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  1. #1
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    Default Bees working through sheetrock?

    This is a new one to me... at first walk-thru of the house there are 100's of dead baby bumble bees on the windows sills and carpet. Then, while in the master bathroom, I see a very small hole in the sheetrock above the shower. Being the curious guy I am, I poke at it with my screwdriver, only to find a bunch of bees and a honeycomb hive.

    I've never known bees in this area (Oregon) to work through sheetrock. Surprisinlgy, this is new construction so they must move quickly. I was tempted to really gouge a big hole to see how big the hive is but just didn't think it was a good idea....

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  2. #2
    Mauritz Nordstrom's Avatar
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    Talking Re: Bees working through sheetrock?

    I don't think those are bees. I think they're wasps.

    Anyway, it's happened to me before. Back in SoCal, I awoke one morining to find something like 50+ buzzing yellow insects flying above my head. Apparently they entered the attic and then ate their way through the sheetrock that morning.

    According to the exterminator, they were wasps. They not only stung but also were carniverous. I don't know if he was pulling my leg. I really didn't care. All I knew is that I wanted them gone.

    The embarassing part was meeting the exterminator in my shorts. I exited the room so fast that morning I didn't get a chance to grab any clothes.

    I also wasn't going back in to get dressed since they kept coming through the hole and their buzzing was getting louder and louder. All I could do was shove a towel under the door to keep them in the room.


  3. #3

    Default Re: Bees working through sheetrock?

    I think those are wasps as well. My buddy had this happen at his home (newer), and I have heard of it from others.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Bees working through sheetrock?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    --100's of dead baby bumble bees ---didn't think it was a good idea....
    .
    Matt,

    I think you found your first Wasp Nest. Good thing no one ( alive ) was home.

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  5. #5
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bees working through sheetrock?

    YES YES AND YES That is a wasp nest in your wall.


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    Excellence Exterminating and Thermal Imaging


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Bees working through sheetrock?

    Isn't a wasp just a type of bee? (Why is it I feel a biology lesson coming? )


  7. #7
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bees working through sheetrock?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    Isn't a wasp just a type of bee? (Why is it I feel a biology lesson coming? )
    A bee stings once and most of the time just tried to ward you off and usually just chase so far. Wasps, you don't want to know what a large wasp nest will do to a man.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Bees working through sheetrock?


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Bees working through sheetrock?

    Yellow jackets.
    When you hear the hum......run.
    While moving a pile of logs I heard them, ran real quick, and about a dozen still got to me. Not a very nice experience.

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Bees working through sheetrock?

    That is what we have always called a Yellow Jacket. If I recall they are in the Hornet family. Their sting hurts, they hang on and keep poking away with their barbless stinger.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Bees working through sheetrock?

    When you see a wasps nest like that, be aware of the possibility of considerable damage to the wall.

    I don't have any pictures as this was long before the era of digital photography, but more than once here in Chicago I opened up a wall to discover a wasps nest extending across several joists cavities (these were old balloon frame houses, with board sheeting), and that there had been enough moisture in the wasps nest to badly damage studs, wall sheeting and top plates.

    Michael Thomas
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Bees working through sheetrock?

    Yeah, I warned the buyer that it could be a pretty major deal. Really, two part. First, get the guy in the white suit to come in and break open the ceiling and kill/remove them. Next, see what damage has been done and repair it (along with sealing their entry point).


  13. #13
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bees working through sheetrock?

    This was an Infrared Thermal Image I tooks some time back of a Bees nest in a wall. it cost the owner around $ 1,500.00 to get this out and fix the wall. The area was above a fire place in a living room. You can see this was not a small hive. the honny can make a real mess if the bees stop faning it with there wings to keep it cool. the smell of rotting honny can drive you out of a home.

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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Bees working through sheetrock?

    Interesting. What do you suppose created the heat to show up on IR? I thought honey bees where cold blooded?

    I know that bees will help cool the hive by collectively fanning their wings at the openings of the hive to create ventilation, but again the heat is created by ambient air temp.


  15. #15
    Brandon Chew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bees working through sheetrock?

    Check out the size of this nest in the garage. It's HUGE!!!

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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Bees working through sheetrock?

    Brandon,

    Reminds me of one I found in an attic years ago and, not knowing what it was, went back down and used my 5 foot probe to tear off some of it (I could barely reach it even with that probe) and take it the UF Agricultural Extension off in Davie, Fl. When I took it in to find out what it was, the guy told me it was in inactive wasps nest, he could tell by two things: 1) it was that paper-like material they construct their nests with, so if was definitely a wasps nest; 2) and it was definitely inactive because I was there showing it to him.

