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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We did a cut out yesterday late afternoon.

The bees were up under the eves on an house, moved in last year. Owner thought that they had died out over the winter and was a bit upset to find out that the were still there.

The area they were in was at most 16X16X10 not very big, half the area was brown comb have was new white comb.

The opening to reach the bees and pull out the comb was about 3 inches.

Buy the time I got the comb out I had honey soaked bees and comb.
Cut the comb to fit in frames, mounted them using rubber bands. Filled 8 deep frames.

Took them home in cardboard NUCs. By the time we got home it was dark and cooling off. Decided to wait till morning to move them to a wooden hive box.

Checked them this morning,,,,, All dead, groups of bees up along the top edge of the NUC.

I am thinking it was a combination of things,

1) the dripping honey and dead bees may have cut off air flow in the NUC
the entire bottom and opening were blocked with honey glued bees

2) Stress :doh:

3) The temp dropped to the point were I had ice floating on the pool of water out by the hives,

This was my second cut-out the first is going good, bees coming and going, plan on inspecting it this weekend to see if I can find a queen.

Photo's from both cutouts are out on face book do a search for Billy's Bees

Planning a memorial service for this afternoon for the colony. :cry:

Bill
 

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If you are planning on doing more cut outs in the future you may want to consider either buying or building a bee vac. This will allow you to vacuum out most of the bees first, containing them in a separate box while you cut out the comb and fix it into your empty frames. Then add the bees last.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the comments,

Yes a bee vac is high on my list of needed equipment. I hope to have one before the end of this summer,

The bees are dead, not just doment in the cold. The sun was warmer this afternoon the other hives were flying the bees in this case were just as dead as last this morning. Sorry to say.

Bill
 

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I always try not to place any honey in the frames when i do a cutout just put in brood. You will wind up with a sticky mess and alot of dead bees.
 

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I hope you didn't sell yourself short on the removal. Removals are extremely stressful on the bees and sometimes they never recover enough to make it through a winter and become a productive hive. I hope you are getting some coin for the removals because the bees are never enough to cover the cost and time involved in an extraction.
 

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I think your summation of the results being a combination of things is absolutely spot on.

Stress is a huge factor when removing bees. Secondly, the apparent cold temperatures caused them to want to form a cluster, but where? When you tear apart a colony, it's tough for them to regain their bearing inside the hive. And lastly, airflow. 'Nuff said.

At least you've got a lesson from them, so not all was lost!

Better luck next time.
DS
 

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I also always discard the honey. If it is capped I crush, strain and bottle it for later use.
 

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Having the bees soaked in honey, will cause suffocation. I had the same thing happen last year, on a cutout, and we had a bee vac. It was such a mess from the word go, that honey got pulled into the hose, and the bees got pulled through the hose, and 8 hours later we had dead bees. Somehow the vent on the box, had got closed too much, and it caused the honey to be pulled into the hose. We readjusted the vent, but it appears that the damage was done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
>> Checked out your Facebook page, very nice, you sure did try. First time I ever saw a "camo" bee suit".

Thanks, if you like the facebook page check out www.BillysBees.com I have a number of photos, including some good high res shots of my queen,
I need do redo the site, the hosting provider updated there web server software and it through off the spacing and sizing.

I found the “camo” bee suit on ebay, someone in the UK makes it. I bought it for my future step son (age 16) he loves it. Up until now he has been wearing a Tyvek painter’s suit and has been hinting about wanting a suit of his owne.


>> I always try not to place any honey in the frames when i do a cutout just put in brood.

I also try to only cutout the brood for the fames, the problem in this was that access to the comb was restricted and the honey just came poring down on the bees and brood as I removed the comb. When I got to the back of the colony it was much better, as there was less honey and some very nice brood comb.


>> Suffocation most likely. The bee-vac I only use for excess.

I think Suffocation is also a real possibility, when I checked on the bees in the morning the entrance way was blocked with dead honey socked bees.


>> I hope you are getting some coin for the removals because the bees are never enough to cover the cost and time involved in an extraction.

LOL --- Yes I got a bit of coin for this job, $200….. Swarm pick up is free, but hard labor has a price.


>>> At least you've got a lesson from them, so not all was lost!

That is why I am here posting. This was only my second cutout, I have two more coming up over the next couple of weeks and the more I pick the brains of those that have done them, the more bees that will survive.

Mistakes are opportunities to learn…. :doh:

Thanks for all of your comments and suggestions.

Bill

www.BillysBees.com
 

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put your mind to it, and build a vaccuum. I did, it isn't that hard to do. keep removing all the bees you can get off everything, until you get the queen. Take your time, if something isn't working right, fix it don't just keep going and hope it will work out.
I have 2 boxes for my vaccuum, and won't do a cutout without both. if something isn't working right, I can change boxes to make sure I "see" what happens after I fix it.
as I remove comb, I look at it, "what is it?" honey in one bucket, empty comb in another, and brood into frames. If honey is in the way, remove it, and then go back to bees.
If you try to do too much too fast, you end up with too little too late....
 

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I use a bee vac. Usually I will vacuum bees from the outside entrance getting as many of the bees entering and exiting the hive. I have spent as long as 5 hours vacuuming on the outside then going to the inside the next day.

When I open up the area inside the house I vacuum as many bees as possible before ever trying to put a knife to any of the comb. I have very little dead bees vacuuming. But I also use the Robo vac which vacuums the bees into the bottom of a hive box (Brood, Medium, Shallow) with frames. I usually spray the frames heavily with SW before starting.

Lose very few bees this way.
 

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Sometimes a well built bee-vac can really be the ticket. I wish I would have finished mine before I did this cut out on Tuesday, there was a bunch of bees in there, probably the biggest swarm I have seen yet personally. Though they had set up shop, they had not been in there very long, maybe 5 days? Guess I really should learn how to put pics on here to post some of it.

Craig
 
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