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Discussion Starter #1
I just found out today about a colony of bees in the wall of an old church. They have been there for several years. I have harvested several colonies that were in trees, but usually earlier in the year. Right now in Arkansas the honeyflow should be slowing down, and I am wondering if I take the colony now what their chances of survival are. I have permission to go into the wall and clean out the cavity, and could build frames that would hold the comb.
 

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Chances are good that they will survive, you will need to feed them constantly until there is a fall flow or they have enough stores for winter. Just use frames and rubber bands for the cut out comb and be sure to keep it oriented in the right direction.

Good luck
 

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Survival is dependent on how many bees/combs you pull out. If you do not get the queen, you better introduce one. It would also help if you add drawn comb and fed. Are you doing this cut-out for free? You have good carpentry skills? You have all the proper tools? You going to put it all back together? You know exactly where the bees are? Is the church located near people? These things can turn out to be a lot of work, especially if you are doing it in the heat of summer for free. Be prepared.
 

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I am a carpenter by trade, been doing it for quite a few years. I have all the tools and skill to do the work, no problem. It's an old church in the community I grew up in, and I'm doing it to get the bees out, both for myself and for the church. There shouldn't be any problem with neighbors, small town, population 75, the building sits on a decent piece of property, so there's a buffer zone. I'm doing it as much for the experience as anything. I know with the work involved I'd be ahead to buy a colony, or simply split my own. I've just never had the opportunity to take a colony from a building, sounds like a great learning opp. On that note, I'd like to hear some opinions on methodology, e.g. bait hive and screen wire cone (I have good colonies that could spare a frame of brood) vs. just going in and cutting the bees out and dumping them in a box, or any other ideas.
 

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If you do a wire cone trapout it will take a long time and most likely you will not get the queen to leave the nest. And, you'll still have to go in and remove the comb and remaining bees. I would just go ahead and cut them out and get it over with. I don't envy you; I've done a bunch of these and won't do them anymore. Too much labor and too many thankless home/business owners.
 

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"...I know with the work involved I'd be ahead to buy a colony..."
i'd consider swarm trapping in the spring.
good luck,mike
 

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Nathan,
Do they not plant Soy beans around you? They flow has slowed here also but in a few weeks the beans will begin to bloom. I have only done 3 cut outs, 2 was from a church and the other was a storage building. The first 2 did at the same time and I did not like having all those bees in the room with me. I followed the plans on this site and built me a bee vac. It made it a whole lor easier using the vac. Good luck
 

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Nope, no soy beans. Up here in the Ozarks, we're pretty dependent on the wildflowers for honey, and they definitely slow down in late July and August, though after that we have a lot of goldenrod and asters, plus random fall flowers. If I have to feed, I have to feed. Done it before. Hopefully I can get enough comb from the cutout to get them through. Speaking of soybeans, do you know anybody who would sell beans? I've been looking for them for a high-protein source for chickens, none of the farm stores sell them.
 

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Nathan, you haven't said if you have a Bee Vac, A Vacuumm sure makes it a lot easier and a lot less bee's to bother with. Borrow on or build one from plans on this site. You will be amazed at how much difference it makes after you use one. There is a lot of plans available for different bee vac's on google. Have fun, Thats my $.02's worth.
 

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I posted about a quick and simple bee vac the other day. Lowes has a vacuum power head that fits on any 5 gal bucket for $20. I bought a light dimmer control knob (rheostat) for another $4 and tied it into an extension cord so I could control the power of the vac. It worked great and since its just a 5 gal bucket, its very light and portable.

C2
 
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