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Author Topic: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?  (Read 1303 times)

Offline FloridaGardener

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Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« on: March 09, 2019, 12:08:41 am »
Pictures show it all...
Oak tree won't be cut down.
Entrance is 6 feet off the ground.
60 or 70 bees per minute bringing in pollen at noon.
Homeowner says they've been there awhile.

Option A: Bee vac, then a long knife to cut some comb and brood... it's probably a long skinny comb and I can't reach much of it, and may lose the queen if she hides in the back.

Option B: Bait with a swarm trap nearby that has a frame of foundationless empty comb, and hope they decide the trap's better than where they are, and abscond or swarm to it.

What do you think?

Offline iddee

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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2019, 10:13:56 am »
As Iddee posted, do a Trapout. The hive is a lot bigger than the opening. You might get a piece of one frame. The bees will not abscond just because you give them another option. You might catch a swarm with a bated hive but most of the bees will remain.
Jim

Offline paus

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2019, 04:00:17 pm »
Unless the bees are a hazard or such a problem that they are likely to be killed I advise leave them alone.  Perhaps you can set a swarm trap nearby and catch a swarm and enjoy their genetics in your bee yard.

Offline paus

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2019, 03:50:11 pm »
I have been successful doing a trapout  using #8 wire covering the opening and sealing all escape holes with brick mason mortar, but not foam, placing the hive as close as possible to the entrance and cutting the wire so a 1 1/2 inch pvc pipe is the only way out of the hive.  Cut a hole in a hive box that fits PVC. Build a frame to rest the hive box on.  Every case is different so be inventive.  Place some drawn comb  in the box.  I will explain the oneway trap if you wish as it not easily explained but it is not needed unless time is involved. The bees will start making honey and storing pollen in the box. You can place a frame of brood with nurse bees in the hive and I have always had the queen start to lay in the frame but the only trap out I have been completely successful with are strong hives.  After the hive has brood from the queen you may want to drill a small hole, that you can spray a shot or so of "Bee Quit" in the tree.  Yes this can drag out for a year but it is a challenge and rewarding.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2019, 05:52:00 pm by paus »

Offline Acebird

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2019, 08:41:53 am »

How much do you trust the homeowner?  Being only 6 ft off the ground makes it easy to spray pesticides.  60 bees per minute is not a very big hive.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2019, 10:44:16 am »
>How much do you trust the homeowner?

Exactly.  Also, if you do a trap out they often spray them because they weren't aware there were that many bees until they can't get back in and start circling in the air...
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Offline FloridaGardener

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2019, 03:00:24 pm »
Update
Read all the posts, saw the videos, THANK YOU.

HomeOwner: very pro-bee.  She's left the bees there a year, but neighbors would prefer not to see them.  Loves Honey.  She's okay with a 2 month trap-out and a contraption in her front yard.  The bees are 3 miles from my home apiary so I can check often.

Amount of bees: warmer day today, at noon: 160 BPM (Bees per minute entering with pollen) They are lining up to enter like it's JFK airport. Festooning inside.  Ooooooh, nice.

Entrance: crack in the tree is 8 feet high. (lighting strike? charred wood inside, goes down to soil level) 

Trap out panel: A 3' width of Luan would wrap the gap, w/ 6' ratchet straps around the tree. I'm going to soak, roll and bungee some Luan this afternoon to start molding the shape.

PROBLEM: Even keeping the Luan at the full 4' width, and burying the bottom in soil, is just a towel or rag enough to stop them finding an entrance on the other 3 sides?  I can't permanently disfigure the tree with caulk. How determined will they be to chew around the plywood's edge? Would it be enough to wrap around the whole trunk with a couple of layers of poly mosquito netting?
 
