Live Bee Removal - Scenario and Questions - Open for Discussion, Suggestions, Solutions

I am posting this as a discussion because I’ve feel I have not spoken with enough beekeepers to get enough different answers (I’m kidding…sort of).  My mentor has seen the situation but has not done bee removals, so to solidify what I pass along to my friend in her situation, I pose the following scenario and questions to the group: 

My friends recently moved into a home in PBG that has a ficus tree in their backyard. Unbeknownst to them until recently, that ficus contains a colony that appears to have called it home for some time. The wife is very afraid of the bees and is adamant that she does not want the bees there, and they have determined that the tree also needs to go. Because she knows I am interested in bees, she has suggested that I bait and catch them. In speaking with others, this “never” works because the queen and her colony are happy where they are at, albeit they are not aware of their future demise. I know cut-outs are not free, and I am not asking or suggesting that at all! I would just like to know how much it would cost me for someone with experience in live bee removals to come out and the job.  I in turn though would want the bees myself and will re-queen them.  I am asking many questions in order for me to determine if I should foot the bill to save the bees, re-queen them, and hope they take to their new home.  Or, if in this particular situation, it’s best to let the homeowner take their course of exterminating the bees and then removing the tree.  I see two questions here:

1) Is it even worth the time to bait a box to see if there are any takers to moving?

2) What would be the cost for me to hire an experience beekeeper to do a cut-out, in which I would like the bees to keep myself (of course, there are not queens to be bought right, so that could be an issue as well).

I appreciate your input and apologize if this seems like a silly question, but please remember I’m a new-bee and have some patience with my post.

Thank you!


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Collyn, First off welcome.  There is a list of members who do removals, transfers, cut out or what ever term you would like to use.  This list is easily accessible and located on the home page. 

Having written that. It is admiral of you to start this discussion for several reasons.  Many of seek and join PBCBA because we want to save bees.  We don't want people to kill them simply because they are afraid.  Many newbees don't know much about this topic and there can bee tragic results.  I am talking worse case scenarios.  They don't often occur but can and do.  Additionally, there are beekeepers who make a living by live removal.  They feed their families and pay their bills with the money they earn.  One simply needs to spend a single day with a Live Bee Removal Specialists to realize how hard they work and how much knowledge is required.

Back to your topic, what you need is termed a trap out.  It is a fairly simple procedure.  However, banyan or ficus trees are notoriously difficult.  Additionally, it takes four to six weeks to complete.

I am sure one of the members listed will bee willing to help you out.  Good luck and please keep us informed on how it goes.

As Lee said, it would be a trap out. And those trees are tough. Will the home owner even give that kind of time to do it? If not there are many mute points here. 

I have a hive with very friendly bees in a storage box in my backyard in Boca Raton.  I'm hoping someone can take them for free (you are welcome to keep the box).  I can't even think of paying someone to take them as the condo my son had lived in in Fort Myers lost its bottom floor and needs to be completely replaced.  If you know of anyone who is interested call at 561 251-8998 and leave a message.  Another beekeeper started what is now a good sized bee biz on the first hive from my backyard several years ago.  I am hoping one of you wants to do the same.   D

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