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Author Topic: Cutout or Swarm Capture with Bee Vac  (Read 1456 times)
montauk170
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« on: June 08, 2010, 01:24:42 AM »

Made a bee vac like Robo's where I can suck the bees straight into their new home.
My question is, should I open up the entrance of their home at the capture site for the remaining bees to come in?
That's if I caught the queen and have sealed up the old hive entrance. I assume if I didn't get the queen and I opened up
the entrance, the bees would start marching out and trying to go back to their old hive.

What's are the right steps to take?

1) Vac bees
2) Cut out combs to frame (Brood only)
3) Vac more bees that are in the way of cutting combs
4) After I have all the bees from the old hive, insert framed brood combs.
5) Remove divider to introduce bees with their brood

Then should I open the entrance to lure the other bees in that just returned?
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gardeningfireman
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« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2010, 08:36:00 AM »

Good question! I have three cutouts lined up for later this month, and was wondering that also. There are a lot of foragers that will return throughout the rest of the day (possibly thousands) plus the bees that are flying around due to the cutout itself. What do you do if you can't come back later to pick up the hive? If you can come back later (after dark), can you just put a nuc box with a frame of brood comb in it by the cutout location to collect those remaining bees? What say, JP? Inquiring minds need to know!!! grin
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2010, 09:26:18 AM »

I've only done a few, but I find that as you start cutting the comb out it disrupts the hive badly enough that the foragers stop leaving.  By the time you are done cutting the combs and vacuuming bees, there aren't any more flyers.

They stop flying and head in to help defend the combs.  Then you suck them up.
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Rick
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« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2010, 10:07:06 AM »

What's are the right steps to take?

1) Vac bees
2) Cut out combs to frame (Brood only)
3) Vac more bees that are in the way of cutting combs
4) After I have all the bees from the old hive, insert framed brood combs.
5) Remove divider to introduce bees with their brood


I usually leave the last piece of comb in place while I start packing up my equipment,  especially important if you did not find the queen yet. Given 15-20 minutes, if she had scurried off into a crack or crevice,  she will usually return to the comb.    I then take out the last piece of comb and suck up any remaining bees just before I leave.   May leave a hundred or so bees behind when I'm done, but I just tell the homeowner they will dissipate on their own if a few days, or they can just spray the bees down with soap water when they cluster at night.

I would not suggest opening the vac on site even if you did get the queen.  You will have more bees leaving then entering. 
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asprince
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« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2010, 10:23:37 AM »

I agree with Robo. You will not get them all, but most. Here in the south where we have lots of beetles, I have had better survival success by not using the brood and comb from the cut out. I treat them like a swarm and start them on drawn comb or foundation and syrup. If available, I will give them a frame of uncapped brood just in case I did not get the queen. Cutting them out really weakens them. If there are any beetle eggs present, they will soon take over the struggling hive. As soon as my back gets better, I have a huge one to cut out that will be extremely easy to get to. I plan to try to use some of the brood and split them as I cut them out.

Steve
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montauk170
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« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2010, 01:16:42 PM »

Thanks for the suggestions. If not opening up the entrance, maybe I should remove the top vac cover, I have the screen beneath that, and if I vacuumed the queen in there, the others should fly there, maybe?
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asprince
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« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2010, 01:34:04 PM »

That will work. They will even cluster around the exhaust of the bee vac when it is running. They smell the pheromones.

Good luck,


Steve
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« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2010, 01:35:40 PM »

Yes, you should always remove the top anyway to make sure they get enough ventilation and don't overheat during transporting.  And yes you will get some stray bees attracted to the top screen....
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montauk170
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« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2010, 01:51:56 PM »

I've read that you just use that same bottom for a little while and then transfer it to a "real" bottom board. What's the best way to do this? I assume there will be tons of bees on the bee vac bottom board as you've made that their entrance. Just do it during the day time and they will find their way back in through the new bottom board once installed?
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asprince
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« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2010, 02:05:18 PM »

I put them on a bottom board as soon as I get to the location where they will be kept. (bee yard). Most of the bees will be on the frames of the catch box or on the upper screen. I just pick up the hive body from the vac base and place it on the bottom board. I then remove the top and slam it back down on the hive body to dislodge the bees from the screen. If the bottom if the vac is not full of dead bees I will dump them in the hive and then place to top on them. When I vacuum a swarm I have very few dead bees but when I do a cut out I get lots more due to the honey. I have hived over 200 using my Robo bee vac.

Steve
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montauk170
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« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2010, 02:09:46 PM »

Thanks. Yeah, I vac'ed a swarm the other day, very few dead bees. Too bad the swam flew away after I released them.
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hardwood
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« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2010, 05:30:52 PM »

I use the brood comb on a cut out but not the honey. If it's brood on one side and honey on the other I pitch it. I find that the stressed bees will still tend the brood but not so much the honey and I don't want to take a chance with beetles. When I'm done I take them back to my home yard and place them on a bottom board with a migratory top and feed them. I just leave the bottom of the vac there overnight so the clinging bees find the new hive. After a week or so and confirming I got the queen and there are no other problems I move them to an out yard.

I have had some that don't seem to take off so well though. I've got two in the home yard now that have been there for more than a month and just really aren't building well even though they're queen right and we have a decent flow going. I'll more than likely graft some queens for them before the move.

Scott
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