2018 Honeybee Removal Information

Rex Smith’s Honeybee Removal – 2018

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.

My bee line is 469-251-2BEE (2233) – please DO read the removal information links and FAQ links below, however.

I will ask you (a) How long the bees have been there.  (b) How high from the ground is their entrance.  (c) Your location, and (d) for any photos you can text to me to help assess the structure overall and zoomed in photos of where the bees are entering/exiting.

Removal Information:
http://www.bohemianutopia.com/wordpress/?page_id=2

Frequently asked questions (and my answers):
http://www.bohemianutopia.com/wordpress/?page_id=512

YouTube Channel  (Please Subscribe!!)
https://www.youtube.com/user/HarmonyHollowApiary

Facebook Page (Please “Like” the page!!)
https://www.facebook.com/HarmonyHollowApiaries/

This colony of bees was very docile – I probably could have done the whole removal without a bee suit – but I always suit up – just in case one rogue wants to tag me.

A view from within the house while removing the comb. There was NO sign of a laying queen in this colony. No eggs, larvae or brood – and very little pollen (protein source) in the comb.

They will likely be combined with a colony that needs more numbers to survive winter. Enjoy the view!

 

 

Valley Ranch Bees – In the wall!

This removal – though fairly straightforward – had the potential to go VERY wrong The wall stud-space was not insulated – I suspect because there was a vent-stack as well as electrical lines in that portion of the wall.

Care MUST be taken when cutting into any unknown void (i.e. drywall) to ensure that no electrical, plumbing, gas, etc. lines are damaged. These bees were very docile – and I suspect they had been in the space for well over 2+ years – even though a neighbor just recently noticed bee activity outside. The comb was a very dark brown color – indicating some age to it.

After the bee removal was complete, I was able to caulk the entrance the bees were using – from the inside – then filled that wall-space with insulation. In this case, the homeowner has a neighbor that is performing the drywall repairs.

Enjoy the video!   Please DO subscribe to the channel, and click the “thumbs up” button.  Comment and let me know your thoughts on the work as you peruse my videos.

 

 

Valve Box Removal – No Smoker – a bit of attitude

When performing removals – we don’t always get to pick the ideal conditions.  Environmental factors play a big role in the behavior of a hive.

When it’s windy, overcast, humid, etc, etc… there are more bees at home than usual – and are in defense mode instead of out foraging.

After 2-3 days of rain – I had a window of time to do this removal.  As guessed – they have a bit of defensive attitude due to:

  • Rainy prior (and current) days
  • Overcast Sky
  • I forgot my smoker

What?  Why would you do a removal or ANY bee work without a smoker?  It can be done.  Should it be done?  Probably not…  But with proper knowledge of how to deal with the bees, it’s possible….

Now – a month after this removal, the bees are doing well in the nuc box they moved into.

 

 

 

New Bee Yard Setup

 

A short video with highlights from setting up a new bee yard for a customer.   Hive stands, 10-frame Langstroth woodenware, and NUC colonies – delivered and setup.

If you have not yet subscribed to my YouTube channel – be sure to!  There will be a link in the video – near the end to subscribe to my channel.

 

And part 2 of the bee yard setup:

 

Varroa Mite Management with your hives

Varroa mites are the latest finding in the plight of our agricultural (and hobby) European Honeybees.  The Varroa Destructor is known to be a vector (carrier for diseases) for several viruses, including (but NOT limited to:)

  • SacBrood
  • Deformed Wing Virus (DWV)
  • Black Queen Cell Virus (BQCV)
  • Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus (CBPV)
  • Acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV)
  • Kashmir bee virus (KBV)
  • Israel acute paralysis virus (IAPV)
  • Slow Bee Paralasys Virus (SBPV)

(list source: http://articles.extension.org/pages/71172/honey-bee-viruses-the-deadly-varroa-mite-associates )

While there is a rift in some beekeeping circles and groups about whether varroa mites can be managed with breeding “varroa resistant” or with “hygienic behavior” in bees – the fact remains that if bees are bred to coexist with – or to tolerate the varroa mites, then the colonies are subjected to a variety of possible diseases.  Folks that are “treatment free” – should still perform varroa mite count tests – and not be disillusioned about the fact that mites are in your hives.

A fantastic resource for learning to do mite-counts and various treatment methods is available at :
https://honeybeehealthcoalition.org/varroa/ (link will open in new tab or window)  This has been updated in June of 2018 – and also includes links to videos showing how to perform mite-counts as well as several treatment methods.

Monitoring methods

Varroa mites can be monitored with any of several methods.

Alcohol Wash

Sugar Roll

Treatment Methods

Dealing with varroa is a delicate and tricky proposition – when it is considered that we are trying to eliminate a “bug ON a bug”.  And the host bug (apis mellifera – or honeybee) we want to thrive and be healthy.

