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Cut-out fence 1st one on my own


A person in my neighborhood found out I was a beekeeper asked if I would take a look at some honeybees they have in a double wall fence. They’d indicated the bees had been there between 6 and 10 years. The fence needed to be replaced it was starting to collapse rapidly. I believe the fence had been there for better than 30 years. They had approached a number of fence replacement persons and I think they tried to get in contact with a few other the removal places and all they wanted to do was kill them. This family was very attached to their bees in their fence.

I had assisted my mentor with two other cutouts so I decided to attempt this one on my own. Attached are a few thermal imaging photos as well as photos after I had removed the outside planks of the fence. I was surprised on how hot I got, had a little bit a shade. Additionally dealing with the honeycomb and the leather gloves I had, they got soaked in honey and were very slippery and messy. The thermal imaging photos gave me a good clue well in advance of how big the family was and which way to start removing the fence.

I did not remove all the honeycomb the first day and my mentor said I needed to do that right away so I went back on Saturday and removed all the other honeycomb. Vacuumed up a number of other bees that were all over the honeycomb and behind other parts of the fence and put them in the box as well. I have since taken the box out to my mentor’s farm for I did not have additional room at my house. I believe they are doing okay will know in a few more days how well they’re doing.

I would not have believed two years ago I would have been comfortable even being around a cut out like this much less attempting it on my own.

I did get stung quite a bit but through the garments it wasn’t a full dosage of venom.


Braver man than me, well done!!!


Wow, well done! Thanks for the quality pics.


Well done Marty! I don’t think I’m brave enough to catch swarms as yet LOL


Well I have not had the opportunity to do a swarm just yet, only cutouts of existing colonies/families where we wanted to relocate them. I wasn’t as prepared as I should have been. I was not thinking initially it was going to be as big of an undertaking as it was since the two other colonies we cut out that I learned on were much smaller.

Looking back I should’ve known better, and been much better prepared. Nevertheless I believe it turned out well maybe a little bit too much stress for me in the colony but I think we both survived.


How wonderful that you saved the colony :smile:


Good for you, it sounds like you learned much on this cut out. Was there a lot of brood in there that you could save?


I got 8 solid frames of brood. I held up the blank frame marked the corners and cut the brood out. The next day I did the same with 2 blank frames for honey.


That sounds healthy. Open brood too? I don’t remember if you got the queen or not but sounds like you have a new healthy hive. Good luck with it.


I know I got emerging brood i.e. ones just coming out of the cells I’m hoping I got enough eggs as well did not identify the Queen too much going on and way way too hot I know I overheated. It was right at 100° that day in the shade.

I took them out to my mentor’s farm, he’s reported that there flying in and out pretty regularly. He did add a frame of freshly laid eggs from another hive, just in case I did not get the Queen and enough fresh eggs.


100 sounds way too hot! I’ll take my mountains any day. :wink:


I love the thermal images. What instrument did you use? I too just did my first cut out and removal with my bee club and it was a learning experience for sure. Way to go and :+1:t2: On a quality job.


Thank you, vary helpfull tool


Well done on the cut out. I haven’t seen this done before so I found your article fascinating. Great idea to thermal image it.
Happy bees happy owners, terrifiic.


I did do a video of it. I need to set down and edit it so I can post.


Really cool, Marty! Great idea to use the Flir ahead of time. I’m looking forward to the video :sunglasses::honeybee: