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do most of you wear a full suit or would a jacket with veil and jeans be ok to do a cutout? i don't have the funds to buy a good suit, i was going to buy an ultrabreeze jacket. do most of you use a vacuum? i'm in the process of making one. i would assume lots of smoke to keep bees off the comb when cutting.how long does it typically take to remove a good sze hive? leave the box there until night, then seal and remove? does everyone charge? i may have a cutout to do and would like a little more info. i've read lots of the threads on here.
thanks,
crabbydad
 

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The temperament of cutouts varies, not only from colony to colony, but from minute to minute. They sometimes start out hot and get calmer as things go on. They sometime start out nice and work themselves into a frenzy. It's best to be prepared. A jacket with a veil and jeans will work for most. A full suit is nice to have... especially a ventilated one on a hot day...
 

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Temperaments change all the time; even honey bees, maybe two pairs of jeans :D. I am not a big fan of smoking cutouts because it makes the queen run and hide, which other bees follow. It also makes the bees gorge on honey, thus when they go through the vacuum, disaster can strike, especially if you have to much suction. I typically vacuum last, after removing all or most of the comb. One thing with cutouts is that you never know how long it is going to take until you know what you are dealing with (it is exposed), and issues will come up. However, you get faster at them. No everyone doesn't charge, but after you do a few for to little or nothing, you will always charge something. Typically I move the hive at sundown the day I cut them out. Come back the next night and vacuum any stragglers and repair if that was part of the deal. Bring a friend ;), another pair of hands is priceless.
 

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> I am not a big fan of smoking cutouts because it makes the queen run and hide, which other bees follow.

And pheromones are what will draw them to the queen and the brood in the hive you are putting the combs into... but you have to judge each on it's own merits. Some you can get by without the smoke...
 

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do most of you wear a full suit or would a jacket with veil and jeans be ok to do a cutout?

Jacket and jeans

i don't have the funds to buy a good suit, i was going to buy an ultrabreeze jacket. do most of you use a vacuum?

Vac first to get the numbers down.


i would assume lots of smoke to keep bees off the comb when cutting.

No smoke.


how long does it typically take to remove a good sze hive?

4 hours.

leave the box there until night, then seal and remove?

Take just after the cutout.

does everyone charge?

Depends on many factors.

i may have a cutout to do and would like a little more info. i've read lots of the threads on here.
thanks,
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Mr. Beeman- if you take the the box as soon as your done, what about all the bees that are out foraging and still flying around the box, or do you try to vacuum most of them up as you go?
 

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I do it a lot like Beeman but I have a small second bee vac box set up. I come back after dark and vac up what is left. Leave a small piece of comb. It will anchor them to there. Plus if you missed the queen she will most likely move to it.
David
 

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Vac the remaining bees just before packing up..... can't get them all. A lot of our cutouts are 45 - 75 minutes away from the office and we start EARLY to vac most of the foragers. Foragers are on their way out life cycle wise, so leaving a few is not a big deal. The hive will send out more foragers when it is placed in it's permanent position.
 

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We did several for free to gain experience but quickly started charging. We usually try to schedule late in the day so that we finish up just before twilight. We vacuum first then as we cut comb we vacuum each piece. Most of the comb goes into 5gal homer buckets with lids. We usually rubber band one deep frame of brood and a deep of honey to anchor the bees when we hive them. We try to only put capped brood in because most of the uncapped does not survive all the manipulation. Any Stragglers are foragers and they will either join another hive or die. We wear jeans and t shirts and use one of the new ventilated jackets with a zipper on veil. Who ever is working the bees wears gloves. the other person monitors the vacuum, fetches buckets, ties comb into frames etc. Usually once we have the hive exposed only the person doing the vacuuming stays suited up. We have only had one job where the bees were so aggressive that we both stayed suited the whole time. We don't usually need or use smoke but we do carry the smoker.Many times once we get started we will have an audience watching us from a safe distance. If My wife is on the vacuum (she prefers that job) then I make an effort to educate. I bring honey over to taste, I show them brood, I explain the life cycle and I counter all the Killer bee fears that the news media spreads. We have gotten a few new beekeepers started from this.
 

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>do most of you wear a full suit or would a jacket with veil and jeans be ok to do a cutout?

When I started I was doing cutouts in jeans and a veil. I got stung. A lot. When I bought coveralls with a zip on veil from Walter T. Kelley it was one of the turning points of my beekeeping--a "beesuit of invulnerability".
 
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