Almost....
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Thread: Almost....

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Lake of the Woods, MN, USA
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    4

    Default Almost....

    I put out a dozen swarm traps over several days 2-3 weeks ago. There are almost no beeks in my remote rural area and I wasn't sure what would be out there for wild/feral bees. Returning from a vacation yesterday I checked my traps. The last one I checked had this result. It seems my trap attracted a swarm, but they took up residence immediately under the trap and have built an open, exposed nest. It's about the size of a basketball and there are several rows of white comb visible. This is northern MN, they certainly aren't going to make the winter where they are.

    I'm looking for suggestions on how to handle this. It's 12' up under a deer stand. My thought is to put a section of construction scaffold under the nest so I have a platform to work from. If I put a box under the nest any bees that fall out when I'm working on a cutout should end up in the hive box. Today I made some folding frames ( https://beesource.com/build-it-yours...tching-frames/ ) to hold the cut comb and enable it to fit in a hive box.

    Cut outs are new to me... Do I simply smoke the comb to move the bees out of the way while I'm cutting it from it's perch, then scoop bees and drop them into the box? Will applying 1:1 sugar syrup with a spray bottle make them any easier to handle? This is a half mile from the closest road, so a bee vac isn't an option. What are the odds the queen will fly during this operation?

    Other ideas gratefully accepted!

    Deepwoods

    Closeup.jpg Nest under trap.jpg Stand.jpg

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Winston-Salem, NC
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    286

    Default Re: Almost....

    bee vac with a small generator, or battery
    NCSBA Certified Beekeeper - my Youtube Vlog
    https://www.youtube.com/c/BackyardBeesNC

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Sedgwick Co. KS
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    1,145

    Default Re: Almost....

    My 2 cents worth....

    I think I would find a box about as deep as the nest is (deep or medium) and hold this box under the nest and cut the whole nest at once and let it drop (short fall) into the box and close he lid. Take the box home and work to re-hive it there.
    Save as much of the comb as you can and rubber band it into frames and hope for the best. Hopefully the queen will survive the short drop.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Boston, MA, USA
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    255

    Default Re: Almost....

    I bet you could use a wire cutter on it (section of thin steel wire/monofilament with handles on each side, often used for cutting clay). suspend a box under the nest and slice the whole nest off with the wire. (I have never tried this personality).

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Sedgwick Co. KS
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    Default Re: Almost....

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Madsen View Post
    I bet you could use a wire cutter on it (section of thin steel wire/monofilament with handles on each side, often used for cutting clay). suspend a box under the nest and slice the whole nest off with the wire. (I have never tried this personality).
    I was thinking a sharp & thin machete .....but a wire could work too.

    I doubt the combs would come down all in one piece......each will separate from the attachment point indiviually I think.

    The queen has probably already started laying in that comb, so be as careful as possible with it.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Red Bud, IL, USA
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    Default Re: Almost....

    Remember Murphy is alive and well, I hear he visits MN on a fairly frequent basis.

    Personal opinion, this is going to be heavier than you'd first think, then add the weight of any box and the bees always have the potential to not take kindly to your help. Agree with old house, first choice is bee vac and generator. Barring that, second option would be removing a piece of comb at a time, rubber banding and putting it in a hive body with a light piece of plywood screwed to the bottom. Use an inner cover over the box when you're not putting a frame in it.

    Cut outs are notorious for being sticky, a couple 5 gal buckets of water might be appreciated during and after the cut out. Spraying sugar water would just adds to the mess. Consider using a pair of the rubber kitchen gloves. Keep a queen clip very handy, ideally where you can grab it without taking your eyes off of her majesty. Your opportunity to catch her maybe very brief.


    Be safe and good luck.
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
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    3,117

    Default Re: Almost....

    And so you avoid such gymnastics in the future - maybe review how much attractant you put inside the trap.
    Maybe too much.

    FYI - this is an easy cut-out as far as cut-outs go; don't sweat it.
    Imagine doing the same while cutting onto a building-wall - now that is some project.

    One thing - I would avoid using the rubber band at all (unless, you can fit those cut combs into the frames very tightly - medium frames for the intake are good that way).
    Remember - the new combs are very, very fragile and the bands will cut into them easily.
    I would use painter's tape instead (same as masking tape) - the narrow types so the bees have less paper chewing to do.

    I would also spread very light shower curtain(s)/vinyl table cloth under the entire project - you will be thankful IF your queens falls down onto vinyl (not into the grass).

    Building/buying entire bee vac to do this - not essential (you don't do cut-outs for living anyway - to spend the time/money).
    Can do without just fine - a bit more work/time - which is fine for an occasional cut-out.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    Dane County, WI, USA
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    3,117

    Default Re: Almost....

    Quote Originally Posted by Eikel View Post
    ...Cut outs are notorious for being sticky, a couple 5 gal buckets of water might be appreciated during and after the cut out. Spraying sugar water would just adds to the mess.
    ....
    I carry around a couple of large, water sprayers - work great for everything - spraying the bees (often works better than smoke) - spraying my hands/tools (rinses the honey off) - putting a small fire down, if must - spraying into the old, messy combs before giving those to the bees.
    Many uses...

