2016 Honeybee Removal Information

Rex Smith’s Honeybee Removal – 2016

If you are in need of having a honeybee swarm picked up, or a full colony of bees removed from a structure – please see the following links for my contact information:  (These same links are in the top menu bar on this website as well.)

Also please understand that most bee removal specialists are overwhelmed beginning in March with calls.  In peak season I personally receive between 30-40 calls per day – and do 1-3 full removals per day.  If I do not answer the phone, I am probably in a hive – so please do leave a message and I will return the call as quickly as possible.

Removal Information:

Frequently asked questions (and my answers):

Late September Open Feeding of Bees

A short film of the bees yard activity when open feeding honeybees.  Honey from structural removals is fed back to the honeybees.  This helps ensure that each hive in the apiary has enough food stores to make it through the winter.  When there is no natural nectar flow, open feeding can be used to make sure the bees (a) have enough food, and (b) make the bees think there is a nectar flow, so they will continue to build fresh comb on the frames.

Some honeybees placed on endangered list

At first glance at the articles I have read in the last few days, one would think to themselves:  “What does this matter?  These bees are isolated and in Hawaii – how should that mean anything to us here in the contiguous 48?”.

Easy answer.  These bee species *are* in an isolated area, and thus are easier to track their numbers and effectiveness at pollinating native species of plants as well as agriculture crops.

(CNN Article here: http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/01/us/hawaii-bee-species-endangered/index.html )

and link to original document at the Office of the Federal Register:

The importance is that change has started to happen to protect these native species because an effect of pesticides and other stressors (such as fires and other natural disasters) has been recognized.

The stressors that are man-made or influenced in a way that we can minimize the effect on them, and can either replicate or preserve and nurture both habitat, and external environments that support these species that have been documented as having to be placed on this endangered list.  These factors are certainly not isolated to Hawaii.  They are present in almost every commercial agriculture system in the USA.

Who is responsible for this work?  In my thoughts, responsibility should fall upon those in the circle of influence on the stressors for the species.   The farmers and cultivators that have use pesticides, the marketing chains that push the agriculture systems to believe that poisons on our foods are acceptable answers.  Yes – I do acknowledge that our agriculture system is HUGE, and that they farmers are simply trying to increase yield, appearance, and income from their efforts and land; however care to protect the species that have been on our Earth for eons longer than humanity must be taken.  And lastly – responsibility should fall upon the consumers who fuel the system with the want (or perceived need) for that agricultural product.

Grow your own….  Know your farmer and how they farm…  Eat Seasonally from local producers… and educate on the importance of preserving our fragile ecosystem that humanity seems to have little regard for.

Of relevance – I have included some information from Phil Chandler’s podcast below.

Timeline of Life On Earth

Numbers and some commentary provided by Phil Chandler – published via Barefoot Beekeeper podcast on 10-9-2014.  Note that some of the figures listed have various dates depending on the source of the numbers that I have found online.  The more recent (bottom of the list) numbers are more accurate, though – as they are closer to our existence and easier to find timiline evidence.

String  48.5 Meters long – and representative of 10M Years per Meter

(MYA = Million Years Ago – Approximate Numbers from Phil Chandler’s Speech)

485 MYA – Appx last 1/10 of the life of the planet.   Aquatic Vertebrates already exist
395 MYA – First Land Plants / Lichens
350 MYA – Insects / Sharks / Sea Faring Plants / Forests
300 MYA  – Beetles / Seed Plants
2.14 MYA – Extinction Event
200 MYA – Mammals appeared
150 MYA – Birds
130 MYA – Flowers (and pollinators – probably including bees)
*** 100 MYA – Oldest known Bee ***
65 MYA – Non Avian Dinosaurs
30 MYA – Modern Honeybees

25-cm from end of string – Homo Genus of Man
less than 2-cm from end of string (appx 200,000 years) = Homo Sapiens
Last 1-mm of the 48.5 Meter Long String – Represents ENTIRE HISTORY of farming

last 100 million years – bees farming the planet and selecting the plants that they use for food.
They have shaped the development of herbivores, as well as the carnivores that eat the herbivores

Around the Corner

Another hive – and the bees have been here a *little* longer than the homeowner had noticed.


Though much of the comb was pure white – there was also plenty that was tan and brown.  I suspect the bees arrived EARLY this spring, then went unnoticed by the homeowners until they returned from a short vacation.

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Lots of nectar was brought in by these bees.  The comb and bees were removed – and as always – the space filled with insulation, and put back together.

Melted Out

Though bees were active in this space days prior to the removal – it may have simply been robbing activity.   The placement of the hive raised a concern when I evaluated the colony – as it looked like the hive would be exposed to some intense sun exposure – and the week I evaluated – we had temperatures around 106 deg. F.


I had taken a temperature reading of the shingles exposed to the sun, and they read at 165 deg. F.  Surely too hot for bees to live just underneath.


After the soffit was opened – my concerns were confirmed.  The comb had melted, and dropped – and only about 100 bees were left in the void of the soffit.   Wax moth and Small Hive Beetle larvae were already present – so timing was good for this as a “clean-up” job.



Afterwards, the space was filled with insulation, and the soffit put back into order.



Needing a new roof!

