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Author Topic: Swamp Cut Out  (Read 2265 times)
Understudy
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« on: January 12, 2009, 12:23:34 PM »

I have some people who know I am a beekeeper. They have places out in the middle of the swamp. Since these places are about the only suitable places for miles they very often get beehives in them. I have removed hives from these places before. But this one was one of the most remote. Usually I go to remove them during the dry season since I can usually walk out there. This one wasn't going to be one of those.

The lodge was a 20 minute airboat ride from the ramp. So even walking there was out of the question. A swamp buggy might have worked but there are some very deep areas out there and it could swallow the buggy. I brought some help for me on this one. Cara (not my sister) came with me on this cut out. Jerry was the person who asked me to come and do the cut out. Jerry works as a fireman in SoFla. It was also Jerry's airboat that was taking us to the location. The boat ramp is off of the Alligator Alley highway.

Now getting to the boat ramp means on a Sunday I had to get up at 6:00am in morning. On a Sunday that is a crime. So I reluctantly woke up and just to be mean woke my wife up also. Hey, if I have to suffer so should she, right? Janel was a good sport about it and made lunch. I picked up Cara and drove out to the boat ramp. We met Jerry and unloaded the equipment on to the airboat. This was a very cool looking airboat lots of anodized purple on the metal and a nice set of art work on the fins. Since we loaded up the boat we couldn't run out there are a full speed. but it was really nice to be able to just sit back and enjoy the landscape, sort of. When you are on an airboat you usually wear headset for protection against the noise of the engine. You will also wear sun glasses not because of the sun, but because of the bugs. Which means if you open your mouth you will get plenty of protein.

On the ride out there you will see tons of birds and other wildlife. Even in the swamp this is considered winter and most of the gators are off taking it easy. We still saw one on the ride out there. When ever you ride an airboat try to make sure it has a grass rake on it. The reason for that is the tall grass bends over the bow and whips you mercilessly. The grass rake causes the grass to bend long before it can reach you. A grass rake is nice but it does nothing about the grass that comes over the side.

When we reached the lodge we had seen that they had taken most of the shingles off the side. I started to asses how big the hive was. So I drilled a hole near what I guessed to be the top. Which in this case was just below a window sill. And I guessed right. When I drilled I hit comb. And now I have bees telling me they don't like my ideas on redecorating.

Jerry got suited up in his fireman gear and used one of my extra veils. Cara wore her protection. I went in with the veil and gloves. The bees took advantage of my exposed forearms and I received a few stings there. Hives in walls like this are difficult to cut out properly. If you expose the whole hive you risk it collapsing on itself under it's own weight. When you remove the side panel The comb tends to have attachment points to it. Removal of those all at once removes structural support. So what we dis was working form the bottom toward the top we removed it sections. This helped to prevent total collapse. It was a good thing to do.

The hive had about 100lbs/45.35kg of honey. The hive was also getting at the early stages of swarm mode. The drone comb was massive and the brood comb was minimal. I didn't even fill up five frames with brood. A little longer and the queen cells when have been there.

It took about 5-6 hours to do the cutout. Near the end I decided to check the next chamber on the wall just to be sure the bees had not built in two sections. They had not but there was a mass of bees there. So they were getting ready to. We moved most of the bees into the box. Loaded up the airboat and prepared to head back.

The trip on the way back was very nice because in the morning it was cold (cold for SoFla). The afternoon was nice and warm (like it should be in SoFla). We saw a river otter bounce around in the grasses as we headed back. It was really nice to see a river otter in the wild.

The hive is at the bee farm and I will probably requeen it. But I will want to see how they are doing.

You can see the pictures here:
http://www.brendhanhorne.com/coppermine_dir/thumbnails.php?album=178

You can also see a short video I shot here:


Enjoy.


Sincerely,
Brendhan



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HAB
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« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2009, 12:40:16 PM »

Great Job with the cut out.  Loved the pics.  Can't wait for the swarms and cut outs to start in this area. Smiley
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JP
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« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2009, 10:11:50 PM »

Great job!


