Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Mars Hill, NC
    Posts
    33

    Default First cut out - not for the faint-hearted!

    On Saturday, I did my first cut out, out of a rental house (I work for the rental agency) that had called. Going into my second year of beekeeping, I was excited to try out a cut-out, with the help of one of the guys on our maintenance staff. We set up scaffolding (6 feet high) and Saturday turned out to be a beautiful, sunny day in the 70's, perfect weather. The bees POURED out of the wall when the maintenance guy took the siding off the wall. They were NOT very happy when we started pulling off the the walls and disturbing their colony and sucking them up in the bee vac! I got stung a few times (my ankle is still swollen up like a cantaloupe), but I was trying to work as fast I could cutting the combs and fitting and rubber-banding them into deep frames, as our maintenance guy kept pulling combs out of the wall.

    It took about three hours, and there were STILL a lot of bees clustering by the walls, behind the chimney, so I wonder if we were able to retrieve all the comb. We realized it later that the bees may be in the attic, or behind the chimney, and the job may be over our heads... but we did as best as we could. I think I was surprised at how brutal a cut-out was for the bees. So many casualties, so many damaged combs (I was only able to get 9 deep frames of salvageable comb), and lots of stressed and angry bees! I'm inclined to think this hive won't make it, especially because I couldn't tell if we got the queen or if she survived.

    I transferred them over out of the bee-vac yesterday - set them up with a new hive, next to my 2 other hives in the backyard. They were still VERY aggressive! Gave my husband a nasty sting below his eye (his eye this morning looked like my ankle)! Are bees usually this aggressive after a cut-out, being so stressed? They are darker in color than my docile Italians... the thought has crossed my mind that maybe they are partially africanized.... there have been reports in TN, just 4 hrs away. It's hard to say, but I'm going to leave them alone for at least a week or two before I check on them.

    That said.... I have a new respect for beekeepers who do cut-outs on a regular basis! I think next time I'll call one of them.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: First cut out - not for the faint-hearted!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbbYn...6&feature=plcp

    Check out THAT cutout. Not sure if there's a video of a larger hive than that, but that is a monstrosity!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Mars Hill, NC
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: First cut out - not for the faint-hearted!

    Thanks for the video.... That is one massive colony!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Frisco City, AL, USA
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: First cut out - not for the faint-hearted!

    All of the cutouts I've done that involved a bee vac were very aggressive; they also smelled like bananas! It helps if you can place a frame with some open brood/eggs in the hive with them; it will give them something to take care of and they can raise a new queen if the cutout queen didn't make it. I'm going into my third year of beekeeping now and did a lot of cutouts the first two years for the experience and bees, but it can sure be a tough way to get bees

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: First cut out - not for the faint-hearted!

    1: Congrats on your first cut-out...they don't get any easier from here, but you get less nervous...so they go a little smoother
    2: That was a LARGE hive in the video...not huge; my 1st was about that size..built into the subfloor of a mobile home (don't think I'll ever tackle one of those again), my most recent cut-out was bigger than that, built into a wall (around water pipes), and hot Hot HOT HOT!!! (even before I started cutting down the siding with a circular saw). They stayed hot when I got them home too...right up until they absconded in true AHB fashion (which, from the size of the hive, my location, their temperament, and the absconding, I'm about 98% sure they were).
    3: As far as bee vacs go, I'm sure they're quite useful, but I haven't had much luck with 'em...too fiddly trying to get just the right suction; I just cut the combs out, splice some brood into a couple frames, then try to scoop as many mounds of bees into the hive boxes as possible, hoping to get the queen so the rest will follow her in. (BTW: comb filled with honey from cut-outs goes in the TRASH; I've only EVER done one cut-out where I was pretty sure no pesticides had been used on the bees, the risk of neurotoxin poisoning from bugspray in the honey just isn't worth it).
    4: If you go back to the rental house tomorrow, you'll prob. find a nice cluster of bees hanging somewhere near the remnants of the old combs...if you put a box/bucket under them & simply touch near the top of the cluster with your hand/bee brush, they'll likely drop nicely into the container so you can take 'em home and rejoin them with the rest of their hive.


