Palo Alto Bee Rescue – Vacuumed the Queen Bee

On June 7th we did a site check at this location in Palo Alto and then couldn’t do the bee removal because my dad was just about to do his eye surgery. So time went on and the bees that used to be in there absconded. And last week I receive a call from Amy saying new bees moved in. They were entering into the office so we scheduled Thursday morning to remove the bees.

When we arrived a little before 10 AM and checked out the bees, there were much activity at the entrance though the picture does not show it. 🙂 You see a few there entering.

There were two possible ways to get to the bees but cutting from the outside seems to be the best route.

Brought the Fluke thermal imager. From outside the thermal imager picked up where the bees are. It appears to be fairly large.

Then we went into the upstair’s bathroom and there they are. The toilet is to the left.

We removed the siding to find an overcrowded colony. Perhaps there weren’t much room to build inside.

We bee vac’ed the bees on the outside before cutting.

We easily cut through the 2×6 with our multi-tool though the blade is wearing out from all the bee removals we do each year.

After removing a section of the 2×6 we expose the colony. You don’t see many bees here because this photo was taken after we vacuumed up all the visible bees. But check this photo out, you see the capped drone cells? Well, the only capped cells were drones. But there are a ton of larvae of all stages that aren’t capped yet. I was wondering if this colony was queenless and had a laying worker or the queen was poorly mated and just laying unfertile eggs.

Waited a little and more bees came out.

As you can tell from the photos, the bees built only the front portion of the void. Then there’s insulation that ran across the sub-flooring. There is space, about 3 to 4 inches in height if the bees wanted to expand in. We did find a huge cluster further in so we had to reach way in to vacuum them up.

I knew the queen was in further with the cluster of bees. We vacuumed most of them but there were a few here and there. We waited a little and I went up to do the last round of vacuuming. And holy cow, the queen walked out and she was literally about two feet away from me. I couldn’t reach her so my dad hands me the bee vac and there she goes down the tube. We caged her when we got home. Here she is below.

Brought the bees home and combined the bees with the brood. After a couple of hours all the bees came out clustering on the hive boxes and a ton doing orientation flights which almost made it look like a swarm.

Thanks Amy for calling us to save our honey bees.

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