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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Default Doing a cutout this weekend

    Was contacted and will be doing my first cutout on either Friday afternoon or Saturday morning.
    I have a few questions that are probably scattered in a bunch of different threads, so I'll ask them here.

    1) Would it be better doing it in the afternoon or in the morning?

    2) Do you leave the hive at the location and pick it up at night? Or just take it all in one trip?

    3) If the hive is up a ways (15-20') and there is no way to leave the hive body near it, would having it on the ground nearby be close enough for the stragglers to find their way in?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Rockford, MI
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    Default Re: Doing a cutout this weekend

    Mornings are best.

    Take it all one trip. Make sure you have a bee vac. This way you can remove 99% of the bees before you leave.

    If you HAVE to leave a hive that far up, ratchet strap it to a ladder. After you hoist it up with a rope.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Doing a cutout this weekend

    >1) Would it be better doing it in the afternoon or in the morning?

    Take into account the heat (it will be cooler in the morning) the distance (you will want to wait until after dark to take them home) the estimated work involved (difficult, large etc. will add time) and then make your decisions. Ideal things are cool weather and getting done right about dark, and minimizing trips, but things are seldom ideal.

    >2) Do you leave the hive at the location and pick it up at night? Or just take it all in one trip?

    As in the above, if you can time it to get done about dark, you can do it all in one trip AND take them home after dark...

    >3) If the hive is up a ways (15-20') and there is no way to leave the hive body near it, would having it on the ground nearby be close enough for the stragglers to find their way in?

    You do the best you can. If the queen is in the hive, odds are they will find it. Keep in mind if it's 20' up, you have to stay calm no matter how much you are being stung, while you calmly climb back down... otherwise you could end up in the hospital and not bees are worth that...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Clinton, Iowa
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    Default Re: Doing a cutout this weekend

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >1) Would it be better doing it in the afternoon or in the morning?

    Take into account the heat (it will be cooler in the morning) the distance (you will want to wait until after dark to take them home) the estimated work involved (difficult, large etc. will add time) and then make your decisions. Ideal things are cool weather and getting done right about dark, and minimizing trips, but things are seldom ideal.

    >2) Do you leave the hive at the location and pick it up at night? Or just take it all in one trip?

    As in the above, if you can time it to get done about dark, you can do it all in one trip AND take them home after dark...

    >3) If the hive is up a ways (15-20') and there is no way to leave the hive body near it, would having it on the ground nearby be close enough for the stragglers to find their way in?

    You do the best you can. If the queen is in the hive, odds are they will find it. Keep in mind if it's 20' up, you have to stay calm no matter how much you are being stung, while you calmly climb back down... otherwise you could end up in the hospital and not bees are worth that...
    It's pretty much "open air" just inside of a barn wall. It's only going to be about 80 and nights have been in the mid-50s and will be that way for awhile. I'm going to tie my ladder off and tie myself off while I'm up there.

    I was planning on putting together a bee vac with a long hose so I can just bring a hose up with me, is there a simple design out there somewhere? What does the prospect of doing it without a bee vacuum look like? The colony is pretty big, but has only been there about a month. The color of the comb reflects that.

    20140728_190621.jpg

    20140728_190628.jpg

    The right side of this picture is the front of the barn. The bees on the outside are basically covering a slightly smaller space than the comb is occupying. It's three combs wide and they are pretty long, about 2.5-3 feet or so and about 8" wide.
    20140728_190707.jpg

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Forsyth, Missouri
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    256

    Default Re: Doing a cutout this weekend

    Can you kill the POWER in those electric lines?
    If not it may not be worth the risk.
    Zone 6b 1400'

  6. #6
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    Feb 2013
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    Greene, (Upstate) NY. The Great USA
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    111

    Default Re: Doing a cutout this weekend

    Take them from the inside. Just my 2cents.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Clinton, Iowa
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    762

    Default Re: Doing a cutout this weekend

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoot Owl Lane Bees View Post
    Can you kill the POWER in those electric lines?
    If not it may not be worth the risk.
    Planning on taking them from the inside. I won't have to remove any wood or anything that way.
    I asked about that though incase I wanted to get the ones on the outside. They said they didn't think it was live, I have the tools necessary to confirm that is the case and would do that before I'd even consider climbing up there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Huntingstoneboy View Post
    Take them from the inside. Just my 2cents.
    That's my plan.
    On the inside there's also plenty of structure around that I should be able to have plenty of space for my tools and everything. I've been in a number of barns and I'm not sure I've seen lumber quite like what is in here. There are some (at least) 16"x8" beams holding this thing up.

  8. #8
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Doing a cutout this weekend

    >What does the prospect of doing it without a bee vacuum look like?