    +1 to "no sugar water".
    This is a common mistake new beeks do - they somehow want to sweeten the water - because bees like sugar?
    Wrong logic - this is not a bee feeding project - avoid the sticky mess, don't artificially create sticky mess - enough as it is.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Winston-Salem, NC
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    286

    Default Re: Almost....

    It's easy to make a bee vac, use an old medium box, put screen on top, plywood on bottom, drill 2 holes size of vac hose. put weather strip on top edge, set a hive box on top of that, then put a telescoping top on it, with weather strip around inside edge, drill a hole for vac hose.

    Here's the one I made, Jason Chrisman style took 15 minutes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYiJz9IKSP4&t=3s
    NCSBA Certified Beekeeper - my Youtube Vlog
    https://www.youtube.com/c/BackyardBeesNC

  11. #10
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
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    144

    Default Re: Almost....

    Just subscribing to see how it goes for you...What stinkers this swarm is!

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    Dane County, WI, USA
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    Default Re: Almost....

    Quote Originally Posted by ifixoldhouses View Post
    It's easy to make a bee vac, use an old medium box, put screen on top, plywood on bottom, drill 2 holes size of vac hose. put weather strip on top edge, set a hive box on top of that, then put a telescoping top on it, with weather strip around inside edge, drill a hole for vac hose.

    Here's the one I made, Jason Chrisman style took 15 minutes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYiJz9IKSP4&t=3s
    ... and don't forget - spend the $$ for the generator to get this all working in some remote out yard...

    In my shop - more hives and frames is a high priority because a properly planned and managed expansion is the true priority.
    Bee vac - the lowest priority.
    Most people can afford to forgo some random cut-out they don't really need (or muddle thru IF have to).

    Now, if you are really into doing the cut-outs - a bee vac is a must-have side-arm.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA USA
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: Almost....

    Climb the ladder, lie on you belly, put a garbage bag under/around the hive, then break the combs off into the bag or cut them. Tie it off and lower it to the ground or carry it down the ladder. Then you can sift through it in a safe place. I’ve never failed with this technique nor have I used it. Lol.

  14. #13

    Default Re: Almost....

    Unrelated question, where did you find the metal spring clips you are using to hold the nucs together?

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
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    3,836

    Default Re: Almost....

    All My Bees' Everything Bee Vac is a battery powered backpack style portable bee vac and he is a Beesource advertiser.

    628 Dirt Rooster and several other Youtube swarm collection gurus speak highly of it. And, it is relatively inexpensive compared to the cost of a few nucs.

    https://redirect.viglink.com/?format...ll%20My%20Bees
    Last edited by JWPalmer; 07-09-2019 at 06:04 PM.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Lake of the Woods, MN, USA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Almost....

    Thanks for all the suggestions. I have a small shop vac and access to a portable genny. The bee vac method is doable with a little red neck engineering to put together a container to gently collect the bees into. I put up a scaffolding stage under the nest today to prepare for the operation. We have two days of rain forecast, so that will give me time to put together the rest of the tools needed. Point taken about having water and some type of ground cloth available. I'll update after I'm done...

    dd33- the clips are copies of a British product called Z clips. I made them from stiff wire following the directions given by Joe May in one of his youtube videos- https://youtu.be/mTn9ZRwTSJc . Stiff wire and washer head screws are the raw material. They work well for holding hive boxes together.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    5,464

    Default Re: Almost....

    you have to control the suction or the vac will kill the bees. I use a bucket head home depot shop vac. No modifications needed other then buying a ball valve and some pvc/vac fittings to attach it to the exhaust. I wouldn't cut that wax off trying to drop it anywhere either, it will simply destroy that soft new wax. You will want to vaccuum the bees off and remove each piece of comb and probably have to wire it into frames. It may be too soft for rubberbands if it has a lot of nectar in it. You can buy wire oven racks at the dollar store and staple them onto frames to hold the wax as you go even. To wire them, pre drill 2-3 pairs of horizontal holes in the end bars about 1/8" apart, of frames so you can get 2-3 sets of wires across. Run one side of the wire through, lay the comb in, pull the other side through and twist the ends together to tighten them down. We simply remove all the bees and comb and keep separate until we can combine them back. Easier to wire comb and stuff at home. Add some vent holes to the bucket that you can plug or cover during the vacuum process, open them up when done and put a lid on with good ventilation as well.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Red Bud, IL, USA
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    Default Re: Almost....

    I'm not sure how ya'll rubber band comb but I place the frame through the center of the rubber band so that it runs over the top bar and under the bottom bar, the rubber bands basically only provide alignment of the comb in the frame. I use wired frames so you can gently press on the comb and the wire will cut into the comb to keep it against the top bar but sometimes a little heavy twine or painter's tape is required.

    Rubber banding 3 20170507_110957.jpg Rubber banding 5.jpg
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Almost....

    Just out of curiosity, what is that structure? Game spotting or something?
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Red Bud, IL, USA
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    Default Re: Almost....

    Deer stand for hunting
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    Dane County, WI, USA
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    Default Re: Almost....

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Just out of curiosity, what is that structure? Game spotting or something?
    Deer hunting stand.
    Typical for the Midwest, USA.

    People even sell some of these on our local bee forum for swarm trap setups.
    Used hunting stands for cheap, to be sure (tree mounted types).
    If I owned some wooded land, I'd have few of these mounted for trapping - I like them.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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