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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Miami, FL
    Posts
    131

    Default Cut outs, drone comb

    I am running into hives that have large amounts of drone comb. Bees are swarming before I get to them. Do most people cull the drone comb during a cut out?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,311

    Default Re: Cut outs, drone comb

    I cull 90-95% of ALL the comb during a cut-out. I really just save 2-3 frames worth of brood with maybe a couple little patches of drone, and some scattered nectar & pollen interspersed in the brood (the younger the better) comb. That way, I know I'm not giving the bees more comb than they can defend (I learned that the hard way...lost my first 3-4 cut-out hives due to that screw-up), but I AM giving them enough nectar+pollen to keep everyone healthy for a couple days, and giving them some young brood and (hopefully) eggs to anchor them, and for them to raise a new queen from in case their queen got injured during the cut out


    P.S. I'm the only guy doing cut-outs (that I know of) in a 5-county area here in coastal South Texas, so I have had lots of opportunity to learn from my multitude of mistakes

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Miami, FL
    Posts
    131

    Default Re: Cut outs, drone comb

    I have been culling the majority of the comb as well. The cut out I just did was full of bees. It was about 10 ft high by 2 ft wide by 8 " depth. There had to be at least 60,000+ bees. I ended up rubberbanding drone comb, and any decent pieces out of my cull comb bucket. I figured they needed something to stand on. That is if they don't take off.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,311

    Default Re: Cut outs, drone comb

    BTW, how many cut-outs do you do? Are you doing for-profit removals; or just one every now & then?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Miami, FL
    Posts
    131

    Default Re: Cut outs, drone comb

    There are a lot of bee removers around here. They charge a lot and I usually get the folks who can't afford to pay someone. I do it as a hobby and for the experience. I might be crazy but I don't charge. They are just an exhausting but thrilling experience. With that being said I do one every couple weeks or so but things are picking up and doing more lately. I kind of want to get it down to a science, but not there yet

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,311

    Default Re: Cut outs, drone comb

    Well, I'll refrain from commenting on the craziness of doing removals for free.... lol

    Anywise, you should REALLY get yourself a good bee vac; bought or built, ether way. From personal experience I can tell you that doing a removal WITH a bee vac just "feels like cheating" compared to doing a removal WITHOUT one! (and, as a fringe-benefit, any bee vac with top bars, or frames, inside can be used as a temporary [or a couple even as a permanent] hive for the girls, reducing absconding problems).

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