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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    St. Petersburg, fl, USA
    Posts
    179

    Default Mobile Home cut out

    This is the first time I have tried uploading pictures from Dropbox. If they don't show up someone tell me how to do this-remember use small simple words and assume I know nothing about computers.
    Anyway we did our first cut out under a mobile home New Years day We have always shied away from these jobs because the idea of working in tight spaces in the dark with bunch of pissed off bees just did not appeal to me. The customer was one of the Canadian winter visitor who come south every fall to escape the frigid north. According to the neighbors the bees had been there most of the summer. When Dave and his wife arrived in November they noticed a few bees but thought they were just foragers. Then one morning they noticed lot of bees. I guess at that time the neighbor piped up and told them about the big swarm they had seen earlier in the summer. So Dave started looking to get rid of the bees. Somewhere along he way he ran into a friend of mine and my name came up as a possible solution. I went and looked, and since this time of year we don't get as many calls I let my need for income talk me into doing the Mobile home. For those of you who are not familiar with them mobile homes are anything but mobile except when they are first delivered.The homes roll up in sections about 11 feet wide. then they are set up on blocks and the sections joined together and wheels and axles are removed. Usually the owners put some sort of skirt around the bottom to deter varmints In this case decorative blocks. So the first order of business was make an opening to get underneath so we moved several blocks and climbed under-no bees visible! When they build these things they put particle board floors then insulation then a fiberboard o hard board covering. So we pulled down fiberboard and insulation and still no bees. We had Dave go inside and pound on the walls and floor, we watched the bees come and go and we still could not find the hive. After a bout two hours we were ready to give up. I already had my veil off and was ready to start loading. I decided to make one more search. So I took a jimmy bar and crawled way under past all the area we had opened. I started wacking the fiberboard as I moved further in. Suddenly about 6 feet in I heard a strong humming noise and when I put my hand up to the fiberboard I could feel vibration and a warm spot. As I started to back out the girls sent out a delegation to speak to me and I scooted out really quickly. I got stung a few times but luckily none on the face.
    We veiled up and I took the sawsall under and cut a hole the fiberboard. From there it was just a matter of vacuuming the bees and cutting down the comb. My wife, Becky took the second shift underneath finishing the vacuuming and passing the comb back to me. Aside from the comb we kept for the bees with brood and honey we ended up with a 5 gallon bucket of very new comb full of honey. I am guessing we will end up with better than a gallon of very pretty wild flower honey. When we finished Becky was the biggest gooiest mess from her waist up where honey had dribbled on her as she did the cut outs.
    Hopefully the pictures came thru Again if they don't some one help me out here.


    https://www.dropbox.com/s/xswyb2g0d9...%20%281%29.JPG https://www.dropbox.com/s/4mabg522qa...%20%281%29.JPG https://www.dropbox.com/s/6okj511s2y...%20%281%29.JPG
    Last edited by jimsteelejr; 01-04-2014 at 02:21 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Whitla Ab. Canada
    Posts
    334

    Default Re: Mobile Home cut out

    Hello Jim:
    Open the dropbox folder on your desktop by clicking the little blue box icon, find your picture, or folder, right click on it and a drop down menu will appear choose "share dropbox link" left click to copy to your clip board, then paste it to your post on bee source by using the link icon there. At least that is how it works with windows, I'm not sure about Apple. Once you get used to using dropbox you'll wonder how you ever got along without it. Hope it helps.
    Colino
    Last edited by Colino; 01-04-2014 at 09:47 AM.
    A Bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it rains.- Robert Frost

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    546

    Default Re: Mobile Home cut out

    "When we finished Becky was the biggest gooiest mess from her waist up where honey had dribbled on her as she did the cut outs."

    I know what you mean. The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th cut outs I did were under trailers. Then I noticed that none of the videos of cut outs I have seen show them doing the comb removal under trailers. Before and afterwards, yup, but not removing combs. And the afterward photos are shots of them without suits. Suits that are now covered with honey drippings.

    Let us know if you got the queen. So far I am 0 for 4 on cut outs, checking for the queen in my 5th one as soon as temperatures hit 50 today. .
    Started 9/13, building slowly, now @ 7 Lang hives + 3 nucs, and treatment style not decided yet

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    St. Petersburg, fl, USA
    Posts
    179

    Default Re: Mobile Home cut out

    We use a bee vac. We vacuum as many bees as we can on the out side of the comb then work our way in from both outsides. The queen generally runs to the middle of the brood comb so if we go from outside in we usually get the queen. When it looks like we are all done we wait about 15 minutes and watch for a ball of bees to form. If we missed the queen we usually get her then. Our biggest problem this time of year is chilling. The brood gets cold and dies so there is a lag before the hive begins to grow again. We usually check the hive after a week and clean out dead bees and comb that the bees have not cleaned. I would say we get the queen about 75% of the time but overall about 50% of the cutouts really do well.
    We have found that closing up all entrances for several days helps anchor them. If we don't then we have a lot just pick up and leave. We have also found that you have to be very careful to adjust your suction so that it is just enough to pick up the bees. Too much and you end up with a lot of dead or injured bees. I think the next cut out (maybe sunday if I get a call back) I will ball up several paper towels loosely in the vac box so the bees have something to absorb the impact of landing in the box.
    By the way according to the state dept of agriculture more than 70 % of the feral bees are "Africanized". Maybee they have some African genetics, maybe that keeps them mite resistant but we have yet to find a hot hive. We always prepare like they are going to be hot but usually by the time we start cutting comb I am down to pants and a shirt licking my fingers.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,457

