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Author Topic: Bees in stall wall, Robo Vac tips needed, any tips or suggestions welcomed!!!!  (Read 4646 times)
Lazy W
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« Reply #20 on: September 16, 2012, 12:21:47 PM »

That just plane SUX. I hope you can work it out. I have had to do aremoval  using a generator at an old abandon farm house. Of course I had a heads up that there was no service before I packed up the truck. Keep us posted.
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #21 on: September 16, 2012, 02:00:58 PM »

Yelp, I had the perfect generator for this...one of those little 1800watt hand-toteable Colemans.  It ran my 6hp old shop vac great.  It and an air compressor sprouted legs and ran away from home a couple of months ago...out of our open garage.  Would love to find out for sure "who" gave them a ride.  Jerry  whip

Ed
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Lazy W
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« Reply #22 on: September 16, 2012, 10:06:54 PM »

That's two things I can not stand, A lair and a thief. I have no time for either one.
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wildforager
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« Reply #23 on: September 17, 2012, 01:28:33 AM »

Good luck on removing those bees. Even though your visit was a bust at least they're not yellow jackets! Good you assessed the situation first.
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A weed is just a plant in the wrong place. -Luther Burbank

To find out more about me check out my website.... www.broomsbylittlejohn.com
Intheswamp
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« Reply #24 on: September 17, 2012, 09:09:07 AM »

Lazy, I agree with you...the way I look at it a liar steals the truth from you.  I don't think the owner intentionally lied about the electricity...I think he just didn't think, which still doesn't help the situation.

This was a wasted trip, wildforager,  The on site assessment was made the previous week.   Undecided

Ed

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Intheswamp
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« Reply #25 on: September 19, 2012, 07:51:06 AM »

We're going to try it again this morning.

Ed
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BabcockFarms
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« Reply #26 on: September 19, 2012, 08:11:24 PM »

Well?
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Ron Babcock

                                  "I believe the good that men do, will live long after they gone."
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Lazy W
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« Reply #27 on: September 19, 2012, 10:07:50 PM »

How did it go? Don't keep us hanging.
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wildforager
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« Reply #28 on: September 19, 2012, 10:58:31 PM »

Maybe he's busy pulling stingers out of his suit. grin He'll let us know any minute.... tumbleweed
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A weed is just a plant in the wrong place. -Luther Burbank

To find out more about me check out my website.... www.broomsbylittlejohn.com
Intheswamp
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« Reply #29 on: September 23, 2012, 09:43:00 PM »

A very quick note....  We got them.  VERY gentle bees.  I'll give details later.  Rough story, not with the bees, though...
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #30 on: September 26, 2012, 03:17:10 PM »

Ok, here's finally a short report on the bee removal....

We started about 9:30am last Wednesday morning.  Thankfully we had electricity and the sheet of plywood came off the metal studs without a problem.  We sat the plywood down and spun it around so the inside would face out. 

On the near end of the plywood you can see comb that was being built adjoining the rest of the comb structure.  We chose the correct side to remove as very little comb was fastened to this piece of plywood. 

That is Mr. Nolen, my mentor, taking some pictures with his phone.  Using my cheap Harbor Freight temperature gun we petty closely located where the colony was inside the cavity...on the cool morning the temperature difference between bees and no-bees areas on the plywood was around 5 degrees.  Of interest is that there were several small hive beetles in the cavity.  Naturally there were some within the comb area but what was really interesting was probably 30 or 40 of them at the lower, center edge of the plywood grouped together in a circle...there were a number of bees down there that apparently had them corralled. 


Here is a closer shot of the colony.  One of the combs fell as we were removing the sheet of plywood.  These bees are very calm and gentle.


Mr. Nolen cutting out a comb...


Like I said, these bees are very gentle.  We smoked the entrance (a 1" hole) lightly to begin with and after that the smoker only sat on the floor several feet away for the rest of the removal...it had gone out by the time we finished.  Mr. Nolen wore his inspector's jacket and I wore a white t-shirt and cloth hat w/veil.  I got a few stings but the trade off with being cool was worth it.  Before we removed the plywood Mr. Nolen was standing in the beeline of the incoming pollen laden bees...they didn't bother stinging but rather built up a significant number behind him as they waited to get to their entrance...they were bringing in lots of whitish pollen and I saw a few with some pink.

