Palo Alto Bee Removal – Thermal Imager Finds the Bees

Continuing from Friday’s full day of bee activities starting with Adopt-A-Bee-Hive, then a swarm that flew off, and finally it was time for our scheduled bee removal in Palo Alto. It was about 2 weeks ago when John called from Santa Barbara saying that some bees moved into his house in Palo Alto but he was headed out and couldn’t gauge if the bees established themselves inside the walls. So after John’s call I did go for an external site check but couldn’t find anything at that time because it was in the heat of the day.

So Friday was the day to relocate the bees. I bring my arsenal of high-tech toys, ok, high-tech tools to detect where the honey bees are located. The latest is my Fluke Thermal Imager TiR and because we inspected early before the sun hit the side of the wall, we were able to detect the heat coming off of the bee colony inside the structure.

Thermal images show where the bee hive is located. You see the hot red spot, that’s where the bees are situated. We also go inside to check if we can detect the colony of bees. John had the carpets pulls back before we arrived so we access the bees from the floor as he told us about a hive that was there 25 years ago.

Here’s’ the thermal image of the bees in the sub-floor between the first and second story. The Fluke Thermal Imager does come in handy in detecting where the bees are so we don’t have to cut multiple places just to find the bees, meaning less repair work for the homeowners.

After finding the bees, we use a multi-tool to make a fine cut into the plywood floor so John can use the same piece of wood to put everything back together. Here’s my dad cutting the floor.

We open up the floor and there they are. Not a huge hive, they’ve only been there for about 3 weeks but they built about 7 decent size combs already with very little honey but much capped brood, larvae, and eggs of all stages.

After removing the last comb section I stuck my head into the floor and spotted the queen among a small cluster of bees in the corner. I quickly grab the queen catcher and caged her.

After catching the queen we took the queen, brood, and the bees in the bee vac outside to merge them. Then we hung the hive near the entrance.

The foragers return and headed right into the box as the bees were fanning at the entrance spreading the queen pheromones. We left the box there to get all the returning bees and picked up the box after dinner right before dark.

Thanks John for calling us to save the bees!

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