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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Metamora, IL, United States
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    141

    Default First cutout - what to do with bucket full of bees??

    I am going to do my first cutout this weekend. The bees are in the wall of an old abandoned house. I've built a bee vacuum out of a shop vac and a 5 gallon bucket from some plans I found on-line.

    My question is this:

    If I don't find the queen, and I have a 5 gallon bucket of bees, what is going to encourage the bees to stay in a hive if I try to dump them in? Even if I put frames of comb from the cutout in the hive body, with no queen, I'm afraid I'm going to dump a full bucket of angry bees that end up all over the place...

    All the videos I've watched show how to do the cutout, but not so much what to do with the bees afterwards.

    Should I try to hive them at the sight of the cutout? Or transport them home in the bucket and try to hive them there? It's an hour trip and I'm also afraid they would get too hot in the bucket for that long.

    Any advice is much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    4,224

    Default Re: First cutout - what to do with bucket full of bees??

    You could do a newspaper combining with another colony.

    Spray a little water on the bees in the bucket and cover with some screen or mesh material for the ride home...
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    1,600

    Default Re: First cutout - what to do with bucket full of bees??

    cjfoster - Bring your frames with you. Put a pair of rubber bands on each end of each frames. As you carefully remove comb (I save both brood and capped honey) set it carefully on a table/hive top/ice chest lid/board and lay a frame on top. Cut the comb to be a snug fit, slide it in and rubber band it in place. I try to save all of the brood comb I can and usefully one or two pieces of capped honey. Place all this in the hive box. Now you have two ways to set up.

    1. Bring all this back to your apiary and set the hive box up, take the lid off and dump the bees in. Most of the nurse bees will stay with the brood and they will release a smell that says to everyone "here is home". Most the others will circle in and move in. Have the lid ready and slide it slowly over the hive, leave lid open an inch about 15 to 30 minutes, then close the lid. Keep the opening small for a day until they have repaired everything, resealed the honey leaks, and cleaned up the spilled honey.

    2. Set the frames in the hive box and place it very near the location of the old hive. Then dump the bucket of bees into it. Nurse bees will stay... same thing occurs as with #1. Let them all settle in after dark and duck tape the opening shut. Take them home and open in the morning (with your gear on). You have a new hive.

    I keep the bucket in the shade at all times. I have several buckets made to vacuum into (heat will kill them and you have a mess) and do not fill a bucket very full. No more than about 2 pounds. I also carry my bucket with me in the vehicle in the AC. Kill some in the trunk of a car and in the truck bee. So I drive along in my bee gear on. LOL - you bet I get crazy looks.
    Started 9/13, building slowly, not trying the no treatment anymore

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lamar Co. Alabama, USA
    Posts
    3,392

    Default Re: First cutout - what to do with bucket full of bees??

    I made "frames" for my buckets using 1X2s and stapled window screen onto the "frames" The length varies as they fit into a round bucket and the height is about 3" less than the height of the bucket so there is airspace, depending on the type of bee vac you have. The "frames" give them something to hang on so you don't have a clump of bees in the bottom of the bucket that get over heated. I made my set up so I could take the vac off the top of the bucket and set a hive body with rubber banded brood on top and the bees could go up into the hive body. I cut a hole a little smaller than the bucket top in a piece of plywood and the outside dimensions were the same as a hive box. Pieces of trim keep it from sliding off the top of the bucket. If you had some way to have screen on openings in the sides of the bucket, you could leave them in the bucket in the shade with no problems if it's not too hot. There are many variations of bee vac but it worked for me.
    "Sometimes the best action is no action at all."
    Started 2011, 3-10 frame hives; 2016, 53-8 frame hives.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    1,238

    Default Re: First cutout - what to do with bucket full of bees??

    A bee vac is always handy. Especially your first cutout and more so for inside cutouts. But not 100% necessary. By strapping the brood into frames and placing the box with brood frames as close as you can to the original hive, the bees will move into your box. It is pretty cool to watch.

    Then you can combine or feed to build back up. Whatever you think is best. This late it would be hard to get them built back up for winter.

    Shane

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    4,159

    Default Re: First cutout - what to do with bucket full of bees??

    I found that this design works well for many stiuations. It may be a bit combersome, but it is very versitile.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Snhomish County, WA USA
    Posts
    189

    Default Re: First cutout - what to do with bucket full of bees??

