Bees in the tortoise house.

A couple weeks ago, new backwardsbeekeeper Carlo and I went down to Orange County for a cutout. He wanted bees for his first hive.

This was a home for a Tortoise. The wood was rotted, so when we lifted, the whole top separated from the floor of the box. We flipped it upside down and carried it over to the lawn. Lots of bees and swarm cells and a decent amount of honey.

Initially we used a homemade low suction beevac. This was designed to suction the bees directly into their new home. Too much suction can harm the bees and the queen, but this has an air bypass to adjust the suction level. It's nice because it moves the bees off the comb into the hive body and out of harm's way of my knife.

The beevac worked at first but not enough suction so lots of bees were in the hose reducing the airflow further. So we would need a more powerful shop vac to give a little more suction to get them all the way through the hose and into the hive body.

We instead did the cutout the old fashion way successfully.

The hives were split into two. One of them swarmed, Carlo caught the swarm, so now has 3 hives already.