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i have gotten 2 hives out of water meter, and one hive out of a upside down ice chest. after a couple of weeks, i haven't got anything to show for my efforts. truth to the matter, i never looked for a queen, just started sucking the bees up in the bee vac, a 5-gallon plastic bucket container. i put the bucket in a plastic sack to get the vacumn. the bucket has a wire mesh screwd to the bottom, so they have ventilation. i also put a 1/2-inch foam pad in the bottom for them to land on. when i get them to the hive box, i put them in the front of hive, with a green sapling over the bucket and the hive. QUESTION: i'm scheduled to go get another hive from another water meter. Should i find the queen first? before using the bee vac? I have built a bee vac using the plans submitted to beesouce.com. this time i can pull the bottom off the bee vac, after setting the box on top of the hive, and just give them a tap to let them fall in. i again put the foam pad at the end of the vac to soften there landing if they hit the back wall. i really do want to be a succesful beekeeper, and maybe make a bussiness out of it.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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I have never had any luck with the vacuums. They kill too many bees. I cut the brood combs out and tie them into frames and scrap the honey. If I don't get a queen the brood is enough for them to make one. But in the process I often do get the queen.

But I've never even seen a hive in a water meter.
 
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