    Quote Originally Posted by cjfoster72 View Post
    My question is this:

    If I don't find the queen, and I have a 5 gallon bucket of bees, what is going to encourage the bees to stay in a hive if I try to dump them in?
    Brood!

    if you have comb from the cutout with brood in it - rubber band it in a frame and throw it in the new hive .

    If you don't have any of their own brood, grab a frame from another hive (shake the bees off) and add that to the new hive

    if you have neither and managed to capture the queen, cage her for a few days, the bees will not leave her, will start with hive ops, and before you know it will consider their new box home and stay.

    If no queen, then you'll need to get one....
    or let them "make" one from supplied eggs (pretty late in year)
    or, if you have other hives, do a newspaper combine (either treat new-comers before adding to an existing hive, or treat the whole hive after the combine is done so you any hitchhikers are done away with before getting a foothold in new hive )

    Sky

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO United States
    Posts
    1,014

    Default Re: First cutout - what to do with bucket full of bees??

    Quote Originally Posted by cjfoster72 View Post
    Should I try to hive them at the sight of the cutout? Or transport them home in the bucket and try to hive them there? It's an hour trip and I'm also afraid they would get too hot in the bucket for that long.
    Yes, I would hive (dump) all of the bees at the site of the cutout, and then maybe one final vacuum once the hive is sealed for transportation (these last few stragglers, on the box/in the cavity) would stay in the OPEN vacuum if it has a cage, if it doesn't they most likely will "fry", or set them close to windows or AC vent. Dump them at the entrance once your hive is set up and opened at its new location. Good Luck, your time is short...
    Please excuse me, I am now free to go manage & treat :)
    my ladies the best way I know how.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Metamora, IL, United States
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: First cutout - what to do with bucket full of bees??

    Thanks all. I realize timing is bad, but the home owners need the bees gone. I am helping them out and getting some learning experience under my belt. I'm not charging them, but if I continue to do these in the future, what is a reasonable charge? I realize it would vary by situation.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO United States
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    1,014

    Default Re: First cutout - what to do with bucket full of bees??

    Quote Originally Posted by cjfoster72 View Post
    Thanks all. I realize timing is bad, but the home owners need the bees gone. I'm not charging them, but if I continue to do these in the future, what is a reasonable charge? I realize it would vary by situation.
    If I had just one dollar for every time a homeowner told me that, You will learn quickly, that the amount of work (pre, during, & post) and time that is involved in a cutout, anything is reasonable if that is what you want to do it for. However, FREE is never reasonable for me. Also remember that there is always a percentage of bees that do not survive the relocation, especially as Fall approaches,.. Free has now put you in the RED.
    Please excuse me, I am now free to go manage & treat :)
    my ladies the best way I know how.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Metamora, IL, United States
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: First cutout - what to do with bucket full of bees??

    It's all in perspective I suppose. To me, the experience itself is some sort of payment. I would not feel comfortable charging someone for services I've never performed before. In addition, I know someone that got close to 100 lbs of honey out of a cut out. At $7/lb, that is quite a nice payment in itself....along with the satisfaction of helping someone for FREE! That in itself is rewarding to some!

    Thanks!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Colorado Springs, CO United States
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    1,014

    Default Re: First cutout - what to do with bucket full of bees??

    Quote Originally Posted by cjfoster72 View Post
    In addition, I know someone that got close to 100 lbs of honey out of a cut out. At $7/lb, that is quite a nice payment in itself....along with the satisfaction of helping someone for FREE!
    My perspective is there are a lot of risk involved for the beek, and liability insurance is a must. Someone still can sue you, even though you did it for FREE, if they feel you damaged their structure.
    Keeping cutout honey edible for human consumption is another can of worms,...
    Please excuse me, I am now free to go manage & treat :)
    my ladies the best way I know how.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Champaign, Illinois
    Posts
    1,641

    Default Re: First cutout - what to do with bucket full of bees??

    My advice is to reschedule your cutout for spring. Come back and do it then and by then maybe you'll have all the tools and know-how and a realistic idea of what it takes to do a cutout.

    Right now, I would not do it, my friends would not do it either, and we're all experienced at doing cutouts. I could set you up with some free cutouts if you really want but I'm not going. It's too late and the bees are meaner than... I'm not scheduling any cutouts until spring UNLESS the word "emergency" is used and then my rate triples and I will attack the problem like a fireman.

