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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    15

    Default What do you do when encountering african bees for a cutout?

    So I attempted my second cutout. Didn't go well this time. The bees were in the end box of a patio bench. I smoked them, then moved the box back so that the bench slide out more of the opening that was also their hive entrance.

    They went crazy. I was protected and did not get stung. But they followed me for ever and for along time.

    Has anyone been in that situation? Do you go forward with the cutout or did you just kill the bees?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Weatherford,Texas,USA
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: What do you do when encountering african bees for a cutout?

    I have done some removals where they bees were very aggressive. If you have started the removal and it is at some ones home, I think you should complete it.
    If this is near some ones home and you have aggravated the bees they could be a danger to the home owners
    "It's better to die upon your feet than to live upon your knees!" Zapata

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    3,044

    Default Re: What do you do when encountering african bees for a cutout?

    If you took on the job finish it. I would change my game plan and get a bee vac ASAP though. Also, even in Arizona, the bees are probably more defensive now than spring or summer.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO United States
    Posts
    420

    Default Re: What do you do when encountering african bees for a cutout?

    Bkeech, Time to put your big pants on Doing cutouts you never know how happy or unhappy the bees will be about their rescue, afterall they do not see the need of relocating. If you find out they are africanized you could requeen in the Spring, that is of course if they make it, seems kind of late for a cutout. Don't kill the bees

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Re: What do you do when encountering african bees for a cutout?

    Most of the time you cannot tell whether they are African or European. That comes after watching their hive behavior. All bees defend their hive. The differences aren't as great in the US as they are elsewhere. Most of the time I can only really tell when they are really "runny" after I get them home. If you can't handle them or judge them to be a public menace - soap them down.
    NM desert/mountain beekeeper - Black Mesa Honeybees.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    dallas, tx, usa
    Posts
    523

    Default Re: What do you do when encountering african bees for a cutout?

    Just a note. I would avoid any cut-outs in residential areas. You are going to open up a wall in a subdivision and have all hell break loose with 20 houses within 100 ft. If it is a large hot colony you will be in trouble. It sounds like you should maybe get some more experience before tackling any serious cut-outs. Any questions just ask.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Ft Myers, Fl 33967
    Posts
    185

    Default Re: What do you do when encountering african bees for a cutout?

    You had a suit on and did not get stung. Why did you quit? All bees get nasty when you destroy their home, blow foul smelly smoke in their face and take away their children and their food.
    Don't ever open a nest and walk away leaving a few thousand angry bees looking for somebody to take their revenge on.
    Find a mentor and get some knowledge before you get someone hurt.
    If you can't work in the heat, get out of the kitchen.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,134

    Default Re: What do you do when encountering african bees for a cutout?

    Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. I found myself in a situation a lot like the one you describe, and I was unprepared. The biggest hint was that I couldn't see much through my veil because the bees were mobbing me. Since that experience, I will not go out for any kind of takeout or even to get a swarm without a bottle of soapy water that I can easily put in a sprayer and either kill a colony or clean up those last few bees that always avoid the vacuum and insist on staying home.

    I take no pleasure in killing bees, but occasionally, I mean rarely, there is enough human and pet traffic that you must act to insure safety in the area. A good colony of bees can have a bad day when the stars align just right.

    Join a local bee club. Tag along on a few cut outs (its fun). Watch JPthebeeman on youtube.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Re: What do you do when encountering african bees for a cutout?

    Yes, I ALWAYS have soapy water. Even for my own hives.
    NM desert/mountain beekeeper - Black Mesa Honeybees.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Vernon, AZ. USA
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: What do you do when encountering african bees for a cutout?

    About 75% of the wild bees in AZ are africanized, and are very common to find on a cut out task. I catch swarms and use swarm-lures, in AZ. Beekeeping in AZ means coping with them. I currently have some hives that were wild, and mean, showing the traits of africanized bees.. They were usurped, by other wild bees that are much milder disposition. Since usurping hives is a common africanized bee trait, do I now have nicer africanized bees? In AZ., your need will be to stay always protected, and to look out for anyone within 500 yards. You would be very upset, ( and possibly arrested) if you were to accidently harm some kids, or neighbors. Here's a good rule of thumb: If you start the bee job, finish it. I was taught that, years ago, about work in bee-yards. It seems doubly important for cutout work. The good thing, is that some of those hybrids are really good bees. Even with the attitude!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Re: What do you do when encountering african bees for a cutout?

    Yes - do not fear them. Just treat them as the wild animals that they are.
    NM desert/mountain beekeeper - Black Mesa Honeybees.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Batesville, Mississippi
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: What do you do when encountering african bees for a cutout?

    Just out of curiosity.... What would you need soapy water for? What does it do?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO United States
    Posts
    420

    Default Re: What do you do when encountering african bees for a cutout?

    Sudden death?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Re: What do you do when encountering african bees for a cutout?

    It is a bee killer. Soapy water kills them instantly.
    NM desert/mountain beekeeper - Black Mesa Honeybees.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,712

    Default Re: What do you do when encountering african bees for a cutout?

    Spraying bees with soapy water will kill them. The soapy water method is only as a last resort - if you have no alternative.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Batesville, Mississippi
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: What do you do when encountering african bees for a cutout?

    Gotcha... Learn something new everyday. Thanks

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Abq, NM
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: What do you do when encountering african bees for a cutout?

    Some people advocate spraying soapy water to kill the bees.
    I understand this is a last resort option, but do you think this could be avoided most of the time if, instead of using a smoker, one uses a propolis essential oil salve over one's gloves (if one uses gloves) and suit (if any) when extraction or cut out begins that puts the defensive colony in a super chill state?
    Wouldn't this reduce the need for bees to consume their last drops of honey especially if the cut out is during winter time?

    I am referring to the 2006 thread by George Fergusson called, Propolis Oil: Ephiphany, for Beekeepers?
    Last edited by mountainbeek; 01-15-2014 at 06:15 PM. Reason: grammar

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,712

    Default Re: What do you do when encountering african bees for a cutout?

    My opinion is that a smoker is a time-tested way to work bees, and that it is unlikely that any combination of propolis oil/essential oils is going to work better than smoke.

    However, the thread regarding Propolis Oil that is linked in post #17 is a real hoot to read! Thanks for linking it. Note that at least some of the posts in the Propolis thread are tongue-in-cheek.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Whitla Ab. Canada
    Posts
    489

    Default Re: What do you do when encountering african bees for a cutout?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    Spraying bees with soapy water will kill them. The soapy water method is only as a last resort - if you have no alternative.
    Graham would you know what the soap to water ratio is and what kind of soap?
    Thanks in advance. As an aside we are expecting 50 degree temps on Saturday, maybe I'll be able to see if the girls are alive or not.
    Colino
    But every sunday afternoon he is a dirt track demon
    In a '57 chevrolet- Jim Croce

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,712

    Default Re: What do you do when encountering african bees for a cutout?

    I have never had occasion to mix up a batch, but here is a link with more info:
    http://citybugs.tamu.edu/factsheets/...bees/ent-3002/
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

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