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Thread: SHB in cutouts

  1. #1
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    Default SHB in cutouts

    I did a cut out yesterday and was amazed at the number of beetles in the hive. They were located in the second floor of a two story structure, an old building that wasn't built to any kind of code. By the way they were situated there was no hope of them keeping the hive closed to a point of keeping out intruders. There was enough comb and bees to pretty well fill a double deep. If I had to make a good guess I would put the numbers at something around 2000 to 2500 beetles spread from one end to the other. Crazy.......

    Anyone else seeing cutouts like that? These appear to be pretty much Italian bees. I typically see more beetles in my Italians than the Carnies or Russians but never ever anything like this.
    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill

  2. #2

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    Man alive Biz, there just doesn't seem to be anyone who's had a similar load of shb in a cutout.
    Some I've gotten had their share of beetles but not anything like you described. One thing I did discover was that during the disturbance of the nest shb will surely take the opportunity to lay eggs in the brood cells. I no longer even try to save the brood comb. I suppose I should call what I do 'removals'. Although I take the comb out, I discard it. I put the bees on empty drawn comb or foundation.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  3. #3
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    I see a lot of SHB in some of the cutouts that I do. I use a homemade bee vac that has #8 hardware cloth in the inner cage. The SHB go right through it into the vac, so I am able to eliminate 99% of the adults when I vac the bees off the comb. I have found that as long as I get the bees back on the brood comb immediatly upon completion of cutting it out I don't have much problem saving the brood. As soon as I have found the last brood comb, I stop and dump the bees into the hive before I remove the rest of the honey comb. This only really works well if I am able to find and cage the queen and suspend her in the center of the new broodnest. This seems to pretty well prevent the bees from returning to the combs that are left in the cavity.
    "The UNKNOWN, huh? That would be SNORBERT ZANGOX over in Waycross."

  4. #4
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    nope, never seen one like that, the most I ever found in a removal was about 10, and that after about 50 removals over the last 5 years. most removals hives I done I might see 1 and some hive none at all.
    Ted

  5. #5
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    It was sure a site to see! Of course I wasn't seeing the real dynamics of the hive since everything was nothing but pure chaos for all parties involved, I was after all ripping their lives apart.

    I was told that the bees have been there for at least the past five years. They were as well off as I would expect any others bees around here to be given our season this year. What I did find interesting was that there didn't seem to be any kind of damage from the beetles. No larva, no fouled stores and certainly no dwindling of bees. It was packed with plenty of bees. And I'm happy to say they are working their little fannies off in their new home in the backyard for now.

    But, like I said, I can't say what might have been the situation in the hive before I came along? Maybe they were waiting in the wings until I turned their world upside down?

    I setup up a quickie adapter box on top of the hive I set up for the removal that allowed me to use my shop vac for the removal. I hadn't really put much though into having beetles pass through the screen to the vac. But I don't know that would be the case so much in what I did with mine. I suspect the velocity and volume of air in the box wouldn't be quite right to get that result. Sounds like a good idea you have there though Gene!

    I didn't even bother with attempting to keep any of the comb. I had though I may try to keep the brood, but there wasn't enough there in my opinion for the trouble. The combs were old and black from use and I didn't see the point. As a matter of fact, I haven't even opened the hive up since I sucked the bees up. I'll probably get into it tomorrow and see whats going on in there. I wasn't able to spot the queen during the removal and have no idea if she's in there or not. I set the hive out back next to a small hive that I just moved over to a ten frame deep from a nuc. That was a swarm that showed up in the nuc sometime in the resent past. I figure if the queen isn't there, it won't be to much of a shock to combine em with the other hive a foot or so away.

    WOW I gotta tell you, the honey those bees had in that hive was some of the best tasting I've had in a while. Good news is the folks there said I was welcome to set up hives on the property. I told em that I would likely take them up on the offer next spring. Looks like a good area along the river over in Bethlehem.

    Looks like I'm coming your way beeman!! You making the coffee or do I bring it along?
    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill

  6. #6
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    Because of the difference in the body mass of a bee compared to an SHB, the low vacuum suction is still able to pull them through the #8 hardware cloth and into the vac.

    The disadvantage of not giving the bees at least some of their brood/eggs is that if you either damaged the queen when she went through the vac or you did not get her, then they don't have the resources to make a new one. You can always give them brood/eggs from another hive, but then you have lost any possible genetic contribution to your operation from the cutout. Many of my most productive hives originated as cutouts. I have also noticed that they are the ones that seem to best deal with varroa and SHB.
    "The UNKNOWN, huh? That would be SNORBERT ZANGOX over in Waycross."

  7. #7
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    About a month ago I went to get a hive in a tree that was cut and laying on the ground, I know it was to late in our season to "save" them but I just had to try ( now this tree was about 100 yards from where I got my first SHBs in a tree) when I cut the log open and started to put a piece of brood comb in a folding frame ( mabee 6" square ) it probably had 2 doz beetles on it so I went to the truck and got a can of "Hot Shot" and sprayed them and went home feeling SAD
    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

  8. #8
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    Ahhhhh, did you feel bad for killing them bugs HM........ I can send you some more if you want em!

    I hear ya Gene. I don't really care if I got her or not. I have some great bees now that give me very little trouble. If she is in there an or not, after I see what to do with them they are on there way to another yard away from the stock I have at home now. I have a couple of yards with a hodge podge of muts in them. NOT that, that means they are bad bees, they are actually some great bees. I just don't want them mixed with what I have at the home yard.
    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bizzybee View Post
    Ahhhhh, did you feel bad for killing them bugs HM........ I can send you some more if you want em!

    I hear ya Gene. I don't really care if I got her or not. I have some great bees now that give me very little trouble. If she is in there an or not, after I see what to do with them they are on there way to another yard away from the stock I have at home now. I have a couple of yards with a hodge podge of muts in them. NOT that, that means they are bad bees, they are actually some great bees. I just don't want them mixed with what I have at the home yard.
    Sounds like you have different objectives than I do, no argument about that. In the few cases where I have not given them any of their brood and just dumped the bees in on comb or foundation I have had difficulty getting them to stay, most the time they will abscond within a week (as soon as momma is thin enough to fly), so I guess for me thats another reason I try to save as much of the brood as I can.
    "The UNKNOWN, huh? That would be SNORBERT ZANGOX over in Waycross."

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