I visited a house today that has housed a huge colony of bees (apparently) for several years in a small flat roof which for various reasons is fairly impossible to access. Some of the ceiling of this flat roof has caved in, inside the property due to rain water getting in somewhere….possibly the same place as the bees! It’s on what we call the height of a two storey house (approx 30′ high) , so a ladder is out of the question if survival is of any importance! Scaffolding can’t be put up as the scaffolders take one look at the bees & scarper.
One could get onto the flat roof but it isn’t stable enough (again, apparently, but I didn’t try it!!) to access the bees from above, cut the comb etc & collect bees, after cutting into the lead & glass fibre roof material. This seemed dangerous to me & I certainly didn’t want to try it.
The best way seemed to be from below but it was very difficult to close off the area from the rest of the house. There are several young children in the house that the mum was concerned about being stung etc. The bees were obviously getting into the house via the hole in the ceiling anyway as there were several dead ones lying around in various parts of the house. The hole is presently covered with a bit of flimsy black plastic that was bulging with water so I couldn’t have a look at what we were up against.
I had to admit defeat which means the death of the bees as the owners have called the local guy licensed to kill…007 bee killer!
As I was leaving , I suddenly remembered an old video that showed bees being drummed out of their hive into a skep placed above. I didn’t mention it as I had already left their place & wasn’t sure of its efficacy…it sounds very whacky as a method! After the long preamble, my question is has anyone ever seen this done with any success? Could this be a way to save the bees from 007?
It would be possible to get onto the roof for a while to cut a hole in the roof even though it would still be dodgy, place a skep on top, or similar & drum them out….if it worked. It would be a far more simple way of removing the bees without all the drama of trying to stop them from accessing the house while trying to get them into a different receptacle, while trying to balance on a wooden structure also balanced on 2 step ladders & so on.
They can’t be left as the roof is having to be renovated.
Does anyone have any ideas before they are poisoned? It seems such a shame after being so successful as a colony for so many years.