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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
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    1,778

    Default Want to do my first bee removal Sunday - Am I ready?

    I got a call on this hive back in July and declined. They moved into a shed next door to my ex's house.

    I've been mumbling and fumbling around bee source for a few months. Moved my hive by myself, learned to find the queen, and fighting off the robber bees. Am I ready to go get the bees out of this shed?

    Gypsi
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Mena,Arkansas,USA
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Want to do my first bee removal Sunday - Am I ready?

    Hi Gypsi, Keep on mumbeling and fumbeling. Thats how you learn. If you think the bees will make it thru the winter where their at, perhaps it might be best to wait until spring and give them a fresh start. Bees do not like to build new comb in the fall and they would have to do that if you get them now. Just my opinion.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    318

    Default Re: Want to do my first bee removal Sunday - Am I ready?

    I'm sure you've done your reading. I've seen some books out there on cutouts and there's information available on the internet. There was a good article on cutouts in Bee Culture a couple of months ago.

    I'm doing my first cutout next week and am excited about it. I've caught several swarms, which has been good experience in having a lot of bees buzzing around me. But these cutout bees won't be quite as passive!

    I think the key will be to take everything I could possible need so I don't have to stop in the middle of it.

    My first step will be to suit up well enough that I won't have to worry at all about bees getting inside my clothes. Jacket w/ zip-on viel, gauntlet gloves, rubber bands around my ankles, etc.

    We run eight frame medium equipment. I'm taking four empty boxes with 32 frames, along with a top and bottom. I'm looping a rubber band around both ends of each empty frame before I start. I will set up a plywood table on saw horses and plan to take each comb as I cut it out, lay it on the table and cut it to fit the frame, slide it in the rubber bands, place it in the box, and go to the next one.

    I have no idea how big the hive is. It's in the wall of an old clapboard building that is being renovated.

    Are you ready? Of course you are, or you wouldn't be planning it! Let us know how it goes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,858

    Default Re: Want to do my first bee removal Sunday - Am I ready?

    If this were me, at this time of year, I would first beg off to wait until spring. They may not make it through the winter where they are at, anyway. And you also run the risk of transferring them to a normal hive only to have them die over the winter. Spring increases your odds of success.

    However, if I had to move them right now, such as in the case where the shed was going to be torn down, I would go in and vacuum out the bees. I'd forget about trying to tie the feral comb to frames. I wouldn't worry about stores or brood. I would shake the vacuumed bees into a box of drawn comb with frames of honey and brood I "borrowed" from another hive. Then feed to insure winter survival.

    I'd harvest the comb and lay it out in the grass at home for the bees to rob out.

    Having done a number of cut outs, I've been there with the salvage of feral comb and trying to rescue sections of brood.

    Hope this works out for you.

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: Want to do my first bee removal Sunday - Am I ready?

    To be quite honest I would not touch a feral colony in your area. AHB arrived in Fort Worth in 1997 and in my opinion it isn't worth the risk for $80.00 worth of bees. And I have a few hundred cutouts under my belt.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    966

    Default Re: Want to do my first bee removal Sunday - Am I ready?

    I don't think anyone is really ready for their first cutout unless they have tagged along and helped on one or two.

    I know I was prepared as far as having the stuff I needed (I made an "Idee style" bee vac) and knew what to do.
    It was very simple, but it wasn't easy at all. It took a lot longer to cut out the comb and fit it in frames than I anticipated.
    I discovered crossed rubber bands to hold comb are much better than trying to tie it in.
    And I learned to charge a lot more for anything on a ladder. It's amazing how much time is wasted going up and down.

    Personally, I WOULD take the time to preserve as much comb as possible, esp. this late in the year. It IS a lot more work, but there is no sense in wasting the resources when you only have one, or a very few, other hives to draw resources from. Honey comb ( as opposed to brood) esp. is difficult to work with, but it is THERE.

    If this hive is not very important to you, and it is no big deal if it doesn't winter through, then I would likely not do the extra work. But I have the impression that that is not the case here.

    Keep calm, be careful when you grasp a comb that you are not trapping a bee under your finger (I worked for a couple hours with no stings, then trapped a bee, and she stung. I got ten more in the next 20 minutes. Work deliberately). I suspect that if I had moves just a bit more deliberately, I'd have had no stings at all.

    It's not difficult, but it is definitely work. And very satisfying when you work them later, knowing that you gathered them yourself.

    You're probably as ready as you will every be.

    Go have fun!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    121

    Default Re: Want to do my first bee removal Sunday - Am I ready?

    Definitely have the right tools for the cutout. A bee vac is one of the must haves especially if the colony is huge.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,778

    Default Re: Want to do my first bee removal Sunday - Am I ready?