    I have three bee vacuums. I never use them anymore. I think not using them is by far a better solution...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Clinton, Iowa
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    Default Re: Doing a cutout this weekend

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >What does the prospect of doing it without a bee vacuum look like?

    I have three bee vacuums. I never use them anymore. I think not using them is by far a better solution...
    So how do I move comb covered in bees down from 20 feet up without smashing a bunch of bees. My plan was to vac, cut comb into a couple of pieces and lower down on a rope in a 5 gallon bucket. Could I do the same with it covered in bees reasonably well? To me it seems like the vacuum may create more frustration for me and more angry bees than simply being gentle. I'll have smoke of course, and will bring a spray bottle of sugar water as well.

  10. #10
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    May 2012
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    1,550

    Default Re: Doing a cutout this weekend

    If it were me I would mount a ledge to put the box on the wall at entrance height, since you will be doing the cutout on a ladder. Otherwise you will be going up and down the ladder a bunch. And I'm pretty lazy.

  11. #11
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    Feb 2012
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    Forsyth, Missouri
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    Default Re: Doing a cutout this weekend

    JW
    Do they have a loader they could raise up for you to work from?
    If so set the ladder up beside it so you could get down when finished.
    Zone 6b 1400'

  12. #12
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    Jun 2013
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    Chicago, Illinois
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    254

    Default Re: Doing a cutout this weekend

    I also am doing a cut out this weekend. An abandoned house in the porch pillar, I hope! I don't have a bee vac so I am hoping to find the queen and cage her. Good luck!

  13. #13
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Doing a cutout this weekend

    >So how do I move comb covered in bees down from 20 feet up without smashing a bunch of bees.

    It's always a challenge to do a cutout. 20 feet up is more of a challenge. If you can figure out a way to tie into frames while on the ladder it would help. Making "swarm ketching frames" as designed by Dee Lusby will make it easier at the time of the cutout (more work up front). You could put the frames in a five frame nuc and lower that, or make a platform of some kind. Every cutout has it's own peculiar issues.

    >My plan was to vac, cut comb into a couple of pieces and lower down on a rope in a 5 gallon bucket. Could I do the same with it covered in bees reasonably well?

    It would be tricker.

    > To me it seems like the vacuum may create more frustration for me and more angry bees than simply being gentle.

    That's my theory.

    >I'll have smoke of course, and will bring a spray bottle of sugar water as well.

    The bees will already be sticky from you making a mess. Don't put sugar in the water. Just have a spray bottle of water. I would not contribute to their stickiness...

    Also have a bee brush, a bucket of water, a bucket with a lid for honey, a buck with a lid for scrap comb and keep the lids on those buckets whenever you can to keep the bees out of them.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #14
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    Feb 2013
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    Default Re: Doing a cutout this weekend

    This is only my second year, but have helped my mentor with 30+ cut-outs so take my advice for what its worth....not claiming to be an expert. We NEVER use smoke....it drives the queen into places that you may not be able to reach. We ALWAYS use a modified vacuum....last cut-out there was less than 5 dead bees on the plywood in front of the hive when we dumped them out. We are running over 90% for queen capture... Many of them caught with the vacuum. We always start in the morning...how early is temperature dependent. Again....my 2 cents.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Clinton, Iowa
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    762

    Default Re: Doing a cutout this weekend

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoot Owl Lane Bees View Post
    JW
    Do they have a loader they could raise up for you to work from?
    If so set the ladder up beside it so you could get down when finished.
    Not really a "farm" so no, just an old farm house with what is actually a really nice, completely empty (besides the bees) barn.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >So how do I move comb covered in bees down from 20 feet up without smashing a bunch of bees.

    It's always a challenge to do a cutout. 20 feet up is more of a challenge. If you can figure out a way to tie into frames while on the ladder it would help. Making "swarm ketching frames" as designed by Dee Lusby will make it easier at the time of the cutout (more work up front). You could put the frames in a five frame nuc and lower that, or make a platform of some kind. Every cutout has it's own peculiar issues.

    >My plan was to vac, cut comb into a couple of pieces and lower down on a rope in a 5 gallon bucket. Could I do the same with it covered in bees reasonably well?

    It would be tricker.

    > To me it seems like the vacuum may create more frustration for me and more angry bees than simply being gentle.

    That's my theory.

    >I'll have smoke of course, and will bring a spray bottle of sugar water as well.

    The bees will already be sticky from you making a mess. Don't put sugar in the water. Just have a spray bottle of water. I would not contribute to their stickiness...

