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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a bit nervous of this one.
The first time I saw the pic, I figured a 3-4lbs swarm had bunched up on the guy's eve.
Leaf Tree Plant Membrane-winged insect Luffa

But when I showed up it's open air comb hung on the eve. It's been there 3 months, and its 2 foot tall, maybe a foot wide.
So I didn't bring enough boxes (like a newb).
2 weeks go by and today I can finally get back to do the cut out today, and it's bigger.

Leaf Plant Tree Flower

I realize the pictures are from different angles, and exaggerate the difference a bit, but I'll repost with measurements.
Trouble is it's bit overcast and rainy today. And with this many bees, I don't want cause trouble in the neighborhood.
Bee-vac, lots of smoke, and maybe sugar water to keep them all clumped?

Advice and good ju-ju welcome.
 

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No!

Definitely do not use sugar-water, it will make the bees stick together, clog the vac, and kill thousands of bees. If the hive is gentle, don't smoke. Smoke and a vac causes the bees to vomit and that's about the same as using sugar water.

Also, make sure you have modest vacuum pressure, too much will kill thousands more bees.

And this isn't that large of a colony.

Brown Soil Wool Beige Pattern

That comb was about 4 ft high (underneath all those bees) and maybe 2 ft wide.

But here's my advice. If this is your second cutout, find an experienced beekeeper and ask for his help. OR, go with him on a cutout or two to learn some things.

I don't know how well your first cutout went, but you may have gotten lucky. Often you run into 'unexpected events' that endanger both people and the colony. Get some experience so that your cutouts are enjoyable instead of painful. Your picture looks like a really easy cutout, IF you know what you're doing. And it looks like a major challenge, IF you don't have any experience.

I wouldn't want you to drive in Chicago rush-hour traffic without any driving experience. And I don't want you to do cutouts without meaningful experience either. Both can lead to disasters.

Good luck & God Bless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Insect Bee Beehive Honeybee Membrane-winged insect

Insect Bee Beehive Honeycomb Membrane-winged insect

Bee Beehive Honeybee Membrane-winged insect Insect

sorry, couldn't get the final to rotate.

Property House Building Wall Architecture


Couldn't have hoped for better bees.
3 of us went to remove it, no stings, no stingers on anyone's suit.
Bees stacked the eve that day when we were leaving, but by the next day most all had found the hive.
Checked them today and found strong numbers in the hive, and good traffic to and from the entrance.
The comb was quite heavy with honey, and brood, and I was nervous to make the hour + drive to their new home.
So, I plan to leave them in place for a week or two to the them secure the comb to the frames.
I'll post again we they get moved.
 

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Nicely done!

A couple of comments. Yes, that is plenty of comb. I usually just rubber band into frames comb with brood. I would expect maybe 6-8 frames of brood from that size colony. Maybe a full deep but not much more. No need to keep empty comb. No need to give them much honey. Take some 5gal buckets for those. I see 4 deeps stacked up? I'm about 2 hours north of you. In our climate, a colony needs 1 deep and 1 super as 'their' space. Any honey above that is mine. A colony that size could use an extra super or two on top of those 2 boxes (just for space for them to spend the night inside). Reducing the height of the colony will make lifting/moving a whole lot easier. And not including all the honey also really lightens the weight.

Also did you make sure to group the brood in the middle? You don't want them spread out. For moving, I used to use my pickup truck, but I've found it easier to transport inside my minivan. Oh, you might make sure fire ants can't get into the colony now that it's on the ground, that'll be a sure way to have the colony abandon everything.

You did a bunch of things right. Having 3 people made it much easier. It looks like you had sufficient equipment. The 'no stingers on suits' is almost unbelievable, I'm so used to partially africanized colonies. On occasion I'll see that, but don't expect to see such calm colonies regularly. No dead pets in the background pictures. Well done!
 

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Nicely done!

A couple of comments. Yes, that is plenty of comb. I usually just rubber band into frames comb with brood. I would expect maybe 6-8 frames of brood from that size colony. Maybe a full deep but not much more. No need to keep empty comb. No need to give them much honey. Take some 5gal buckets for those. I see 4 deeps stacked up? I'm about 2 hours north of you. In our climate, a colony needs 1 deep and 1 super as 'their' space. Any honey above that is mine. A colony that size could use an extra super or two on top of those 2 boxes (just for space for them to spend the night inside). Reducing the height of the colony will make lifting/moving a whole lot easier. And not including all the honey also really lightens the weight.

Also did you make sure to group the brood in the middle? You don't want them spread out. For moving, I used to use my pickup truck, but I've found it easier to transport inside my minivan. Oh, you might make sure fire ants can't get into the colony now that it's on the ground, that'll be a sure way to have the colony abandon everything.

You did a bunch of things right. Having 3 people made it much easier. It looks like you had sufficient equipment. The 'no stingers on suits' is almost unbelievable, I'm so used to partially africanized colonies. On occasion I'll see that, but don't expect to see such calm colonies regularly. No dead pets in the background pictures. Well done!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I plan to reduce it to 2-3 boxes, but ran out of daylight, and my help ran out of "want-to".
Had two boxes on the bee vac, and filled a box and a half of brood/honey.
and just combined them before leaving.
I used as little empty comb as I could but the heat made the comb really soft, so I was trying for full frames as often as I could.
I ended up with a 5 gallon bucket full of "scrap" comb.
Yep all brood in the middle, as best I could.
Homeowner is fine letting them hang out for a bit, So, like I said, I'll leave them in place at least till this weekend.
Then I'll try and reduce the extra space, and make a plan to move them.

It was pleasant, and the lack of aggression was unexpected but appreciated.


Thanks for the feedback.
 
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