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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    795

    Default AHH Help please.

    So I've done 2 cut outs before and one was on this same house. Here's a few pictures. First their entrance. . .

    Now inside what I first saw. . .


    Then 1/2 of the way through. This comb is about the debth of 2 deep frames on the right going to about 1-1/2 deeps on the left. . .


    So here's my problem. This isn't the only section of the hive or at least they're now not in this section. There was a spot about 2" square in the back near the roof where they could go up into the roof portion. The problem is it's a old cedar roof so I don't want to go through the roof, and the room on the opposite side is plasterd. This house is probably about 200 + years old. I filled 6 deep frames with brood (and about another 2 fell to the ground) along with about 1 gallon (3 or so frames worth) of honey. For those who have done this before what would you do at this point? If I go through the roof I'm concerned about the comb collapsing as I pull it up and if I go through the wall inside I'm concerned about first off getting the plaster fixed and second not sure of the structure of the house and if I'll even be able to get to it.
    In your experience, what is the likelyhood that the hive has more brood built in the upper section? In what I took out there was brood of all stages and plenty of it. Can I just use a bee vac and hope that it gets them all out?

    Please help with any thought you have.
    Last edited by delber; 07-16-2012 at 10:30 AM. Reason: clarification and more questions

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Pinellass County, Florida
    Posts
    1,077

    Default Re: AHH Help please.

    How bout you close it all up and trap the rest out
    Then when complete open and let them rob it
    watch carefully, than close it up for good

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    795

    Default Re: AHH Help please.

    I thought of this also. My concern is that one of the combs that fell on the ground I looked at the next day and there was a SHB larva on it and it wasn't small. It was full sized which has me concerned. If the hive is 2x the size of what I already removed then I'm concerned that I won't be able to get the honey out before it goes bad from the SHB.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    795

    Default Re: AHH Help please.

    Well I borrowed a bee vac from my local club (Man I'm thankful for them.) and depending upon where they are I'll use that. Otherwise I'll plan on the trapout. Those seem to be the only options. Has anyone had problems with SHB when they've done a trapout? That is my major concern. I don't want honey (or whatever else) to be running down the interior of the house.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Ft Myers, Fl 33967
    Posts
    152

    Default Re: AHH Help please.

    I am in SW Florida and have done 5 cutouts in the last six weeks. SHB were in all of them. You will suck them up along with the bees when you use a vacuum. They will lay their eggs as soon as they get in the new box and you will have larva in two days. I learned to put the bees in one box and the comb in another and use lots of traps in both. After three days, if they are both clean I put them together. You have to keep the ants out of both boxes.
    I built my own vacuum boxes out of 1 x 12 Pine and they are big enough to hold 10 lang frams one way and 10 TB frames the other way s the are about 20" square and are 11 1/2 tall inside. I put the intake hole down in the left corner of one face and the outlet to the vacuum in the upper right corner. The large volume inside the box and the change in direction causes the bees to drop out of the airflow without hurting them. I use a smooth transparent suction hose. To transfer the bees to a hive or another box I put a piece of the plastic pipe between the vacuum and the hive box and let the bees walk into the hive.
    Regards
    Joe

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    795

    Default Re: AHH Help please.

    Update:

    Well I went out last night only to find an empty cavity. They absconded sometime Monday or Tuesday. The hive that I had put their comb in was about 1/2 full of SHB larva. Thankfully the hive wasn't bigger than what you can see in the pictures, but it is a major bummer that I didn't have a bee vac at the time!!! I probably could have gotten the hive if I would have had this. So the homeowner is happy because the bees are gone, I'm slightly happy as I got paid for the job, I'm not happy as I didn't get the bees but sometime you'll have this I guess. Note to self (and any others out there) when you do a cut-out make sure to leave an EMPTY bait hive on the property to catch the swarm!!!! Well I've learned from this cut-out.
    1. Make sure to put a tarp down when you're doing the cut-out. Even if it's outside as robber bees can come (or the bees in the hive) and cause a ruccous on the ground.
    2. Get a bee vac for the next cut-out
    3. Make sure you have the homeowner sign a contract before you start any work. (Even if you have prior work experience with them) I was shocked to find that this lady was so upset that the bees wern't out of her house and she wanted me to just close it up. Even after telling her the problems if there was any honey / brood left in the roof she said "that's not reasonable".

