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Author Topic: Contaminated Cut-out?  (Read 841 times)
House Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 169

Location: Delaware County, New York

« on: June 21, 2012, 04:38:01 PM »

I've been called to do two cut outs of hives that have been previously sprayed by an exterminator last season.  Don't have any other information other than they are still there.  Apparently, these colonies are back and banging big time! 

Nevertheless, I'm ambivalent about doing it knowing that I'm going to take contaminated comb back to my bee yard.  I know I'll be called again many times in the future with the same set of circumstances.  What's the experience you all have with something like this?  And what are your opinions and suggestions?  Thanks.

"Good will is the desire to have something else stronger and more beautiful for this desire makes oneself stronger and more beautiful." - Eli Siegel, American educator, poet, founder of Aesthetic Realism
Universal Bee
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Posts: 15319

Location: boring, oregon

« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2012, 04:51:38 PM »

i have done some of these and i'm sure JP and others have.  as long as the queen is good and the hive looks healthy, i take them.  any comb that looks abandoned, i toss.  i don't keep the honey.  any comb that  has brood, i keep. 

some of the exterminators on here can probably tell you better than i, but i think what they use must break down pretty quickly. the ones that have been dusted, i don't touch.  that stuff seems to last forever and the hive is usually not healthy.

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 Alexis de Tocqueville
House Bee
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Location: Indiana

« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2012, 09:12:26 PM »

  If they were sprayed a year ago I would not sweat it. If the comb or honey was dangerous to bees they would be dead.
  As mentioned toss any abandoned comb but that is all I would do. Don't plan on harvesting the honey for human use though. Let them keep it as the comb may be slightly contaminated I would plan on rotating out the comb next spring and dispose of it.

I was born about 100 years too early, or to late.
The Swarm King
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Posts: 11688

Location: Metairie, Louisiana

I like doing cut-outs, but I love catching swarms!

« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2012, 12:03:57 AM »

I agree with the above suggestions and have strong feelings about insecticidal dusts. I find they rarely are safe to use as most people don't consider the fact that one day someone will have to open that wall or tree that was injected with dust and likely will be breathing it in. They are also indiscriminate as bees from healthy colonies that try to rob out one that had been dusted wind up bringing dusts into their colony or even your apiary! As mentioned if they have been dusted it would be best to take on another job. Its just not worth it.


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Field Bee
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Posts: 595

Location: Stone City, Iowa

« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2012, 12:48:16 PM »

I took on a sprayed colony last year, a typical homeowner tried to kill them himself and failed job.  The bees had abandoned the comb in the sprayed area.  I pitched that comb, and rotated out the remaining comb as soon as possible.  If you have drawn frames, you can rotate out the brood comb pretty fast once the existing brood hatches.  Put in a couple of drawn frames by the brood frames right away to give the queen clean comb to lay in.  Dispose as much of the honey comb as you can and give them a couple of frames of honey.  Feed them.  That same hive is doing very well in my yard this year.  That said, you have to take it on a case by case basis.  The hive I just mentioned was still obviously very vigorous, and a couple of months had passed since the spraying.  I would not advocate taking on every sprayed hive.


"Rise again, rise again - though your heart it be broken, or life about to end.  No matter what you've lost, be it a home, a love, a friend, like the Mary Ellen Carter rise again!"
House Bee
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Posts: 90

Location: La Grange, Fayette County, Texas

« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2012, 04:38:52 PM »

I did a cutout that had been sprayed 7 times (20 ft Wasp & Hornet Spray)
and had survived, though at lower population. Lotsa abandoned comb. which
I threw away along with the honey comb in a WalMart dumpster on the way home.
Kept just bees and brood and kept them away from my yard about 100 yards. They
survived and built up nicely away from that location, but it was not a profitable job,
as I didn't get the gallon or so of honey I usually do, nor any open brood. Your call!
Emil in Texas
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