This removal has been rescheduled many times mainly due to the low bee activity at the entrance of a possible hive, queen-right or queenless. That was unknown because June 1 I removed a large swarm that clustered at the same entrance. So I was waiting to see if it was just the foragers that didn’t make it home or it was actually another swarm that moved in perhaps right after I removed the previous.
Roushan who called about the first swarm, was monitoring the bee activity and provided me with email updates. The activity actually didn’t decrease but increased. A lot of bees came out during our last heat wave where his wife had a little confrontation with the bees and she was the last one standing.
So Sunday my dad and I went over and cut open the stucco wall. Thanks to my thermal imager it helped greatly at locating the colony which is small and produced little heat. The stucco wall was actually between 1.5 to 1.75 inches thick! I was surprised that the thermal imager picked up the heat from so little bees. It worked beautifully and minimized our cutting of the stucco wall.
Once we opened up a 4 x 4 inch section to make sure, the queen was standing right there on the comb section. I dropped the angle grinder, ran to grab the queen catcher, and caught her! It’s always good to locate the queen as early as possible. That makes the job much quicker and smoother. We continue to remove the remaining bees and combs from the wall and left the box there to get all the bees. If they do not go in the box with the queen inside, then we’ll have to bee vac them up at night.
This queen is tiny. The same size as the worker bees with differences in color and leg thickness. I believe this is an emergency queen they made after the bees were sprayed.