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Author Topic: So you think doing removals sounds fun?  (Read 2178 times)
D Semple
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« on: July 18, 2011, 10:44:36 AM »

Finally got to the big crawl space colony in the 110 year old house last Saturday. Well’s, the 85  year old homeowner, said he recollected the bees had been living under the floor below his easy chair for at least 5 years. What a day, getting to these bees and getting them out kicked my butt. Like a dummy  tongue I took this job on without realising how hard it would turn out to be.








To start with the crawl space that I had to crawl into was only 3’ high with an air heater duct running thru it in the middle to get under. It was about 15’ back to the hive, dragging all my boxes,  bee-vac , buckets, tarp and gear. Took me 5 trips to get everything back in there and set up lights to work. To complicate things somebody  evil had a very long drinking problem that they were hiding from their wife and had pitched several hundred glass pint flasks back into the dark crawl space so I was crawling on by belly over bottles, rocks, and tons of broken glass each way. I wore my wife’s full length white bee coveralls over jeans and a thick shirt, with those leather cow hide bee gloves that come up past your elbows for protection from the glass.

Because the job was inside a house with no smoke, I used my robo bee-vacuum the whole way, vacuuming off all the bees from each piece of comb before rubber banding them up in the frames.









 I would cut each piece of comb down 5” at a time to fit the frames, vacuum the bees off, and then rubber-band the comb in place, and drop it in a box and then repeat the process. I tried hard to put the hive structure back together just like it was inside the boxes.





Great queen, ended up with 3 medium boxes of brood, capped honey and pollen, 2 ½  – 5 gallon buckets of old capped honey comb pieces I will feed back to the bees, and 2 - 5 gallon buckets of nice light freshly capped honey comb for us to harvest.  Smiley
 
Oh, and one thing I learned the hard way about, if you ever have to do a cutout sitting Indian style underneath a colony make sure to duct-tape your pants to your boots, took about 10 stings to the ankles and calves because the coveralls I was wearing kept creeping up above my boots.  :'(

Should of had better pictures for you all, next year I'll learn how to video.

Don
« Last Edit: July 18, 2011, 11:58:06 AM by D Semple » Logged
Boom Buzz
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« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2011, 12:53:16 PM »

Don,

Great pics and story.  What we do for a colony of bees, eh? 
Interesting comb structure.
That would've kicked my butt too  grin, but sounds like you got a good strong colony with plenty of comb strapped in!
Nice job!

John
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2011, 01:16:59 PM »

Neat hive, LOOKS easy!  Wink  But then again you don't have a picture of the crawlspace that you had to traverse....plus you can't RUN if they all turn on you!! grin

Sounds like a pretty good payoff on this one, strong hive.

I'm not a fan of cutouts, they usually are more work than anticipated!  It goes a lot better and faster too when you have 2 people.  I enjoy cutouts a lot more with a buddy than just by myself.

Rick
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Rick
kingfisherfd2
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« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2011, 01:31:13 PM »

Sounds like a great haul.  My feet would have fallen asleep.
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iddee
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« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2011, 01:54:30 PM »

Nice job. Yep, they are usually more than thought to be, once the work begins. Glad to see you stayed with it.
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schawee
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« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2011, 02:13:35 PM »

great job,looks like a very healthy hive and alot of honey.thanks for posting the pics.       ......schawee
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montauk170
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« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2011, 02:42:35 PM »

Wow, that's a good one Don. Tough but you got the job done. Great pics too!
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gardeningfireman
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« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2011, 03:29:13 PM »

Great pics! That's one hell of a colony! Lot's of work, I know. I hope the homeowner paid you well enough!
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D Semple
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« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2011, 04:32:43 PM »

John – Re: “That would've kicked my butt too  grin  , but sounds like you got a good strong colony with plenty of comb strapped in!

Yes, surprisingly once I got past the light colored new capped honey comb, the brood comb was all pretty much nice and straight. We are starting our summer dearth here and I was very glad to be able to frame up a bunch of their honey for them.

Rick – Re: “It goes a lot better and faster too when you have 2 people.  I enjoy cutouts a lot more with a buddy than just by myself”.  – Rick

I didn’t have as much money in this job as I would have liked (fixed income HO) and I didn’t want to pay anybody or give the bees away for helping. Very nice gentle little bees, I’m glad to have them.

Kingfisher – Re: “My feet would have fallen asleep.”

My feet were ok, but my legs were cramping up late in the day, it was 95 degrees outside, probably about 85 below this house.

Iddee – Re: “Glad to see you stayed with it”.

I heard my wife say to one of her girlfriends one time, “he ain’t too bright, and bless his sole nothing to look at, but he sure is good at finishing the job. (I think she was talking about work)
 

schawee & Jack – Thanks, you all have given me a lot of inspiration. This was my 13th and final cutout this year, it’s gotten too hot!

