Bee colony in brick column in danger of heating in summer?

This spring we had a nice suprise when we found bees had set up a colony in our garden. The place they chose is an old brick column (probably hollow inside) that is part of an old fence. One layer of bricks has warped and opened up a crack for them to get in. We live in Perth and summer is approaching, which can get quite hot. The brick column is under the shade of a tree but I am concerned that the bricks will heat up and kill the colony or drive them away. Do you think this could happen? Therefore I was thinking about placing a hive nearby and see if they might adopt that for their home instead. Would that work naturally, and is there a time of year for bees to make this choice, ie is summer too late? It does seem like the colony is expanding.

Welcome to the forum, Blair.
Others have started their interest in bees from a feral colony in their yard or house. Bees love brick walls and cavities. Even though the bricks can be quite warm on the outside if in the sun, the cavity inside remains stable and easily managed by the bees. It’s very unlikely they’ll relocate themselves. As they expand and conditions are good, you’ll see them swarm.
You could leave them to live as a feral and catch the swarms, or you could dismantle the bricks and relocate them to a box. This is called a cutout. If you’re lucky you’ll catch the queen, put her in a cage in the new box so the rest will stay with her. I don’t recommend it for beginners, but there might be an experienced beek locally that’s willing to help.


I agree that bees will manage the hive temp inside of a brick column. I would imagine that a layer of brickwork would have better insulation than say 20mm of pine for example.

I would do a trap-out in order to get the bees into a box. It would be much easier than pulling the brickwork down, unless that had to be done anyway.

A trap-out can be achieved by a complete novice. I know, because I guided a couple into doing one. Then after they finished, I got the bees. As a co-incidence, the lady is a friend of Cedar’s mother-in-law.

More evidence for the Six Degrees of Separation theory?


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Thanks, AussieMike,
My first concern was the bees might end up being cooked in the brick column. I’m really happy to have them in our garden. I’ll look into finding a local bee keeper that could assist, if I do want to move them to a hive.

Great to get quick and helpful advice on the forum. I’ve watched a number of videos now, so my interest is growing.


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Hi JeffH,
Thanks for the fast feedback, especially the suggestion that the beers aren’t necessarily doomed if they stay in the brick column in the Perth summer (and there is a shady tree above).

I’ll look into this trap-out idea, thanks!


Hi & you’re welcome Blair. With the trap-out idea, you’ll still need help from a local beekeeper, because with my method you’ll need a frame of open brood, which is brood (including some worker eggs) that still needs to be nursed & fed. With this method, you may not get the queen, however the bees that get trapped out will quickly start making a new queen on that frame of brood. Some time during each day, a lot of nurse bees come out to do orientation flights. They will be a big help in raising the brood, as well as the new queen, on account that the field bees will be too old to carry out those duties.

Good luck, I believe I found a Perth club that had a list of contacts for someone last week… Oh nice it was still in my search history. WA Apiarists' Society - Swarms - Phone around as there is likely to be a cost to the call out.