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  1. #1
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    May 2013
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    Question Worst luck at cut outs (or, are we just that bad at cut outs?)

    My buddy and I did another cut out today. Back of a guys shed, he was going to rebuild the wall anyway, so do what needed to get in there and get it done.

    Wall was on 2' centers and had a header half way up (about 4'). They were entering via a bit of rot in a bottom corner of a sheet of paneling/exterior sheeting in about the middle of the wall.

    When I get there my mate has already pulled loose the sheet from the opposite end and there is no real comb in that section. We see where a hive had previously been removed (owner told us about that), and located that header.

    I mark the header grab a level and run a line on it. Then I run a circular saw across that header and we get at it.

    About 13 combs going about three feet down from that header stud at the four foot mark. Most of the right side (opposite from entrance) was capped honey. So we start pulling that out and stashing it in an ice chest... Things are going well.

    We are about half way through and we start to realize that we aren't finding ANY brood nest... No eggs, no larva, no capped brood... Just honey, nectar and pollen. Bees are gentle (I never donned gloves and owners stood about 6' away watching at times. They acted like they had purpose, bringing in pollen, but no real clustering to speak of.

    In the end we pulled out everything and bagged it all up, I ripped open the cavities above and to the side of this one to see if we were just missing something and there was nothing. Went inside the shed and not a single bee was inside the shed. We vacuumed up about 95% of the bees, cleaned up and went home. We gave the bees a couple frames of honey and a frame of eggs from one of my buddy's other hives and set them in place.

    But what gives with this hive?!!??!?!!??

    We are completely perplexed with our only rationale is that they swarmed, virgin hatched, killed the other queens, went on mating flight and never made it back?

    Obviously we will know a little more come a few days and we see what they are doing with those eggs we gave them.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Rockford, MI
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    Default Re: Worst luck at cut outs (or, are we just that bad at cut outs?)

    I had that same thing happen. Two weeks before the removal, I could hear at least three queens piping. The day of the cutout, no queen, no brood to speak of. Honey, pollen and drones were plentiful though.
    Pics next time would help.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Worst luck at cut outs (or, are we just that bad at cut outs?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Beeman View Post
    I had that same thing happen. Two weeks before the removal, I could hear at least three queens piping. The day of the cutout, no queen, no brood to speak of. Honey, pollen and drones were plentiful though.
    Pics next time would help.
    Yeah, we meant to take pics, but once in the thick of the matter that gets forgotten easily.

    Thought about it after we were on the road, I should have at least grabbed a pic of the aftermath as it would have spelled it easier. I'll "draw" something up in a sec when I get to the office.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Worst luck at cut outs (or, are we just that bad at cut outs?)

    I should have your bad luck! What is this your 2nd cutout and 3rd swarm? Cry me a river, you had to give your free bees brood. With your bad luck you probably already have a mated swarm virgin who will be laying in 2 days!

    Good luck and keep up the stories.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Worst luck at cut outs (or, are we just that bad at cut outs?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    I should have your bad luck! What is this your 2nd cutout and 3rd swarm? Cry me a river, you had to give your free bees brood. With your bad luck you probably already have a mated swarm virgin who will be laying in 2 days!

    Good luck and keep up the stories.
    Lol, this is definitely one of those post that make me wish we had "like" buttons.

  6. #6
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    Jun 2010
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    Stillwell, KS
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    Default Re: Worst luck at cut outs (or, are we just that bad at cut outs?)

    Gilligan,

    There are advantageous times to do removals, i.e. within a day or two after a swarm, just prior to swarming is good, a month after they have swarmed, etc.

    Times that are not advantageous, too early in the spring, 1 to 3 weeks after they have swarmed, during dearths, to late in the season, etc.

    Book and observe your removals ahead of time, you'll learn to tell what going on inside by what you are seeing on the outside and can schedule what's best for the colony's survival.



    Is Gilligan your real name?

    Don

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Worst luck at cut outs (or, are we just that bad at cut outs?)

    >But what gives with this hive?!!??!?!!??
    >We are completely perplexed with our only rationale is that they swarmed, virgin hatched, killed the other queens, went on mating flight and never made it back?