    OMG, I do NOT have the tools for the job. I own a couple of shop vacs, but the landing would probably kill the bees. I do not have 4 boxes. I do know they are probably not african, as their first hive was in the rockwork next to my ex-husband's pond, and he was out there a lot. When he moved rock around and started running a waterfall, they moved to the tin shed next door.

    I need more boxes, a bee vac, (or plans) And I have wonderful news. I saw bees going in and out of the nuc I set up on an upturned rubbermaid box next to my one hive. That nuc is no longer available, I opened the lid tonight to see many bee eyes looking up at me from one of the frames. I feel like I just had a baby, or the dog (fixed) had puppies...

    More equipment time. Did I say I was putting my beekeeping on a budget?
    Last edited by Gypsi; 09-15-2011 at 07:33 PM. Reason: typo
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    966

    Default Re: Bee Vac

    I made one like Idee's. I had no plans to go by, but it is a modified deep box, and there is a series of pics at the link below that show pretty clearly how it is made.

    Just set it on top of a hive body, hook up the hoses and it will drop[ the bees right into the hive, without too many lost.
    I used window screen instead of #8 hardware cloth for the screen. I would not do that again: the screen was fine enough to restrict airflow a lot. I had enough (Actually a perfect suction) to do the job but no way to increase it if I needed to.
    Using Hardware cloth would allow more suction, so you can use a smaller vac, and/or adjust airflow with a damper hole.
    The cross bar holding the screen at the top ( See pics 4 & 7) need to be snug, and stiff. Mine flexed a bit, and allowed a few (3) bees to get by.

    Have fun!


    http://s81.photobucket.com/albums/j2...evacuum005.jpg

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,778

    Default Re: Bee Vac

    Very cool, I can build this. Got my 1/4 inch hardware cloth in a couple of days ago. I still need more hive bodies, but I think that I will go check that shed out late this afternoon, and talk to the gal whose yard it is in. Need to see if the bees are even still there, ex hasn't been out by his pond much lately.
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    966

    Default Re: Bee Vac

    deleted
    Last edited by Beregondo; 09-16-2011 at 02:14 PM. Reason: typo

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    966

    Default Re: Bee Vac

    Quote Originally Posted by Gypsi View Post
    Very cool, I can build this. Got my 1/4 inch hardware cloth in a couple of days ago.
    1/4 inch hardware cloth will not stop the bees, they can go right thru. You want 1/8 inch (#8) hardware cloth.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
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    Default Re: Bee Vac

    may have to use window screen. This isn't the cut out/ trap out removal I had in mind, but the gal with bees in her hot tub. The entrance is 1/2 inch, water from the waterfall drops into it, so the bees must be in the cave created by the tiled waterfall above the entrance. Fortunately, I'm a bit of a contractor, complete with liability insurance. I want to remove the hive at night. I don't want to destroy her hot tub. She's sending me some pics, and life is about to get very interesting. Charlie, I'm building a bee vac like yours. What size shop vac is that? (mine are too big and powerful I am sure.)
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    966

    Default Re: Bee Vac

    Quote Originally Posted by Gypsi View Post
    (mine are too big and powerful I am sure.)
    I used a pretty big vac on mine. I also used 2 1/2 inch smooth "hot tub hose".

    Between the two airflow was restricted so much that I had to leave the damper wide open in order to pull any bees in, even with the shop vac I use for clean up after doing kitchen remodels and new construction stair installation.

    Might want to test yours before discounting it, if you are using window screen as I did.

    Just sayin', is all

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,778

    Default Re: Bee Vac

    hmmm. I have some flex pvc hot tub hose laying around, I think 1 inch, 1.5 inch and 2 inch. And my helper has reset for tomorrow, so I can tinker and figure things out at my own speed today. Thank you Beregondo. It would be nice not to have to buy another vac when I have 2 already. I did discover that my hardware cloth that came in is 1/8th inch. Got 10 feet of it. hmmm...
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    966

    Default Re: Want to do my first bee removal Sunday - Am I ready?

    If you are concerned your vac might be too big, install a bleed valve

    Cut a screened vent hole in the side of your bee vac and make a sliding cover to regulate suction:
    IMG_0996.JPG
    (Photo appropriated form Robo's website)

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,778

    Wink Re: Want to do my first bee removal Sunday - Am I ready?

    Well, I am opting that I am not equipment ready for this, and the one removal that sounded emergency, isn't. Isn't even a removal, the bees are getting a drink of water. With fall/winter prep, fall business, a greenhouse to build, I will build a bee vac. Have 4 nucs and 2 deeps being built this weekend, but I am not really ready. I need to go along on someone else's first. I will be building a bee vac, but today saw holly bushes removed and a perfectly timed foundation repair on my house, now that the rain plumped up the clay and jacked the garage floor back up. Can't ask for more of a Sunday. Have a good week!

    Gypsi
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

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