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Author Topic: 1st cut out  (Read 1399 times)
dirtyanklebeekeeper
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« on: May 26, 2009, 03:30:05 PM »

We received an email today from a lady who recently moved into a home near by. The home was unoccupied for three years before she and her hubby purchased it. At any rate they have discovered what they believe to be a honeybee colony living in the attic. They can be seen entering the home from the outside around some flashing or something she said. I asked if they could be accessed from inside and she said yes. My next question was how do you know this. She said that she went to the attic once and turned a light on and when she did the bees swarmed to the light. Does this sound like honey bees to anyone. I have not been around them with lights to know if they will swarm to light. Also we will use a bee vac to retrieve the bees what should we look to of the existing comb? Any suggestions are more than welcome.

Damien
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Damien
G3farms
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« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2009, 06:24:16 PM »

I have worked bees in the dark of night with a flashlight and some will come to it but not swarm. Swarm to me and you (100's of bees) means different than swarm to a non-beek (4 or 5 bees).

If she is not too far away go and have a look.

It will get hot in the attic so take some breaks to cool off and get liquids.

Depending on where they are in the attic, might even bee in the eaves, if could be an easy or difficult to reach job.

If you can reach them with ease go for it. grandma-dog has some good video on him doing a cut out. Put as much brood in the racks as possible, the honey comb will be difficult to get to stay but can be done. The honey comb makes a good mess and will drown bees if you are not carful with it, use only capped honey for best results.

Go take a look and bring them bees home.

G3
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JP
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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2009, 09:29:21 PM »

Bring a red lensed flash light or put red cellophane over yours, the bees won't mind the intrusion. Keep the attic light off.

Attic removals can be some of the toughest that there are, size it up and see if its something you want to take on.

Best of luck.


...JP
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kathyp
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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2009, 09:44:12 PM »

did one a few weeks ago.  i probably will not do another.  it was most unpleasant.  if the hive is jammed down in the eaves, as it probably will be, i'd suggest you walk away.  it would probably not be a good first cutout.

if you decide to do it, make sure you are well protected.  you will be trapped in the attic with a bunch of very upset bees.  take a tarp to shove under the hive and something long handled so that you can reach all the way back to where the roof and floor come together.  also consider some breathing protection because you will probably be face down in some kind of insulation.

read the section on equipment for removals and remember that the access to the attic will probably be small.
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dirtyanklebeekeeper
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« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2009, 09:23:02 AM »

Thank you all this info is going to help a lot. I have talked to the woman and told her we will be there this evening. I also told her I was making no promises. We are going to take everything with us, size up the removal and if it looks like something we can do we will get it done if not we will walk away. We will be fortunate in that we will have a bee vac. We belong to our local beekeepers association and they had one for us to borrow. I will take plenty of pics and post as soon as I can. Thanks to everyone

Damien
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Damien
dirtyanklebeekeeper
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« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2009, 11:35:48 AM »

We went last night to do the cut out. We went into the attic and found a fair amount of comb and lots of bees but decided to try to recover them from the outside. We pulled some wood off close to the soffit and found about 6 nice sized combs there. We vacumed and gathered the comb both outside and attic comb and the bees seemed to keep coming litterally from the woodwork. Well we have detemined that they were very well establised in a wall which is where we believe the queen to be. Problem is the house is bricked. Looks like the only way to get the rest would be to cut into the sheetrock from inside the home. I am waiting for the homeowner to call me back and tell me if they want to go further. I would really prefer not to cut the wall but I think if I don't the homeowner may exterminate the rest of the colony.

on another note we hived the bees that we got out of there along with 4 frames of comb which had a good amount of brood cells and honey too. would you introduce a new queen or try to let them raise one? I see no queen cells on what we got.
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Damien
iddee
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« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2009, 12:02:25 PM »

To raise their own will take about 45 days for the first bee to emerge. That will be mid July. Everything will be done blooming by then.

Best to buy a mated queen.
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dirtyanklebeekeeper
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« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2009, 12:52:41 PM »

Thank you.
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Damien
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« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2009, 12:16:05 AM »

If you had combs with eggs and other brood I'd try to raise a queen for the feral genetics...but that's me.
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JP
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« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2009, 08:56:30 AM »

Quote from Dirtyankle " I would really prefer not to cut the wall but I think if I don't the homeowner may exterminate the rest of the colony."

This is where you tell them, most attempts at spraying colonies fail.

Also, even more importantly, if they are sprayed, and not killed off, the colony could move between the brick and the vapor barrier (blackboard) if your houses are built anywhere like our brick houses are, and in that space, there are no boundaries, as in an enclosed wall space, where they probably are now.

How do I know this? Because I have seen this many, many times and its not a pretty sight and the job of removing bees and honey off of bricks and mortar becomes a nightmare.

Tell them with confidence, that the bees and comb needs to come out, or a trap out needs to be done. Talk to Iddee about trapouts and read his posts about trap outs on here.


...JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

My pictures can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus
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