Of all the places we go to rescue bees from, they seem to really like these irrigation boxes. We have yet been able to interview a beehive on why they decide one place or another, but from the bee’s perspective here is why they might like them.
- It is completely enclosed with a single entry point for them to defend
- Being subterranean, probably helps them regulate their temperature
- Having typically a top entrance/exit allows for easy ventilation
- They’ve got a solid roof over the heads to protect them from the elements
Bee removals from irrigation boxes are straight forward. It’s a box in the ground with a convenient lid! Sometimes you are lucky and the hive is on the lid and the whole thing just pops out, but most of the time they will build out from an edge and get comb all under the lip of the box itself.
The challenging part is when the beehive has been there more than 3 months they will have grown to a size where the honeycomb becomes entwined with the wires and pipes, and anything after that doesn’t get any better to work with! We are probably overly particular about cleaning this all up, essentially if you leave honeycomb in the box, the chances of bees wanting to move back is fairly high.
When they’ve been there over 9 months, the honeycomb seems to become part of the lid itself. It takes quite a bit of effort to scrape off the comb so we typically end up swapping it out for a new one.
So if you find bees have moved into your irrigation box, call us! We can help them find a new home!
Here are some more examples of what we come across: