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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    3

    Cool Bee Hive dilemma!

    I am contemplating purchasing a 1910 Craftsman home in wonderful condition, except one thing. There are 3 honey bee hive colonies under the shingle siding on the second floor. I have been told that I must have the hive (wax and comb etc) removed after the bees are relocated. One source suggests I do this from the exterior by removing the affected shingles, treating the area and sealing it, then replacing the shingles. The other source suggests cutting into the lath and plaster interior walls, removing the hive, then filling and sealing the area, finally patching the wall with drywall. Which do you suggest? Or should I not buy this home at all? All the sources I found said that the house will always attract swarms because of the smell of the old hives. Most of the bee removal companies I've contacted so far have quoted the work to cost between $7,200 and $16,000. If this is what it takes to "bee proof" the home, I cannot buy it
    I would love some ideas and suggestions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,103

    Default Re: Bee Hive dilemma!

    I had a bee hive colony inside a block wall fence about 6 years ago. The bee keeper I contacted estimated some 5,000 bees inside. For $150 he took care of the problem and so far they haven't returned.

    What's different in your house? why do you get estimates this high? try other bee keepers.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Bee Hive dilemma!

    I have gotten many shocked faces when I tell people the price I was quoted. Basically, the contract states that all the bees will be removed, all of the honey wax and hive debris will be removed, the area will be treated with something that helps negate the bee pheromones, the cavity will be filled with an insect resistant foam sheathing and foam filler, and then the siding will be replaced. This will cost $2400 per hive.

    I spoke to another bee-remover who said he could remove the hives for $300 a piece, but then the filling, sealing, and replacing of siding would have to be done by a contractor.

    Because I live in an Agricultural area, I would like to relocate the bees rather than kill them. They are so important to our crops. I will contact the Ag dept tomorrow and see if they have any resources for me. However, if killing them is the only way to deal with this problem then I will do it.

    The seller of the property has said that this is an annual problem during swarming season. The bee-keepers I have spoken to say that is a continual because the owner never dealt with the problem properly, by removing the hives and sealing the entry. As it is swarm season now, failure to deal with the hive ASAP will probably ruin that house and render it unsellable. It would be a shame, since it is such a lovely home.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,486

    Default Re: Bee Hive dilemma!

    If I were you I'd pass on this property. If the asking price does not include remediation of the bees and hive, then you're on the hook for it yourself. If you can't afford the repairs and the price of the house/market value leaves no room, why take on the headache?

    Removal of the bees shouldn't be that big of a cost, the reason being is that the person capturing the bees is getting an active colony worth easily $500 - $1000. I'm willing to bet you could find a local bee keeper to come remove the bees for free or a fraction of what you've been quoted.

    If you do not deal with the house, the bees will continue to return. I do not believe that you need inhibitors, insecticides, and all the other crap you're being quoted, but you do need to get the wall opened up and cleaned out. Once that is done, it is necessary to seal the exterior so that the bees cannot return.

    If you've got lath an plaster interiors, then it's a good bet that your insulation and electrical in that wall is more than lacking. I personally would strip the interior side of the wall, clean it out, upgrade what is needed, then install drywall. It will be a bit messier than doing the work from the outside, but IMHO, it will be easier to repair the interior than the exterior to have a seamless repair that looks like it never happened.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Bee Hive dilemma!

    Thanks for your input. I had a bee-remover recommended by locals who went by the property today. He quoted me a price that was MUCH more comfortable, for the same services AND take the bees alive. $300-500 per hive. That I can handle. We wrote our offer this afternoon, and we shall see if this house shall *bee* mine!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,103

    Default Re: Bee Hive dilemma!

    I'm glad you listened to us, and when those contractors who wanted 7K to 16K call you, tell them to continue looking for business.

    This beekeeper who is going rid the house of bees is going to get free "working" bees that he can rent to farmers for pollinations and you are going to have a bee free home. A win win situation.

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