Karen in SW Florida asks:
What do you do if you cut out a hive and the queen is nowhere to be found and the rest of the bees won't come out?
The Rest Of the Story: We did a cut out in a soffit and it went beautifully, except that I am pretty sure the queen was stashing herself behind a board we could not get to. There was a large cluster of bees in a corner that kept going behind this board. We collected most of the bees, brood comb went nicely into frames, but the owner now has this small cluster in the open soffit. Angle of the soffit made it impossible to get them unless we vaccuum.
Will they disperse if there is no queen? Or will she abscond with the leftovers if she is there? What do YOU do if you cannot remove all the bees and the queen seems to still be hiding where she cannot be "gotten"?
Ok—On cut outs...if you can't get them, vacuum them up. If the queen is in there she could start again if she has enough help. There are always bees left behind. Sometimes I go back the next early morning or evening to do this so as to get most of them.
When I do a cut out like I did yesterday I make sure I get some open brood so if I don't get the queen they have a chance to make a new one. I don't put honey back in the box, just brood. I then feed honey back in a baggie feeder. They have enough comb to repair as it is.