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Author Topic: First time cutout questions  (Read 1116 times)
crowhammer
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« on: January 29, 2009, 09:30:45 PM »

Hey everybody!
     I got a call from a neighbor of some friends of my in-laws, who knew I have bees. He has bees in a burn barrel that's been stored upside down. I've never done a cutout and only have a vague idea of what's involved, but figured I have to start somewhere. Now I have some questions. Can I just turn the barrel on it's side and crawl in and start cutting? Or will the comb all fall apart? Do I spray them with sugar water first? or smoke them?
     When I am done, I am planning on leaving the hive box w/ cutout comb where the barrel was for a few days. Should I get rid of the barrel, or just put the hive on top of the barrel and not worry about it?
     What haven't I thought of and am not planning for? And finally, would anyone like to come along on saturday morning and supervise?(ha,ha).
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Greg Peck
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« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2009, 09:55:36 PM »

I am buying tickets to Florida now....I am tired of ice here anyway.  First are you sure they are honey bees. If you have not seen them yet don’t get your hopes up. It has been my experience that most of the time the general public can not tell the difference between a honey bee and any other bug you can list. It sounds like you will have to tip the barrel on its side to get them out. Unless it is situated in some way that you  can stand under it. The comb will probably break off some but you will get that with any cut out. So long as it does not get squashed it should be fine. You will want to have empty frames on hand and some large rubber bands or string. Once you get a large piece of comb out you can trim it to fit into the frame then use the rubber bands or string to hold it in place. The bees will secure it to the frame once it is in the new hive then you can remove the string or band if the bees have not did it for you already.

Misting with sugar water is good. Smoking I would say is a must. Smoke them then wait a few minutes then smoke them a little more. I don’t think it would matter to much if the barrel was there or not. It is going to have honey all over it from the cut out so I would probably put it “right side” up and let the bees clean it out. Defiantly leave the hive on site for a few days. You said you were gong to do this in the morning. I would wait until late morning until the foragers are out foraging, just less bees to deal with. 

I use  rubber gloves like the ones for cleaning the bathroom, I found that using the leather beekeepers gloves squashes the comb to much and is a pain. I always use a bee suit. It really is not a difficult thing to do but you can expect to get stung a few times.

Oh make sure you have your camera along to take pics so you can post them on the forum so all of us in cold country can be jealous. Good Luck
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crowhammer
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« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2009, 10:19:28 PM »

     I'm not sure you really want to come down now. The high on Saturday is only going to be in the upper 50's. BRRR! Oh, When Will This Abominable Winter End!!!
     Seriously, thanks for the advice on the rubber gloves. It never even crossed my mind how messy the cutout would be... Newbies, huh?.
     I have some sawhorses. Maybe I could bring them to get the barrel off the ground and do the cutout. Then I could leave the hive box on the horses, too. Hmmm.
     I like the idea of waiting til later, but am not sure scheduling will allow it. Will have to see.
Oh, and he assured me they were honeybees. So, I get to kick him in the knee if they aren't, right? that's the rule, right? especially after you get all excited and spend like 2 hours getting your gear together, right?
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kathyp
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« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2009, 10:32:36 PM »

i think there have been some other barrel cutouts posted.  do a search.  as i recall, there were even pictures.  also, read the sticky on equipment, etc.  we all put our best 2 cents worth into that.

i agree.  make sure they are honeybees before you go getting to involved.  can't tell you how many calls i have had for yellowjackts and even bumble bees.  even had one lady go out and take a picture of a honeybee only to find when i arrived that it was a yellowjacket nest that she wanted removed. 
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iddee
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« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2009, 10:47:50 PM »

Sure, I'll be glad to help. Just pick me up about noon Friday. It's only 800 miles or so.

Actually, you might want to rethink what you are doing. I have been removing bees for 30+ years, but I won't do it when the temp. is in the fifties.

I know you are in AHB territory, but at 50 degrees, it won't matter. European bees will act just like AHB. Expect upward of 200 stings in you and your suit if you do the removal saturday.

Otherwise, you could close it up, take it home, and do the cutout when it warms up into the 70's. Then return the barrel.
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crowhammer
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« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2009, 11:04:00 PM »

I will most definately do a search for barrel cutouts! thanks.
     Also, It was in the back of my mind that the bees may be calmer because of the cold weather, not more defensive. I will call the guy, and should be able to reschedule if waiting for warmer weather would be better.
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iddee
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« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2009, 01:47:37 PM »

But doing it now would be much more educational.   rolleyes   evil   evil   grin
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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