We got a call from a local salvage yard with an issue of a colony living inside their building. Jeff was on vacation so I went to check out the situation. They explained to me that bees were in the backroom and that they were flying out to the front where the customers came into the building. They had concerns over a customer getting stung by the bees in the office. Apparently there used to be a bee tree on the property and the owner like having the bees around. Lucky for us a very bee friendly guy, but the tree had fallen down several years ago and it had to be removed.
I went into the backroom and in the corner of the building you could see the roof joists, there was a small cluster of 50-60 bees in the corner. The floor had 20 or so dead bees and there were a couple flying around the florescent lights in the front room. I went outside to investigate the situation and found a lot of bees flying in and out of the corner outside. The building was made of concrete blocks and the joists sat on top of the blocks. I believed there was soffit of space on top of the block wall that the bees were living in and it looked to be a very straight forward removal.
When we arrived to do the removal we set up all our equipment and first vacuumed all the bees out of the joist corner in the backroom and sealed the holes closed. This way as we worked the bees from the outside we wouldn't be driving them into the office. Jeff first cut the outside soffit 2x8 and the nails holding it in the corner, then pry it from the roof. With that board out of the way we were staring at the colony.
The next part was what turned this into an interesting removal. The comb was not just in the soffit space but actually also inside the concrete block space in the walls. While pulling one piece of brood comb out of the space and maneuvering it out of the block space also we found the queen. Now in most removals the queen runs from all the light, excitement and noise. Not this Lady she just came down with the brood comb and allowed us a lot of photos as well as videos. She was calm as we put the comb into frames and then into her new home the hive. Fabulous fun having a cooperative Lady, after removing the rest of the comb and cleaning up we left the hive out (with the queen inside) to collect all the foragers until nightfall.
It was a nice removal though blistering hot in the sun and we cannot appreciate the customer more for wanting to save A Future With Bees!