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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Navarro county, Texas, USA
    Posts
    109

    Default Tips for queen locating on cutouts

    Hello guys, I know how to spot a queen in a langstroth hive. But when your doing a cutout (including using a beevac) what is best way to locate her? I read some threads, and I tried leaving the 2 inner combs intact and hoping she was there. I didn't locate her. Originally I also didn't know how far in the combs went. So what I'm getting at. If you can't locate a queen and you go home with a box of combs rubber banded in the frames and a bunch of bees in a ball (beevac) how the heck can you find her the best way? I'm asking because I would like to find the queen and kill her so I can add them to another hive with newspaper OR requeen altogether.

    I have found out recently that cutouts are totally different than working them in a commercial hive. (I'm fairly new as well) thanks for sharing any tips and secrets.
    "If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn't thinking."
    - General George Patton

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,676

    Default Re: Tips for queen locating on cutouts

    What's the hurry to re queen? Place the cut out into the hive and check later.
    Why re queen in the first place? Let her multiply and make two to three splits.
    Place her a nuc with a couple frames of her brood.
    It's always a good idea to have an extra queen or two around.
    Dude.... the possibilities are endless. Open your mind to the options.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,404

    Default Re: Tips for queen locating on cutouts

    I've only done two cut outs but was lucky enough to find both queens. All I did was start from the outside comb and work in, removing each comb as I went, then as I got closer to the inner most combs and started seeing eggs I would check a little closer. No expert here, just been lucky I guess.
    Coyote Creek Bees

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Navarro county, Texas, USA
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: Tips for queen locating on cutouts

    Thanks MrBeeman, my main reason is, I have commercial queens and bees coming in from beeweaver, and I built 3 10 frame langs, and 1 top bar hive. 1 was just filled with the cutout I just did, my commercial bees I bought are coming in in about 3 weeks. And I just got called on another cutout. My wife would kill me if I go spending any more money right now. I wish I wouldn't have bought bees. Looks like I'm going to get all the free ones I want

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    787

    Default Re: Tips for queen locating on cutouts

    Quote Originally Posted by whiskeytripping View Post
    Thanks MrBeeman, my main reason is, I have commercial queens and bees coming in from beeweaver, and I built 3 10 frame langs, and 1 top bar hive. 1 was just filled with the cutout I just did, my commercial bees I bought are coming in in about 3 weeks. And I just got called on another cutout. My wife would kill me if I go spending any more money right now. I wish I wouldn't have bought bees. Looks like I'm going to get all the free ones I want
    There's one reason I've never bought a bee. Besides, I trust the genetics and survivability of the cut-out bees more that bought bees. (Based not on my own experience but that of others.) Can you cancel the order? I'm sure the supplier has more orders than he can fill, anyway. Another option: put an ad in the newsletter of your local association or your local craigslist to re-sell those bought packages just as soon as they come in. You may be able to sell them at a bit of profit if the demand outstrips supply again this year. -js

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,103

    Default Re: Tips for queen locating on cutouts

    Quote Originally Posted by whiskeytripping View Post
    Thanks MrBeeman, my main reason is, I have commercial queens and bees coming in from beeweaver, and I built 3 10 frame langs, and 1 top bar hive. 1 was just filled with the cutout I just did, my commercial bees I bought are coming in in about 3 weeks. And I just got called on another cutout. My wife would kill me if I go spending any more money right now. I wish I wouldn't have bought bees. Looks like I'm going to get all the free ones I want
    You need some NUC boxes, they will tide you over for a few months while you get more equipment.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Tips for queen locating on cutouts

    Regarding Nuc boxes, I know they are not too big of a deal to build from scrap lumber, but I saw Western Bee has them for about $13, that includes the top, the box, and the bottom.. you put it all together and paint it. I think that's a pretty good deal!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,404

    Default Re: Tips for queen locating on cutouts

    Dandio,

    $13 is not bad, but figure in shipping and it goes up even more. You can build four Coates nucs out of a sheet of plywood for about $6 a piece, at California lumber prices. I am actually making mine out of cedar now and can easily make those nucs for about $5 a piece, then again, I use scraps for tops and bottoms.

