A swarm of bees left their old hive with the queen bee. They went looking for a new home, a cavity between 20 litres and 40 litres in size. Any shape will do, and found your wall.
There might have been between 10 000 - 30 000 bees in the swarm. Usually there are between 10 000- 20 000 bees in a swarm. The bees will have investigated the wall for several days, buzzing around the wall, going in and making sure it is the right size.
When the colony has decided that your home was the best place for them they all moved in.
As soon as they entered the wall the bees began making wax, collecting food, nectar and pollen and started feeding the queen bee to get her ready to lay eggs. The bees then began making honeycomb in your wall cavity. If there is enough food about the queen will have started laying eggs on the 2 nd or third day in your wall. The queen will lay up to 1500 eggs a day. More than her own body weight. The size of the hive in your wall will depend on how long it has been there and how much nectar and pollen was available to the bees.
For the first 3 months the bees concentrate on making new bees and they use most of their resources to increase the size of the hive and to make baby bees. From 3 months on the hive is fully established and the process of increasing food supplies begins in earnest, along with increasing the number of bees.
After 6 months, depending on the local honey flow there might be between 30 000 and 60 000 bees in your wall and 20kg – 30 kg of honey. After the bee hive has been in a wall for a year or more is not uncommon to have 60kg – 80kg of honey in the wall.
The largest hive I have removed live from a wall had been there for several years. The hive filled an eave space that was 4 metres long, half a metre wide and half a metre high. That’s 1 cubic metre. There were several hundreds of kilograms of honey in that hive. The hive was relocated and produced lots more honey.
If you get a pest guy in you will have all that honey left in the wall. It often makes a big mess to clean up. Get an experienced beekeeper to remove the hive from the wall and the honey too.
Beehive removal is a specialist job. The honey can make a mess and the bees might get really angry with someone who does not know what they are doing. Get someone who knows what they are doing. You will have to pay them to do it.
I have been doing it for a long time. I’ve cleaned up the mess of a lot of other people’s attempts. Not many beekeepers know how to do this or how to do this kind of work. I may not be the cheapest but I could save you a lot of money and heart ache.