...JP
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2009, 10:47:33 PM »

Swamplands, flat as a pancake and grass like a carpet.  I dunno I kept looking for higher ground to show on the horizen.  My Washington eyes are used to seeing mountains, not a lot of nothing.
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Keith13
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« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2009, 09:23:27 AM »

Brendhan correct me if I'm wrong but the whole everglades is actually a river not a swamp. Rarely does it ever exceed 4" deep the deep holes are created by alligators digging to keep a permanent source of H2o. I took an airboat tour of it right after Andrew blew through it was awesome that was my first time in an airboat plus the scenery of the everglades itself was just awesome and beautiful
But stay on topic
Looks like an easy  enough cutout but when you throw the logistics into the job it looks to make quite the difficult cutout
Good job Brendhan

Keith
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« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2009, 04:27:19 PM »

Brendhan correct me if I'm wrong but the whole everglades is actually a river not a swamp. Rarely does it ever exceed 4" deep the deep holes are created by alligators digging to keep a permanent source of H2o. I took an airboat tour of it right after Andrew blew through it was awesome that was my first time in an airboat plus the scenery of the everglades itself was just awesome and beautiful

It is suppose to be a river but development has been crippling to that. Also it is a slow moving river. That would flow from almost Orlando to Miami. It still flows but not like it use to. A serious point of contention if you have even the slightest environmental inkling. However it is not wrong to call it a swamp. There are those who call it a river of grass.

Edit to Add
The swamp does not appear deep. You see what seems like the bottom and all this wildlife that just seems to move across it with no problem. The appearance is deceitful. While yest there are shallow areas. You can not tell the difference between them and the deep spots and there are plenty of deep spots. Also the ground in some areas is very loosely compacted.You step and step and then sink. Remember there was a plane crash years back and the entire plane disappear. The wildlife is at least adapted to the area. Planes and people not so much.

Quote
But stay on topic
Looks like an easy  enough cutout but when you throw the logistics into the job it looks to make quite the difficult cutout
Good job Brendhan

Keith

It's all about the looks. Smiley

Sincerely,
Brendhan
« Last Edit: January 13, 2009, 08:41:39 PM by Understudy » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2009, 08:25:50 PM »

Brendhan, what an adventure.  That would be so fun to do!  The wildlife & plants would keep me busy forever!  Bet there is tons of stuff lurking that you can't readily see, probably big crawlies & slitherys too!  Good job!  Someday I would love to do that.  J
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« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2009, 08:35:28 PM »

Brendhan, what an adventure.  That would be so fun to do!  The wildlife & plants would keep me busy forever!  Bet there is tons of stuff lurking that you can't readily see, probably big crawlies & slitherys too!  Good job!  Someday I would love to do that.  J
We saw deer while we were there also. And yes it has lots of very cool stuff.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

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Keith13
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« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2009, 08:03:32 AM »

Brendhan sorry another question about the everglades.
I hear a lot of reports about the invasive species that have moved in mainly the snakes, pythons, boas, and other pets people have released. Is it really as big a problem as the media says or no? Granted I understand one breeding pair is a problem but I saw a national geographic episode and they made it seem the area was crawling with Asian snakes. What's your take on it?

Keith
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« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2009, 08:17:14 AM »

Brendhan sorry another question about the everglades.
I hear a lot of reports about the invasive species that have moved in mainly the snakes, pythons, boas, and other pets people have released. Is it really as big a problem as the media says or no? Granted I understand one breeding pair is a problem but I saw a national geographic episode and they made it seem the area was crawling with Asian snakes. What's your take on it?

Keith

I am not in the deep swamp everyday. But I have friends who are park rangers in the area. It is a problem. How large is uncertain. Are their boas in the swamp you bet. Are they breeding yes they are. The other problem is what predators they have. There are birds that will eat them baby snakes but once they reach a certain size they are to large. Gators will also eat snakes. However the results may not curtail the numbers. I have not seen a python or Boa in the swamp but the rangers say they are there and are seeing them with increased frequency. My understanding is that the problem is getting bigger.

I am willing to bet they are out there and increasing, and since they are not indigenous they do pose a serious threat to the native wildlife. As far as threat to humans I am still far more concerned about the cottonmouth than the boas and Asian snakes.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

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catfishbill
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« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2009, 05:01:32 PM »

hey brendhan that looked like it was a fun and a good time had by all. :-Dbut i got to ask did you see charlie daniels or "lucias clay and did he get up and walk around" in that wooly swamp. grin
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« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2009, 05:06:44 PM »

hey brendhan that looked like it was a fun and a good time had by all. :-Dbut i got to ask did you see charlie daniels or "lucias clay and did he get up and walk around" in that wooly swamp. grin
grin grin grin
I was on the look out for the fabled Skunk Ape.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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