    Also have a bee brush, a bucket of water, a bucket with a lid for honey, a buck with a lid for scrap comb and keep the lids on those buckets whenever you can to keep the bees out of them.
    Swarm catching frames look nice (http://www.beesource.com/files/swarmfrm.pdf), but I don't think I'll have the time to make that happen. I was planinng on pre-rubber banding a bunch of frames, but I don't know how comfortable I'd be trying to cut comb up and fit it into frames while up on the ladder. Seems like work better left for ground level to me. How important is it to keep the correct cell orientation. These combs are narrow and long, so it will probably take about three pieces of comb to fill a frame unless I strap them in rotated 90*.

    And I'm with you on the sticky mess, just water it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Huntingstoneboy View Post
    This is only my second year, but have helped my mentor with 30+ cut-outs so take my advice for what its worth....not claiming to be an expert. We NEVER use smoke....it drives the queen into places that you may not be able to reach. We ALWAYS use a modified vacuum....last cut-out there was less than 5 dead bees on the plywood in front of the hive when we dumped them out. We are running over 90% for queen capture... Many of them caught with the vacuum. We always start in the morning...how early is temperature dependent. Again....my 2 cents.
    I think I might put together a simple bee vac between tonight and tomorrow, just in case I decide I need it.

    Re: Smoke, I was planning on trying to find the queen the best I can before lighting the smoker and trying to get her in a clip. The hive is relatively small and open, I think I'll be able to get a pretty good look at the majority of the comb, I think. Of course all that changes when there's hundreds/thousands of bees buzzing around and trying to sting ya.

    Thanks to everyone for the pep talk and information.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Default Re: Doing a cutout this weekend

    >We NEVER use smoke....it drives the queen into places that you may not be able to reach.

    I won't say I NEVER use smoke, but I usually don't. Smoke also interferes with their ability to smell pheromones, and them smelling the brood and the queen and the comb in my new box is important to the success of the overall mission. And, as you say, it drives the queen into places that you may not be able to reach...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  17. #17
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    May 2012
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    Default Re: Doing a cutout this weekend

    Rubber bands are fine. You are going to have to put them in the frames up there, or you are going to need a conveyor of people to had the brood to. Going up and down the ladder will kill you, particularly if you get into honey and you end up with a slippery mess from going up and down the ladder. Orientation is important. There is a reason they put the comb at an angle.

    Do not use a smoker, it will not help you. Beequick on the other hand is very helpful. If they are going away from you, you can head them off at the pass.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Stillwell, KS
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    649

    Default Re: Doing a cutout this weekend

    3 Points,

    1st - Late to be doing cutouts, would the barn owner wait till spring? I do a lot of cutouts and dealing with new cutouts this late in the season after the removal is very challenging.

    2nd - Good that you are tying off. (I think it's BEYOND CRAZY to do your 1st cutout 20' in the air off of a ladder. Especially this late in the season when there is going to be gobs of sticky, slippery honey all over the ladder.)

    3th - a second ladder, set up next to the one your climbing, with a ladder jack platform to set stuff down on will save you a ton of trips up and down that slippery honey coated ladder.

    Sorry to be a debbie downer, good luck

    Don

  19. #19
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    Feb 2014
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    Clinton, Iowa
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    762

    Default Re: Doing a cutout this weekend

    Quote Originally Posted by D Semple View Post
    3 Points,

    1st - Late to be doing cutouts, would the barn owner wait till spring? I do a lot of cutouts and dealing with new cutouts this late in the season after the removal is very challenging.

    2nd - Good that you are tying off. (I think it's BEYOND CRAZY to do your 1st cutout 20' in the air off of a ladder. Especially this late in the season when there is going to be gobs of sticky, slippery honey all over the ladder.)

    3th - a second ladder, set up next to the one your climbing, with a ladder jack platform to set stuff down on will save you a ton of trips up and down that slippery honey coated ladder.

    Sorry to be a debbie downer, good luck

    Don
    Concerns noted, this is a swarm from this year, so I wouldn't anticipate that there will be a whole lot of honey at this point. The swarms I captured have not put very much away yet. It's only been there for "about a month" and the comb is fresh and white.

    I'm a deer hunter so I'm used to being up in a tree stand and climbing in and out of them at 15 feet or so. I did not get an extact measurement, but I believe it's more like 15 feet or somewhere in between. There's a nice ledge to store some small stuff on up there, but I have been considering bringing something to make a bit of a platform with. Not sure what I'll do for that just yet. I can bring some tree spikes and screw them in so that I can hang separate buckets up there for myself. I will not be doing any cutting and putting in frames up on the ladder. I don't think that's a great idea be it my first or 100th cut out.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Forsyth, Missouri
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    256

    Default Re: Doing a cutout this weekend

    If you have one or can borrow a ladder stand that will work.
    I used one of mine on a trap-out last year it worked great.
    Tell the wife you need one and you can use it for bee's and HUNTING.
    Last edited by Hoot Owl Lane Bees; 07-31-2014 at 03:12 PM. Reason: wording
    Zone 6b 1400'

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