    If you don't have time or don't like working with wood, then purchasing the nucs is a viable solution. I have time when it's dark and it's good family time when the kids help paint them!
    Coyote Creek Bees

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Navarro county, Texas, USA
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: Tips for queen locating on cutouts

    For some reason, bee supplies are very costly. The hives alone are costly (even though I built them all myself) but then wax foundations and frames on top of that? It's very expensive. From here on out I'm charging $150 flat fee for cutouts in houses. That way it will go to building new hives. This hobby is addictive

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    967

    Default Re: Tips for queen locating on cutouts

    I've bought some very good queens.

    But the best queen I've had came from a cutout.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    977

    Default Re: Tips for queen locating on cutouts

    Quote Originally Posted by whiskeytripping View Post
    This hobby is addictive
    I agree 100%!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Tips for queen locating on cutouts

    Besides the idea of leaving a comb attached for a while to see if she moves to it, another idea would be to slow down and look for the areas that the bees are clumping up as you go. Poke around in those clumps and see if she is in there (have a queen clip handy). Take another couple of combs and stop again to poke around for her - even in the daylight a nice flashlight is handy to try to spot her if you are working in a dark corner. When you get about half way done you might start to notice areas that the bees will be able to run to that are going to be hard to get them from - I like to lightly squirt a little repellant in those areas so I don't have to chase them around later (X oz Almond Extract, X oz Tea Tree Oil, 2X Alcohol). Be careful not to get any too close to or on the colony itself, as I'm sure it would make things more difficult for you. I try to use that stuff to do a little preventative corralling.

    Also, Start off with a little smoke before you get their cavity opened but try to not use it after unless they are acting very poorly - smoke can make queenie run

    Good luck!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    787

    Default Re: Tips for queen locating on cutouts

    Quote Originally Posted by whiskeytripping View Post
    For some reason, bee supplies are very costly. The hives alone are costly (even though I built them all myself) but then wax foundations and frames on top of that? It's very expensive. From here on out I'm charging $150 flat fee for cutouts in houses. That way it will go to building new hives. This hobby is addictive
    $150 may be alright for starters - on simple cutouts. But I wouldn't go quoting a firm price until you've seen what you're up against. I had one job I charged $450 for that should have been three times that amount. -js

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Navarro county, Texas, USA
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: Tips for queen locating on cutouts

    I'm just gonna be stuck with a bunch of bees with no where to put them. If I can remove the queen, I can add them. I also have some buddies in this little bee club I'm in that could use them maybe (if they have any spare hives) the cutouts are kinda fun to do though. It's like cat fishing. You never know how big of a one your gonna hook. I've done 3 cutouts total over the years, the more you get the word out, the more people call
    Last edited by whiskeytripping; 03-11-2013 at 08:21 PM. Reason: Add

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Navarro county, Texas, USA
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: Tips for queen locating on cutouts

    Thanks for all the info. I did to go easy on the smoke. The were tearing me up pretty good (about 3 stings at a time on my hands) after about 20 stings I used my beevac with VERY low suction, works very good with little bee loss. But it will take the queen easily too. I'm pretty sure I got her alright. I will check for eggs in a week. But they are working away removing dead bees from the hive and feeding well. Normally they don't seem as active when they don't have a queen

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Navarro county, Texas, USA
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: Tips for queen locating on cutouts

    Heck I figured I was robbing them at that price. I also don't do repairs either. And I let them know up front. And NOONE has any complaints. They just want them gone. I also wouldn't tackle anything that would interfere with the structure. Just panels to take down so far.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    787

    Default Re: Tips for queen locating on cutouts

    I don't do repairs, either. I have no desire to go into the construction business. I think that would require a license, insurance, etc. I do have a bit of construction background so I try to do as little damage as possible while keeping in mind the poor sap who will be coming behind me to do the repairs. The contract I use has all this in it, so they know it up front. -js

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Pinellass County, Florida
    Posts
    1,115

    Default Re: Tips for queen locating on cutouts

    Put your bees through a shaker box
    You'll find the queen if she is,there

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