Cupertino Bee Removal – Chimney Bees

After some research and having other bee removers come out to take a look at the bee situation, Jennifer of Cupertino called us to find and relocate a bee colony living on her second story entering between the chimney and the rain gutter. It was a hot day today and after this morning’s site check, taking the kids to Great America, my dad and I tackled this removal in the heat of the afternoon.

Someone attempted to do a trapout but didn’t do it right. You need to make a cone shape from the metal screening. Also, tape isn’t going to keep the bees from getting in or out. Caulk would have been better. Also, the bees have been sprayed a few times! Also, the roofer who arrived right before us, I saw him bring down a can of wasp/yellowjacket spray. He was there removing the rain gutter. Why couldn’t he have come AFTER I removed the bees? I was about to get into my truck and leave!

For some odd reason the rain gutters were put on before stucco was applied on the house. Hmm…

It was tricking finding the bees. At first the thermal imager picked up a good source from the ceiling but a little further in from the entrance. But then sometimes when the bees are sprayed the bees move in. So we made a cut into the ceiling and didn’t find them. Then we tried the second area where we picked up an image (picture above).

I drilled a hole first to look inside the wall but only hit insulation. So we opened the wall up. Pushed away the insulation and found the bees.

From the first look it appears to be a small colony but to the right of the combs there is about 5 to 6 inches that goes in. There are about 5 layers of comb in this colony and it was pretty long and deep.

See the fresh small comb section far inside. I was barely able to reach that. Good thing I came out to remove the bees today. If the bees had a few more weeks to build I might have not been able to get to all the bees and comb.

I was hoping the find the queen today in a corner. But unfortunately we couldn’t get her. There were too many hiding places all around including going up or down the chimney. Above is a piece of sheet metal but there’s a gap between that and the flue where some of the bees moved into.

All cleared out and cleaned up. Though we didn’t get the queen today we did save all the brood and a good amount of bees. We’ll see if they can make an emergency queen. If not I’ll combine them with a small young colony I have in my apiary.

Thanks Jennifer and Charles for allowing us to relocate the bees!

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