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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    80

    Default What's the smell? And did I leave a problem with too many bees?

    I'm not sure if this belongs in a different category, but since I smell it with my caught hive, I wonder if it has something to do with being caught or moved. So, here it goes:

    Late afternoon yesterday, I did my first cut-out. I'm very new at all off this and am pretty much flying by the seat of my pants. The bees were in a cabinet in a barn. I cut the wax off the ceiling of the cabinet and put them in the box, then scooped out all be bees that were in a ball in the corner and dropped them in the box.

    There were many bees left flying around, and I couldn't leave the box and return, so I took what I could and left.

    My first question is this. While doing the cut-out, I noticed an odd almost chemically smell. I don't think it was chemicals, but it was a strange smell. That said, years ago I once witnessed a swarm of bees that flew over my head while I was resting in a hammock. Before I heard the bees, I smelled a strange chemically kind of smell. That's what got my attention. What is this? Some sort of pheromone?

    My next question is about the job I did. I don't have pictures, but looking back, I wonder if I left a problem behind. By the time I got the bees boxed up, there were still bees everywhere. Also, I did not cleanly cut the wax from the ceiling. I cut it maybe an inch or two from the ceiling. I told them that without the queen (who i'm pretty sure I found) they would not rebuild, but if I left enough bees is it possible for them to regroup and make a new queen? Or, is it possible for another swarm to move in? What advice should I give them?

    THanks so much. I want to do right by these people for their sake, and to uphold the reputation of beekeepers.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    fairfield,ohio
    Posts
    674

    Default Re: What's the smell? And did I leave a problem with too many bees?

    If you got the queen, you could have left the hive box there for an hour or less and the bees would have marched right in if she was in the box. Leaving behind comb, the remaining bees will return to the comb. Without 3 day old larve they won't make a new queen.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: What's the smell? And did I leave a problem with too many bees?

    What will happen to the remaining bees? Could they find another hive, or are they doomed?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    787

    Default Re: What's the smell? And did I leave a problem with too many bees?

    They're likely doomed.

    I suggest you go to youtube and look up the channel of "jpthebeeman" and watch all his videos if you are going to be doing cutouts. -js

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,503

    Default Re: What's the smell? And did I leave a problem with too many bees?

    +1 on JP. Even if you are not going to do cutouts, but you are interested in bees, you should watch his videos. I've picked up general bee knowledge from watching his videos. Plus I always find it amazing when he is doing a cutout and the bees are a flying and he has no gear on. I'm not that bold!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: What's the smell? And did I leave a problem with too many bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by dixiebooks View Post
    They're likely doomed.

    ....if you are going to be doing cutouts. -js
    Yeah, I didn't exactly think I'll be doing cut-outs. In the original phone call, I was told that they were bearding on a wall. After we talked more, I started to understand that it was more than she described, and when I saw it, I just went for it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,503

    Default Re: What's the smell? And did I leave a problem with too many bees?

    In this case it was probably a good learning experience for you, but not so much for the bees. Can you go back to the location? You may find them huddled up near any leftover remnants of the hive. Bee vac is good for getting these ladies. If you don't have the queen the bees will all huddle around her and start building again, likely in the exact same location.

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