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HIVE IN WALL NEAR MACKAY, QLD - Can anyone help me?

Hi All, I live on the Central Coast, Queensland about an 1 hour out of Mackay Qld. I am new to bee keeping and have a flo hive ready to go. My mum has a friend that has a hive in the wall of their house (1/2 hour out of Mackay) that they want gone. I have a builder that can help with wall removal and rebuild but need someone to help with bee removal and then I will transport (if possible) to my home a further 30 minutes away. Slight problem - as the bees were entering through a small hole near a pipe they modified a really old hive to have the pipe go into the hive from the house - so now the bees go in through the hive and into the house as well… Not sure where the queen would be located. Haven’t inspected inside the hive yet to have a look. I will post a photo / short video if I can for you to see. Thanks in advance. Ellen

I don’t think that will work. What I would do is make a trap-out. A funnel made from fly wire attached to a piece of hose. Then the hose fitted to the bees entrance. Do this early one morning. At the same time place a brood frame containing mostly larvae next to the entrance (shaded) while making sure the bees can’t get back inside the wall. After about an hour or two, as long as the brood frame is completely covered in bees, place it inside a brood box, with 2 drops of lemongrass oil smeared inside the entrance. Place the entrance as close as possible to the wall entrance. The bees returning will slowly be drawn to the brood box as long as the bees don’t find another way into the wall.

As long as there is either worker eggs or very young larvae on that frame, the bees will make a new queen.

This will save a costly renovation job.

Thanks @JeffH as I’m new to beekeeping - do I get the brood frame with larvae out of the brood box that is currently attached to the house? And do I just sit the brood frame on the ground do you mean? What about the brood box they are currently flying into and then through the pipe into the house?

Hi Ellen, is there a colony with brood in that box?

I was thinking it would be empty & that the bees were just passing through it. I’ve heard of this system working with native bees but I never thought it would work with honeybees.

With native bees, they start a new colony in the new box, however the original colony remains in the old hive. That’s not what you want to achieve in this case.

Assuming there is no brood in that box, you’d need to acquire a frame of brood from a beekeeper. Yes place it on the ground, or on something to bring it to the same level as the house entrance. The reason for the open brood is to give something for the trapped out bees to go to & start feeding. They don’t take long to forget about the colony in the wall once they start feeding & caring for that brood. What you get after that is a gradual depleting of bees out of the wall coinciding with a gradual buildup of bees in the lure box.

You need to get the homeowner to check it regularly to make sure the bees don’t find another entry into the wall as well as make sure the funnel doesn’t get blocked & that bees don’t start going back in via the funnel.


@JeffH thanks heaps - I actually watched one of your youtube videos this arvo on removing the bees from a work yard in Maroochydore - it was great. I am going to go and check out the brood box tomorrow - as I have not taken the top off yet and will see what is happening in there - before taking the next step. It would be great if they were not just passing through - however I think the homeowner was given a little bit of bad advice in December when they set this box hive box up this way - they thought they were encouraging the bees out the wall - I dont think so either.

Hi Ellen, that must have been the cable drum video. That one basically shows my trap-out method at the end of the video.

There are good reasons why that empty box wont lure the bees out of the wall. #1, the brood nest is inside the wall. #2 from the bees point of view, the brood nest is more protected from natural predators inside the wall. Not that they have any in Mackay :slight_smile: only humans. The name “European” Honeybees suggests that they are genetically programmed to be aware of predators such as bears.

PS, there doesn’t appear to be many bees at the hole in that box. I can’t see any. Is it a strong colony? If it’s a weak colony, that can make the trap-out more challenging. Mainly because it takes a while to get a good covering of bees onto the brood frame. If you left a lot of nurse bees on the frame, that would help.

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I’ve ‘sat back’ with your issue and waited till @JeffH took it up with his good advice. He is great at getting a colony out of a place you don’t want them into a hive.

More than a ‘little bit of bad advice’, it was actually misinformation. It has only given the bees an obstickle to leave and get back to the colony.

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@JeffH you were 100% correct nothing in the hive at all - just empty frames. I will now try and get a brood frame with larvae from someone (as I dont have a hive yet) and see if we can encourage them to move onto the frame and then I will put them in my hive - that I am setting up - if this works it will save me having to put a Nuc in. Thanks so much again - I will contact some locals up here to see if I get a frame from them :grinning:

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Hi @Peter48 - yes @JeffH was correct, my dad is super handy and is going to build the trap out for me, I have my hive - so I am just going to try and get a brood frame with larvae from someone already established and then give this a go. Hopefully all works well and then once all in I can then organise to transport the hive back to my place (about 30 minutes drive away)

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Jeff is a guru on trap outs and catching swarms. His advice is based on many years of experience and enjoys passing on help. He also has excellent videos on YouTube that can be a big help to.
A frame of brood will act like a magnet.

Hi Ellen, you’ll need to organize that frame to pick it up the morning before you setup the trap-out because the brood can’t be out of a hive very long. Leaving nurse bees on it will help. You’ll be able to find my phone number, give us a call if you have any queries on the day. If I’m out, Wilma will be able to help.

In relation to the brood, make sure it has lots of young larvae & worker eggs.

Also it will take quite a few days to get the colony out. It can run into weeks.