Saturday afternoon I received a call from Min-Yi of Palo Alto regarding a bee colony that has been living in the wall of the garage for quite some time now. His family bought the house three years ago but he first noticed them there about two years ago. So this colony could have been there 3 years or more. We arrived on Mother’s Day to remove the bees. When we arrived we saw the extremely high bee traffic and it was right next to the Cal Train railroad tracks.
Below is a hole the bees are trying to seal up with propolis.
No cutting on this removal. Just pulling nails and then prying off the siding. We couldn’t wait to see what’s inside the walls. We kind of guess by what we saw externally but always a surprise when we expose the entire hive.
Behind wall number 1. Some abandoned comb sections that are completely dry and brittle. Wax moth destroyed a good amount of it. No bees on this section and we cleaned it up.
Now behind wall number 2. We knew the core of the colony would be living here but holy cow, we didn’t think it would be this huuuuuuuge! This is the first peek we got when my dad pulled apart the siding. And this photo only shows half of the wall and combs.
Wow! Combs in all three sections of this part of the wall. Very right is wax moth damaged combs and not used anymore. Middle section had combs filled with capped honey about four feet long. The the core of the colony where the brood resides on the very left wall section, from top to bottom, 8 feet for comb, mostly brood with some honey on top and bottom!!!
Here’s another view from the other side. This is the largest removal we have done so far this year. A ton of bees, brood, honey, and all.
Including wax moth. 🙂
A worms eye view from below. I could have used a super wide angle lens for this hive!
Swarm cells all over the hive. About four queen cells already emerged. Imagine if we opened the wall up before they swarmed. I would probably have to have at least three mediums on my beevac to get all the bees.
And this is behind wall number 3. Looks like they just expanded to this section. I noticed honey and pollen being stored here.
And yup, as expected. The queen usually runs to the far corner once we get started. Dad spotted her near the bottom of wall number 3. She’s small. Must be a virgin or newly mated queen.
Thanks Min-Yi for calling us to remove this HUUUUGE colony of bees!