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Old 14-06-2010, 17:57   #1
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Swarm of Bees at Top of Mast

We have a huge nest of bees at the top of our mast, and they are inside the mast, and have gotten into our cabin via the mast.

Anyone run up against this problem, and how did you solve it?
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Old 14-06-2010, 18:01   #2
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How tall is the mast? Spray, smoke.
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Old 14-06-2010, 18:11   #3
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Our mast is 57'. Passport 40
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Old 14-06-2010, 18:20   #4
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The interior volume is nowhere near a house........is it possible to get up the mast and tape up any openings other than the top? if so I would think you could "plumb" a bug bomb into the base of the mast and fill it from the bottom up with death fog
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Old 14-06-2010, 18:25   #5
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If they've started a hive you'll have to remove it which means subdueing the bees. If they're swarming and haven't started the hive you may drive them away with a real good, steady stream of water. Take a lot of pressure to get enough water up there and you have to keep it on them to keep them confused. I it is a hive you might want to consult a pro.
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Old 14-06-2010, 18:40   #6
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We had this happen at Puerta Vallarta in Mexico. The solution was a fireman dressed in a bee suit hoisted up the mast; he sprayed a soapy water solution which knocked the bees right out of the mast - turns out bees can't handle soapy water at all.

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Old 14-06-2010, 18:44   #7
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a local beekeeper might be willing to remove them for free--the deal being that he'll get to keep the hive.
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Old 14-06-2010, 18:59   #8
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Don't kill the bees! Bees are our friends and are in decline. I frequently have swarms at my house and if you agrivate them they'll find a better place. The one thing they must have is water, so if you spray them they will be getting one of the things they need. A halyard slapping against the mast would drive them nuts. A regular vibration like an out of balance pinwheel or something similar will work. I use an old box fan but have better access to the swarm. If your boat has a generator let it idle over night and that may work or the drive engine. If you can make it run rough all the better. Maybe hang something from the spreaders that would clang against the mast every time the boat rocks, get the picture? Dave
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Old 14-06-2010, 19:03   #9
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May this can help.

Landau University has found that bees refuse to return to their hives when mobile phones are placed nearby.

Cell Phones To Blame For Deserted Bee Colonies?
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Old 14-06-2010, 19:05   #10
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Hoist a bug zapper up there...right against the opening. Crack a beer and invite some friends over for a fireworks party.
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Old 15-06-2010, 12:33   #11
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Nobody has asked where these bees are and if they are our local bees or african invaders. I feel the aggressive africans should be killed. Our local ones are much more useful, maybe a beekeeper would like to check it out....
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Old 15-06-2010, 12:58   #12
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Old 15-06-2010, 13:35   #13
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While I understand the benefits of "bees" are we sure that is what the OP has? Could they be wasps, yellow jackets, etc.?
we had a problem with yellow jackets going in and out of the mast head last year when I needed to go up the mast for a job. We soaked a rag in wasp spray, attached it to the halyard that exited the masthead where the bugs were going in and out. Added a line extension to the halyatd and hoisted the soaked rag to the top. "Slapped" it hard against the masthead several times to get the insecticide as far in as possible.
Next day, no more activity. Went up the mast, worked for an hour. No problems. Good luck!
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Old 15-06-2010, 14:05   #14
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Put a tap in the bottom of the mast and wait for fresh honey Unless of course they aren't honey bees. If so, good luck mate. How about some form of distractant sent up the mast, like PIC or Buhach smoke. If they cannot hive, they will not stay.
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