    I did not grasp the last part so I asked him what he meant by that, his reply was: "If that was an active wasps nest you would not be alive and here to ask me about it. They would have attacked you in that attic and killed you before you could have been able to get out."

    Boy, did I remember that lesson!

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  17. #17
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bees working through sheetrock?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Brandon,


    Boy, did I remember that lesson!
    They are not something to be messing around with.

    I did someting just like that Jerry up in Washington state Back in the late 70 under a house. never saw something like that before. hey i think i will poke it. to this day i still don't know what i was thinking. dum kid.

    Best

    Ron

    Last edited by Ron Bibler; 08-21-2008 at 02:57 PM.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Bees working through sheetrock?

    10 cans of bug spray for that. Thats a bit of an overkill.

    He could have stuffed that opening on the eaves with some paper at night to seal off their route out, and set off one 1.99 roach control fogger upon that shelf near the nest and it would have knocked all them buggers out.

    rick


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Bees working through sheetrock?

    Last year about a dozen wasp or so made their way through the sheetrock and into my living room. I had no idea how large the nest was, but the hole was small, just about the size of the nozzle on a can of wasp and hornet killer. I stuck the nozzle in, placed a little putty around it for good measure, and emptied the can. I then went outside an applied a stream to their exit hole as they attempted to escape. There was a great disturbance in the wall, as if thousands of wasps buzzed in terror, and were suddenly silenced.

    This year I decided to redo my roof which turned into tearing off the roof (3 in 12 pitch, 2x4 rafters and ceiling joists on 24" spanning 16', no ridge board - thank god they don't build them like they used to) and replace it with a cathedral ceiling. It was only then that I appreciated what was going on. The wasp nest was nestled into the 36" bay (forgot to mention they omitted the first ceiling joist) about four feet long and 5 inches high. The sheetrock was half gone for most of that section and there were tons of 1mm balls of fiberglass insulation - as if they had chewed it up and spit it out as they went. There were thousands of dehydrated wasp bodies littered about as well. Not a pretty sight.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Bees working through sheetrock?

    Still waiting for an explanation as to how a hornets nest or bees nest shows up with an infra red scan as evidenced by the photo above? Inquiring minds want to know.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Bees working through sheetrock?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Still waiting for an explanation as to how a hornets nest or bees nest shows up with an infra red scan as evidenced by the photo above? Inquiring minds want to know.
    .
    Bees have body temperature and cluster together in the winter to keep the hive alive. Fan the hive in warmer temperatures to cool it. A hive that is brooding strives to keep the temperature between 94 & 98 f.
    .

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  22. #22
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bees working through sheetrock?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Still waiting for an explanation as to how a hornets nest or bees nest shows up with an infra red scan as evidenced by the photo above? Inquiring minds want to know.
    A bunch of little warm bodies all huddled together. Kind of like a human torso. The camera pics up the heat


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Bees working through sheetrock?

    Thanks guys. I never thought of them clustering together, but now it makes sense. I just learned something!


  24. #24
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  25. #25
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bees working through sheetrock?

    I was looking at an area of living room wall sometime back with my FLIR B2 CAMERA. And this fly flashes accross in front of me. the dang had a heat trail in the camera view finder. I was just dumb founded at what i just saw. the trail was about 8 inch behind the fly. I have been trying to get a shot of that but a Fly is very fast and hard to keep up with.

    Someday.

    Best

    Ron


  26. #26
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    Default Re: Bees working through sheetrock?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Brandon,

    Reminds me of one I found in an attic years ago and, not knowing what it was, went back down and used my 5 foot probe to tear off some of it (I could barely reach it even with that probe) and take it the UF Agricultural Extension off in Davie, Fl. When I took it in to find out what it was, the guy told me it was in inactive wasps nest, he could tell by two things: 1) it was that paper-like material they construct their nests with, so if was definitely a wasps nest; 2) and it was definitely inactive because I was there showing it to him.
    Jerry,

    Me too. Probably 9 years ago I was in an attic and found a big (probably 4 foot diameter) thing in the attic. Found out it was a paper wasp nest. Was not taking photos at that time, so I don't have one for you. But it was most impressive.

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  27. #27
    Bryan Frazer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bees working through sheetrock?

    Its important to know the difference between honey bees (can sting only once, mild mannered, unless Africanized) while the many wasps, hornets can still over and over again. Bees make honey which if they are nesting in a wall cannot be got out without taking the structure apart. Paper wasps of the type shown in the picture use their jaws to scrape wood which when mixed with their saliva makes their grey paper nests. Given time and enough wasps they can chew many things including drywall. Bees cannot. Oh yeah bees eat flower nectar but wasps are predators and beneficial - until they get in your house or try to steal your burger!


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