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Way off thread...But you are the smartest of the bunch

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  • Way off thread...But you are the smartest of the bunch

    I have to do a honey bee cut out at a exclusive motel. The bees may be only in the eaves of the roof or may be all the way over the ceiling of the motel room.
    I drilled holes in the eaves and sent a "snakey"camera in,but can not see if the hive extends over the room.
    Inside the room I tried an i.r.thermometer and got vague readings. Same with a stethoscope.

    Bees do not extend their comb all the way from the roof the the floor because of ants and other honey robbers.
    In this case that means the comb is not touching the ceiling of the room. So that limits the thermometer.

    Is there a way to use a microphone and computer with some high powered listening program?
    Maybe a night vision scope?
    Any other ideas?

    The point of the exercise is to not tear out any more of the building than absolutely needed.
    To make it worse,it is plaster and lath, rather than drywall.
    And this is tourist season

    The owner says that poison is the last option.

    I know I am o.t. I know you guys always come through.

    Bees maintain a hive temperature around 92f. If that helps.
    Last edited by 1-800miner; 05-31-2013, 12:02 PM.

  • #2
    I am reminded of that scene in Aliens 2 where the colonial marine sticks his head up in the ceiling to see exactly wtf is going on.

    And.. we're gonna need a pic of you in your "bee suit".


    • #3
      Can you not isolate the lighting circuit, and put your snake cam through the hole where the light fitting comes through the celing?


      • #4
        Regardless of how big the hive is it has to be removed, so the hole is just going to have to be as big as need be. Killing or otherwise eliminating the insects is only half the problem. I'd bet the hotel owners do not want spoiled honey seeping through the ceiling and/or wall.


        • #5
          It strikes me that the "last" solution would be a propane weed burner!
          Errol Groff

          New England Model Engineering Society

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          • #6
            What if you use the IR camera at night when ambient temp is less than 92? The bees might be in the spotlight then.


            • #7
              Suggest the owner to rename his exclusive motel (whatever it means) to the honeymoon suite. The customers will eat the honey seeping through the ceiling while watching the moon through the holes you made there.


              • #8
                I'd say the hole's going to be as big as it needs to be, so best to make it from whatever side had the easiest access and get on with it. Plaster can be fixed easy enough, and good on you both for wanting to do a cutout rather than poisoning them.

                I'd also suggest tossing the question over to the forum on Quite the friendly bunch of beekeepers over there, several of whom do cutouts fairly often and would likely have good advice on the subject.


                • #9
                  1-800miner --- Find a local beekeeper. The bees can be induced to move into a hive outside the building and bring the honey with them.


                  • #10
                    A vacuum does a good job of sucking up wasps when placed near the entrance to the hive. I suspect it would work with bees too. 92f should be pretty easy to detect with an IR thermometer as long as it has a straight look at it. A web cam attached to an IR thermometer could be handled fairly easily through a small hole near one corner of the ceiling. Have the web cam pointed at the display and tape down the thermometer switch so it stays in scan mode. That gives you a USB cable running back to a laptop while you wave it around through the hole. You should be able to get a good idea of the extent. For a better idea put a hole on the closest opposite corner and triangulate from there.

                    If you need to kill them use CO2 from a fire extinguisher.
                    Last edited by Evan; 05-31-2013, 03:52 PM.
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                    • #11
                      Dunno about that, Masheenist. They're usually quite protective of their broodnest and loathe to abandon it except maybe in case of a fire, but given the owner wants to minimize damage I don't think setting things aflame will work.

                      Seriously though, I'm in my 3rd year of beekeeping and don't recall seeing anything in any of my beekeeping books about getting a hive to move out willingly like that. It's always been physically removing the comb, since it would have to be removed anyway to avoid future problems with ants/more bees, etc.


                      • #12
                        Sounds like you're dealing with a flat roof where you have no attic access. True?

                        It's likely the hive is confined to one opening between the ceiling/roof joists. Even if you removed the ceiling (probably sheetrock) from that joistspace all the way across the room (very unlikely it goes that far), it's a pretty simple repair for a competent sheetrock guy.

                        Given the properties of sheetrock, the mess from taking down any at all is going to be about the same as taking down half the ceiling.

                        My experience with bees is limited to one time when they swarmed on a house I was building. The entire underside of the house (It was up on poles.) was covered with them. After checking with a beekeeper, I just went about my business using reasonable care to not cause them any harm. They were easily persuaded to move away from where I needed to work, and I didn't get any stings at all.
                        Last edited by winchman; 05-31-2013, 04:22 PM.
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                        • #13
                          Getting closest to the hive may not be the best way, could place the opening in the hardest area to repair.
                          It may be a lot easier to go in through the roof itself, pick an obscured spot that's hard to see from the street or ground, locate the rafters or trusses, cut out a square large enough for access. If you cut at center of trusses, you can often use the same decking to repair the hole.
                          Less clean-up and much easier to match shingles and patch a roof than it is to patch up lathe and plaster and mach paint. Easier to do with an occupied unit also.
                          If it must be done from inside, open up a hole in a closet. Repairs to closet ceilings don't stand out like they do in the main rooms, or could simply frame the opening out and make it an access hatch.


                          • #14
                            A bee keeper has a number of hives on my place. I noticed that if the day is hot, those hives will be humming quite loudly. I'm surprised that on a hot day you can't hear them. If it's not hot enough during the day, wait until later in the summer when it is. The problem with killing the bees is that the honey is still left behind - which is the ultimate problem. A good hive can contain 20 to 40 pounds of honey.

                            Is there any problem with waiting?
                            Last edited by Mike Burdick; 05-31-2013, 05:02 PM.


                            • #15
                              The reason it hums so much is the bees will set themselves up as fans inside and at the entrances to the hive. They sit in one place and flap their wings to keep the air moving.
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