My question is about bee nest removal. There’s a large space – 32″ long, approx. 18″ wide and 2″ deep, that exists between the top of our stucco archway and secondary story balcony. We’ve had bee activity there off and on for 6-7 years, but this year it became extreme and the bees threatened our entertainment area under the archway.
After numerous futile attempts to solve the problem, I ended up sealing all the possibly entryways up with bubble wrap. It worked, but looked like crap, and I was told that as long as the honey was sealed in there the bees would eventually be back.
So I just went up on the balcony and took off five floorboards to give me access from above. It revealed one section thick with a large grocery bag’s worth of honeycomb. I’ve removed the combs and the dead bees, but before I seal it all up again I want to make sure they can’t get back in there to build a bee hive. I’m thinking of going the bubble wrap route again and stuffing the spaces with it to discourage them from setting up shop there again. Do you have any advice?
Having conducted many bee nest removals, I think the solution you describe is probably the best one. I’ve often found that rather than trying to prevent bees from entering a space in a wall or roof, it’s better to fill the space with something inert.
It seems to me that it’s a good idea to fill a space such as yours with bubble-wrap after a bee nest removal. Polystyrene packing peanuts (or the packing from electronics products) or glass fibre can be used. My theory is that since it’s almost impossible to completely exclude bees, they’re very persistent, just allow the bees in, but make sure there’s no space for them to build their combs.
If you feel you would like additional ‘insurance’ you could paint the inside of the space with some oil, then dust it with Sevin Dust insecticide. This will have the result that any bees from a nearby swarm which find their way into the space to ‘scout it out’ as a prospective new hive location will not make it back to the parent hive. Whilst I don’t like the idea of killing any honeybees, it’s better to sacrifice a few scouts rather than risk a whole colony being exterminated because they’re in the wrong place.I’m not sure how the colony was killed, if it was through suffocation rather than insecticide, I hope you won’t dispose of the honeycomb before you’ve removed the honey. Simply use a piece of muslin or cheesecloth in a colander over a bowl and put the crushed honeycomb in the colander. You could end up with some compensation for all your work. Of course if there’s a risk of the honey being contaminated with anything it should not be consumed by people or bees. If this is the case, put it in a plastic bag and tie it up and put the bag in the trash.