I discovered out with the society networking website Nextdoor, that a neighbor i know had a hive in a wall surface in the tenant’s section of the duplex she owns and also lives in. Because I’m on crutches for 2 months i enlisted the aid of man Zapf (a guest on episode 54 of our podcast) and additionally recruited the intrepid renter of the apartment, Elizabeth, that was an ext than happy come jump right into a suit and help out. Man did the bulk of the job-related while ns sat uselessly top top a stool and took pictures.

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I learned the removal method we provided from beekeeper Kirk Anderson, ours guest on episode 40 of the podcast. This is no the only means to execute it but, ns think, among the better and much more humane techniques for removed bees from a structure.

Elizabeth actually saw the bees moving right into the wall. Once she an initial contacted me and told me this, I asked for that we wait to carry out the removal until the queen had actually a opportunity to mate and start laying eggs (at the very least 28 days). This increases the possibilities that the hive will endure the move. If the queen is squashed during the removal the workers can develop a new queen, but only if they already have a supply of eggs.

Gather your tools

The first step is come make sure all tools and also equipment room ready: hammer, crowbar, smoker, punishment suits, gloves, knife, sugar water, spray bottle, box and frames, rubber bands, burlap and also matches.

Suit upBees space usually pretty mellow to occupational with but cutouts are an exception. After all, you room breaking and also entering their home. This hive was tiny and not defensive at all, however I’ve done large cutouts wherein the case was much more intense. Because that cutouts I prefer to usage head to tail punishment suits favor these ones sold by Dadant. You need long gloves, too, the course, and also you should wear sturdy boots. No skin have to be available to the bees, since they will discover it. Make sure whatever is tucked in and also zipped up prior to you begin.

While not the “killer bees” hyped increase in the press, the fact is that the Africanized bees here in the warmer parts of the US are a bit much more defensive 보다 European bees. Even when you’re not doing a cutout, friend can’t occupational with castle in shorts and a t-shirt.


John smokes the bees.

Lock up the pets

When I execute a cutout I always make certain that any type of pets in the homeowner’s garden or following door room inside in situation the hive gets really cranky. This has putting chickens in their coop if there’s a i m crying nearby. I bring along an extra punishment suit if the homeowner wants to watch.

Always begin with smoke

Never skip this step–it’s simple to do as soon as you’re excited and ready to go. Take a minute to acting the hive and wait a minute prior to beginning work-related to give the bees time to patience down. I use burlap in my smoker because it smolders for a long time.


When I perform these tasks I phone call the homeowner the I’m going to open up up their wall, make a mess and I’m no going to fix the damage. If you hire a punishment removal company they need to put the wall back. I don’t promise repairs. I also don’t do job-related from ladders.

Once the bees had actually been smoked, John set about peeling off the paneling native the porch wall. You have to do this demo work carefully. Occasionally bees will connect comb to a wall surface and also when girlfriend peel that off, the comb will autumn out along with a many pissed turn off bees. John is trained as an architect, has construction experience and also he go a great job remove the paneling in together a method that it will certainly be easy to repair.

Seeing one exposed hive is come witness among the miracles of nature. Anyone I’ve taken follow me on a cutout has been to win by this moment.


Cutting out

Once the hive is exposed we offered smoke to herd the bees turn off of the comb. Utilizing a knife, man sliced the comb turn off of where it to be attached to the wall. The comb was then transferred to tool sized Langstroth frames and secured through rubber bands (you deserve to use string as well but I prefer rubber bands better). Kirk Anderson has actually taken to utilizing masking tape which I’m going to try the following time I carry out a cutout. Basically, you just need to place the comb within the frame temporarily. The bees will take over once they are in their brand-new home and also extend the comb come the edge of the frame, so it’s correctly attached. Climate they’ll chew the rubber bands, cable or masking tape off and eject it from the hive.

The rubber-banded frames are then set into the brand-new bee box, one of two people in new permanent hive box, or a temporary “nuc” box.

Regarding the queen

It’s finest for anyone if the queen is efficiently transferred throughout this process. She’s tough to spot, so i don’t even shot to look for her throughout the chaos of a cutout. I just pray ns don’t death her accidentally follow me the way. As I said above, the workers deserve to make a new queen if they have to, however the change is much smoother if the original queen is present.

You’ll know you’ve got her in a couple of ways. The first is the the workers room attracted come her, therefore they’ll be attracted to a hive box which has actually her inside, and will be an ext likely to remain in that box. A really good sign is the you’ll check out workers hanging around the entrance of the hive, fanning it with their wings. This lets the returning workers–and you– understand that the queen is in residence.

Rounding up the stragglers

Next comes the tedious job of convincing confused bees–who will urge on hanging the end in cavity wherein the comb provided to be–to go right into the box. To perform this we sprayed the bees v a sugar syrup made through a 50/50 mix that water and also white sugar. This keeps the bees liven cleaning us so the you can gently brush them right into a dust pan and transfer them into their brand-new bee box.

Some civilization use specially adjusted vacuums to suck the bees off the comb and also out that cavities. You have to be careful if you do this as it’s basic to injure the bees.


Once the comb and also as many stray worker bees together you can coax out of the wall surface cavity were in the box, us positioned the box with the entrance together close as possible to wherein the bees to be coming in and also out of the wall, so the returning bees would find their new home. Then us took a break.

I came back later in the afternoon and “supervised” as Elizabeth brushed much more of the puzzled workers who had returned indigenous the ar into the dust pan and then into the bee box. The bees must acquire on the comb as quickly as possible or the hive won’t endure as the comb have to be kept in between 32º C and also 35ºC.


Collecting the boxYou need to wait till nightfall to relocate the crate to it’s new location. By dark, the bulk of the employees should have returned to the hive indigenous the fields and made their way into their brand-new living quarters.

Before you move the box, easy smoke the bees, shut up the entrance and also carefully move them. Since John and I both have hatchbacks, i take the extra precaution of put the bees in a mesh bag specially created moving beehives (they require air just like we do).

After the move

Onece the hive is in its brand-new location ns decrease the dimension of the entrance so that the hive has actually a better chance of warding off robber bees from adjacent colonies.

MisconceptionsI’ve watched a the majority of misconceptions around bee remove on the interwebs. No, you can’t “smoke” them the end of a wall. And you should certainly not just shot to plug increase the enntrance gate to the hive! That’s a an excellent way to encourage a bunch of angry bees to beat their means inside your house.

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You should likewise beware that shady punishment removal services. It’s finest to acquire a referral indigenous your local beekeeping association. If you’re in LA, call Honey Love because that a referral. You can likewise consider simply leaving castle in place. As lengthy as castle aren’t stinging anyone there’s not really any kind of harm in having actually bees in a wall.

Cutouts are very hard top top bees and also there’s possibly a 50/50 chance that the hive will certainly survive, but at least it’s better than call an exterminator and also spraying poisons. Exterminators frequently don’t know what they room doing when it involves bees and also will not correctly do any kind of preventative measures to keep another hive from just moving in again. In short, when you’ve acquired bees contact a beekeeper!