Roberta demonstrates a cut-out

Kieran and his bees.

LA Backwards Beekeeper Roberta sends a story and a couple of very informative videos about a recent cut-out:

Kieran called the Bee Rescue Hotline about bees in a wall. He wanted to keep the bees and was interested in getting them out via a trap-out. We tried to trap them out, but there were too many cracks in the wall for these sneaky bees. This left a cut-out as the only option.

The bees looked like they had two hives going, so it was going to a fair amount of work. We could feel the warmth of the bees through the wall, so that told us where to cut into it. I used my new-from-Craigslist reciprocating saw and carbide blade.

The first hive had a lot of comb but it only had capped brood—no eggs and a lot of open queen cells. So the hive was in the process of re-queening or was just queenless.

The second hive had eggs, lots of brood but also a few closed queen cells. The bees had filled the space between the studs so must have become too crowded. Hopefully they won't swam right away now that they have more space! We split some of the comb with a queen cell to see if we can lure the straggler bees into another box.

I also tried out my new homemade portable bee vacuum. I was able to wrangle a bunch of bees this way and we dumped them into the hive and it went on the roof. We left brood and boxes to try to get the rest of the bees with a plan to combine all them into one hive.