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Author Topic: Advice needed on a Cutout  (Read 5232 times)
Natalie
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« on: July 04, 2009, 08:11:15 PM »

Okay guys, I got a call about some bees living in the wall of a second floor bedroom today.
The people don't live there anymore, the house is empty but they stopped by to check on it and found bees flying around the bedroom and some dead bees scattered around the floor.
I went down there to check it out and I found insulation piled up in a corner of the room so I put my ear against that wall and heard the hum so I popped off the boards surrounding a pipe that ran through the room. I found bees flying around in there and was able to see that they were building just above that area in the slanted part of the ceiling.
I cut into the ceiling and found only 3 small combs with some pollen and eggs in it.
I did not see the queen but took all the comb and a large ball of bees covering it.
These bees have just taken up residence from what I can tell.
I cut the combs and put them into a couple of frames and scooped/brushed out a lot of bees.
They don't have much food stored at all and a handful of eggs.
Now here is what I am not sure about.
I really don't think I have the queen. All of the comb has been removed as well as the majority of the bees.
There are bees still hiding out between the cracks of the wood planks that run the length of the ceiling.
I can't go ripping out boards looking for them because they are most likely everywhere and it won't accomplish anything since I have the comb.
The bees are in a hive body, I nailed a screened inner cover on the bottom and put an inner cover on top.
I didn't leave them any entrance to get out as this is how I am going to be moving them.
 I set that on top of another box and a screened bottom board.
I came home to eat dinner with the family and I am hoping some of the strays will find the bottom box appealing.
They can see, hear and smell the rest of the colony in the screened in box so maybe they will head in.
I checked outside before I left and I saw bees heading in through the hole in the outside of the house.
I went inside and found that some of the bees were coming right into the bedroom from that hole and there were a couple flying around the hive bodies I left out.
So anyway, I am going to go back over and see what is happening but am open to any advice or thoughts on how long to wait on those other bees or whether I should set up a lure outside, what to do about the queen etc.
They have a contractor that will come over and make all the repairs when I tell them its okay to do so how long would you give them?
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Robo
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« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2009, 09:20:31 PM »

If you think you didn't get the queen and there are still bees wandering around in the space, I would leave a piece of comb with brood that is easily assessable in the hole. Given a few hours,  most of the bees and possible the queen if she is still there will move to the comb.

This is a trick I learned from Iddee and have had good success with it.  Especially whne there are a lot og cracks and crevices for them to hid form the bee vac.
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annette
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« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2009, 09:53:47 PM »

Wow Natalie

Is this your first cutout??? Sounds sort of complicated to me.  I just received a phone call from a man with bees up under his eaves, second story up.  They have been there over a week and he even said a few flew into his house from the fire place.  Yiks, I don't know what is happening with him, but I turned the job over to a more experienced beekeeper who was very happy to climb way up a ladder.

I just could not deal with climbing up that high.  

You are very brave to take on this job.  I did one cutout with lots of help, but I would never attempt any by myself.

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JP
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« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2009, 10:17:43 PM »

Natalie, even if you've removed all comb sections, it is very likely the bees will recluster where the hive was to rebuild the colony and the queen will most likely move with the rest of the bees to the cluster.

Go back and check the cluster, she will most likely be amongst them.

If they have not moved out you could run them out with a little beequick as long as you get the fumes in front of them.

Best of luck!


...JP
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Natalie
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« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2009, 11:22:28 PM »

Thanks so much for the input. I went back tonight after dinner and I didn't see any bees in the wall but there were maybe 50 or so bees that congregated on the windows.
I realize they probably are hiding in the cracks and crevices between the planking in the wall.
I blocked up the outside entrance so they can't head back outside in the morning and hopefully I can get the rest of them.
I will put a piece of comb there like you suggested Robo.
JP I was wondering about using some bee quick to drive the rest out, thanks.

Annette, yes this is my first cutout. I almost turned it over to someone else when I heard it was in the corner of the exterior of the house and then I said what the heck,  I'll at least go and look at it.
It turned out they were building the comb right behind a panel where pipes run through so it was easy enought to get to.

