Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Newsday Article - Removing Honeybees from your home.


Home work: Removing bee colonies from your homeAugust 20, 2010 by JESSICA DAMIANO / jessica.damiano@newsday.com

You might have seen honeybees busily scurrying from flower to flower in your garden. They're collecting pollen and nectar to feed their queen and brood, or baby bees, and keep their colony thriving, all the while inadvertently pollinating your plants so you can get more flowers, fruits, herbs and vegetables. You even might have seen a honeybee colony nestled into a garage door jamb or hanging like a pouch from a tree branch. Generally, they're not a problem, as the bees don't tend to be aggressive unless they feel threatened.

Deborah Aldea of Syosset found herself in just that predicament last spring, when she and her brother noticed hundreds of bees entering and exiting the house near the living room window. The pair treated the area with hornet spray, to no avail. And when they called an exterminator, they learned the insects weren't hornets at all; they were honeybees.

Aldea called Suburban Pest Management of Smithtown, which is experienced in removing hives without sacrificing bee colonies. After examining the situation and opening up a wall where bee activity was suspected, the company's apiarist, Craig Byer, discovered the colony extending into the ceiling from behind a second wall Aldea didn't even know existed. Byer gingerly removed the nest, including honeycombs, nectar, pollen, honey and brood. The combs were placed in empty frames, and a special vacuum was used to suck the bees gently into a box. Then, he transported the bees to Suburban's apiary in Smithtown, where the colony settled into a new hive.

Honeybees need an opening of only 5/8 inch to enter a structure and build a hive, so proper sealing is vital. It's important to call a pest control company or beekeeper to confirm that what you're dealing with are honeybees.

"Other pests can be killed, and there will be no concern about nesting material left behind," Byer said. "But with honey bees, the nesting material will become a nesting site for other species, like hive beetles, wax moths and others," so it must be removed to avoid future infestations.

Inspection tips:Suburban Pest Management offers these inspection tips for finding a nest if you suspect honeybees have colonized in your home:

  1. Look for a continual flow of bees in and out of an entry point in the exterior of the building.
  2. Listen for a buzzing sound coming from within the walls.
  3. Inspect for stains that may develop from honey or nectar.
  4. Check for warm spots on walls or ceilings, as a hive will maintain a 94-degree temperature, even on the coldest days.

No comments:

Post a Comment