Here is Mr. Nolen examining some comb...we started out looking for the queen.  The bee-vac was something new for him to work with, he'd done many removals in the past with a bee brush and stated when we were through that the bee-vac is the way to go. Wink 


Mr. Nolen was a little bashful with the vac, which was probably a good thing.  We only had one major blockage in the hose and I think a large festooning clump of bees did that.  We worked through that and eventually he acquired a good speed with the vac.  The whole time we were looking for the queen.


So, Mr. Nolen vacuumed and cut loose comb, I detail vac'd some and cut and rubber-banded brood comb into frames.  Something else that was interesting is that there were plenty of drones and drone brood along with regular worker brood.  So, midway through September and still producing drones.

Here's a shot of a frame of brood I rubber banded.  I managed to get seven medium frames of open and capped brood.


We had removed all the large pieces of comb and the only thing left was honey comb in the channel of the metal frame work running across the top.  I worked myself down it, peering into it and digging a little honey comb out.  Finally I spotted her and got her in a queen catcher...it was nothing but clean-up then. Smiley  Nice, healthy leather colored lady.  Sorry, I didn't get a shot of the queen but I might be a able to dig one up from another guy's camera that dropped in off and on. 

This is a shot of the bees moving up after we removed the combining screen.


And finally, this is a shot (either that evening or the next morning) after the hive has been carried home and the bees are trying to figure out just what type of tornado that was that transported them to this unfamiliar area.  I set the hive/trap on a pair of concrete blocks positioned behind the leveled ones that were to be the permanent stand...this way I only had to move them forward a couple of feet to there final position.


Here is where the story gets rough...

That evening as I'm putting things away, straightening up, checking on the bees, etc., my back starts to hurt.  I figure I've done messed up in moving the four supers and equipment by myself...loading and unloading.  Things go downhill from there...stomach virus with a capital V.  Lips Sealed  I will spare the graphic details, but the next 24 hours I was in bed, couldn't hardly walk the next day.  I did manage Friday to put the brood box down on it's permanent bottom board and stand and set the supers on top with a cover and 1/2 gallon of syrup.  But, Friday night was another bad night.  Now today, a week later, I still feel flushed, aching, and completely zapped....I don't think I felt that bad when I cartwheeled a 300zx down through a river bottom back in the mid-80's and laid there all night before being found.  What is this bull going around?

And that, my friends, is why there was a delay in reporting.  Oh, I forgot to mention there was even a trip to the beach in the middle (the Friday night part was in Destin...oh boy!!!).<sigh>  But we had a good time Saturday and Sunday (and I felt good).   

Anyhow, I survived and the bees appear to be surviving.  They're working on the second 1/2 gallon of syrup but we also have a goldenrod flow on so they're getting something there, too.

I know I forgot stuff, but that's it in a nutshell.  I got a call today about bees in a lady's soffit and attic.  I told her I would come look at it this afternoon, but truthfully...I'm really not up to dealing with it.  We'll see...

Ed
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BabcockFarms
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« Reply #31 on: September 26, 2012, 05:21:40 PM »

Great story, except for the last part.

Thanks for sharing your adventure with all of us?
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Ron Babcock

                                  "I believe the good that men do, will live long after they gone."
                                                                                                                          ~Mr. Fox Haas

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G3farms
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« Reply #32 on: September 26, 2012, 10:38:20 PM »

Looks like you did a great job of getting them out!!

I did notice you cut the long combs into short pieces and kept the orientation going in the right direction  applause applause some would have taken the short cut and laid them in there longways.

.......and you even taught an old dog a new trick.......how to use a bee vac!!

Well those ladies had us all fooled and turned their comb on a 45, as rule one says "Bees are bees and do as they please".
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see my swarms and cut outs at https://www.youtube.com/user/soapy22bullet?feature=mhee

those hot bees will have you steppin and a fetchin like your heads on fire and your @ss is a catchin!!!

Bees will be bees and do as they please!
Lazy W
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« Reply #33 on: September 27, 2012, 07:45:55 AM »

Great job. Glad you were able to catch the queen. That should keep them on track. great story. I enjoyed reading about your adventure. Glad you were not sick during the removal. Bee stings and stomach trouble could be to much in one day. Thanks for sharing.
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #34 on: September 27, 2012, 09:51:37 AM »

Thanks for the comments, ya'll.

