Re: Question about cut out queens
I average about 10 cutouts a year. This year I did 8, and postponed doing 3 more until next spring because (for me) its getting a little late in the year. Although, last year I did remove a colony from underneath a set of stairs that had been there for several years. I did that on October 11th, and they managed to make it through our winter, but that is very late for here. I would say that on average I see the cutout queen 50% of the time. I am always aware to try to find her but its difficult at times and I am not too concerned if I don't see her. Cutouts are very disruptive to the colony as you know, and in many cases tons of irritated bees and wet honey everywhere does not lend itself to have the time to adequately look for the queen. I do use a vacuum occasionally, but I try to avoid it if I can. If I can locate the queen and rubber band that frame she is on into the new setup I will leave the colony there for a few days and allow the bees to settle into the new digs before I move them to a yard. This also allows the foragers to go back and clean up the mess left behind as a result of the cutout and saves me the time and effort to do it myself. The last one I did the wall cavity was bone dry when I went back 4 days later. The bees do a great job of collecting the honey from wet wall extractions. Rarely have I ever started a cutout by first vacuuming up bees, although I have seen videos where people have done that. If I find the queen and place her in the setup, then I am not that concerned with vacuuming up some bees and shaking them into the new hive. One thing I have learnt is to be patient after a cutout. I always leave the new hive alone undisturbed for at least a week. More often than not upon first inspection i'll see fresh eggs. If not and you missed the queen or killed her, you will see several queen cells. I have made the mistake a few times of 'thinking' they were queeneless and they weren't, and I sacrificed a purchased queen because of it. If left alone they will work it out.
"Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti