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Author Topic: How do I remove this feral colony?  (Read 1923 times)

Offline Foxhound

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How do I remove this feral colony?
« on: August 16, 2012, 12:09:03 PM »
This will be my first "cut out", and I need help. The hive is wonderfully exposed and easy to get to. It is in an old abandoned house that I have permission to enter. I would rather not build a vacuum or anything like that.

I also do foundation-less frames, and use all medium boxes if that makes a difference.

« Last Edit: August 16, 2012, 12:17:31 PM by Robo »

Offline Sundog

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Re: How do I remove this feral colony?
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2012, 12:24:12 PM »
If there is no rush and the house is abandoned, perhaps a trap-out would be easier for you.  Search the site and youtube for how to.

Have fun!

Offline D Coates

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Re: How do I remove this feral colony?
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2012, 12:30:15 PM »
Awesome hive!  It's an OB hive without knowing it.  A trap out this late and in AL. could be real trouble with SHB's.  Foundationless is what you need for a cut out, along with rubber bands to hold the cut comb in as they adhere it to the frames.  Look up some of the videos on the bee removal forum and you'll see how to do it.  This would be a great one to cut your teeth on!  Considering the house is empty and there appear to be no nooks for the queen to retreat to you can get away with doing it without a vacuum.
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Offline hardwood

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Re: How do I remove this feral colony?
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2012, 12:34:57 PM »
Nice one! Watch the removal videos in the honeybee removal forum for tips and how-tos. There are many videos there that will steer you in the right direction.

You'll want to cut the brood comb to fit your empty frames and attach it (I use rubber bands for this). Harvest the honey comb and discard or render any empty comb or drone brood.

Capture and cage the queen if you can and leave her in the hive box with her brood on site for a day or two to collect the rest of the bees before removing.

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Online kathyp

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Re: How do I remove this feral colony?
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2012, 01:16:47 PM »
beautiful.  i wouldn't do a trapout.  no reason to waste that brood and the queen if you can keep them.  get the fat rubber bands from an office supply place.  put them on your frames before you start and they'll be easier to position.

everything else you need to know and have should be listed in the removal section, and yes, watch the videos.  they are entertaining and will help you a lot.
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Offline JP

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Re: How do I remove this feral colony?
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2012, 05:26:57 PM »
Adam, my first thoughts would be to set up a platform or some type of system utilizing a ladder where you can place your hive body very close to the hive. You will need your smoker a great deal (likely) on this removal as you will not be using a bee vac.

Give them a few puffs to run them away from the comb sections you are trying to remove. If they don't cooperate with a few puffs you may have to be more aggressive with your smoker. The idea is to smoke them until they begin moving away. Pay close attention however to their movements when you apply smoke as you don't want to overdo it.

When they begin moving allow them time to move then put the smoker down.

As stated begin with the brood comb sections if possible. At some point you should begin to see the colony orienting to the new set up. Caging the queen and placing her onto one of your frames will facilitate the process.

Try to finish the removal at least an hour before dark to allow them ample time to orient to the new set up. Of course you will want to seal and move the hive after dark.

Here's one I did without a bee vac: http://www.jpthebeeman.com/jpthebeeman/itemdisplay.asp?itemID=3694&retID=3571&nextID=3699

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Offline AllenF

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Re: How do I remove this feral colony?
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2012, 08:20:12 PM »
Save the honey for them.   Feed it back to them since it is so late in the season. 

Offline David McLeod

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Re: How do I remove this feral colony?
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2012, 09:48:46 PM »
You've been given good advice. I've done a few sans vac back in the dark ages when I was a bee louse for an older beek. As JP said judicious use of smoke will be needed since the bees will not be contained. It could get real "western" on you so you are going to want to work slowly so as to keep the excitement to a minimum. Clear one comb and one comb only at a time letting them settle while you fit it to a frame. I find that having a small "table" (a 2'x4' piece of plywood on sawhorses) to work off of is the way to go.
That comb looks like this year's so it may be a little tender, I find that using a dish towel draped over my arm and letting the comb gently roll over onto my outstreched arm when cut is the best for me to handle it. I then lay the comb flat on the table and use an empty frame to select the best cut and then as a template for cutting. Unlike others I do not put the bands on the frame ahead of time as they would be in the way cutting the way I do.
The aftercare is going to be very important at this time of year. Try to find and save the queen if at all possible, failing that the fastest way you can get a laying queen the better for the fall and winter bees. Watch them carefully for both SHB and ants (which have been horrible this year) and be ready to feed like crazy.
If they weren't so exposed and they could wait I would say let them wait until spring as at this time of year you will have all of this year's honey to make a mess. Spring cutouts have had alot of the honey already consumed and the SHB and ant are nowhere as bad plus you have the entire season to get them back in shape.
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Offline yockey5

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Re: How do I remove this feral colony?
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2012, 02:43:45 PM »
You are one lucky beek to have this one handed to you.

Offline duck

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Re: How do I remove this feral colony?
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2012, 10:27:46 PM »
im totally going to build an observation hive in a window with the window side being the glass.  WOW.