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Author Topic: First cutout coming up this weekend  (Read 2344 times)
Moonshae
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« on: April 29, 2008, 07:02:07 PM »

I got a call today from a guy who has a hive inside of an old ice chest outside (which can be cut apart, if necessary). They've apparently been there for a few years (sounds like a good thing to me), and they've finally become a nuisance to him. So tomorrow I go to take pictures, and this weekend, I'll do the cutout. I'll bring as many tools on the list as I have, but I'm missing a lot. I think a lot of the power tools will be unnecessary, since I shouldn't be cutting through walls or anything. I'm hoping I can just disassemble anything I need to on this thing.

When I take pictures tomorrow, I'll post them here to get any advice you might have. I'm nervous but excited.

I forgot to ask if he's ever sprayed them with chemicals, but I will ask tomorrow.
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HAB
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2008, 07:54:31 PM »

Watch out for the freon.  It may or may not still have some in it.  Old refrigerators and freezers sometimes are better made than you might think.  A Sawzall might be needed. Wishing you the best of luck.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2008, 11:20:01 PM »

Pardon me for showing my age but ice boxes were called ice boxes because they used ice as a coolant.  Refirigerators and Freezers use freon and most commercial freezers (building size) use ammonia.  Most ice boxes I remember looked like cabinet with one section for a large ice block with a water resevour to hold the melt off.
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HAB
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« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2008, 11:31:04 PM »

I may have miss understood what he meant.  My parents, now in their early 70's refer to refrigerators and freezers upright and chest as ice boxes.  And I've head others do the same. My son in law builds walk-ins and ice machines and some of those are often call ice boxes.  Some are quite solid.
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JP
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« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2008, 04:06:33 AM »

See now I'm thinking ice chest like in cooler, something with handles you bring to the beach or fishing. No?

Whatever it is, one of the most important things you can have is a bucket of warm or hot water, or just water period, to wash honey off of tools etc...

Good luck and have fun.


...JP
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« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2008, 08:34:12 AM »

My first thought was as JP's. A cooler for beer. Just me!
Have fun Moonshae and congrats. Either way, it should be an easier one as it will definitaley be contained to a limited area. I bought a bunch of serrated knives from dollar store. Awesome cutters and easy to wield. Post pictures and I am sure you will get better answers.
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Moonshae
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« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2008, 07:05:23 PM »

Ok, I'm an idiot. I took my camera, took pictures of the ice chest, but forgot to bring the cable home to be able to get the pics off my camera...I charged the camera at work.

The first big plus is that they are indeed honeybees!

So, verbal description. This is not a fridge, or a cooler. This is a huge, walk-in thing with two rooms. Walls are about 2" thick. I have to go in from the outside, though, because the inside is full of crap. The outside is sheet metal of some sort, and there's a 1" hole where the bees found access. It appears they have built the hive between the walls, so...I'm not sure what it's going to look like when I actually open it up...would they make row after row of very narrow combs? It'll be pretty hard to rubber band those into frames, but I guess I could cut them up into short strips and rubberband several onto each frame.

On the plus side, it shouldn't be too hard to remove a huge chunk of the wall to get at the hive, assuming it is in the wall, and not in the roof. If it's in the roof, I don't know what I'm going to do...the guy wants to be able to repair it, so I can't just destroy as I go...I have to be a little conscious of how much damage I cause.

Another complication is that the guy who owns the house isn't the person I've spoken with; it's his friend. The guy who owns the place works carnivals, and he's rarely home. So...all the information I get and give goes through an intermediary. I think I'm going to call the friend again and discuss possibilities, if the homeowner isn't going to be there. If I have to go into the roof, the damage will be more extensive, but to my benefit, the combs would be larger, and not thin strips. It'll also be a much bigger PITA to do the removal.

Has anyone ever started a removal, and given up due to the difficulty? I'm hesitant to cut into this thing and not be able to do the work...leaving the guy with damage to repair and no solution to his problem.
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JP
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« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2008, 11:48:07 PM »

Quote from Moonshae:

Has anyone ever started a removal, and given up due to the difficulty? I'm hesitant to cut into this thing and not be able to do the work...leaving the guy with damage to repair and no solution to his problem.

My answer: Before you take on this project try and determine exactly where the hive is by drilling, etc... If you have access to a borescope it may prove useful.

Once you start a job you must finish it, even if it means going back with someone who can assist you.

Good luck.


...JP

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Moonshae
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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2008, 09:14:09 AM »

That makes sense, JP. I was going to listen through the walls to find the buzzing first.

I'm going to try to convince the guy to let me cut in from the inside, since it has wooden walls inside. He wants to repair it after I'm finished, so I think wood being easier to repair will help convince him...also, if the bees are in the ceiling/roof, I'll need to go through the inside anyway.

Here are the pics:

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kathyp
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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2008, 09:52:30 AM »

boy, that sounds like it could be a tough one if you can't go through the wood...unless the metal outside has screws or rivets that can be popped.  my concern would be that the hole and the hive are a distance from each other.  is there a bigger space, perhaps in the roof of this thing, where they could have built?

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« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2008, 10:07:44 AM »

You will find rows of comb, look like lobes of lungs. If the hive is older, they will actually be firm and relatively easy to grip, cut and insert in a frame w/ rubber bands. I cut the whiole comb off, brush bees into cardboard box or bucket, lay comb on something flat. put frame on top of comb, score the comb w/ knife and cut so it will fit nice and snug in frame. if the comb is too soft ot so disorganized, it will be a lot more difficult.

My first one was very dificult one, but i learned so much. Since its been there a while, maybe you could do a diff one first and do this one in a few weeks. My advice is at some point just jump on in and start to learn . I had a rough time but it was in the end worth it.
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Moonshae
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« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2008, 10:31:53 AM »

It looks like there is a combination of screws and rivets. I can probably cut some, too. But I'm really hoping to make the case for going from the inside...I really think they're in the roof space, not the wall.

They said the hive has been here for a number of years, so the comb should be fairly sturdy.

EDIT: Going from the inside is a no-go, unfortunately. The guy insists they're in the wall, so I picked up a sawzall and some metal cutting blades. He's ok with just cutting a huge hole in the metal; he's going to cover it with plywood.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2008, 01:22:21 PM by Moonshae » Logged

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JP
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« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2008, 01:37:48 PM »

I wish I had more to go on but my guess is that they are in the wall, not the ceiling. Like Kathy mentioned you can prob go in from the exterior, drill out the rivets and remove screws. The exterior should come off then. May be some caulking you'll need to tussel with, but I would try and remove the exterior wall without cutting so it can be put back in one piece.


...JP
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Moonshae
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« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2008, 02:57:36 PM »

I will try to remove it without cutting if I can, but if the owner is ok with cutting, I won't hesitate if that's what I need to do. I'm surprised the bees would build in such a narrow space. This is going to be an adventure, one way or the other!
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2008, 06:27:37 PM »

That looks like a commercial "walkin" cooler so it could have pipes running through the wall to carry the coolant, and with that sized unit it could also be ammonia.  The pipes will most likely be aluminum or copper tubing.  A little extra care is warranted here.
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Moonshae
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« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2008, 08:09:56 PM »

Thanks for the heads up; I thought maybe the unit on the inside did all the cooling, like an air conditioner. I'll keep my eyes open when working.
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