wood beam so we didn’t cut into that. Had to work around it by sticking our tools and hands up inside to take out the rest of the combs.
Not being able to exposed the entire hive made it difficult for us to catch the queen. Once we started cutting I’m sure she head for cover. The picture below shows the bees fanning up towards the corner. A clear indication that the queen could have already walked off into a crack or perhaps to another section of the stucco wall.
Here’s my dad removing some of the bees with the bee vac before we cut and frame the combs.
We removed all the bees and combs.
Looking up we noticed more bees in the upper corner, where the bees were fanning towards when we first exposed the colony.
We then made another small cut to the next wall section and found a cluster of bees there. Had to open up the wall some more before we were able to get the bee vac hose in there to remove them. We are sure the queen was in there but again because we couldn’t open up that part so we just vacuumed the bees. We will inspect the hive in a few days to see if we got the queen or not. If not there are plenty of young larvae and eggs for the colony to make an emergency queen.
Thanks John for calling us to save the honey bees!