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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Drain, OR

    Default Question about cut out queens

    How often are you guys finding them? I did 4 or 5 cut outs this summer, and I only found 1 queen. I think I vacuumed up a few more, and I know the most recent colony I removed raised a good half dozen queens, so I must have totally missed that one.. I know this is an area I can improve on. I've gotten a lot better at spotting queens in my hives, but by the time I'm removing comb from a wall, I've pretty much vacuumed the bees up off of it, it's been exposed for a while, and I assume the queen has run and hid. The queen I found was in a smaller colony that was just getting started, and there were only 3 or 4 dinner plate sized combs to search on. The other colony's have been bigger with more complex comb..
    A backyard hobbyist, keeping hives since '09. ~
    Zone 8a/8b

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Santa Fe, NM

    Default 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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Leflore county, Mississippi

    Default Re: Question about cut out queens

    I am the exact opposite of Risky.

    I show up turn on the vac it runs till the job is done 3 to 7 hours.

    I find the queen sometimes but I charge by the hour so I really don't think the home owner wants me running around hunting threw every cluster to find her. I try not to leave swarm like clusters and hope for the best I get the queen more than 50% of the time.

    I watch the exhaust on my bee vac if I start getting say 10 or so bee clinging to it I might have the queen.

    I have trouble selling quoted jobs here in my location and most are too far for me to come back. So I set a hourly rate that makes you not want me doing the clean up and get down to business. I saw one queen this year and that cutout absconded but they didnt have any brood when I did the cutout.

    Last one I did, I was looking at a cluster I could have bet money the queen was in there but it was faster to just vac them up. I still haven't seen her but I had eggs 5 days out so I quit looking for the queen.


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