Porch floor cut-out

Discussion in 'Swarms, Cut outs, and Trap outs' started by cstephen, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. cstephen

    cstephen New Member

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    I just suckered in to another cut-out. The guy is desperate and definitely not interested in a trap-out. This one’s in a porch floor with bee access through a cracked foundation. According to neighbors, they’ve apparently been there for years, so I’m expecting a big one. They guy who owned/lived in the place passed away last winter and the fellow who inherited it didn’t notice them until spring.

    As far as I can tell there is a 1-½ foot crawl space under the porch and nothing to confine the bees from traversing the entire 10 x 30 foot space. I’ll know more when I cut into it. They are not in the wall. I pulled the paneling off.

    There is a ratty old wall-to-wall carpet under which is a sub floor and under that is 2 x 8 inch decking nailed to the floor joists. My plan is to start in the corner where the bees enter and cut out the carpet about half the 10 foot width of the porch and peel it back 3-4 joists to expose the sub floor. Dig out the nails and saw it out. Then do the same with the decking. After I see what’s there, I’ll have a better idea of how extensively they’ve occupied the space and improvise accordingly.

    I’m going by later today to tape up tarps and plastic to seal the area I’m going to expose, then go back tomorrow and have at it with my wrecking bar and bee vac.

    I’ll take pictures for your entertainment pleasure.

    Claude
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    "I'll take pictures for your entertainment pleasure."

    Perry Bee replies: Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
     

  3. cstephen

    cstephen New Member

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    OK, here's where they were getting in.
    [attachment=4:2jt9z2dq]Entrance.jpg[/attachment:2jt9z2dq]

    Here's the before inside pic
    [attachment=3:2jt9z2dq]Before.jpg[/attachment:2jt9z2dq]

    Here I've removed the carpet and the sub floor exposing the decking with the bees peeking out.
    [attachment=2:2jt9z2dq]Board removed.jpg[/attachment:2jt9z2dq]

    Decking removed and I've pulled out about two-thirds of the comb at this point.
    [attachment=1:2jt9z2dq]Deck removed.jpg[/attachment:2jt9z2dq]

    This is my vac rig in case anyone is interested.
    [attachment=0:2jt9z2dq]My vac rig.jpg[/attachment:2jt9z2dq]

    This cut out was a lot of work. I was supposed to have some help from a young experienced female beek who lives in my neighborhood, but she begged off at the last minute. I really could have used an extra pair of hands. It took about ten hours by myself. There were a lot of bees in this floor. I think I'm cured of doing cut outs all by myself. It works much better to have one person deal with honey and brood comb while the other vacuums.

    These girls were not happy when I put them in their new box tonight. They decided to come after me instead of going to bed. A cloud of them chased me more than a football field's length from their new home back to my house in the dark and with a 50 mph cross wind.

    And now I'm going to bed after a long day.

    Claude
     

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  4. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Job well done! :thumbsup:
    I don't know if I would try a cut-out on my own either, too much can happen. Clearly you are not a quiter (10 hours) and I hope your perserverance pays off.
    Good luck.
     
  5. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Nice job for sure!! Hopefully they will settle down after a day or two.

    I do them by myself all the time, even get the property owners to help sometimes, but it is always much more fun with some help.
     
  6. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Great job, Claude. Yes, a cutout can be anything from a pie job to a full fledged monster. Now that this one is over, you should be well prepared for the easier ones coming up.

    PS. An invite to the local bee club has always given me a few extra newbie hands and sometimes an experienced one, too. They come for their first cutout experience and greatly enjoy it while I get help with the bees.
     
  7. cstephen

    cstephen New Member

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    Of course I did not vac all the bees at once. As any cut out veteran knows, it is impossible to get them all. However the tenant got stung and wants them all gone ASAP. I put a trap-out box in the hole in the floor with the porch touching the inside of the entrance the bees are using to get in and out. I put brood, honey, and clean comb from the ravaged hive in as bait. I watched several walk in during the few minutes I observed things.

    My plan is to give them a few days in hopes that they will move into the trap box, then button them up in the dark of night and take them home and dump them in with their sisters. Will this work? Any experience or other ideas on removing the final bees from a cut out?

    thanks,

    Claude
     
  8. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    That will work. When I do a cut out I get all of the comb removed and the bees vacuumed up then take the hive box to the outside where the entrance was and set them up there. Plug all of the entrances if possible and vac all of the bees that are still inside of the building, the returning foragers will start to orient to the hive outside. Come back after dark and you will have the biggest part of them.
     
  9. cstephen

    cstephen New Member

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    Actually, it turns out that my trap box on this is not working. I checked it this morning and there were no bees inside. There were still a few hundred outside. There is a good bit of honey that dripped into the dirt and the bees were in it and more were clustered in a narrow chamber between a floor joist and the foundation.

    I think I may have to set a cone on the access hole and place the box under it. I'm not optimistic that even that would work as there are likely other leaks the bees can get under the porch through.

    I may just go back Saturday in the evening and vac out what I can.

    BTW, they were not friendly when I went to visit them and persistently head-butted my veil. Annoying. The tenant got stung again the day before when he went to get a trash can near the opening. He has now decided to completely avoid the area until they are all gone.

    Claude
     
  10. cstephen

    cstephen New Member

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    These bees never did take to my trap box. I found it empty this morning. There were only about 50 bees hanging around on the floor joists, so I vacuumed them up. But there was still a lot of activity coming and gong at the opening outside. I found them in a narrow slit along two walls between some flashing and the facing boards. It was impossible to get at them with my vac, but I kept after it. I eventually noticed that they had moved back inside and I found a few thousand bearded to the floor joists. I vacuumed as many as I could before they escaped back into the flashing cavity. I carried my vac box outside and chased them back in. I went back and forth for an hour or so until I got them down to a couple hundred. I told the house tenant that it was the best I could do. I sat back and observed for a while and only saw a couple of bees go in or out.

    I brought the few thousand more I caught home and all hell broke loose when I tried to put them in with their sisters. That’s a whole ‘nuther story, which I’m moving over to the general beekeeping discussion.

    Claude
     
  11. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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