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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Gillett, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    265

    Smile

    Going to get my first feral colony this friday or saturday
    their in a broken soffet (sp?) and i hear that the comb is hanging right out of it
    wish me luck!
    now if i could just get my hubby to build that beevac i'd be good to go

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Clifton Park, NY, USA
    Posts
    133

    Post

    Good luck!! Don't fall off the ladder, that could hurt.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    hermiston, oregon
    Posts
    458

    Post

    Dee,

    A beevac is the way to go... it is so much quicker. I used 2 plastic containers from walmart. I think the inside box was a 68 quart and then found a box that the inside box fit into. This made building the beevac much faster and lighter. The only thing I would change is the outside box... I would get one that seals tightly... right now I have to use duct tape to go around the seam of the outside box to get enough suction...

    Just remember to use only enough suction to gently suck up the bees... to much and you get smooshed bees.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Post

    Always remember when you are at the top of the ladder that stings don't matter, but falling off the ladder does. You have to keep your focus. WHEN a bee gets in your suit (and they will) you have to calmly climb down and walk away and THEN take care of it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Central Square, NY, Oswego County
    Posts
    814

    Post

    I would defiantly use the bee vacuum. This limits the number of potential stings. As you proceed to take the comb down vacuum up the bees. There will be less and less of them trying to sting you. The defense mechanism of bees is just what your doing, by tearing apart the hive they all have to attack you to protect the hive. As you go along try to catch the queen and keep her in a safe place, a queen cage would be nice. Good luck, and enjoy the experience. I've done this several times and always all the neighbors and passers by stop to look. So remember your also putting on a show. Your a professional now.
    Dan

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Hookstown PA USA
    Posts
    581

    Post

    Mr. Bush is so right. I tell the guys that mow grass for me if they gets stung to not worry about that wasp and mind their toes and other extremities. Not fun losing a bit of your person over something that'll heal.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Gillett, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    265

    Post

    hey thanks you all, i am usually pretty calm when bees get in my suit, the stings dont bother me that much (just the next day)

    im hoping that theyre not too far up, my dad found out from a work buddy (he told 'em id do it for free ) oh well i told him to tell people from now on that it could be $50 +/-

    i've already got alot of buckets for the comb, i'll need to put together some frames for to wire the brood in, i'd like to go to all mediums some day and get rid of the deeps

    how many bees do you think i might be looking at this time of year for a feral colony?? (equivalant to how many pounds)
    i realize it will depend on if they have swarmed or not - or maybe this is a swarm??

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Central Square, NY, Oswego County
    Posts
    814

    Post

    You might be looking at 40 to 50 thousand. Not to bad. Now if your dad said you'll do it for free then have him help you just once. After a few stings and the big mess, and the tying up of the combs to the frames, and the putting the boxes together, and the painting of them, and the move in the car-truck to the apiary site. I think he will quote a price more like $100. It all cost money to do and if you fall who will pay the Dr bills? Don't forget your a professional beekeeper. What would an exterminator get for killing a colony of ants, roaches, etc? Your no diffrent.
    Enough said.
    Dan
    PS I hope they are not hornets. I hate when people do that to me.

    [This message has been edited by bjerm2 (edited July 14, 2004).]

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    hermiston, oregon
    Posts
    458

    Post

    Dee,

    I dont recommend buckets unless you have the lids for them. Ive removed about a dozen hives from walls this year and I found out the hard way to keep a lid on the containers you put your extracted comb into. The bees will flock to the comb if you dont, especially the comb with honey on it. I just vacuum the comb then place it into a container and close the lid, this keeps most of the bees off the comb and keeps the stray bees down to a minimum. I found that a large rubbermade/plastic container w/lid works great and only cost about $5.00

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    hermiston, oregon
    Posts
    458

    Post

    Dee,

    One more thing.... go very slow when you are vacuuming up the bees. If you suck too many in too fast them you will smoosh them or if you suck too many for the size of your box then the will hit each other and get smooshed.

    It takes longer than just cuting the comb and brushing/shaking them into a box but I think it is much easier.

    Oh and dont forget to bring rags, as you cut the comb that hold honey it will start to run all over your hand then you will have bees all over your hands.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Neodesha, Ks
    Posts
    623

    Post

    Dee,
    Also bring a gallon jug of water to wash the honey off of your hands. Plan on 2- 5 Hrs. depending on the situation you find when you get there. You can use rubber bands to hold the feral comb and brood combs in an empty brood frames. The bees will go ahead and work them in the hive. If you don't have heavy duty rubber bands [I use 3"] you can use string but if you have the empty frames with the rubber bands already on them it tends to save time. The bees will cut the rubber bands off and carry them out the front entrance.

    Once you get them in a hive it is a very rewarding experience to know that you did this yourself. My strongest hives are feral hives that I have picked up. Hope this helps, if you have more questions just ask and someone will have the answers.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Neodesha, Ks
    Posts
    623

    Post

    Dee,

    I forgot to mention that a long butcher knife is very handy for cutting the comb loose. If they get a little defensive, apply more smoke.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Gillett, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    265

    Post

    ya i have the lids for the buckets but i also have some of those large rubbermade (clear) bins as well, will just have to empty.
    do you recommend putting the brood in the frames while still at the site or just bring it all home then do it (i think it'll be about 1/2 hr drive +/-)
    i've been getting a check-off list made up of all the items i need, i dont want to get up there and realize i forgot the smoker or something.

    what do you think of spraying HBH on them as well, before i start

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    hermiston, oregon
    Posts
    458

    Post

    Dee,

    I dont save the brood(at least not yet) Ive tried spraying them with sugar syrup and used smoke... both didnt help me a bit.. All the bees I extracted were very calm until about half way through the extraction.. Then they seem to realize what was going on and kept trying to sting.. since I used a beevac there were alot less to deal with... They will tend to cluster a little bit away from there hive(about 16 inches) as they get disturbed.
    I just suck them up after they cluster as Im extracting the comb... Just rmember to go back about 8:30pm to suck up the rest of the bees.. they tend to scatter abit and run/hide as you suck them up. When it starts getting close to dark they should be clustered again back where the old hive was. If you dont want them then spray them with wasp killer. I understand they will stay there and starve waiting for the queen to come back.. I think it is more humane...

