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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    fentress, tn, usa
    Posts
    37

    Default massive hive, cut out

    I got a call off of an ad I have about a hive in a wall. The lady said that the hive has been there since they bought the house 6 years ago. They have small children and they would like to get rid of them now. They are very docile according to the lady, she mows around them and they never bother her. Anyway, she had another beekeeper out a few weeks ago and he told her that he would have to cut out the drywall from inside the house to find them and that was the only way that he would do it. I used a stethoscope on the walls and didn't hear anything, so I asked if I could get in her crawlspace to check there. There were quite a few bees flying in a gap between the block wall and the siding. I figured it might be in there...... JACKPOT



    It's probably 40" tall by about 24"-30" wide and deep. Going by the block anyway. I made a robo bushkill type beevac and I figure this hive will probably mostly fill up two deep bodies. I'm figuring on a lot of brood. I will be putting it in the frames with rubber bands. Also, there looks to be enough room to sit up in there.

    Anyway, I'll try to take pics when I do the cut-out. I'll probably be by myself down there, so I don't know if I'll be very successful in taking pics. Also, obviously there isn't very much light down there. Will it bother the bees to much if I set up some halogen lights? or should I use smaller lights?

    I probably won't smoke these, when I did the bee tree, it seemed like it agitated them more than anything. Using the bee vac I don't think I need to anyway.

    Oh, they showed me some pics of the swarms this thing throws. They are larger than a basketball. It swarms every year onto a tree branch right by the hive entrance.

    Any suggestions/pointers/tips you all have? This will be my second cut-out. Thanks in advance
    Last edited by Tnmedic; 04-23-2012 at 12:34 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Brookville, PA
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: massive hive, cut out

    Hmmmmm. I wonder if you should just put a swarm trap nearby and catch the swarm? After they swarm, you'll have less bees to deal with when you do the cutout and you'll have several queen cells that you can do several splits with.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Newark, Ohio
    Posts
    117

    Default Re: massive hive, cut out

    Jealous.... =)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,852

    Default Re: massive hive, cut out

    Quote Originally Posted by Northwest PA Beekeeper View Post
    Hmmmmm. I wonder if you should just put a swarm trap nearby and catch the swarm? After they swarm, you'll have less bees to deal with when you do the cutout and you'll have several queen cells that you can do several splits with.
    I second this without the Hmmmmm.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    fentress, tn, usa
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: massive hive, cut out

    the only problem with this would be the fact that this is an hour away. Don't you have to check swarm traps pretty often? I did show the pic to a beekeeper around here and he said that it would take at least 3 deeps to put all of that in. Also, what is the possibility that it has already swarmed? can you tell by looking at the size?

    I did notice that there were several different looking bees that were going in and out. Some of them were dark and smaller, some of them looked like Italians.

    I'm figuring that this is a "stock" of bees that I would like to keep around. Seeing as it is at least a 6 yr old hive and nothing has been done to it. It is obviously a very strong hive.

    Anyway, could I get more pointers on using a swarm trap vs removing it as is? Like I said before, this is my second cut-out. I don't have any experience and I don't know any beekeepers that would want to go and help. Thanks again.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,386

    Default Re: massive hive, cut out

    Tips: I have found doing an inside cut out works well with some sort of unshaded light, like a light bulb or shop light. Then the angry bees that normally buzz around your face go to the light instead. A halogen light would fry them. Sit the light away from you so they will go to it and not you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,386

    Default Re: massive hive, cut out

    Oh, almost forgot... Vacuum as much of them as you can before pulling each comb off one by one. Be meticulous until you have all the brood comb you want. Have LOTS of buckets, or better yet, a large (huge) plastic ice chest to put the honey comb in. Ice chests work real well because they have a lid, a drain, can be cleaned easily, and hold a ton of full honey comb. I never do a cut-out without one.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Brookville, PA
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: massive hive, cut out

    Tnmedic, just tell the people that own the house to watch the swarm trap and to let you know once it has bees in it. (Chances are, if they always see the swarm hanging in their tree, they would notice when the bees swarmed into the trap.)

    Judging from the amount of bees on the comb - no, they have not swarmed yet.

    Once they have swarmed, you will have less bees to deal with and if there are several queen cells, you can do your splits and you'll have more genetics than just one queen.

    I'm not even sure you can call that a "cut out"! No walls or floors to go through to get to the bees, just go up to the comb, suck the bees up and cut off the comb. If only all cut outs were THAT easy!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,386

    Default Re: massive hive, cut out

    "Easy", I was sort of thinking that myself. Nice and straight forward. Just put down some tarps, pull up a chair and go for it! No crazy stooping, standing on a ladder, or lying on your back with honey, bees, and debris falling in your face.

    That thing is a gold-mine of bees!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia
    Posts
    388

    Default Re: massive hive, cut out

    They're sure gonna wonder why their flowers don't look so good next year. Maybe those small children (and those adults?) might be persuaded to take an interest in beekeeping themselves, seeing as they've been beekeepers for about six years now.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    fentress, tn, usa
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: massive hive, cut out

    Lol the homeowner did tell me that because of the bees, he has to cut the grass twice a week. I didn't bother to tell him any different. Anyway, could I take some of these bees and shake them into one of my hives that is kinda weak? Or do I need to put newspaper between them? Thanks

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