About a month ago Sandy of Redwood City emailed me about rescuing some bees that made home either in the wall or space between the first and second floor. A beekeeper she knows came out to take a look but she wasn’t up for a cutout. So we scheduled today for the bee removal, well, it was a reschedule as last weekend it was nearing 90F, and if you have wore a full bee suit before, it would be well over 100F inside.
We arrived early as I was meeting He from SF for a hive adoption. She adopted an after-swarm from my yard that has grown to 5-6 frames already, perfect for her small backyard in SF.
Anyways, on with the bee removal. Sandy first showed us where the bees were entering. There is a huge gap between the siding and the mortar support structure. The hive was full of bees and it was hot yesterday so there was a good cluster of them outside.
We went into the bedroom where the bees are. Sandy already felt the heat from the bees with her hand prior to my arrival. But I brought my cool toy with me and we had to put it to use.
The Fluke Thermal Imager showed us exactly where the core of the bees are. We made one large cut into the sheetrock and didn’t have to make multiple small cuts as we knew exactly how much and where to cut, thanks to the thermal imager.
We brought all our equipment down to the first floor (house is on a hillside), and got right into it. We cut the sheetrock and pried it open. Once there were enough room for the bees to get through, they pour out right at us, many guard bees kept bumping into us and soon after I get stung on my arm, through the bee suit. Then I get a few more stings, we turn on the bee vac and try to remove as many bees as possible. During the process I have already received 10+ stings to my arm, hands, and both shoulders! Same for my dad but he got it worse, he got stung on the chin and another in the face! Ouch!!! You should have seen our gloves and bee suits, tiny little black dots all over – they are the stingers left behind from the bees trying to sting us. I’ve never encountered bees this mean before. We decided these weren’t bees I want in my yard, so the relocation mission turned into a remove and destroy. Something I haven’t done before as I want to save our bees but 20+ stings added up between the both of us must be saying something.
The bee colony is massive. My guess is that there were 15000 to 20000 bees in this colony. 17 comb sections and they are deep too.
From the color of the combs near the entrance, this colony has been there for at least 5 months.
After 20+ stings and 7 hours, we’ve cleaned it up.
Thanks Sandy for calling us to rescue these bees. Too bad they were so aggressive or else this colony would have been awesome to have. Enjoy the pure honey from your bees!