Went and did the cutout yesterday. After yesterday I can safely say I am no longer a cutout virgin. Two story lathe and plaster, bees were between two studs from a bit in the ceiling on floor two to partway down the wall on floor one. Filled three deeps with comb, brood, and honey and an overflowing bucket with straight honey comb. Hopefully the queen is in there somewhere, between the thousands of very angry bees, the debris, the plaster dust, etc. there was no way my inexperienced eye was going to spot her short of divine intervention.
I was stung at least nine times, they were very determined to drive us off. Since I was the one cutting out the comb, I was target number one, and even in full gear they were finding a way. My 17 year old son and a fellow starting beekeeper were along and didn't get stung once.
I would not have liked to tackle this one alone, I would have been there until midnight. With the help, my friend and I could take a break from the heat, bees, and dust while my son would do some more demolition. (He had a lot of fun carving his name in walls, etc. because as he said, when else would he have the chance to do whatever he wanted inside a house?) I would HATE to try to do a lathe and plaster house that wasn't coming down - the mess is indescribable.
Tip of the day - freeze Gatorade the night before, and then when it partially melts on the job shake really hard and you get a Gatorade slushy - YUM!
I will post pics as soon as we figure out how to get them off my friends cell phone...