Well, we had a visit from the apiarist last week and we had three options for the bees and they were:
- Find the hive and vacuum the bees out carefully and locate them in another hive.
- Poison the hive and kill the bees – with the likelihood of bees coming back to the same location.
- Leave the bees in the roof cavity and let them do their thing and provide a safe haven for them.
So, we tried the first option using a thermometer to find their location as bees in a hive operate at around 37 degrees. We found a potential location – as the area was warmer than the others and then the crowbar went into the ceiling to make a hole and out flew 3 bees, so we were close! Inside the hole and up through the plasterboard we found insulation and decided that it was not worth creating more random holes in our ceiling not knowing exactly where the bees hive is. The problem is that the area where the bees are is above the stairs and it is likely the ceiling cavity which is up to the roof. The roof is the second level of the house and it is too high to access (even for solar panel installers!).
The second option was out as we do not want to kill bees, that would be a terrible thing to do and again you have to get up to the roof to find the location of the hive and then clean everything out including all the wax and honey because if there is a tiny amount left behind the bees will come back.
My husband and I just looked at each other and decided we did not want to create further damage to our renovated house not knowing where the bees are living and then we would have to line up a contractor to help us fix the ceiling. On top of all that, we would have to go up there to put chemicals in there to get rid of excess wax etc. Below is the list the apiarist left with us if we were to say bye to the bees – so we were not too keen at all.
New Bee swarms almost always try to reenter the same area during the swarming season, September to January.
To minimize the potential of this reoccurring the following is strongly recommended, after we’ve removed the bees and hive.
Give yourself up to half a day minimum to do this if a larger hive
Don’t miss a step or take shortcuts……you’ll bee asking for trouble!
- Wash all honey out with hot soapy water, OR at certain times of the year other local bees/wasps will clean the honey away better than humans can.
- Scrape off and remove all wax with a paint scraper…including any hives located nearby that were previously exterminated. Sand it out if possible. Don’t leave more than a thumbnail of wax in the affected area.
- Thickly cover and entomb all the residual waxy film with something environmentally UNFRIENDLY..eg bitumen tar or 3 layers turps based paint
- Apply generous expandafoam to affected areas and also adjacent cavities. This is to minimize space for future hives.
- Externally cover gaps the thickness of a pencil with mortar, good quality silicone, timber quads etc, within 5-10 meters of the affected area.
In the end, we decided bees around the world have enough to deal with (colony collapse, chemicals, fertiliser, climate change etc) so they can shelter in our ceiling cavity way up high in the sky. We chatted to the apiarist and he said that they are far away from anyone to cause any harm plus they have an incredible array of plants surrounding them to pollinate. We now have 30,000 bee friends living with us, so it is very exciting to watch them go about their day. The bees can guard their honey like gold up there too!
The other thing, it is freezing cold in November with lots of rain as climate change is happening in full force – it is supposed to be spring?!? I discovered that the bees really do not like flying in the rain as when the rain hits them it is like a missile on their little bodies and they can die – so being mindful of all this, why not let the bees live inside the roof cavity.
NEWS ABOUT MS H
Another wonderful thing happened this week with the launch of the Christmas campaign at the Royal Children’s Hospital, have a look at who is the face of the hospital this year. Enjoy here is my darling daughter, her surgeon, and me in an interview about our healing journey ❤️🩹 click on the pic to have a read of our interview.