On Saturday 7/28 I helped a couple of friends with a cut out. It was at an old abandoned house about 25 minutes South of me. I am not a huge fan of removing established feral bees, but this house is going to be torn down before this winter.
We arrived at the house at approximately 6:00 a.m. Some of the loose siding boards were removed first. The guard bees let all three of us know that they weren’t interested in leaving. Though all of us were wearing protective equipment we each took quite a few stings.
It was coordinated effort as I took about 10 stings to my “covered”‘ arms between where the gloves ended and my veil began. I also got stung several times on the legs and on my belly between the veil and my belt. All of it came within about 30 seconds. They got my attention for sure!
Part of our problem was we really didn’t know what we were getting into. This is the case with any cutout. Cecil had been to the site to investigate. He reported that they were at about chest level going in and out the side of the house. We figured we would cut in and remove them quickly. We had planned on being done by 8 or 8:30. We never would have guessed this hive to be so large and populous.
As we continued to remove siding we got to a point where we had to scrounge a ladder from a local man who had been observing us from a considerable distance. When it was all said and done we found comb from the footer all the way up to a board that separated the first and second stories of the house. It was amazing. We finished up about 10:30.
The bees were hived and relocated up the road about 4 miles to a temporary outyard. Later this week Cecil will return to the hive to see if we got the the queen or not. One thing I have discovered recently is that post cutout bees can be quite aggressive for a couple days after you put them in their new home. Don’t make the mistake I did setting a fresh hot cutout 40 yards from your back door. It has the tendency to irritate other members of the household.
Have you been a part of any memorable cutouts this year? Do you have any questions? If you have any tips feel free to leave a comment.