Thanks, everybody! 
« Last Edit: March 19, 2019, 03:33:22 pm by FloridaGardener »

Offline iddee

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2019, 05:44:45 pm »
I would buy some screen wire and cut strips wide enough to staple the slit over. If the bees find a way in, a couple more staples will stop them. No damage is done to the tree when removed.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2019, 09:56:13 pm »
Be sure to use window screen. The last Trapout that I did in a tree with a long vertical opening the bees were feeding the bees inside through the number eight wire. I ended up having to add window screen over it with an air gap between them. Then they did the same thing through the cone. I had to add screen over it also.
Jim

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2019, 02:23:29 am »
Trapouts seem tough, slow, time consuming, stop signs to me. Everyone to his own choosing. Just my opinion, I would look at this as the gift that may keep on giving. As Jim and paus suggested, Catch boxes, bait boxes, swarm traps or whatever the proper name may be, would be my choice. Three in close proximity, maybe in a triangle as the tree as the center. Might produce several swarms through out the seasons. The adjoining neighbors may come on board with this if you talk to them and sell the idea. If so, you should have a swarm providing "machine"? Jeff Horchoff Bees of Saint Joeseph Abby in Louisiana is the best at this sort of thing that I know, maybe if you have time, check out some of his videos. He has always been happy to answer any questions that I have ask him.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2019, 09:27:40 am »
As Jim and paus suggested, Catch boxes, bait boxes, swarm traps or whatever the proper name may be, would be my choice. Three in close proximity, maybe in a triangle as the tree as the center. Might produce several swarms through out the seasons.

Although some have been successful, the natural tendency is for the swarm to move up to 5 miles away from the parent hive.  Just because you have a swarm box in your apiary doesn't mean the one you caught is from your apiary unless you shook it in and anchored it.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2019, 09:41:31 am »
As Jim and paus suggested, Catch boxes, bait boxes, swarm traps or whatever the proper name may be, would be my choice. Three in close proximity, maybe in a triangle as the tree as the center. Might produce several swarms through out the seasons.

Although some have been successful, the natural tendency is for the swarm to move up to 5 miles away from the parent hive.  Just because you have a swarm box in your apiary doesn't mean the one you caught is from your apiary unless you shook it in and anchored it.

All you say may be true Ace but the odds are a lot higher than you are giving credit. The reason I say this is because Jeff has a donor hive at a certain location and pulls anywhere from six swarms a year and up just as the method that I described. Of course the boxes have to be set up right. Properly baited etc. that is the reason that I suggested watching, listen, and learn from the master swarm catcher,  Jeff Horchoff. Ace I suggest you take advantage of Jeffs knodlege and willingness to teach these methods, especially since you are starting over at your new Flordia home. With Jeffs proven methods, You will be back in beekeeping in no time. Good luck to each of you.
Phillip

Offline FloridaGardener

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2019, 01:56:48 am »
UPDATE:
Houston we are a go.... because I want lots of starts. 

This bee tree can fund new workers to turn eggs from my lovely queen (MLQ) into new colonies with her DNA.   MLQ makes the happiest bees EVER. She has such a calming influence, that the girls just flew right past while my Amiable Spouse and I had to use a chainsaw and hatchet on some stumps only 4 feet from her hive.

Phase 1.  Trapping off the bee tree's base. Got part way up to the top, but need to ask homeowner about cutting back the azalea a bit further from the tree.  The ladder can't fit safely.  Safety first!

So far I figure so far it's taken roughly 3 hours on research, and 3 hours to gather materials and set up.  I had the luan, tarp, rope, and had to buy more screen.   Materials should be under $30 altogether, excluding the catchbox.  I'll use a chrome wire shelf from our garage storage to support the catchbox.  If I get a few starts from this bee tree for the cost and effort involved, I'll be very happy.

In the meantime the bees here are getting trained to use the smaller entrance at a 5 ft height.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2019, 09:20:26 am »
Here are pictures of a Trapout that I setup yesterday. This is a repeat customer. The last Trapout that I did on this building, 3 years ago, was halfway to the front of the building. The owner called the first bee removed Beek he could find and then asked if he knew me and that is how he able to get my new number.
The foundation is sinking and there are a lot of cracks around the corner area of this building.

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I used liquid nails to seal up the cracks and to hold the escape board in place. There were a lot of bees in the field, way more than I was expecting.

