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Preparing for a cut out- how to remove the bees?


#1

I have agreed to cut out a nice colony of bees. It’s not actually a cut out- in that the colony is not inside anything- it is hanging exposed under a gutter. Very easy to access. But when I looked at it yesterday the combs were densely covered in bees. I am fairly confident about he process of cutting out the comb and rubber banding it into frames- but what I am concerned about is how to handle the combs when they are thickly covered in bees? I do not have a bee vac set up.

Is there any trick I can do to get the bees off the comb while I work?

I can put my nuc box right up beside the colony- and was thinking I might be able to put a frame of brood in it first and try and entice bees into there to reduce the numbers on the comb?

Does anyone have any advice for me?


#2

Hi Jack, you have already answered your question

Remember JeffH was always advocating that as the best way to get a swarm into a hive and to keep it there. If you can figure which part of the comb has the queen on it then I would cut that comb out and put that in the nuc as it will speed up the process in a big way. Get the nuc in contact with the comb or a stick as a bridge.
Once the bees start marching into the hive sit back and watch the parade.
Cheers mate


#3

if I can catch the queen yes- I see it can go smoothly. But I am dubious about how easy that might be. It’s a reasonably large colony and so thick with bees. I’m now thinking a bee vacuum is what I want… It seems it will be so much easier to handle the combs if I can get 90% of the bees off first. I found a simple idea for one-- and have a cordless vacuum- so i think I will McGuyver one up. I catch quite a few swarms and though I don’t need a vac for most- it would be handy for those ones that can’t be easily shook. I’ll get enough use out of it that it will be worthwhile.


#4

I only save the comb to frames that have brood on them or empty comb. The comb with honey goes in a clean bucket with the bees shook,brushed or blown off with shop vac. The honey makes a sloppy mess covering and killing many bees. I prefer using bamboo wood BBQ skewers stapled to frames over using rubber bands. You can have 1 side of frame ready to go before you start. A spray bottle with sugar syrup can help keep the bees busy and in the box while you work. Once completed leave box near by until dark and they should move in. If you use bee vac get a smooth hose because the corrugated hose kills many bees. You need to adjust suction so it is just enough to suck up bees. To much kills them. If bees are not to aggressive try moving comb with the bees on comb. It is nice to have a helper to hand comb to. Things will go much faster. If you have some bee be gone type product spray a little on area after all the comb has been removed.


#5

With or without capturing the queen it can go as smooth as silk with you original thinking. Probably the easiest swarm capture you will ever get. You are offering a dark confined space which bees like and brood to look after which is their natural instinct. The only thing against you is time till the scout bees find a more suitable place and move on.
You don’t need a bee vac, just the confidence that you can do it.
Cheers