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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Chippew County, WI, USA
    Posts
    650

    Default All cutout masters, your advice is needed!!!

    I have a cut out to do and it is over an hour from my house so I need to have all the right tools with me, not back at the farm, LOL!

    Here is a pic


    They cut an opening with a chain saw early in spring when it was cold. Its in a basswood tree. I can cut the opening open more but they want to keep the tree. The opening in the pic looks bigger than it is. Its maybe 4" by 8". I could see drone brood and the rest just look like empty comb when I was there. The next did not appear to be wide but it extends up and down from opening. I am guessing its really tall and narrow. The opening is maybe a little over seven feet up.

    I need to know all the tools I need to have with me. I have never done this before but I am not scared whatsoever. Here is what I am planing on bringing now.

    -Bee vac hooked to a deep box
    -two deeps with empty frames and rubber bands for brood
    -two five gallon buckets for honey comb
    -sharp knives for cutting comb out
    -chain saw to cut open tree
    -six foot step ladder
    -bee suit, smoker, hive tool....
    -

    Im sure it cant be that simple, What else do I need or what will make my life easier!

    My plan is to cut the tree open till I find the bottom of the nest then work my way up. I am going to bring a small colony and some empty boxes to leave behind to clean up the mess of left over honey and comb in the tree.

    Thanks for any advise you can give me. This is going to cost me more in gas and time then its worth but I want the experience and pics and video for my website and bragging rights, LOL! The bees did survive one winter in that tree so ill take the genetics too. They are bright yellow bees. They dont know of any beekeeper in the area but that dont mean anything. Im sure they are only first or second generation ferals but who knows.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,949

    Default Re: All cutout masters, your advice is needed!!!

    Wedges, trees always bind when you don't have enough wedges, and a good hammer! If you could bend a piece of steel to cut comb way up, the opening does not have to be as big or compromise the strength of the tree so it kills you.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Dripping Springs, TX USA
    Posts
    296

    Default Re: All cutout masters, your advice is needed!!!

    Don't forget the Bee-Quick. I sometimes I am not allowed to cut further on a tree. A hole drilled, in this case, above the hive is needed. Spray in the Bee-Quick and watch out. They will pour out of there for you. Be ready to vacuum!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    burbank,oklahoma,usa
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: All cutout masters, your advice is needed!!!

    all i do is cut open on both sides use wedges to split the rest of the way i dont cut completely then theres notyin but fast movin its all open find queen put in box and im sure you know the rest

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Chippew County, WI, USA
    Posts
    650

    Default Re: All cutout masters, your advice is needed!!!

    americasbeekeeper, please explain this piece of bent steel you speak of.

    I have never used bee-quick. Does it drive ALL bees out? Queen, drones and young bees?

    If I can cut enough of tree to be sure i have got the brood out and there should be nothing left but honey, I could just use the beequick then let the colony I bring rob the rest of the colony clean. Does that sound like a good plan?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Chippew County, WI, USA
    Posts
    650

    Default Re: All cutout masters, your advice is needed!!!

    Also can anyone tell me what size rubber band works best so I know I dont have to buy six sizes to make sure I have what I need?

    And the bent steel you talking about. You just mean to bend a piece of steel and put an edge on it right? I think I should have access from a ladder anyway but ill make one.

    Is bee quick the kind that smells good?

    Thanks

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,205

    Default Re: All cutout masters, your advice is needed!!!

    You could try a trap out. It would be easier on the tree and less messy than cutting it out. Then, when the bees have finished coming out, seal it up with expanded foam. I did one last year.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Chippew County, WI, USA
    Posts
    650

    Default Re: All cutout masters, your advice is needed!!!

    I tried a trap out last year. I want to master the trap out method in a location close to me. This tree is cracked all the way up and im sure they will just find another way in, Im not going to seal a 30 foot crack. I dont want to make 10 trips there either. I want to go there twice. Once for cut out, then once to pick the hive up I leave behind to rob the tree clean, they can seal the tree up.

    Thanks for idea anyway.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,339

    Default Re: All cutout masters, your advice is needed!!!

    I would use at least two ladders and a walk board between. You need a place to set things down within reach. A deer hunters tree stand would be great.
    Walt

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,205

    Default Re: All cutout masters, your advice is needed!!!

    30 feet is a long crack! One more thing for your "make life easier list", bring lots of water. Its going to be sweaty.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    1,211

    Default Re: All cutout masters, your advice is needed!!!

    1. Either bring 10 gallons of water or else have a working hose nearby.
    2. minimum Six empty 5 gallon buckets WITH LIDS, I have done cutouts that needed a dozen.
    3. Do you have an electricity source to run the Bee Vac? If not, a generator is required.
    4. Bring a spare bee suit, there are many times that someone wants to observe and if you have a spare good suit....
    5. Bring spare smoker fuel, a cutout always takes longer than you anticipate.
    6. A claw hammer and a wide blade chisel. (I've had to cut comb that was stone hard and required a chisel to break)
    7. Depending on the size of the colony, one bee vac may not be enough. Do you really think a large colony will fit in a 5 gallon container? I use a screened full size deep brood chamber to pull the bees into. It MUST be built to allow ventilation.

    Tell the owner that the bees may make the yard a bad place to be for a couple of days. Hopefully this is not an issue, but if it is, at least you warned them.

    The very first thing you want to do is to set up the small colony to trap stray bees, just don't set them where they will get in the way of the removal.

    The tree is probably doomed. With a crack that large, it is unlikely to ever heal.

    DarJones
    DarJones - 44 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    942

    Default Re: All cutout masters, your advice is needed!!!

    "The tree is probably doomed. With a crack that large, it is unlikely to ever heal."

    My thoughts also. It is going to be difficult to open a hole (s) large enough to get the comb out without doing serious harm to the already compromised tree. If the owner is that interested in saving the tree perhaps you need to rethink cost, time, safety, etc. versus $100 worth of bees.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Drain, OR
    Posts
    424

    Default Re: All cutout masters, your advice is needed!!!

    - Duct tape.
    - Remember to seal up your pant legs.
    Last edited by Capricorn; 06-07-2011 at 12:45 PM.
    A backyard hobbyist, keeping hives since '09. ~ http://www.sweetthangchocolates.com
    Zone 8a/8b

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Chippew County, WI, USA
    Posts
    650

    Default Re: All cutout masters, your advice is needed!!!

    I am going to have to throw the towel in on this cut out. I have car problems I have to sort out this weekend, then I have queens coming and splits to do, another yard to sort out, etc. If anyone is interested in this cutout, its in Kennan, WI about 30 miles east of Ladysmith. I am waiting for a response to my email sent sent to the home owner. I offered to help find someone else who would do the job. If your interested, let me know and I will run it past them.

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