I had my husband with me, he doesn't know anything about doing a cutout but he helped me with whatever I thought needed to be done.
I have been reading as much as I can online about doing cutouts so if the opportunity ever arose I would be somewhat prepared so I just told my husband what I thought we should do and we got lucky with an easy enough one.
Its a good learning experience for both of us, he is really starting to get into the bees now so its been nice to have a hobby together.
The best part is that I took my son along at the last minute so he could see a cutout.
He is the one I gave a hive to this year, he is almost 7 and LOVES anything bees.
He asked me if he could come along and the look on his face was pure desperation, he just had to go.
I figured if things weren't going well we were only one town away and one of us could always bring him back home.
It worked out great though so now he has helped catch a swarm and do a cutout.
He is becoming very knowledgeable about bees and I am so proud of him.
So anyway, another adventure in beekeeping.

I really wish I got the queen but I just have this feeling that I didn't. I know you don't always see the queen in a colony but they aren't acting like they have a queen
When I caught the swarm there were bees fanning outside calling the other bees with their nasonov glands and the bees were flying right into the hive.
I don't see that happening here.
I will go back in the morning and see what is going on with them.
Thanks for all the help and support everyone.
I will let you know what happens after I get them in the morning.

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JP
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« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2009, 05:59:32 AM »

I'm very happy for you Natalie that your family is getting involved and sharing in the excitement of keeping bees. This is absolutely wonderful to hear. And to think, you're the one who can mentor them, and delegate responsibilities. Put them boys to work Natalie! Wink

...JP
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G3farms
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« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2009, 11:08:38 AM »

congrats on your first cut out, I am glad for you.

I hope you got the queen, if not mybe you will find her and the rest of the bees all balled up where the old comb was cut out.

Keep us posted on how it turns out.

G3
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« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2009, 12:32:29 PM »

Congrats! It is funny how us girls can get 'those guys' top help on cutouts! evil I did a removal from an old farm house and my 'helper' worked out just great on his first cutout....he did say that he wanted nothing more to do with bees though.... rolleyes

You did well, as you gained experience. You need experience and the only way that you will get it, is by doing....after time, you can tell what needs to be done and remember that each cutout is different! Lots of surprises in doing cutouts!

Those old houses and buildings have been built on to over the years and you never know what you will find structure wise! I once found part of a log cabin while doing a cutout! It was in TN and some years ago, but it shocked even the owners of the home....they had built a large two story home around a log cabin and covered it up!

Brenda
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Natalie
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« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2009, 02:09:01 PM »

I went over to the house today to check on things a couple of times.
The house is empty and only one town over so its not a big deal to check, the contractor they use is allergic to bees so he wants to give it a few days to be sure he won't run into any bees.
After removing the majority of the bees I had gone back that evening and found maybe 1000 more bees across the walls and windows of the bedroom.
Got them gathered up and made sure there weren't any more around so that I could gauge how much more were there by how many showed up again in the morning.
So I went back yesterday and there were maybe 50 on the walls.
Today I went back and there were only 5 bees.
I had been seeing bees in between the cracks of the boards but now I don't see any inside the wall at all.
They are flying around the outside of the eves, although there seem to be less and less of them.
I can stand inside the house and look directly outside at them flying around the eves, some had been darting right into the room but now they seem to be going to the left.
I watched some of them go into the space under the eves that they had been using as an entrance but I don't know where they are going from there.
I no longer hear any buzzing in the walls and there are only a few bees making it into the room in the house.

Do you all think they are just dwindling down and it will be the end of it soon?
I had put the box of bees in a hive with a screened entrance underneath the eves with some lemon grass oil as a lure but only 5 bees or so were buzzing around it.
They could move into the bottom box if they were so inclined but they don't appear to be.
I am really wondering about the queen now.
I was sure I did not get her but where is she?
I have not gone through the colony since the cutout because I was giving them a chance to settle down, but I wonderif I actually did get her.

If not, what do you think is going on here.
How long will she hide out while the colony dwindles away?
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iddee
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« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2009, 05:44:18 PM »

90%.....you got her

9%......She absconded

1% or less, she is still there.

