Saturday we had another successful bee rescue about two stories up in a soffit of a Sunnyvale church. We arrived at 8 AM so that we can get a head start before it heated up today (forecasted to be 84F) and also so that we can use the thermal imager to find the bees.
Here’s a thermal image of where the bees are. The image shows the combs about 2.5 feet vertical. This colony have been in the soffit for at least two years according to Wes, member of the church.
We then went onto the roof for a peek with the thermal imager. Here’s a picture of the roof first.
And here’s a picture of the bees under the roof with the thermal imager. The Fluke thermal imager once again tells use exactly where to cut.
The roof was replaced not long ago. So removing the tar paper should have been easier because the tar should still be somewhat softer than say years of sitting there baking in the sun. Well, it still look a good amount of time to peel off this THICK layer of tar plus tar paper.
Once we peeled off the 0.5 to 0.75 inch thick tar paper, there was a gap where the bees started to come out.
We utilized the multi-tool to make fine cuts. Can you see a trend here? We use all the right tools to minimize the amount of repair you will have to do after we relocate the bees, starting with finding the bees with the thermal imager to making fine cuts with our multi-tool. The pieces of plywood we removed can be reused after they are cleaned of wax and honey.
Here’s what we got when we lived the plywood. Two huge pieces of honey filled combs dropped down the deep soffit but it was recoverable. And amazingly and a big surprise to us, the queen was attached to the top of the plywood. We caught her almost immediately after we turned the plywood over.
And here’s the rest. Large comb sections hung from the roof but good thing it was also secured to the support beam on the left.
Here’s a zoomed out photo.
And here’s our Queen.
We also had to remove a piece of plywood that made up the lip of the roof. There were more bees and combs in that section, mostly of honey.
All cleaned up. It was a sticky mess!
Thanks Wes for calling us to save our honey bees!