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Author Topic: First cutout a total disaster!  (Read 1357 times)
gardeningfireman
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« on: May 21, 2010, 10:04:26 PM »

I did my first cutout today in a porch pillar. Brick for 5 feet, then wood for 6 feet. Huge colony. Beehive top to bottom, all old, twisted heavily propolised. Bee Vac didn't work- no suction even with a 4 hp shopvac. Got stung about 15 times through both the veil and gloves. Huge clouds of angry bees - had to shopvac about 5 lbs. of them in order to continue Cry. Unfortunately pretty much all that got shopvacked, died. Five hours into it, I had to quit for the day. Still have about a foot and a half to go. Lots of bees left, and probably the queen at the bottom. Was able to salvage quite a bit of brood, only a few pounds of honey as most wasn't capped. I think I got the bee vac to work tonight- had to duct tape all the seams, and switch to a med. super. Hopefully it will pull the bees off the comb now. I will finish up as soon as the rain stops(hopefully before Monday). Will never, ever do a pillar cutout again! I have two in soffets lined up-God, I hope those are easier!!! Will never do a cutout again if the bee vac doesn't work. I actually feel sick that I murdered all those bees. Cry
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G3farms
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« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2010, 10:22:04 PM »

duct tape is you bee vacs friend.

Do you have a robo type vac??  If so, a ratchet strap around it will help seal the cracks, also foam weatherstripping on the edges of the vac.

Don't let this get you down, sounds like you could use an extra hand. Learn from the mistakes you made and move forward in a positive way. I hope you got enough live bees to cover the brood that you got.

G3
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see my swarms and cut outs at https://www.youtube.com/user/soapy22bullet?feature=mhee

those hot bees will have you steppin and a fetchin like your heads on fire and your @ss is a catchin!!!

Bees will be bees and do as they please!
kathyp
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« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2010, 10:26:38 PM »

if you don't have a jacket with a zip on veil, i really recommend one for cut-outs.  the veil is just not enough when you have a zillion bees after you.  

 a couple of things, if you don't mind:  1. be selective about your cut outs until you have some experience.  they get easier as you do them, but some will always be a challenge.  for instance, i will not do another where i have to slide into an attic on my stomach and scoop bees out of a tiny corner  smiley.  

2.  the bee vac is great, i'm sure.  i have not gotten around to making mine yet...it's on my list.  more important is that you have confidence and lots of time (see 1.)  when you get to the point where you can open the hive and the plan is immediately clear to you, you can take on the  more challenging removals.  most don't require a bee vac.

3.  be prepared to chalk some removals up as good practice.  you can't save them all.  sometimes the best you can do is clean out the hive and make the owner happy.  you need to be prepared to make that call at some point during the removal.  sometimes the condition of the hive is not good and sometimes the location makes it near impossible to do a clean enough job to save the hive.

i lost the first 2 that i did.  then i lost that attic hive.  just try to learn from this one and carry on.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
Scadsobees
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2010, 10:38:44 PM »

I second the weather stripping and ductape.  Never go anywhere without ductape!!!

I also second getting a pal to help.  It makes 5 hours of overheating agony into 3 hours of shared overheating agony.

And your description is why I won't do any free ones anymore unless it is a really really easy one without carpentry. 

Just think...the soffit ones you get to do all that and more...on a ladder!! Whooo!!  Seriously, find somebody to help you, you won't regret it, assuming ladder, you will be up and down that thing more than you can count.

Live and learn! Smiley
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Rick
G3farms
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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2010, 11:12:45 PM »

On doing the soffit cut outs, scaffolding and walk boards are cheap to rent and if you can borrow them even better. Working off of a ladder sucks big time, your feet will be soar the next morning also. A piece of rope is a good thing to have for pulling things up the ladder.
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see my swarms and cut outs at https://www.youtube.com/user/soapy22bullet?feature=mhee

those hot bees will have you steppin and a fetchin like your heads on fire and your @ss is a catchin!!!

Bees will be bees and do as they please!
gardeningfireman
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« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2010, 10:12:59 AM »

Thank you all for all the advice, encouragement and humor Smiley! I really appreciate it. I wish you guys could come and help in person!! I reduced the box from a deep to a medium, and duct taped the heck out of it. It did help with the suction on the bee end. I will put some weatherstripping on it and use better duct tape before I go out to finish this cutout on Monday. It is raining today. I am going to buckle down and buy a one-piece suit! Ratchet strap is on! The owner of the house with bees in the soffets is renting a bucket truck. There is no way I will use just a ladder! That cutout got postponed until June 26th due to current weather and scheduling (work gets in the way!
ps my eye and left hand is pretty swollen this morning! grin
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G3farms
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« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2010, 10:42:30 AM »

Buckets are nice to work out of but there is no room for any equipment or tools.

Be sure to take some rope to tie off your bee vac to the outside of the bucket and let it hang down below you and an extra five gallon bucket to tie off to the side of the bucket for your tools.

A ground man is very helpful on cut outs like this one.

Good luck with it.

G3
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see my swarms and cut outs at https://www.youtube.com/user/soapy22bullet?feature=mhee

those hot bees will have you steppin and a fetchin like your heads on fire and your @ss is a catchin!!!

Bees will be bees and do as they please!
kathyp
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« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2010, 11:01:54 AM »

 grin
Quote
Never go anywhere without ductape

no kidding.  i buy the big packs as costco and keep a roll in each vehicle.  by the end of bee season, i have gone through most of it.  best invention ever!!!!!!
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
beee farmer
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« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2010, 11:47:50 AM »

I second ... or was  it third or fourth the comment to "not get discouraged"  just keep in mind that cutouts are hard work, very seldom easy and always challenging.  You will find out they are never just worth the bees you may or may not get.  Make sure you are getting compensated whether its with pay or personal satisfaction of saving bees.   A proper functioning bee vac will help immensely until your more experienced.  Lastly, not to be discouraging, but if you didn't like a cut out that most can be done on the ground and in front of you, be prepared for the uncomfortable issues of working off a ladder, tired arm from doing everything overhead and honey dripping and running down your head, neck, arms, chest and legs.  It takes certain kinds of people to do these.,,, I for one love it.   cheesy  of course I have never been noted for extra common sense.
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"Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do"  Benjamin Franklin
gardeningfireman
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« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2010, 03:55:19 PM »

What little bit of honey I got from the cutout smells like wine. Does that mean it fermented and is no good?
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gardeningfireman
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« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2010, 09:13:58 PM »

I think I got it working okay! The beevac that is. Thank you all so much for your help. I only had enough weatherstripping to put on the bottom box, but I duct taped the heck out of all the seams and cracks. It does have a noticable suction on my cheek now, and I was able to suck up an ant and a couple dead bees off the floor with it. I am going to finish the cutout in the porch Monday morning. I have confidence now that I can salvage the hive and redeem myself! Smiley I also got a call today for another hive in a garden shed roof. I am going to look at that one tomorrow also. It's funny; I have gotten calls for three cutout jobs but not a single swarm! What's up with that? By the way, I got about 18 stings the other day and only 4 swelled up a little!
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iddee
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« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2010, 10:10:12 PM »

Elementary diploma issued. Middle school opens tomorrow.   Cheesy
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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"

*Shel Silverstein*
gardeningfireman
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« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2010, 06:38:34 AM »

LOL! Hey, I'm new at this; what do you expect?
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