A variety of treatment methods can be employed.  I’ll also say, though – that some have proven to be ineffective.   See this video link for a quick overview.

  • Oxalic Acid (OA) Vaporizing
  • OA Fogging
  • OA Drizzle
  • OA Long Release (shop towel application)
  • Apiguard
  • Formic Acid
  • Drone Brood Culling
  • Brood Break
  • Thymol (in various application methods)
  • Screened bottom boards

There are many more treatment methods that were found on the internet while researching treatment methods.  Some – such as using screened bottom boards – have been dis-proven to be effective by themselves – however MAY be an aide to help another method be more effective.  Regardless – it is recommended that you employ at least two methods for varroa control.

Newer methods of applying Oxalic Acid are being experimented with by several researchers, including Randy Oliver of Scientific Beekeeping, and others in Central Texas.

Randy’s OA results are shown here: http://scientificbeekeeping.com/oxalic-shop-towel-updates/

Sources:

Honeybee Health Coalition:  https://honeybeehealthcoalition.org/varroa/

Randy Oliver – Scientific Beekeeping – http://scientificbeekeeping.com/extended-release-oxalic-acid-progress-report-3/

Dave Cushman – http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/varroatreatment.html

Photo from: https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2017/08/09/central-bee-health-threat-varroa-mite-parasite-may-manageable-using-oregano-oil/

 

Nucleus Colonies (NUC) honeybee hives for sale – Harmony Hollow

MAY 2018 – Harmony Hollow has added nucleus colonies (NUC) to the line of products available.  NUCs are a “starter” colony that include a mated and egg-laying queen of known Italian genetics, several frames of eggs/larvae/brood, at least one frame of resources (nectar/honey/pollen) and a frame with foundation for the bees to draw fresh comb onto.

NUCs are $200ea for the 2018 season.   These bees will be provided in a waxed cardboard NUC box – ready to transfer to your permanent woodenware.

Pickup of colonies is by scheduled appointment at:

  • Wolfsong Farm near Forney, Texas
  • Locust Grove Sanctuary in Farmersville, Texas
  • Zentopia Acres in Ponder, Texas
  • If reasonable distance – we can arrange for delivery – and I can install into your readied woodenware – for a $50 delivery fee.   In all cases – purchase and pickup/delivery needs to be personally scheduled.

Care for your NUC:

After purchase, you will need to carefully move the frames of bees to your prepared woodenware for them.  This can be 8-frame or 10-frame boxes.  The safest way is to pick one of the outside edge frames that is either empty, or has the nectar/resources on it to remove and place first.  Then the other frames can be pulled away separately and placed into their full size hive body.  Watch each frame closely for the queen, and the brood frames for freshly laid eggs as well as various stages of larvae and capped brood.

It is highly suggested that you also have a feeder available for the bees.  Internal frame feeders, or a feeder that sits on top of the brood box for the bees to access from inside will reduce robbing from other hives or colonies in the area, and will encourage the bees to draw wax on the additional frames in your hive and maximize the population (and their hone/food stores) before entering the next winter.  Reduce the entrance down to an inch or so to further reduce any robbing activity from feeding your bees.  Sometimes placing a robber-screen or some blockade in front to the entrance will discourage robbing activity.

Note:  This is a livestock/NUC hive purchase only – and does not include “mentoring” or consultation on how to manage or care for honeybees.

 

Bee Yard Project – Convert Frame Feeder to No-Drown Feeder – DIY

This short video outlines how to convert a standard frame feeder into a no-drown feeder for syrup being fed to bees.

All items for the upgrade were available as scrap from my personal workshop – so no additional materials were purchased for the improvements.  The only expenditure was my personal labor.

Be sure to watch to the end – for a few outtakes/bloopers….

Enjoy!

Shed Bees – Carrollton

The homeowner noticed bees entering and exiting from the shed in the back yard the week before.   Since we were still several weeks prior to our swarm season – I suspected the bees * may * have been there a bit longer than the homeowner was aware of.

A nice queen was found, the bees were successfully relocated to a Harmony Hollow outyard – and are bringing in pollen and nectar to rebuild in their new home.

If you watch my videos – please hit “subscribe” from my YouTube channel – and give the videos a “thumbs up”.

Enjoy!

 

Second Story Soffit Bee Removal – Dallas

These bees have been in the soffit for a while.  The homeowner bought the house recently, and needs to do some work – that the bees were preventing.

After a successful removal – the bees were re-homed to a Harmony Hollow Apiary outyard – and are doing well.

Enjoy!

Winter work – preparing for spring honey flow – Building Frames

Enjoy this quick video of assembling frames for honey production.  Foundation will be added to the frames just prior to putting them on the hives (to keep the foundation clean until it’s time for the bees to draw comb).

Enjoy!

Link to my YouTube Channel for you to “like” and Subscribe to my videos:
Harmony Hollow – YouTube