    You might want to think this over a while and it's not legal to sell honey from a cutout. Feed it back to your bees and then sell it. (whole other issue there)

    Oh, do not fill your bucket full of bees or they will die for certain. You have to gauge how many you got and keep it less than half full. A good size colony could take two or three buckets. Vacuum only an hour or hour and a half tops and go slow cuz you're looking for the queen. How you going to catch her and what you going to do with her? PM me and I'll show you a easy way to catch your queen. Finding her is on you.
    Internet credibility is an oxymoron

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lamar Co. Alabama, USA
    Posts
    3,392

    Default Re: First cutout - what to do with bucket full of bees??

    Quote Originally Posted by fieldsofnaturalhoney View Post
    My perspective is there are a lot of risk involved for the beek, and liability insurance is a must. Someone still can sue you, even though you did it for FREE, if they feel you damaged their structure.
    Keeping cutout honey edible for human consumption is another can of worms,...
    Agree with fields. Also, it's illegal in some states to sell honey that "does not come from a HIVE." I always give cutout honey back to the hive it came from. Seeing some of the stuff that's in the walls and attics of old buildings, I wouldn't want to eat any of it.
    "Sometimes the best action is no action at all."
    Started 2011, 3-10 frame hives; 2016, 53-8 frame hives.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    4,159

    Default Re: First cutout - what to do with bucket full of bees??

    Quote Originally Posted by cjfoster72 View Post
    It's all in perspective I suppose. To me, the experience itself is some sort of payment. I would not feel comfortable charging someone for services I've never performed before. In addition, I know someone that got close to 100 lbs of honey out of a cut out. At $7/lb, that is quite a nice payment in itself....along with the satisfaction of helping someone for FREE! That in itself is rewarding to some!

    Thanks!
    I'm pretty sure it is illegal to sell cutout honey in most if not all the states.
    Keep in mind that a removal will run about 6-7 hours with prep, to cutout, to final clean up back at the shop. Free doesn't pay bills last I knew. There are not a lot of removal companies out there and it is a small niche service we provide. It is also a necessary service in most instances. Most often when you ask the prospective client if they would relish the idea of not getting paid for 6-7 hours of work, they change their perspective rather quickly.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    1,600

    Default Re: First cutout - what to do with bucket full of bees??

    "Most often when you ask the prospective client if they would relish the idea of not getting paid for 6-7 hours of work, they change their perspective rather quickly."

    I am going to steal that line.
    Started 9/13, building slowly, not trying the no treatment anymore

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Champaign, Illinois
    Posts
    1,641

    Default Re: First cutout - what to do with bucket full of bees??

    Quote Originally Posted by marshmasterpat View Post
    "Most often when you ask the prospective client if they would relish the idea of not getting paid for 6-7 hours of work WITH LIVE BEES THAT STING, they change their perspective rather quickly."

    I am going to steal that line.
    Edited it a little.
    Internet credibility is an oxymoron

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Cazadero, California
    Posts
    336

    Default Re: First cutout - what to do with bucket full of bees??

    ..but you get rich off the honey them free bees make

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Metamora, IL, United States
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: First cutout - what to do with bucket full of bees??

    I suppose my position is a bit different than some of yours. I have a full time job outside of beekeeping that pays the bills. This is a hobby to me. I enjoy it. I've never done a cutout, so this is a learning experience. I've been stung many times and I expect I will tomorrow. If I was afraid of getting stung, I wouldn't keep bees!

    Even if I don't charge money, I am still getting paid. I am getting free bees, free education and the satisfaction of helping someone. Now - if I did cutouts for a living and I needed to rely on it as a source of income to pay the bills, yes I may charge. And once I get some experience under my belt, yes I may charge - maybe.

    But it's gonna be fun!!!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Colorado Springs, CO United States
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    1,014

    Default Re: First cutout - what to do with bucket full of bees??

    Quote Originally Posted by fieldsofnaturalhoney View Post
    Keeping cutout honey edible for human consumption is another can of worms,...
    Did I write worms?, I so meant to type bees
    cjfoster, don't count the bees as "free" until they make their first winter. With your free education will come the realization of how much work and skill is involved, and you just can't do them all for free. Not to mention, I have went behind many beeks "free jobs", were they abandoned the job, couldn't/didn't get all of the comb/bees, or couldn't identify where in the structure the colony was located after tearing apart needless exterior walls. Good Luck and keep us posted, I trust you will get all the education & satisfaction after just this one
    Last edited by fieldsofnaturalhoney; 09-08-2015 at 09:40 AM.
    Please excuse me, I am now free to go manage & treat :)
    my ladies the best way I know how.

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