bee vac disaster
I have done 20+ cutouts with my bucket bee vac and rarely have many casualities. Maybe 5 to 10. I did 3 cutouts on Wednesday and vacuumed extensively during all 3 and got the queen by vac in 2 and they are now in hives. What im saying is i have have had great success with my bee vac - until today!
Did a cutout from a roof overhang. Vacuumed a bearding cluster. All fine. Removed the covering and started vacuuming bee clusters around the comb. When I checked the screened bucket, all the bees were soaked with honey even though I hadnt cut comb yet. So dumped those bees in the hive and started removing comb. No major honey loss as i had help and was being very careful. Started vacuuming again and same results - honey covered bees. Stopped and switched to a hose and cannister i knew was clean. Vacuumed a few more and same results.
The only thing I can figure out is this particular hive was vomiting honey in reaction to being sucked into the vacuum. The suction was exactly the same as the 3 colonies on Wednesday, and followup vacuuming for one huge colony on Thursday and Friday. So this particular hive seems especially vulnerable to being vacuumed.
Has anyone else had a similar experience?
This really stinks because these were EXTREMELY gentle bees. No attempt to sting at all throughout the entire cutout. We eventually just removed our jackets and gloves and still no stings.
TxBeek. KTBHs. Victoria, Tx. along the Gulf coast. Zone 9b.
Treatment free bees from traps and cutouts.