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After I had everything sealed up and the box in place, I went inside to seal up the cracks on the other side of the wall. Bees were starting to pour in to the warehouse. The main crack where they were entering was right behind a 2 x 12 board that was a quarter inch from the wall. I used foam in a can to fill the crack and then filled the entire area behind the board covering a 3 foot area. Then I went on top of the platform and sealed the same area.
When I finished inside I went back out to the Trapout. The bees had pushed the escape board off of the wall and all of the field bees were back in side. They also found an entrance 3 feet away that they were checking out. I sealed it up and re glued the escape board to the wall. This time I used a piece of pipe to hold it in place.

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Hopefully that will hold it until the glue dries.
Jim Altmiller

Offline Acebird

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2019, 10:21:24 am »
Jim, use heavy duty aluminum foil over silicone.  Clear if you like.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline FloridaGardener

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2019, 10:35:17 pm »
Well Jim, that looks like a lot more work.  Hope you got paid.  :)  Hope you can get out all the beesy stuff that invites other bees to move in.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2019, 11:52:00 pm »
Ace,
Not sure what you are referring to. What do you use the tinfoil for?
Jim Altmiller

I won?t bill the customer until the bees are gone.
I will not bee getting any of the comb out. It is inside the cinder blocks. The customer does not want the walls cut open. I just have to try to seal it up as much as I can. He plans on having the entire building caulked and painted. The customer sent this picture today. It looks like the returning bees are confused about not being able to get in and there are bees entering the box. It looks like it is working.

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Jim Altmiller

Offline FloridaGardener

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2019, 09:28:27 pm »
Phase 2:

Spent another 3 hours trimming shrubs, setting up the ladder, hanging nylon veil over the top of the tree crevice, and prepping the catchbox. Everything takes longer on a ladder.  The guards at the bee tree are feisty.  They did not like the screen, and were face-floating and following me to the car.  I had to walk them off.

Having worked only TBH, a Lang catchbox seems to need lots of parts: a rim built under the SBB to catch critters and goobers, a metal plate to tie the hive body to the SBB, and two lids...? Lol.  I cut an inner cover out of light plywood for a secure screw-down top.  A flat oak shim made "ears" to hang a 17" TBH  brood bar into the 19" Lang catchbox.  A very heavy kit, even without bees!


Offline FloridaGardener

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Re: Cut out: Worth it? Yes or No?
« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2019, 09:56:27 pm »
Phase 3:
A little over 3 hours' work. Made the cone, and used a hole saw for recessed lighting to cut the hole in last section of plywood sheathing.  Kept the cone long so they'd have air.  Whoever said HOT GLUE for #8 cloth was absolutely right, it was fast and helped with sharp edges. 

In adding some brood from my hive, I found a new swarm cell I did not see 4 days ago.  It's been warm and rainy; maybe with all bees inside it's crowded, and the TBH got an itch to swarm even though there's a nearly-empty super on it. So I used the bar with the open (not ragged cut) swarm cell.  Away to the bee tree!

I'd trimmed the azaleas in front, but they were still in the way.  I tried putting the catchbox in front of the cone, but it was just too crowded.  It's 3 feet away from the end of the cone.  It doesn't look level in the pic, but I did level the shelf holding the catchbox, and the adjustable shelves helped compensate for the uneven soil grade.  The shelf was handy for resting tools, too.

The moment of truth when the plywood & cone went on:
Sure wish there would have been 2 people to wrangle that big contraption. 
Sure wish I would have remembered to check for the right size staples in the staple gun. 
Sure wish I wouldn't have had to drive back home to get long staples right then. 
The bees were furious by this point, and I got popped a couple of times though gloves & jeans. I tried to bribe them with a sugar brick on the rim of the catchbox.  No takers.  I propped the cone in place.  A few chased me back and forth down the street, but thankfully, they didn't understand the Car Door. 
By the time I returned, although it wasn't a tight trap out, they'd reached the Threshold of Futility, and were calmer.
Some were drifting into the catchbox. 

Update posted tomorrow!