George, it would've been tempting to lay the comb in sideways but...that just wasn't right! Wink  I'm not sure how much brood I ended up saving.  huh  The next day there was a pile of larvae that the bees had cleaned out of the hive.  During the removal I kept the box I was putting brood comb in in the shade...temps were >mid-80's...max time from first cut comb to recombining was four hours.  I'm wondering if the trip home chilled them.  I was afraid of overheating the bees so traveled with only the screen cover of the bee-vac covering the bees....naturally the brood box was on top....the box was positioned against the cab of the pickup truck with the trap's top about a foot below the truck's roofline...Huh?  There were lots of wax shavings in the bottom of the bee-vac and lots more has shown up in the oil tray.   I watched a bee or two fly off with some larvae.  When I put the comb in the frames I would mash the top edge of the comb into the frame/wedge area...I know this killed some larvae....I'm not sure if that was the right way to do it or not...maybe I should have cut the comb a bit shorter and not have worried about a snug fit up top?

Yelp, Mr. Nolen was tickled using the bee-vac, at first he wanted to suck'em out of the air from four feet away  grin but he caught on fast to the idea of it all.  He already mentioned that he might need to "borrow" it sometime. Wink 

I kind of felt the comb would be spanning from plywood to plywood, especially after looking at where the owner had removed a hive from last year.  Thankfully we removed the side that little comb was attached to....if we had removed the opposite side that more comb was attached to it would have been a lot more work and most likely torn up more comb...as it is we had one piece of comb fall when we removed the plywood.  Something else to note, but whether it will be a consistent thing or not is questionable, is that the length of the comb was attached more to the "cool" side.  The side we removed faces west and catches the afternoon sun...the opposite (east) side that they attached to more only catches a little morning sun and has a shade (semi-roof) over it and is thus cooler most of the time.  I don't know if the cooler temperature is more attractive to them or not....just something I noticed.

Another thing I got out of the removal is permission to put swarm traps out on the property.  It is a hunting club with two mobile homes onsite and a camper trailer more or less permanently set up.  I know one day I'm gonna get the "there's bees under my trailer" call....I'll deal with that when the day comes. Wink

Lazy, it was kind of confusing when I started getting sick.  I wasn't sure that it *wasn't* a delayed reaction to the bee stings.  I kept going over the symptoms of anaphylactic shock...some symptoms were there some were not, I even felt like my breathing got labored for a while, in the end I wrote it off and settled in for the "Siege of the Evil Virus".<groan>  To be honest, I didn't feel 100% during the removal.  Looking back on the removal I took very, very few pictures (for me)...I think I was off my game...I didn't even take a picture of the queen.  I was getting sick but just didn't know it.

Anyhow, now if I can get them through the winter.  At least I'm down here in south Alabama where the winter's aren't too harsh.  I'm looking at another possible removal.  I'm not so sure about this one...in a residence above a bay window but inside the attic I'm pretty sure.  I'm going back to look up in the attic in a day or so.  That seems like it would be a bad spot to cut comb from...tight quarters between the angle of roof rafters and ceiling joists.  We'll find out.  Currently still trying to get my strength back I'm not chomping at the bits to spend a half day in a hot attic.  Lips Sealed  Smiley

Ed
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #35 on: September 28, 2012, 10:24:00 AM »

I guess as time goes by the fog clears from my head...

One thing I failed to mention was that the colony had very little honey stored.  Along the comb attachment points in the channel iron there was a little honey and a few patches of uncapped nectar/honey.  They were packing in the pollen, though, so maybe they had a plan.   I'm not so sure they would have had enough resources to have made it through the winter, though.  But, the goldenrod has just now really got into a good flow.  In the first couple of pictures of the colony the comb that is not covered by bees is simply empty comb.

Ed
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wildforager
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« Reply #36 on: September 29, 2012, 12:48:14 PM »

Wow great pictures! Thanks for sharing the story. That bushkill bee vac is a great design. I have one too and it has never let me down.

Hope you get over that stomach bug!
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A weed is just a plant in the wrong place. -Luther Burbank

To find out more about me check out my website.... www.broomsbylittlejohn.com
Intheswamp
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« Reply #37 on: March 08, 2014, 01:12:37 AM »

Just as a follow-up...this colony was the only one that made me honey in 2013...right at 110 pounds of honey in 2013...I guess after we found them with so few stores they decided to make up for it the next year!  Wink

Now, if I can just get two or three colonies doing that!!!  grin

Ed
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