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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Spicewood, TX, USA
    Posts
    375

    Default Cutout Questions

    This will be my 1st cutout and I wil not be destroying anybody's property. It is at a small airport in a shipping crate for a helicopter rotor. The width in the photo is about 3' wide and it appear that the comb is only about 8" deep. The lid can be completely removed so this should be about as easy as a cutout can get. I plan to use rubber bands and attach as much comb as possible to deep frames. Can I flip the top of the crate over to make it easier or should I just try to cut it in it's upright position. Also, I have both wired and un-wired frames with me, but not enough of either. Are the wired frames better or worse for this? Thanks for any advice.

    Cutout.JPG

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Orange county, Texas
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: Cutout Questions

    Mabe ya could just take the entire crate home to work with it there or is it to heavy?
    I don't know much about bees but that looks like it would be much easer to handle at home where you have everything at your disposal.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: Cutout Questions

    1) If you don't have a bee-vac yet, GET ONE before taking that hive on

    2) I'd approach that hive with at LEAST 20 completely empty frames ready (either tie the comb in with twine, tie it in with wire, or use some sort of Capture Frames to put it in...rubber bands often get removed too soon by the bees...causing a HUGE mess inside the hive!) to put the combs in

    3) For me, combs are generally easier to remove in-tact if you do it while they're hanging. Use a sharp blade (the end of a hive tool works GREAT here) to loosen the comb from the surface it's hanging from, while supporting most of the comb's weight from below with your other hand. With a little bit of practice you'll be able to "roll them out" quite efficiently

    4) Standard wired frames (with, or without foundation) are basically useless for cut-outs, sorry

    5) Plan on spending at LEAST 3-5hrs doing this, if it's your first cut-out, so you're not trying to rush things, and end up making problems for yourself

    6) Come back after dark to vac-up the beard of bees that scattered while you were working, they generally form where the combs used to be attached

    7) Expect phone calls for the next few days, they'll likely want you to keep coming back to spray soapy water on the "stragglers"..a few hundred bees to you may be nothing, but to a paranoid property owner 50 bees is an infestation! lol

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: Cutout Questions

    Get a bee vac! They are indispensable when doing cutouts.
    Expect to be there working for 4 to 6 hours. It takes a while, but if you charge the correct fee and you get a strog, healthy hive, it's worth it. Robherc has some great points.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Spicewood, TX, USA
    Posts
    375

    Default Re: Cutout Questions

    OK, I postponed my cutout today, and a bee vac is in in the works. Unfortunately, there will be no charge for my service. A friend, and bee helper, is doing it for a friend of his. They are no threat to anyone and are in a abandoned shipping crate, so if we don't go get them, they will get poisoned and the crate burned. They seem to have a mild temperament. My friend opened the lid and took the photo w/o any protective gear. I assume that rules out AHB's.

    I have watched a few cutouts on Youtube, and seen the use of a vacuum. What is the goal for the vacuum, to remove as many bees as possible from the comb? How do you protect the queen or does she just get vacuumed along with the other bees?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: Cutout Questions

    I look for the queen just in case I find her. If I find her, I cage her up and vacuum the rest of the bees. If not, I assume she is in the vac along with the rest. I am always prepared to requeen after a cutout.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    robertsdale,Al.,USA
    Posts
    236

    Default Re: Cutout Questions

    seperate the comb when cutting it brood in 1 frame&honey in another..the honey will drip,so super it on the bottom for a cpl days...I'd make a 'saw horse' the same height as the lid then just move the lid over so all the comb is exposed resting on the horse&crate....vacs are good for gathering bees,but nectar will start getting on them&I don't use it in the brood area for fear of damaging the queen,but thats just me

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,811

    Default Re: Cutout Questions

    robherc...I am interested, why do you say that , wired frames are basically useless for cut outs? Over the years when I did cutouts, I always used wired frames. I cut the brood as close as possible to the size of the frame. Lay the comb with brood on the wired frame, and then wrap a few rounds of Parcel Post twine to secure the comb. Then hang that frame and go to the next. In short order the bees will knit the comb to the bottom of the top bar, to the end bars, and the bottom bars. Within a week or so, they will remove the twine. The wired frames give support to the comb until the bees knit it together. I always found wired frames to be very useful. The comb will all be on one half of the frame, (the wire is in the middle), but if you face all the comb the same direction, you have the same bee space as comb drawn on both sides of the wire.

    Wish I had taken photos back then. It is amazing what they can do in knitting all the comb together and making it look like it was always there.

    But, I always say, do whatever works for you. Almost everyone will have a different way. There is no right or wrong.

    Riskybeesness.. Take photos, some day you will want to look back on this one. Have fun, and Good Luck.

    cchoganjr

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,387

    Default Re: Cutout Questions

    Bee vac - Get one. I use a bucket vac modified to suck up bees. The flow can be adjusted so you don't kill them. Very cheap way to get into a good bee-vac.

