My sidekick, Big Daddy, and I did our first cut out today, and it was so darned much fun! It was a perfect first job for us...the homeowner removed the large, long board that exposes the floor joists, and bees simply spilled out. (Yesterday, the homeowner built us a nice little platform to stand on...he called ahead of time to ask my height so he could build it at working level...we didn't have to fiddle with any ladders. I can't see that happening again!)
Big Daddy prepared herself by watching JP videos on YouTube, and she handled herself perfectly. At times we were both shoulder deep in bees.
(The first video my sidekick watched was one of those from Bud3, and in it JP called Bud "Big Daddy." From that point on, my friend's been dying for me to call her Big Daddy. She's tiny.)
It was really really awesome to cut those bee-loaded comb and scoop handfuls of bees into the box.
I didn't see the queen (I couldn't concentrate on it!), and in the end I had to vacuum the recesses of the floor joists too deep for me to reach...so, when I got the boxes home, I placed a queen excluder at the hive entrance to keep her in there for a few days.
We filled an 8-frame medium box with nicely loaded comb, and we probably collected four pounds of bees.
Thanks so much, friends, for showing me how to approach this stuff. We had a blast today.