Now I have 11

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by oblib, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. oblib

    oblib New Member

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    I never moved the packages from the front of my garage where I stacked them 2 weeks ago after installing 10 packages and becoming a beekeeper.

    Today I get a knock on the door, guy asks if I'm a beekeeper. He knows of no other beek in town but saw my packages. Seems he was called when a tree had to be cut down because it was totally rotten and had bees in it. He was able to have the trunk moved to a friends farm and closed all entrances but one and started planning on how to get them out.

    Well that was two weeks ago and today became "Today or Spray" and still having no idea how to get them out he asked if I would help. He would provide all the tools and I would get all the bees, comb, and honey. I agreed.

    That was 8 hrs ago and we just finished. Turns out it was about a 20in wide hole in the middle of tree running about 9ft from top to bottom. Completely full of comb and pissed off bees. Seems they don't like chainsaws and knives taken to their home.

    On all 9 frame mediums, we stopped putting honey in frames at 2 boxes and ran out of non-drone brood 2 boxes after that. then we filled 2, 5gal buckets with honey filled comb. Finally got the lid on the hive after putting a 5th box of frames on top. After pushing them with heavy smoke for 15 minutes we still had 3 inches of bees on top that just couldn't get into 4 boxes.

    Left the hive open and sitting on the spot the trunk had been sitting. Will pick it up at 6am and bring it home. Never saw the queen but they were fanning hard from the top and bottom so I hope we got her at some point.

    Once again I had forgot the gloves so I took about 15 stings to one hand and 10 to the other. One hand as big as a balloon now and the other not swollen at all. TBH I may just be excited about my first cutout but I really think there are more bees in this hive than my other 10 combined at this point.
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Sounds like the perfect job other than, you should band brood comb only into the frames and feed honey back later.

    Congrats on a great job.
     

  3. oblib

    oblib New Member

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    I would say I would do that next time but.... I'm not sure I would do another cutout like this. Would have been alot better to trap em out first then cut out the comb to melt down. Easy to say that now but who knows what I will really do when offered "free" bees lol
     
  4. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    AAHHH a good lesson learned!! Free bees are not so free are they?!?! Now you know why we charge for this service.

    Great learning experience for sure. As Iddee said rubber band the brood comb only into the frames. The weight of the honey will crush the comb and make a huge mess and drown the bees. Save the honey combs and feed it back to them by crush and strain, and then into feeders or just sit it out in the open far away from your hives, they will find it.

    Sounds like you did a good job for your first bee tree otherwise, was the other fella helping you experienced? I like to bring trees back to the house to open them at my leisure.
     
  5. oblib

    oblib New Member

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    He is a 3rd year beek, but had never done a cutout either.
     
  6. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Awesome! It sounds like you had fun...except your balloon hand, ha! I captured my first swarm yesterday and was very excited about the rush of it and the possibility of it being one less package of bees I would have to purchase.
     
  7. oblib

    oblib New Member

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    Just got back from picking them up. Had at least a pound of bees clinging to the front of the hive. The entire front of the lower medium was covered three or so bees deep and then there was a softball size cluster hanging from the front overhang on the top. 40 degrees out so they buzzed a little but didnt break their clusters.

    When it gets warm this afternoon I will get them on a regular bottom board, get the honey out and start feeding them for a while.
     
  8. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

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    :thumbsup: Good job oblib, sounds like you had a very good learning experience. I'm wondering if you should go in and remove the rubberbanded honey...folks warn against putting honey comb from a cutout into the hives but I've never heard anybody say to take it back out.. :confused:

    Shoot, with that many bees you could make up *several* nucs if you could come up with some frames of young larvae or queen cells. :wink:

    11 colonies, eh? Quiet a bee yard you've got there!!

    Best wishes,
    Ed
     
  9. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Well done! :thumbsup:
     
  10. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I would not take the honey out now. It has already dripped all it is going to, and the bees have cleaned and secured it.Any drowning that was done is over, and disturbing it would only cause more. Wait a week and then check it and rearrange any that need it.
     
  11. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

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  12. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Oblib, It looks like you Skipped from the start of the 10th grade to the end of the 11th in a matter of days. You're almost ready to graduate.
    Congratulations. :thumbsup:
     
  13. oblib

    oblib New Member

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    Thanks guys. Well all those bees continued to hang out on the front of the hive all day so at 4pm i propped up the lid with a 1/4in stick, within 20 minutes all had moved into the hive :)
     
  14. jmblakeney

    jmblakeney New Member

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    Fantastic, the only way to learn is to jump in and get your hands dirty. Sounds like you did a fine job.

    James
     
  15. oblib

    oblib New Member

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    Today was first chance I've had all week to really sit in the apiary and watch them. Seems a lot of the new bees drifted to other hives. Easy to see as they are so much darker than my package bees. They are not robbing I can see them leave to go on foraging trips and I see them get checked and passed by the guard bees.

    This hive still has a TON more bees than any other hive so is a win/win imo. Got to see one of them pulling out a rubber band today. I wanted to help her so bad as it was really hard work for her but the twenty some odd guards on the landing board and me in short sleeves / no veil made me just watch:roll:
     
  16. reidi_tim

    reidi_tim New Member

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    Invaluable lessons learned from your first cut out, I was there myself last month. And all these kind beek to point out what you could've done to make it easier next time, live and learn
     
  17. oblib

    oblib New Member

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    Would like to check them for eggs Sunday when I do the other hives. Too soon? They were cut out Monday and moved to my yard Tuesday morning.
     
  18. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I would think it safe to do a quick check for eggs then.
     
  19. oblib

    oblib New Member

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    Hit 70 with sun today so I opened it up and transfered to a regular bottom board from the box with a screwed on bottom they were in. No eggs, no open brood. Was getting worried when on the next to last frame I found 2 capped emergency cells.

    So I guess I'll leave it closed up for 2 weeks then look to see if they emerged.
     
  20. milapostol

    milapostol New Member

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    Cool story. There is a utility pole by my house that has a hive living in it. We tried to see if we could do a cut-out, but because of the configuration, we couldn't. I then later found out that the hive had been spoken for, so to speak. Very interesting reading as I'd not done a cut out before.