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Discussion Starter #1
Got a swarm call yesterday.
Bees showed up at the house and moved into a hole in the side of a dormer 12' up. Looks like a large swarm by the phone picks.

What technique would you use to remove/hive them.

1 Trapout with screen funnel, deep with part empty combe and part foundation. Possibly add brood frame after enough bees to cover it.

2 Screen funnel to bee vac (robo vac) and chase them out with honey robber. Im thinking long stick with a rag taped on the end to add the honey robber so it can be removed after the bees are out. Add a frame of brood to entice them to stay.

Any other advice?

I am guessing there was no combe in the cavity to start with.

I hope to start tomorrow or tuesday.
Thanks
Stephen
 

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Re: Now with picks!Trapout or honeyrobber and vac?

Well the owners let me pull the roof off of the dormer so I did a cutout with the robo vac.
I had a little problem with bees plugging the hose till I increased the vacuum. Then all went well. Surprisingly very few dead bees in the bottom.

Just setting up hear.

After I sucked up most of the bees. I removed the wood they had drawn comb on and brought it to ground level to check for the queen. 2 days of comb.


I cut each comb off and check for her but no such luck.
I mounted what comb there was (some had eggs) in another 10 deep and placed it over the deep all the bees were in and pulled back the screen a bit so they would go up.
There were quite a few bees flying around the old hive area but none were clustering (good thing)?
What bees were left on the wood I put in front of the new hive and most went in.
There was lots of fanning at the new hive and the old sight.
I placed a queen excluder on the top and bottom of the 2 deeps, I don't have brood to offer them, I have a couple of brood frames lined up for Thursday.
I checked on them 3 hrs later a few bees flying at the old sight. Most at the new hive were in, a few still fanning, put a quart of sugar on the entrance.
I peeked in the top and found no bees in the top box covering the comb. I did see a bunch in the bottom box.
I'm hoping I sucked up the queen with the bees. There was lots of festooning and she could very well been with them.
I know if there is a virgin in there its not so good to queen exclude but I would rather not loose them.
Thursday I sould get brood in there move them home and remover the excluder.

Anyone have any advice at this point?
Thanks for any help
Stephen
 

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Re: Now with picks!Trapout or honeyrobber and vac?

Good job, you are probably right about having vacuumed the queen. They generally survive vacuuming.

You're are beyond loco though standing on the very top of a ladder to work. Nuts.

Don
 

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Re: Now with picks!Trapout or honeyrobber and vac?

I hope you got paid large coinage for that job. That is a lot of work and not a very large number of bees. In my experience the bees from a take out should not even be considered as any sort of compensation for doing the work. When I did my first couple I was excited about getting the bees. Now that I've done several years of this I am much more excited to get the money and I charge good money to do this kind of work. I am lucky in that I can provide a complete service and not rely on anyone else to do any of the work.
I also use a vacuum a lot but I've never had the hose clog. What size hose do you use? I use a cheap vacuum set up in a similar way as yours and I use a 2-1/2" hose for the bees. The vacuum kill very few bees. I can literally count the dead bees after a take out and I've sucked up many a queen without killing one yet. I've missed several but never found a dead queen in the vacuum bottom. I set mine up with the vacuum source from the bottom and bees get sucked through the top and into the deep 10 frame box. Is this how yours is configured?
 

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Re: Now with picks!Trapout or honeyrobber and vac?

Fortunately for the home owners I am new and was happy to get free bees.
It's pretty big news I guess for Alberta it's been on the news and the front page of the RedDeer paper LOL.
I'm not into fame but it's a good thing to get peoples minds on the bees.
Bees looked pretty content this morning.
A few still flying around the old sight.
Still no action in the top box probly will remove it till it's needed.
Should get a frame or 2 of brood in tomorrow and hopefully relocate them to my place tomorrow night.

My bee vac is pretty much identical to the robo vac on YouTube except my shop vac motor comes off with a quarter turn so I just cut a hole for it in the top of the bee vac it's all in one unit.
I was running the vac with way too little flow at the start, bees would get sucked in but could hold on inside the hose. Once I closed one of my valves on top, to get a bit more flow I could feel the bees go up the hose as they were sucked up. I'm using regular shop vac hose, would be nice to get some that is smooth on the inside.

Thanks for letting me know the queen can make it through the vac. As you said very few dead bees, so if she did go in all should be good.
I will take some picks of the nee vac if anyone is interested.
Stephen
 
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