Gardeningfireman – Re: “Great pics! That's one hell of a colony! Lot's of work, I know. I hope the homeowner paid you well enough!”  


I normally charge quite a bit more, but Wells was a sweet old guy and a good horse trader.  grin (P.S. I wonder if there is any money in 80 year old whiskey bottles?)


Don


« Last Edit: July 18, 2011, 05:11:21 PM by D Semple » Logged
kingfisherfd2
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« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2011, 04:44:36 PM »

It could be your whiskey bottle hive
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Dave360
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« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2011, 08:13:11 PM »

Don

Thanks for photos
and removals do sound like fun so long as you think sweating , getting stung , wore out , and all sticky is fun

Great Job 

Dave
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yockey5
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« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2011, 09:35:04 PM »

Thanks for the picture story! I loved it.
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AllenF
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« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2011, 09:37:47 PM »

I know today I got tired before I got one bucket full of beans today.   Just bending over in this heat this afternoon really got to me.   But to be cramped under a house for that long.............   You da man.
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Tommyt
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« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2011, 07:05:50 AM »

I enjoyed the entire thing sitting here in the AC
Thanks for taking time to crawl in and take the pictures
just for ?? how many bee did you vac
I know you said robo but ,was it one or more box's
Deeps or mediums just for reference

Thanks for the informed pictured post
Tommyt

I would check some of the older looking bottles
The Sanford & son in me wouldn't let me leave Smiley
Old Jack bottles and Beam are at least good looking
just to name a few....
For fun you can make one a top feeder
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D Semple
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« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2011, 10:11:55 AM »

Kingfisher – Re:  “It could be your whiskey bottle hive”.

I like it, consider it done. I’ll soak some of the old labels off the bottles and put them on the sides of the hive.

Dave – Re: “Thanks for photos
and removals do sound like fun so long as you think sweating , getting stung , wore out , and all sticky is fun

Boy, that sums it up in a nutshell.

Yockey – Re: Thanks for the picture story! I loved it.

Your welcome, I want to learn how to video like you others though I really enjoy those.

Allen – Re: I know today I got tired before I got one bucket full of beans today.   Just bending over in this heat this afternoon really got to me.   But to be cramped under a house for that long.............   You da man.

Da man, would have caught the queen too, like old eagles eyes schawee always does  cool .

Tommy – Re: just for ?? how many bee did you vac
I know you said robo but ,was it one or more box's
Deeps or mediums just for reference


I used 3 mediums for the bee-vac, I probably could have gotten by with two, but it was so hot and the removal took me 10 hours for me to finish and I was very worried about the bees overheating. Very happy to say, looking at them this morning that not more than maybe about a hundred were killed vacuuming.


I would check some of the older looking bottles
The Sanford & son in me wouldn't let me leave 
Old Jack bottles and Beam are at least good looking
just to name a few....
For fun you can make one a top feeder


They were all pint bottles, but a cool idea. I have to go back tomorrow to mortar in the bees old entrance, I’ll grab a few of the bottles. Most of the bottles appeared to be from our local distillery (McCormicks), which is only 15 minutes from the job.



Don.   
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D Semple
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« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2011, 10:23:36 AM »

Thanks for all the nice comments folks and teaching me how to catch my own bees.

It was my hope at the beginning of this my 1st year to catch enough bees to maybe end up with 5 hives and make enough money back to cover my new hobby costs. Well some 14 weeks into beekeeping I’ve got 19 hives at the house, sold 3 others, did 13 removals personally and farmed out to other beekeepers 6 more. I also caught 11 swarms and passed on 8 others to other new beekeeping friends. All told grossing a little over 9 k so far.

Not tons of money, but for a 1st year hobby I’ll take it. Even after paying the wife taxes  Wink I should have enough left over to buy 30 hives worth of new equipment for next year so I can turn beekeeping into a sideline.

Done with the removals till next year regards  Smiley

Don  
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Francus
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« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2011, 11:43:09 AM »

Just out of curiousity, do you guys charge money for cutouts and removals? And how much if you do?
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D Semple
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« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2011, 12:45:14 PM »

Just out of curiousity, do you guys charge money for cutouts and removals? And how much if you do?

You bet ya  grin , cutouts are a lot of work.
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Riggs
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« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2011, 03:18:38 PM »

Fantastic post, looks like you had your hands full. Thanks for sharing.
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D Coates
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« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2011, 03:57:17 PM »

Don,

Very nice!  Considering the heat here, I'm sweating just looking at the photos.  Dusty crawlspaces are not know for their ventilation or comfort, wearing overall couldn't have helped keeping cool either.  You did a great job!
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