Hail from storms this spring has prompted many homeowners to need new shingles put onto their roofs.  Unfortunately, when bees occupy space in the soffits, the work crews cannot work to hammer the new shingles into place – as the bees become just a bit perturbed at the violation of their vibrational space by hammers.

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They are in the soffit – to the left of the chimney

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Once opened – the hive was exposed, and the comb and bees removed from the void space.  A closer view of their home:

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And once the bees and comb were removed, the void space was filled with insulation, and the soffit was reassembled.

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One House, Two Hives

This homeowner knew that she had bees for “a little while” – however, really could not pinpoint exactly how long.  There were two spots that the bees were entering and exiting the home – so there were two possibilities:  Either there was one LARGE hive, with two entrances…. or there were two separate hives – about 10 feet apart.


Once the ceiling and wall was opened by the window – it was evident that these were in fact, two separate colonies.


From the ceiling and joist space by the window, I could see that there was a LARGE colony to the right…  and that the bees by the window were actually in the wall – and not in the joist space.

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The insulation was moved aside – and here is the view:


These bees – though numerous – were of a very good demeanor – and have been moved to the bee yard after the removal was completed.






Scheduled Events – Saturday / Sunday (9/24 & 9/25)


Mystic Mandala – Intuitive Gallery
2016 – Sept 24 – Saturday – 11am-4pm
3131 Custer Road Ste # 265, Plano, Texas 75075

2016 Dallas VegFEST
2016 – Sept 25  – Sunday – 11am-4pm
Keist Park Rec Center, Oak Cliff, TX



Recycled Sunshine Honey


Strange Archetecture

This porch had a gap between the door, and the outer porch space/roof line.  It made for a strange balancing act while performing this removal.


Once I figured out my footing – it wasn’t bad at all.  The bees were accessed and removed – and the homeowner opted to perform his own repairs afterwards.


Do you think the queen got vacuumed?  The workers smelled her scent coming through my catch-box, and gathered on the exhaust side of the vacuum.




These bees are high!

High in the air, that is!

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From the looks of the comb, these bees have been here for about a year – though there was not a LOT of comb, it was a good tan/brown color – indicating it had been here at least through several seasons.


The comb and bees were pulled out, the space filled with insulation – and buttoned back up = so that the guys replacing the gutters could finish their job.



Reclaimed and Rebuilt Fireplace Mantle

(note:  click pics for larger versions)
Several years back, for another project – I had visited a house that was in process of being demolished – in order to reclaim some of the building materials.   (Yes – with permission and blessing from the demolition crew)  One of the items that was saved from the bulldozer was a fireplace mantle.   The house had been built in the 1930’s-1940’s (from what we had been told) – and the fireplace mantle was HUGE – and a shame to let be demolished….  So it was put onto my trailer after some gentle persuasion with a pry-bar.


My home was built in the mid 1970’s – and had a cheaply made facade of a mantle – made only of crown molding – attached to a 2×4 that had been set into the mortar of the chimney.

The old mantle (sorry – no pics that I have been able to find) was removed – and plans progressed to decide how the fireplace’s new look would be envisioned.

The brick around the fireplace would be painted white, as well as the body of the mantle. – The trim would be black, as well as the brick within the inside area of the mantle.

The surrounding brick was painted white, and the inside of the fireplace was painted black with hi-temp paint…  Then life happened, and the project sat for a while – with an electric heater/fireplace in front of the real fireplace.

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Challenges and work to perform – would be to:

  • cut the legs to lower the mantle – so that it could be affixed to the 2×4 already in the wall
  • Remove about 3 inches of wood from the horizontal board that cross over the fireplace entry – to open up the view of the fireplace
  • replace the crown molding under the mantle shelf
  • fill a large hole in the mantle shelf that had been used for electrical wires/plug in the mantle’s former home
  • repaint the wood for a more contemporary modern look (I’ll talk about that later)

First order of business was to take plenty of pictures of the mantle before it was disassembled.  The structure was simple enough that it could be rebuilt completely if needed.   The structure of the legs and cross member was replaced with a fresh board behind each seam – and screwed into place – instead of the nails that had formerly done the job.  (The nails allowed too much flex in the overall body of it)

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The trim pieces and shelf were removed.  And measurements were carefully taken… multiple times….  (measure 3x, cut once!!!)


The legs were then cut with a skil-saw.  The horizontal member was then measured and marked – and also cut with the skil-saw.  Finish cuts of the ends were made with a Japanese draw-saw for a flush cut.

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Sanding….  80-grit, then 150-grit – all with an electric sander.  I suspect the 3-layers of old paint may have had some lead-based paint in them – and possibly oil-based layers more recently – so a mask was worn when sanding.   Primer of all the surfaces was then applied.  (I used Kilz Original – which is oil-based, however allows latex paints to be painted over it)

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New 3/4″ quarter-round was  put into the inside edges of the mantle, and filler was applied to all the seams and nail holes.   Sanding commenced again.

Black and white enamel appliance paint was used for the final coats.  3 coats each of the white and black paints.

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And the finished, installed, new-to-this-home fireplace mantle.




While I an very proud of my work on this project – it’s a bit “contemporary” for (a) my personal taste, and (b) my current furniture.   Eventually, I’d like to place “fireplace glass” into the fireplace with a new burner for it.  Then new projects on the horizons.  😉