    That's the lessons for now. Thanks for all your help guys.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Springfield, MO, USA
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: AHH Help please.

    A bee vac doesnt' work that way. I do about 30 cut outs a year. The bee vac only helps get straggler bees and bees off the edges. If it is used for taking bees off the combs or during the middle of a cut out, then honey gets into the vac tube. Then the bees are dragged through a sticky tube and the vac box ends up full of dismembered, sticky, dying bees. And, it smells terrible. bee vacs are wonderful tools, but they cannot be used to simply suck a hive of bees out of a wall.

    The solution to your problem would have been to go through the plaster wall to begin with. Tell the homeowner that they will have to get some other professional to repair the wall (you do bees, other professionals do drywall work).

    Secondly, don't work from a ladder - use scaffolding. It is much easier to do the work. Much less damage to the bees and comb because you can use both hands and are well balanced. Plus, all the hive equipment can be up there with you.

    Third, don't leave a removal when there are obviously places where the bees are escaping into. Follow up until you find them all.

    I've learned a lot (read: made a lot of these mistakes) over the last 12 years of removals. It is a steep learning curve (unfortunately, I've lost my footing and fallen back down the curve a couple of times!!)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    795

    Default Re: AHH Help please.

    Thanks for the thoughts Maddox. What you see in the picture is only one of 2 ladders. I was working from scaffold that uses ladder jacks to hold up. I honestly dont' have any idea how someone would try to do it from a ladder either!!!

    I wish you were closer to me here I'd love to tag along with you a few times to watch / help you with your cut-outs. I find that there are very few here that will do cut outs. That's good for me, but leaves things open for a busy summer. I've had to turn down jobs this summer because I couldn't do it.

    Question concerning bee vacs. . . I've watched utube videos where guys have literally vaccumed all of the bees up on the face of the comb, then cut it out and put it in a box. I gather you don't do this, but I'm curious how / when you would use a vac. What I ran into was that the bees actually didn't have more comb built in the roof, but just fled there as I came up into their hive. Other than using a vac on this job I honestly don't know how I would have gotten the bees out other than totally ripping up her house. I know that a vac. won't suck them out of a hive, but if they are (as in this situation) just hanging out / hiding from me would that have worked?

    "follow up until you find them all". By this I assume that you would have continued to cut into the house? I was trying to save her the money and not have to have her replace the roof. She's a sweet older woman that I have done a job for her in the past. How do you get around that?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Ft Myers, Fl 33967
    Posts
    152

    Default Re: AHH Help please.

    Maddox,
    I agree with most of what you say. But i would argue that a vac can be used to collect bees all the way through a cut out. The quality of the vac and the technique used to collect the bees can make a huge difference.
    You don't want to get the end of the hose to close to the ground or the floor so that it picks up debris and if you keep the hose off the comb by 1/4" to 1/2" you can collect a lot of bees with coating the tube with honey.
    I use a clear plastic hose 1" ID and if the hose starts to get dirty I can either change out hoses or go get a garden hose and flush it out.
    I built and tried about 5 different designs before I got a vac that would collect bees without killing them. I have two vac boxes that I use. They are made out of 1 x 12 Pine and will hold 10 Lang frames in one direction or 10 TBH bars in the other direction because I use both style boxes. They are 11 1/4" deep inside. I have an 1 1/4" intake hole in the bottom left corner of one side of the box and a 2 1/4' exhaust hole in the upper right corner of the same side. The large volume inside the box reduces the speed of the air flow and the 180 degree turn in air flow gives the bees a chance to drop out of the airflow without hurting them.
    I use one vacuum to collect the bees and the other box to put the comb in. This make the job a lot neater and easier. When I am done, I take a short piece of hose and connect the two boxes. The bees walk from one box to the other one that has the comb in it. Or I can take them to the yard and put the comb in a regular hive and let the bees walk into it. Saves a lot of hassle.
    Regards
    Joe

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Bon Aqua, Tn USA
    Posts
    330

    Default Re: AHH Help please.

    Watch a few of these by JPthebeeman on utube and he uses the bee vac to remove many hives of bees. Watch a few, he's got over 200 on there. You can find even how to make a bee vac, to regulate the suction of your vac is important. http://www.youtube.com/user/JPthebeeman

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