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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have had 4 cutouts abscond on me this spring. How common are absconding cutouts?

In 2 I know they had a queen. In the other 2 they left before I checked for a queen. Will they abscond without a queen?
 

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Are you sure you have had the queens from the removals? What I do is cage the queen for 3 days then release her. When you do that you increase the chance of them staying.
If I do a removal and not sure if I have the queen. I make sure to add as much brood comb with eggs and larva. Place them on a screened bottom board. Give them a gallon of 1:1 syrup and lock em all in for 3 days. By that point they accept it as home and stay put
 

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Same here, except I don't cage the queen. I will put a drop or two of lemon grass oil on top of one of the frames I put the cutout comb in. Feed and blocked entrance for a few days and I have no problems with absconding. I do keep a close eye on them and they do have a reduced entrance after I open the entrance. They reorient on their new home and I do this every swarm and when I used to do cutouts. After reading a bunch of stuff here and other places I kind of cobbled my own way of doing things that works for me. Hope it works out better for you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the advice. Im using top bar hives, but I can adapt your suggestions. Is the screened bottom board for ventilation? I can put #8 hardware cloth over the entrance for ventilation, but keep the bees in. I can feed in a ziplock bag in the back of the hive, and the screened entrance will prevent robbing.
 

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Thanks for the advice. Im using top bar hives, but I can adapt your suggestions. Is the screened bottom board for ventilation? I can put #8 hardware cloth over the entrance for ventilation, but keep the bees in. I can feed in a ziplock bag in the back of the hive, and the screened entrance will prevent robbing.[/QUOTE

ID start by getting rid of the top bar and get some lan. hives. I hate top bar. I just got in to bees this year and ive got 15 or so cutout hive. I put brood larvae and hiney comb in hive with rubber bans then feed them for coupole weeks. never lost one yt knock on wood. oh I also use a bee vac to pull the bees and I leave entrance wide open
 

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I have had 4 cutouts abscond on me this spring. How common are absconding cutouts?
Absonding cutouts are not unusual. My best results for cutouts have been with good afternoon shade, solid bottom boards (to keep out light and let the bees control the ventilation and evaporative cooling), and one or more frames of healthy, open brood. If the colony has a bred queen, queen excluder over the entrance for 4 days (not longer) has helped me.
 

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I just got in to bees this year and ive got 15 or so cutout hive. I put brood larvae and hiney comb in hive with rubber bans then feed them for coupole weeks. never lost one yt knock on wood. oh I also use a bee vac to pull the bees and I leave entrance wide open
That is a good rate of success. Can you give us more details about your process, equipment and hives? Cheers.
 

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That is a good rate of success. Can you give us more details about your process, equipment and hives? Cheers.
I use a 25 gallon shop vac with the suction cut way way back with a micron dust filter bag to add cushion. I take my time don't worry about finding queen. first suck up as many bees usually takes a couple hours to do this. Then I go to cutting. I put as much brood as I can in hive maybe a little honey in frames with rubber bands. after this I clean up a little and head home. I keep bees in cool spot till dark if it ant all ready dark pour them in hive wait a couple hours for them to work their way in put a lid on and I leave my entrances open.
that's about it oh I feed for couple week if needed 2/1 sugar/water

I use 10 frame lans. with foundation if im not rubber banding comb in

a lot of my cut outs are big ones this year and took up two to three brood boxes. biggest one so far was 21lbs of bees from Huntsville( I like to weight my bounty) and an angry one stung 30 times during 2 day cut out. . filled three boxes and had a bunch of left over black comb I didn't use.

one last thing If I find a queen may keep it but I usually re queen with Russian or buckfast from local guy here. just to make sure its a good fresh queen
 

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I had a cut out from a duck box earlier this spring. I put them in a dead out from last winter. I also put their own drawn comb and brood in the deep. Thought it would be the perfect home. They absconded after about two weeks. They were small cell very black feral bees. I was very disappointed as I wanted to graft from the queen.
Early last week I walked by an abandonded top bar hive and saw some bee activity. To my surprise the absconded black bees had taken up residence in the old top bar hive. Sure am glad I left the top bar door open.
 

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I had a cut out from a duck box earlier this spring. I put them in a dead out from last winter. I also put their own drawn comb and brood in the deep. Thought it would be the perfect home. They absconded after about two weeks. They were small cell very black feral bees. I was very disappointed as I wanted to graft from the queen.
Early last week I walked by an abandonded top bar hive and saw some bee activity. To my surprise the absconded black bees had taken up residence in the old top bar hive. Sure am glad I left the top bar door open.
that's what I find around here is tiny looking black bees with tiny yellow band. mutt bees from what ive been told
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I was lucky enough to recapture a lost cutout in a previously set swarmtrap that was too small for the task.:)

 

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Absconding seems to be more common the further South you are as it is a trait of the Africanized bee. I lost a lot of them here in SW Florida until I learned to vacumn the bees, transfer the comb, vacuum the bees again, put the box of brood/frames over the vacuum box and let them combine, put 1/8' wire mesh over all holes, put a jar feeder on the outside of the brood box with an entrance through the side of the box, let them sit in full sun for three days, put a queen excluder over a 1" dia top entrance hole, put an anti robbing screen in front of the excluder and let the workers fly. It works most of the time.
 
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