    My guess it swarmed a week ago or more. The virgin emerged and hasn't mated yet so you have no brood yet, but probably a virgin queen in the colony. The downside of that is that they are very flighty and like to hide and it's unlikely (though possible) you got her in the cutout.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
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    May 2013
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    Default Re: Worst luck at cut outs (or, are we just that bad at cut outs?)

    Here is a pic from the cut out to give you a basic idea. Home owner didn't want to get TOO close.

    Bee removal 112 Montgomery Dr 4-13-14 (4).jpg

    Basically the spaces above and to the left (and right as you can see) were completely void of any real comb.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Worst luck at cut outs (or, are we just that bad at cut outs?)

    Quote Originally Posted by D Semple View Post
    Is Gilligan your real name?

    Don
    Negative. Nickname from high school as I wore that style hate quite often.

  10. #10
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    May 2013
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    Default Re: Worst luck at cut outs (or, are we just that bad at cut outs?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >But what gives with this hive?!!??!?!!??
    >We are completely perplexed with our only rationale is that they swarmed, virgin hatched, killed the other queens, went on mating flight and never made it back?

    My guess it swarmed a week ago or more. The virgin emerged and hasn't mated yet so you have no brood yet, but probably a virgin queen in the colony. The downside of that is that they are very flighty and like to hide and it's unlikely (though possible) you got her in the cutout.
    We wondered that as well a bit during the cut out.

    Would they have clustered around her? None really did, but she could have run. As I said, they weren't very runny, not defensive, they were pretty calm and that had me wondering the whole time. So virgin seems right. Hell she might have been out getting laid while were tearing things up.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Worst luck at cut outs (or, are we just that bad at cut outs?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    I should have your bad luck! What is this your 2nd cutout and 3rd swarm? Cry me a river, you had to give your free bees brood. With your bad luck you probably already have a mated swarm virgin who will be laying in 2 days!

    Good luck and keep up the stories.
    Oh, and did I mention that we stopped and looked at a trap out on the way home? Knot hole in wood siding of a house. Trap out, walk away let them clean up after. $300 bucks.

    Originally I was calling her back about a cut out of an abandoned house, but we drug our feet and she had demolished the house before we could get out there. But her sister had some living in her house down the road.

    If it makes you feel any better, I got stung examining the trap out location, then I rubbed the stinger in and stung myself a second time with it!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Worst luck at cut outs (or, are we just that bad at cut outs?)

    >Would they have clustered around her?

    They usually don't with a virgin.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Worst luck at cut outs (or, are we just that bad at cut outs?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >Would they have clustered around her?

    They usually don't with a virgin.
    Must have been the case.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Worst luck at cut outs (or, are we just that bad at cut outs?)

    Hate to do it Salty, but we are some of the luckiest sumsabitches to ever do removals!

    My buddy checked the hive today and found fresh comb with eggs in it.

    Seems we randomly vacuumed up another queen in this cut out. Pure chance as we weren't even very careful with the cut out... More than the tree removal but not like we would have been if we thought there was a healthy queen in there.

    Rawr!!

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Worst luck at cut outs (or, are we just that bad at cut outs?)

    Sorry to hear of your bad luck. You obviously live in an area where the bees area way too swarmy. You can keep catching them if you want, but I would not want them myself.
    That's my story.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Worst luck at cut outs (or, are we just that bad at cut outs?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    Sorry to hear of your bad luck. You obviously live in an area where the bees area way too swarmy. You can keep catching them if you want, but I would not want them myself.
    That's my story.
    Yeah, it's becoming a nuisance. We started and didn't have any bees a month ago. One Craig's list ad and a call to animal control and now we have 6 hives. We got two calls yesterday about removals and we still have two paid trapouts on the books to do!... How many boxes do these ppl think we have?!

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Worst luck at cut outs (or, are we just that bad at cut outs?)

    Not as many as you will. You know you can buy those boxes? Turn that cut out money around. The run will stop, will you last that long?
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  18. #18
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    Lafayette, LA - USA
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    Default Re: Worst luck at cut outs (or, are we just that bad at cut outs?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    Not as many as you will. You know you can buy those boxes? Turn that cut out money around. The run will stop, will you last that long?
    We have a few still hanging around.

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