    Front & back halves of the hive from my 1st cut-out


    A nice cluster of bees (actually this one's from an afterswarm that moved in 2 days after a cut-out)
    Last edited by robherc; 04-16-2012 at 09:40 PM. Reason: added pics

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,387

    Default Re: First cut out - not for the faint-hearted!

    The best cut-outs seem to be from the inside out - as in cutting out from indoors as opposed to outdoors. Don't jump to conclusions about AHB. Feral Black bees can be just as bad. At this point they are a bunch of dark feral mutts, anyway - and usually hot! I pass them up if they are too hot or if it looks too complicated. Especially if my hives are all full.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Lakeland, FL USA
    Posts
    785

    Default Re: First cut out - not for the faint-hearted!

    I got a call to do a cut-out tomorrow at a very nice house, it seems, from the looks of google maps.

    They mentioned that the bees were going in a soffet.

    Could that mean that they may just be in the attic, or would that most-likely mean in a wall?

    Here's the satellite photo of that house:

    And notice how they have two different boat ramps for two different lakes.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: First cut out - not for the faint-hearted!

    My first guess would be that the brood nest is in the roof overhang (soffit), and the honey storage is in the attic right at that bottom corner where it meets the wall; and likely the brood nest follows around one of thos nice inside corners, further dividing your work...over the in-ground pool.

    What evidence points me to that conclusion, some may ask? Simple, it's the hardest place I could immediately think of in terms of removing everything, and I've learned the hard way to always expect the worst!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Lakeland, FL USA
    Posts
    785

    Default Re: First cut out - not for the faint-hearted!

    Quote Originally Posted by robherc View Post
    What evidence points me to that conclusion, some may ask? Simple, it's the hardest place I could immediately think of in terms of removing everything, and I've learned the hard way to always expect the worst!
    Haha - yeah, tomorrow is actually just a reconnaissance mission. I will probably get help and come back on a different day.

    But great thread. Loved the video and some of the comments. Always learning.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Harrisonville, MO
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: First cut out - not for the faint-hearted!

    MiddleofMae you might be interested in checking out Cleo C. Hogans posts on queen traps , he also a very helpful gentleman willing to share his ideas

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Mars Hill, NC
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: First cut out - not for the faint-hearted!

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul McCarty View Post
    The best cut-outs seem to be from the inside out - as in cutting out from indoors as opposed to outdoors. Don't jump to conclusions about AHB. Feral Black bees can be just as bad. At this point they are a bunch of dark feral mutts, anyway - and usually hot! I pass them up if they are too hot or if it looks too complicated. Especially if my hives are all full.
    Black feral bees! Thanks for the clarification. These were definitely hot bees. I got stung badly on my foot - and my husband got a nice sting on the face, we both swelled up like watermelons! Having only been around Italians, I'm definitely now wising up to differences in bee ethnicity!

    And thanks, Beegineer, I"ll check it out!
    Last edited by MiddleofMae; 04-19-2012 at 09:10 AM. Reason: spelling

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: First cut out - not for the faint-hearted!

    I haven't seen any dark AHB yet, or even any dark bees that I suspected of being AHB...found a couple hives of yellow bees with HUGE brood sections, TERRIBLE defensive response, and an extreme tendency to abscond...I call those AHB using the "three strikes and you're AHB" rule.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,387

    Default Re: First cut out - not for the faint-hearted!

    Most of the ferals around my area are dark - black drones and dark queens.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Lakeland, FL USA
    Posts
    785

    Default Re: First cut out - not for the faint-hearted!

    Quote Originally Posted by robherc View Post
    My first guess would be that the brood nest is in the roof overhang (soffit), and the honey storage is in the attic right at that bottom corner where it meets the wall; and likely the brood nest follows around one of thos nice inside corners, further dividing your work...over the in-ground pool.
    Hmmmm, see photos I posted in a thread I started about it.

    No cutting yet............the wife had to get permission from her husband:

    Would you all recommend an inside cut-out or outside trap-out?

    .

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads