We were called to the “Hill City” to remove honey bees from an old church. What a beautiful little church it was.
Ivy Chapel Union Church sits on a rock foundation on top of a hill. The church was built in the 1800s and served as a meeting place for the Baptists, Methodists, and Episcopalians.
When we arrived, we were greeted by Mr. Larry Wilson. Mr. Wilson explained to us that there was a debate about this hive. Some say that the bees moved in five years ago and others say they remember honey bees in the wall fifty years ago. Unfortunately, the bees were becoming a nuisance and the church wasn’t able to be painted until they were removed.
We started out using our Flir TG130 thermal camera to find the exact location of the hive. Once located, we brushed the clump of bees away from the entrance and into a bucket. There was no power in the church so we had to resort to bee brushes and patience to remove this hive.
Oh what a hive it was! After removing the plaster and lath we were able to see just how big it was. Filling a 2’x3′ void in the wall, this thing was huge. We estimate there to be around 40,000-50,000 bees. If that wasn’t enough, there were thousands upon thousands of bee larvae and brood.
After taking a few pictures and some video, we decided to dig in! Slowly, we started brushing bees into a bucket and removing comb.
Although we would prefer to use a vacuum when possible, it was very cool to remove the bees the “old fashioned” way.
We spent three and a half hours removing comb and bees. We sealed up the hole, cleaned up our mess, and tried to get some of the stragglers. When we were done there were close to 300 bees still flying around outside the entrance.
Our follow up with Mr. Wilson was very positive. He said that the bees had left within 48 hours and the church was able to receive a fresh coat of paint.
We are so happy to have met you, Mr. Wilson! Thank you for allowing us to assist you!