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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Waller County, TX, USA
    Posts
    145

    Default Bees in soffit...how do I cut out?

    I know how to get to the bees, im just unsure of what to do once I get it opened. I see some cut out, tie in brood to a few frames and shake bees in, and I see some leave a hive near the location after its tied in. What is the procedure? I want to save these bees at a buddy's place, but Ive never done this before.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chilton, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Bees in soffit...how do I cut out?

    I had this happen at my house last year, kinda stinks to have to tear into your own house to get 'em outta there. But anyway...

    If you have a bee-vac, then that will be the BEST way to handle it; there are some plans on BeeSource and Google on how to make one. If not, smoking them is probably a good idea.

    Once you get in there use your hive tool to remove the comb from the soffit and use rubber bands to secure it into a foundation-less frame. Hopefully you will get the queen while doing this and most of the bees will follow her to the new location (if you can keep it relatively close to the current hive location for a little while).

    Make sure you clean up as much of the comb and honey from the soffit before closing it back up. I had to rinse mine with a water hose for two days before it was totally void of honey and the bees were no longer interested. I also had all of space between my fascia boards and the brick filled with silicone to prevent this from happening again. So far, so good.

    Good luck to you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Waller County, TX, USA
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: Bees in soffit...how do I cut out?

    Fortunately, they are not in MY soffit, but a buddies. We figured it was as good a time as any to try it out.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    knoxville, tn
    Posts
    646

    Default Re: Bees in soffit...how do I cut out?



    Here is a pretty good explanation of a robo style bee vac, if you are handy with a saw they are simple to build. There are a couple other videos of cut outs too.

    A bee vac will make it easier on you, I call it crowd control. If you do decide to make one just be sure there is JUST ENOUGH suction to barely get them into the hose. If it sounds like gravels going down the hose you WILL have many dead bees at the end of the job. Be extra careful around combs that have very wet nectar in them, the vac will pull the nectar out of the comb and wet the bees, you will have a big wet gooey wad of dead bees at the end of the job also, if you see the end of the hose getting covered in wet nectar, take a break and wash out the hose, they can deal with the water much better than nectar. If you have to stop or at the end of sucking up the bees, open the top sliding board to give them plenty of air, I like to sprinkler a little water over them on hot summer days.

    Just go after the brood combs, honey combs (especially soft new comb) can collapse under their own weight and make for one heck of a mess. You can always crush and strain the combs to feed it back to them. Be sure to keep the combs oriented in the same direction when you put them in frames Know which way is UP.

    A couple of extra buckets or coolers to put the honey comb into is a big plus.
    A bucket of water to wash all of the sticky off your hands and tools is a blessing.
    Get rubber bands to fit your frames, if they are to little they will pull the bottom bars up and messing up your frames, just need to be snug. Don't get the really skinny ones, bees will chew through them before the comb is attached to the frame. If the combs are wavey or bent they will continue to build them out and into the next frame, go in a week later and straighten and trim the combs to get them to fill in the frame.

    Usually the queen will run and hide with a handful of bees. Leave a comb attached at the very end, take a break and if you did not vac her up more than likely she cam out of hiding and is on that comb. A queen catcher or old queen cage will work to put her in for safe keeping.

    Smoke can work against you sometimes when doing a cut out, it will chase bees deeper into the structure and out of reach or sight. Smoke them from behind to move them towards you, then use the vac on them.

    Take plenty of pics or video.

    Be safe and have fun..............good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Waller County, TX, USA
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: Bees in soffit...how do I cut out?

    Great info. I have already begun building the above vacuum. I have the bottom and top part built. Just need to drill holes and fix up the removable screen part. Hopefully it'll be ready for the weekend.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chilton, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Bees in soffit...how do I cut out?

    G3, that's a pretty awesome bee vac! Very well thought out...except the cutout shim slot! Too funny.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    knoxville, tn
    Posts
    646

    Default Re: Bees in soffit...how do I cut out?

    I can't take credit for the bee vac design, not mine.

    It works great and have used it for several years.

    A better thing to use for the cut out shim is a propolis trap. Looks like a zinc queen excluder, except plastic and the bees can not get through the slots.

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