    As far as cutting out goes - vac up absolutely as many bees as you can before cutting the comb. Then go one comb at a time, vacuuming the bees off as you work. Saves a lot of headaches. Strap in some brood comb with rubber bands and place in a hive box BEFORE you dump out the bee-vac into the box. Otherwise you will be vacuuming them up again when you open the box.

    Save as much comb as you can, even empty comb. You can rubber band it into empty frames and use for drawn comb. Saving full capped honey is best done in food grade buckets, which you will need plenty of, or even better - a large ice chest with a drain. Ice chests are easy to open and close, and hold A LOT of comb and honey. I got 15 gallons of honey once from a cut-out. There can be a lot depending on the season.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: Cutout Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleo C. Hogan Jr View Post
    robherc...I am interested, why do you say that , wired frames are basically useless for cut outs?
    Well, looks like I stand corrected on that one...I didn't like the idea of having the wires "in the way" when splicing in combs...as you said, "to each their own." If it works for you, then I'll stop knockin' it


    Quote Originally Posted by baldwinbees View Post
    seperate the comb when cutting it brood in 1 frame&honey in another..the honey will drip,so super it on the bottom for a cpl days
    Personally, I'd just put all the honey comb in a bucket, then open feed it back to the bees in my bee yard, splicing honey-filled comb into frames is just not worth the effort & the sticky mess IMHO

    As far as looking for the queen, I intentionally suck her into the vac with my vac...the survival rate with my bee vac is so high, I'm far more likely to injure her by trying to catch her with honey-coated gloves on than by suckin' her into the vac!

    For the brood combs, I built my bee-vac so I can lift out a couple of bars from the vac, shake the bees back in, then install the frames of spliced brood comb right into the vac with the bees...makes the transition smoother & safer for both the bees AND the brood.

    If you're interested, I have a (work in progress) page that descibes how to build my vac on my website. The instructions are absolutely free, and you can PM me if you have any problems with the build, I'll help in any way I can.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,811

    Default Re: Cutout Questions

    robherc..... It isn't a matter of knocking something, it is the exchange of ideas that helps everyone. Thanks for sharing your ideas. I enjoy hearing how others do things. I hope I never get too old to learn. .

    I'm with you on the queen.. When I did cutouts, i never looked for the queen. I shook combs into the box, vacuumed the combs and loose bees, and took them home. If you didn't get the queen, you will find her balled up with any bees you did not get, if you go back at dark. She doesn't go very far from where the colony was. Add her back to the others.

    I'M also with you on the honey. Also, quite often, it is too dirty to eat.

    Thanks for helping everyone with your bee vac.

    cchoganjr

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,387

    Default Re: Cutout Questions

    Usually the queen runs when you overcome the defenders. I usually find her 6 or 8 feet away in a cluster of bees in a corner. ALWAYS go back in the morning when it is dark to vacuum up the stragglers. That is normally when I find the queen. If you don't like mornings then go back at night.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,811

    Default Re: Cutout Questions

    PaulMcCarty...That is the same system I used for years. If she is in the middle of the brood nest, and you work slowly to it, you often get her in the shakeoff or vacuum of the comb, but she will often run, and any stray bees will cluster with her.

    cchoganjr

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,387

    Default Re: Cutout Questions

    Good to know I am doing it right!

    Had to learn it the hard way as there was nobody around to show me how to do it.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Bryan, TX
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Cutout Questions

    I have only done one cut out. Did not have a vac. Might be useful, but NOT absolutly necessary. Was able to get the queen in the box on some comb. All the bees followed her. Left hive box there a day to get the stragglers and then brought everyone home. Hive is busting now with small cell bees.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: Cutout Questions

    I did SEVERAL cut-outs before I got my vac "perfected" enough that I even felt it to be worth the space in my car...now that it's done, & this version works so amazingly well, I wouldn't dream of leaving it behind!
    It matters a LOT how well your vac works, but a good bee-vac is indispensable.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,811

    Default Re: Cutout Questions

    robherc. I agree. Got a call this morning, (Bad Storm in the area). at 5 AM. 3 ft diameter tree blew down and fell across the road. Scooped up about 5 lbs put in hive and moved them. Placed another hive on the ground, put a good size chunk of brood in the box, a couple handfulls of bees, and left it. Bees were going in so I thought the queen might have been in one of the handfulls I put in the hive,

    Went back about 1 PM and started to vacuum all the crevices of the old tree. Had about 2 lbs of bees, and saw the queen. Caught her, caged her, put her in the hive. Dumped the 2 + pounds from the vac in front of the hive and they went inside. I am going to let all the bees come to her, and then move them tonight. It will be a small colony, but it has the feral queen. I will put a new queen with the 5 lbs or so that I got this morning and have two more colonies from this tree.

    If I had not been using the vac, I don't think I would have ever seen the queen. But as I was vacuuming I saw her. Caught her. There is just no way to get up inside all the crevices of an old tree without a good bee vac.

    cchoganjr

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