First cut out from a house

Discussion in 'Swarms, Cut outs, and Trap outs' started by AcmeBees, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. AcmeBees

    AcmeBees New Member

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    Got this one from a swarm call from a craigslist ad.

    First swarm call, was not able to get there before the bees left. Reports say it was massive.

    During this call I was told the swarm came from the house and it was needing dealt with. Went to survey the job one afternoon. Older house with a built in type bay window jutting away from the main frame of the house. Bees entering badly rotted facia board next the house. Not very high, so I agreed to do it. Set a date a couple weekends in the future.

    Several days later get a swarm call from the same guy who says another swarm is on a bush in the yard. Zip up that evening, get the swarm. About 2/3 of a football, nice bees. They are queenright and doing well. I think they will need the second brood chamber soon.

    Day of the cut out, pack up the truck, recruit my Dad as moral and common sense back-up. Home owner does not care what I remove due to the very poor condition of the area. Less than 5 minutes, couple boards removed and the saga begins.

    The void is a narrow, deep pie shape about 16" high. First foot or so of vacuuming and removal of comb was duck soup. Feeling pretty good about the job so far. Removing heavy old honey laden comb and framing it up, vacuuming bees for crowd control (copyrighted G3 term). Things take a down turn as I keep removing all food store comb until I am shoulder deep. Comb changed direction as the pie becomes narrow and there is no way to cut this out so far away from the small opening. Home owner does not want me to open the roofing material.

    For some reason milling around the garage looking for things that I "might" need, I picked up a small machete. Well I needed it. The only way I could get all the comb was to slice it from the top with a 30" blade while up to my shoulder in this opening. Then try to drag the comb out with several homemade ad hoc tools. Meanwhile stopping and vacumming.

    Once all the comb was dragged out I had a goodly amount of bees that have been scared back into a cluster all the in the sharp point of the pie. After making a couple iterations of vacuum wands, I vacuumed every bee I could find.

    In conclusion, not very happy with the tactics I had to resort to to get the job done. I did not feel good about the way I had treated the bees. Lots of casualties. Had no idea if I got the queen or drowned her in the honey flood.

    An observation that puzzled me, I found almost no brood. The entire void was packed with honey. I am assuming the honey bound condition is what spurred the swarming frequency. I forgot to mention between the time I got the second swarm and the time I did the cut out, there was another swarm that I did not get.

    One week later open them up and I did in fact vacuum the queen and she is a laying power house. I put undrawn plasticomb (coated) in the center of the hive body after the cut out and a few frames of honey on the outside. They drew the empty frames and had a ton of brood layed in a weeks time. Seem to be doing fine, right next to the sister hive that was the swarm.

    All's well that ends well. What an experience, and darn what a bunch of work. Did I mention it took two days for swelling in my hands to go away. Needless to say I took some stings with the rough handling. I did experience the banana smell a couple times as well

    As I've said before, Live and Learn.

    Thanks for reading
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    :clap::clap::clap: :drinks:


    I have a saying.... Did you get the job done? If so, all is well. If not, no excuse is good enough.

    You got the job done.
     

  3. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I say 5 :thumbsup: out of 5! :clapping:
    Considering the circumstances I think you did all that you could. My first cut-out was succesful but I was not happy about the number of bees that died as well. First lesson learned, don't wire combs of honey into frames. Second lesson, build a bee vac and I wouldn't have killed nearly as many bees.
    Live and learn? I like it, considering the other option. :mrgreen:
     
  4. melrose

    melrose New Member

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    If not wire.... then what? Rubber band?
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Brood comb only. NOT honey. Honey is too heavy and sticky, it will only kill bees.
     
  6. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Good job on completing the cut out, some don't come easy that is for sure!!

    Crowd control is just that, getting the masses out of the way so you can work.

    If not wire.... then what? Rubber band?....................I still like the rubber bands the best, quick, simple, easy to use and the bees remove them for you!
     
  7. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    G3, do you band in honey comb, or just brood comb?
     
  8. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    brood only, very little honey, it is just too heavy and crushes making a huge mess.
     
  9. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    What Iddee and G3 said. Don't bother wiring or banding comb filled with honey, it ends up slumping down under it's own weight and makes a mess and kills bees. Better to feed if they need the resources.