Stupid Games With Bees

Author: Dave
Date: 08.14.23 - 1:57am

So I had a dangerous bees nest under my hot tub. The Tub is on an elevated deck. They went through the deck boards and nested within the cavity of the hot tub itself.

There was tons of activity in and out, and if I opened the hot tub service panel they were not amused at all and would come at me.

Time to play a round of stupid games with bees!

Not a game I enjoy, not a game I recommend. My advice will always be to hire a professional.

Not withstanding, and against all advice, below is the setup I used to rid myself of these dangerous pests.

Shop vac was connected to the dust collector. Dust collector had about 3" of soapy water in it. Then the hose was remotely and precisely positioned in place with the floor jack contraption. It was actually kinda dangerous getting the hose set as the hive was quite active.

Dish Soapy water is required. Regular water wont drown all of them and you can have a can of very angry bees when you open it to look in. I did mention this was a stupid game. A grand total of 1 bee made it from the dust collector to the shop vac.

Previously I just used the shop vac alone, but the dust collector has a couple bonuses such as:
  • I can pop off the top vac hose and look down in to see my bounty with smaller risk.
  • My vac filter does not get wet and loose power
  • I actually love the dust collector and use it whenever I can to save my filters.
At the bottom you will see my catch. Thats 680 bees. I had pulled about 100 out previously for a total size of around 800. Way to big to be in close proximity to humans.

I will admit that when I thought I was close to the end of the hive, I hit the deck boards with a hammer from a safe location to piss them off and stir more of them from the nest. No part of this is a good idea.

In total I probably let the shop vac run about 3 hours over the course of 3 days.

Again, not an endorsement of this technique. Hire a professional and stay alive. Im a moron.

Comments: (9)

On 08.16.23 - 11:29am Dave wrote:
Another 365 today, all pretty small ones. New broods coming active I guess. Cant believe how many are in there! Total now at 1165.

Also found a ground bee nest of yellow jackets like 15ft away that will be easier to deal with..

On 08.17.23 - 2:32pm Dave wrote:
+130 Tot: 1295

On 08.19.23 - 3:27pm Dave wrote:
Sat: +190. Tot 1485
Sun: +115 Tot: 1610

moved vac to another entrance, may be a satellite nest. I suspect the main nest spun off at least 6 satellites now.

The first one I found while replacing some deck boards on the main deck, that one was about 1.25x softball sized.

Then at least 4 within the body of the hot tub. And one ground nest about 15 ft away. The main one must be a multiyear nest i never knew about. Little bastards.

On 08.22.23 - 1:09pm Dave wrote:
this is the gift that keeps on giving!

So once the main entrance was more or less cleared, I still noticed lots of activity. There were other entrances feet away, probably other satellite nests, some I couldnt even see. I cant really get to close and Im laying on my side to position the hose. Not a great scenario. Also, if they walk out of the hole and then walk a bit down the side before taking off, or land similarily I cant get them with the hose.

Time for a shift of plan..So after sunset I erected a bee tent around the hottub base with an exit hole. Now they are mostly funneled out where I want them regardless of nest, and they must be flying at the time. Took them about a day to re-calibrate to the new hole position.

Much more productive, easier to position the hose, and I can watch the spoils of war. Today will be a very productive day..counts to come. I am predicting another 300 count day.

Actual: +270 Tot: 1880

On 08.24.23 - 4:34pm Dave wrote:
another 110 today tot: 1990
+180 tot: 2170

Also have setup some passive sugar soda bottle bee traps now to help with cleanup. Feels like I am in the home stretch.

Were now at the 10 day mark lol. Good thing I am ridiculously focused and persistent. (sometimes to my own detriment)

On 08.26.23 - 3:26pm Dave wrote:
Another 80 today over 3 hrs numbers dwindling finally? They seemed super pissy, they were zooming everywhere like when in attack mode and bugging us when eating outside. Is hive finally in crisis mode? Do they cannabslize when food not incoming? They do have a large build in protein bank. Total 2250

On 08.27.23 - 2:57pm Dave wrote:
3hrs, only 43, tot: 2293

did a search, bee keeps have reported that hives short on food will indeed cannibalize pupae and eggs to keep themselves going.

the zoomers flying aggressively around, they arent trying to get back into the old holes. Hives must be collapsing and or rotting and they dont want to go back and dont know what to do. Ill guess another 2-3 days of zoomers then poof.

On 08.29.23 - 7:09pm Dave wrote:
Another 13 today full sized, total 2306

Had two days of those angry zoomers now the main nest entrances are all completely quiet. I bet they didnt want to go back to the nest and were pissed and panicking. Maybe the smell of death from rotting pupae? One last low volume entrance to go; probably a satellite.

Phew that was a long road! Probably took me 23 days in total to clear them out. (not every day but at least 12)

On 08.31.23 - 3:30pm Dave wrote:
+9 tot: 2353

opened up the side panel and scraped out the nest today. piece of metal on a 20ft long painters roller handle. only one bee was in there.

still some more scraping to do where it went up into a cavity. base seemed about as big around as a basketball. vertically it cant go up much more. I found 3 other small nests golf ball sized on the side wall.

I cant believe that many bees all fit in a basketball sized hive there must be more hiding in there. I can take off another side panel. Hosed out what I could see to clean the space.

9.4.23 - opened up other side, 1 more baseball sized empty nest. All removed, no more straglers. Seems to good to be true but I will accept the peace. phew

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