Good job. I think you have yourself another hive.
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Natalie
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« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2009, 07:10:24 PM »

Thank you iddee, I am so glad that I decided to go for it.
I had been concerned that I wasn't going to be successful in getting all the bees when they were hiding in the cracks of the woodwork but by tonight I am feeling good about the way things went, especially since I just got your post. Wink
I am heading over shortly to bring home the hive and get them settled into the yard.
Thanks to everyone who gave me so much advice and support, it really means alot Smiley
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Jim 134
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« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2009, 05:58:57 AM »

How you got 2 4 of July hives.  applause applause applause


   BEE HAPPY Jim 134  Smiley
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Natalie
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« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2009, 06:04:23 PM »

Thats right Jim, that was a conicidence wasn't it?!
Jim was with me at field day when I got a queen cell for my queenless hive, actually he is the one that spoke up and got it for me when they man was looking for people to give them to.
I was a little shy about speaking up and asking for one so Jim said , right here right here, she needs one. Wink
He was so sweet to help me out, thanks again Jim.
She was to hatch on July 4 and I was told to not peek until then.
Its been rainy here for a couple of days so I am hoping tomorrow is sunny enough for me to peek into the hive and see if I have a new reining queen.
This will have worked out perfectly getting two new hives now.
This beekeeping thing is really fun. Wink
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iddee
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« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2009, 06:26:36 PM »

Don't be surprised or worried if you don't see anything. A newly emerged queen isn't much larger than a worker and is extremely hard to find. You aren't likely to have eggs for at least a week and probably two weeks before you see any.
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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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Natalie
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« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2009, 07:00:47 PM »

Thanks iddee that is good to know, now I won't worry if I don't see her or eggs right away.
This is the first time I have put a queen cell in a hive or had a virgin queen so I wasn't sure how the time line worked and when to look for eggs.
She is suppose to be of some desireable stock and I have some decent varied genetics among my hives
(if drones from my beeyard mate with her at all) so I am hoping this will turn things around for that hive and get them built up for wintering.
I will keep my eye out in the next couple of weeks for eggs now. Thanks again.
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Jim 134
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« Reply #15 on: July 08, 2009, 07:51:04 PM »

     Natalie.......

The virgin queen should have emerged on 6/24 on the 4 of July the  queen is about 11 to 12 day old


   BEE HAPPY Jim 134  Smiley
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Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/
Natalie
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« Reply #16 on: July 08, 2009, 09:03:57 PM »

Great Jim thanks, thats right, the guy said to expect july 4th babies.
I am hoping to go into the hives tomorrow if its sunny enough.
It didn't rain here today but it was very overcast and gloomy and I didn't think they would be in the best of moods so I am hoping to go into them tomorrow, I only need to check 4 hives so even if its sunny for a little while I can get it done.
The bees from the cutout are extremely gentle, no stings taking them out of the wall and they seemed pretty mellow when I brought them home and hived them.
I know that could change but it was great to have such gentle bees for my first cutout.
From their coloring I am assuming they are italians and they swarmed from a nearby beekeeper and set up shop in the eves of this house.

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Natalie
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« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2009, 11:32:50 PM »

I checked the hive today that I put the queen cell in and it was successful, I saw the queen (she is orange) and I also saw eggs.
I lucked out spotting both.
I had to do an inspection on that hive anyway and had been holding off because of the queen cell I had put in there and the bad weather we have been having.
Today was warm and sunny so it was a good day to peek in.
I think it was the second frame that I pulled that she happened to be just walking across.
After I spotted her I looked a little closer at the comb and found eggs.
I decided not to mess with the hive too much, I was just glad that things worked out.

The cutout went well, there are no more bees flying around anywhere near or in their house so the homeowners are very happy.
The girls I had to relocate are now situated in my vegetable garden and seem to be settling down nicely in their new digs.
Thank you to all for your guidance and support.
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Jim 134
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« Reply #18 on: July 10, 2009, 01:09:42 AM »

Cool on the July 4th babies and seeing the eggs and  queen.



               BEE HAPPY Jim 134  Smiley
« Last Edit: July 10, 2009, 01:44:30 AM by Jim 134 » Logged

"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
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"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways."
 John F. Kennedy
Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/
Natalie
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« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2009, 11:24:08 PM »


Here is a link to my pictures from the cutout in this thread. I know they aren't great but it was hard to get real good pictures of what was going on in such a small area.

http://s679.photobucket.com/albums/vv153/natalierosepeterson/
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