* More photos to come!
Leesburg, Va. is noted as being a place of sanctuary for former First Lady Dolley Madison during the War of 1812. Yesterday, Leesburg was also home to a nuisance hive of bees in a shed wall.
We were first contacted by Mr. Terry Eward on April 13, after Environmental Pest Control referred us for the job. Mr. Eward was very helpful in answering questions we had about the hive, and even sent us some pictures to verify that these were honey bees.
When Elisha and I arrived at the Eward place, it was still dark. We wanted to get the entrance sealed before light to help contain the bees to the inside of the shed. This would keep workers from leaving to forage and would allow us to get most of them with the vacuum.
After dismantling a bookshelf and removing some molding from around a window, it was time to take a peek inside the wall.
Almost as soon as we started pulling the plywood off, bees started coming out. Once exposed, we could tell that the hive was fairly new. Elisha and I believe that this hive was this year’s swarm that made a home in Mr. Eward’s shed wall.
As you can see, the comb is small and there is only a little brood. The little popcorn- looking thing in the center of the picture (above) is called a queen cell. There were two queen cells in this hive. The presence of queen cells would indicate that the queen was either weak or had died, and the workers were trying to make a new queen.
After evaluating the hive we got to work, vacuuming the bees, cutting comb and placing it in the frames that Elisha had made.
Once we got all the bees and comb out, we scraped the residual wax, cleaned the void where the hive was, and put the plywood back on. While Elisha put the bookshelf up, I sealed up any hole that would allow a bee back into the void.
This job may have been the smoothest of any. When we left, everything looked like we hadn’t even been there. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen often, as most of the time we have to remove sheetrock or siding.
Old Dominion would like to thank Mr. Eward for being so friendly and accommodating! We would also like to thank Environmental Pest Control for the referral as well as their continued support.