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Central Square, NY, Oswego County
    Posts
    814

    Big Grin

    If I may add another $0.02 or is 3 and 1/2 now, anyway. I would leave a small section maybe 6 inches of comb from the last section so when you come back the rest of the bees will be hanging on that. Easy to vacuum up. I would place the comb in the frames right there and cut it to size that way when I get home (you will be tired believe me) you can just dump the rest of the bees into the box with the brood. I would put an empty hive body on top before you do that. The reason is the bees will lump on top of the brood frames and will be confused. Right after you dump them into the empty box on top of the brood (they will move down by morning) you can put the inner cover and hive top on. That evening if you go back you dump the rest in there without worrying that your crushing bees or disturbing the bees as they are trying to set up house.
    Have fun. There is a lot of satisfaction in doing this. Hey you know you can have your dad stay at the bottom of the ladder and fit the brood comb into the frames as your up there cutting it loose.
    Dan


    [This message has been edited by bjerm2 (edited July 15, 2004).]

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Rochester, Washington, USA
    Posts
    973

    Wink

    Save the brood it helps keep the bees w/the hive, 'if their is brood the bees will stay' read that somewhere, just remember the direction that the comb is orentaded(?){up & down} also when you save the brood their is a quicker build up and faster harvest.
    Better chance they will both stay in your box and survive till next year.

    ------------------
    'WHEN WE CLOSE OUR EYES WE ALL LOOK THE SAME' GWPW 03

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Gillett, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    265

    Post

    well im going back tomorrow AM
    im not going to be able to get much of the comb without pulling alot of the porch ceiling off, its suppose to be rainy still so i do believe i'll get alot of the bees

    so here's what im going to do (let me know what you think):
    hopefully i'll have the beevac made tonight so im going to suck up all the ones that i can get to, then im going to seal up the soffet with a bee escape on the board, i'll be suspending a hive up near the soffet for the "escaped" bees to go into, i think i'll take a frame of brood to put in my hive to entice them to go in (or do i not need that?). Then i thought about taking a strong colony over to rob out the honey in the soffet, then they can seal it all up with the original boards.

    How long should i wait to go back to get the hive?
    and how long for my colony to rob it all out for to go back and pick them up? (i prefer to wait the least amount of time because the owner of the house has 2 small kids)
    will the queen come out to find where her workers have gone to? (probably not huh)
    now the ones that i suck up i thought maybe i would do a newspaper combine with my hive that has swarmed, so its a little behind the rest of them - population wise
    OR should i give them some brood in their own hive, im sure this will depend on how many i suck up in the first place right.

    i asked drapers how much they charge for bee removal - $200 bucks! plus $1.00 per mile, one way, and of course they don't fix any of the construction (or is that demolition ). He said he's done them for $75 if they just spray poison in to kill them if the people change their mind when he gets there and doesnt want to pay the $200.

    so you're all just gonna have to wait,
    tune in tomorrow to hear "the rest of the story:

    Deanna

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    hermiston, oregon
    Posts
    458

    Post

    Dee,

    I dont go through that much effort. so far about 95% of the time I get the queen. I suck up what I can, cut the comb out and put into a sealed container then usually run my bees through a queen excluder(i dont always see the queen but usually I do) If I see the queen then I call the owner of the house and tell then to spay the remaining bees with poison( i feel it is more humane rather than starve to death). If you want the you could go back and suck up more bees about 8:30pm. If I dont get the queen I make a desicion to merge the bees with a smaller hive or go back and try to get the queen.

    I dont feel there is any wrong way since they will most like kill the bees anyway.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Rochester, Washington, USA
    Posts
    973
    Careful w/the poison, some states it is against the law to spray an extablished hive. You need to get all the comb and honey or it will a;attract other vermin ie, ants, roaches, earwigs, wasps, hornets, mice, ect, or b; melt and run down the space between the walls leading to a ****awful mess, then they get mad at you. Leave the area open for a few days then have them spray w/a clorex or strong soapy mixture to destroy the pharmone that is present.
    Remember you want to retrive as much as possiable to, in the end, help them and the bees you captured. The excess wax for me is an added bonus ( have a lot of friends that bead).
    I won't even tells you what I charge, as I see it as a hobby, but I do charge.

    ------------------
    'WHEN WE CLOSE OUR EYES WE ALL LOOK THE SAME' GWPW 03

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    hermiston, oregon
    Posts
    458

    Post

    I take all the wax and honey but sucking up every bee when you extract a hive is nearly impossible unless you can go back several evenings in a row. Most of the time I can't do this so I feel it more humane to kill them outright then letting them starve.

    I try and get as many bees as possible though when I extract a hive but you would be there for days trying to get every bee.

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