    Default Re: Mobile Home cut out

    Nice pics. They look gentle for the most part.
    What worked for me to keep the honey dripage to a minimum, was to use an old small drywall mud knife (6") and carefully remove the entire comb from it's upper attachment points. The honey comb comes out in tact this way. Thanks for posting.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    St. Petersburg, fl, USA
    Posts
    179

    Default Re: Mobile Home cut out

    Our kit has an assortment of different size putty knives. Still no matter what you do you get some drippage. The other problem with this job was that the comb was all very new and very fragile. It also seemed that this comb was "crispier" than most comb we remove. Usually when we get home and go to extract the honey we put on rubber gloves and crush the comb by hand. It usually takes a little force to do this. But this batch was as easy as balling up paper towels. When you picked up a piece more than 5 or 6 inches long it would break.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,457

    Default Re: Mobile Home cut out

    That's a major bummer.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Ft Myers, Fl 33967
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: Mobile Home cut out

    When you do a cut out under a trailer, put a piece of plywood about 2 foot wide x 6 foot long directly under the colony. You can tack aluminum foil to it with spray adhesive if you wish. Put the furtherest end just under the hive and lay on the nearest portion. Tape a putty knife to a 3 or 4 foot stick and use it to cut the comb off of the trailer. Pieces of comb and honey will drip onto the plywood ahead of you. You can push the plywood further under the trailer as you work into the hive. Scrape the underside of the trailer really clean of comb and you wont get any drips on your head.

    I took a 1/4" piece of steel rod 3 foot long and bent it into a U shape with a 2" width in the center. A propane torch will heat the rod red hot and it can be bent rather easily if you have a vise and a hammer. I beat the 2" center as flat as I could and then I took a 4" hand grinder and ground it to have two sharp edges. The blade sets at a 45 degree angle to the legs of the rod. I then cut off a shovel handle and attached the rod to the wood handle I now have a knife blade that will just fit over a comb and will cut if cleanly with little effort. It make working out at arms lenth or greater much easier than trying to cut with a knife.

    Generally the queen will run deeper into the center of the trailer. After you have cut out the comb, wait 15 minutes and you will probably see a cluster of bees deeper into the cavity. They can then be sucked up with a vacuum
    Regards
    Joe

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    546

    Default Re: Mobile Home cut out

    I have tried to save as much comb as possible so far. I have been trying to cut it along the roof and then attach it to frames (even most of the honey comb). I have a large plastic tote with a wooden frame in it that will hold 9 frames (any size). I attach the bigger chunks of comb to frames and set the ones with honey in that to drip. I then added them on top as a super to the new boxed hive about 2 or 3 days later so they have significant resources to eat.

    Are most of you just attaching brood comb to frames?

    jred - great idea, might do that myself.

    Not trying to highjack this thread either.
    Started 9/13, building slowly, now @ 7 Lang hives + 3 nucs, and treatment style not decided yet

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    St. Petersburg, fl, USA
    Posts
    179

    Default Re: Mobile Home cut out

    We have gone both ways putting everything you can save into a hive or just putting in brood and a little honey. I think our more successful moves have been using limited amounts of honey and just capped brood. We use a vacuum to collect the bees. The vacuum is basically a wood box with a clear top with a hole for the intake hose leading in and a suction hose on the other end or side. Another box the size of a hive (I have both nuc size and 10 frame ) with a screen top and a sliding bottom sits inside the first box. That box has a hole that the intake hose coming into the outside box also slide into the inside box hole. When you turn the vac on the bees collect in the inside box. When you are done the inside box lifts out (I have a cover that closes the intake hole) then you place the box with the bees over your hive with the cut out frames in it and slide the bottom off. then shake the bees into the hive. (We usually put an empty hive body on top of the hive with the frames to make it easier to get all the bees into the hive) then we slap a feeder top on and close up the hive. Two things we find. 1. a lot of brood especially open brood does not survive the jostling and if you put a lot in the decaying dead brood reduces survival of the hive. 2. No matter how careful you are you are going to have honey dripping every where. You really need to keep the hive closed so that robbers attracted to the honey don't raid the new hive and kill off the newly collected. After 3 or 4 days the bees will have repaired the comb and mopped up any drips. and the queen will have started laying again. At that time you can let them out. We usually feed sugar water for a couple of weeks till the new bees are up and running. The Honey from our cut out goes into our house supply (not our for sale honey) to make mead or use in cooking and the comb goes into our solar melter.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Ft Myers, Fl 33967
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: Mobile Home cut out

    Jim Steele,
    I have about the same setup and proceedures. One other thing that I am working on is a means to transport the bees to the yard without jarring them. I find that a hard jar or impact will cause the comb to break and the bees will not go back on the comb. They crawl all over the sides and top of the box until they either die or find and opening and all fly away. There are people out there that believe that you should not "shake" bees because they have a tendency to die a day or two later.
    Regards
    Joe

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