Prepwork the Nightwork before a Cutout

An entire week has already passed since I did a cutout on 7/8/12. This was a fairly easy one but it was still a lot of work. In today’s post I am going to discuss preparation for this cut-out. The most important part is to plan ahead. It is not good to leave a job like this in the middle to get more tools, water, or some other forgotten item.

Preparation –

These are always big jobs, the more prep work you do the better off you’re going to be. The day before I visited the house to take a good look at the site and form a plan. I took a camera so that I could review the images once back at home. That way I could mentally go through the cutout while viewing the pictures. The colony was under a double-wide trailer in the crawlspace. Access was easy, but quarters were going to be cramped and there were a bunch of bees in there.

My friend Mike was going to volunteer both a bee vacuum and his assistance. Unless you have done this before I recommend having a friend or a fellow beekeeper around. Having an extra set of hands can save you a lot of time. The faster you can complete the job the better it is going to be for both you and the colony you are removing. Also having an extra person there will be handy when something unexpected happens.

List of Materials

Part of the reason for the pre-visit was to form a list of materials. Items included the following.

  • All of the normal gear for hive inspections
  • Large Piece of Foam – to lay and sit on under the house, otherwise it would be gravel or concrete for many hours.
  • Serrated Uncapping Knife – Cuts comb faster than a hive tool. (Walter Kelley Company Product code 195)
  • Bee Vacuum –
  • Generator –
  • Trouble light –
  • Extra Gasoline –
  • Extension Cord –
  • 2 Deep Hive Boxes –
  • 20 wired foundationless frames –
  • Rubber bands – to affix desired combs to the inside of the wired frames.
  • 4-6 Food Grade Five Gallon buckets – to put drone brood, damaged, and dirty comb in. Also 1 was for clean honey
  • 4 – Poly telescoping outer covers – Used as trays to place comb on to get it outside of the crawlspace. It keeps the things cleaner.
  • Camera – took it, but once I got started I didn’t stop and take any pictures.
  • 2 Gallons of water – hydration

After taking the pictures I realized that this was not going to be a quick extraction. They had built from the bottom of the double-wide to the ground. Comb after comb wrapped around a drier duct. The bees had built right around it incorporating it into their nest. The new light comb showed that the hive had been doing well this summer. Much of the outer comb had nectar curing in it. The number of bees was amazing. This hive has not been treated or fed ever.

I didn’t sleep well on Saturday night. I just kept thinking about something I might forget.

Notice anything I am forgetting? Anything extra you would bring along?
Let me know in the comments.


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