Stable Bee Vac Cut-Out

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Queen Bee
Aug 24, 2009
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Wiltshire, Somerset, S Glos & S Oxfordshire
Hive Type
Well, with alot of thanks to PeteinWilts for coming along and helping out, I finally found an afternoon to complete the colony cut out that has been on the cards for a while.
(Pics to follow in facbook link tomorrow and a video if Pete's camcorder was working ok!!)

Huge colony - huge combs that were nearly 1m wide and 70/80 cm deep. We managed to cut 6 brood areas into 14x12 frames, which tells you how big the colony was, although it had virtually no stores left.

The new bee-vac worked a treat, and once we had got home, we installed the frames and loose bees into the beehaus.

This morning I went back up and , after fiddling around with a couple more combs to try and even up the brood nest, I decided to have a look for HM - and there she was on the first comb, a real beauty, quite dark with light gold bands, seemingly survived the bee-vac !

Thanks again to Pete and just goes to show how a bee-vac can save the day!

Pics will follow


Looking forward to seeing the pics, sounds like a monster.
When you get round to it, could you let us know their first mite drop count. A lot of beeks seem to think feral colonies are rife with varroa and it would be interesting to hear your results.


When you get round to it, could you let us know their first mite drop count. A lot of beeks seem to think feral colonies are rife with varroa and it would be interesting to hear your results.



I collected a feral/abandoned colony from a farm during early November last year that had been 'in situ' for some 5+ years (some might recall the post about it).

Having done a mite drop test a few weeks ago the varroa count was dangerously high and the colony has had to be shook swarmed and given a treatment of ApiGuard already, having shown some signs of DWV. Fortunately, the colony was in an isolated spot, away from my other colonies.

All appear well now though.
It was quite a large colony. The hammers in the pictures are not kiddies hammers... they are proper man-sized claw hammers!!

We had to be careful whilst removing the wall as some of the comb was attached. The comb also ran up behing the remaining planks.

The photo's shown are with the first out layer of the comb removed. There were three good layers across most of the colony.

The bottom of the comb ran across the top of several inches of detritus, including dead bees, wax moth and a mumified mouse...

It was interesting to see that for such a large colony there was next to no stores. There was only the equivilent of a one sided, half filled national frame of nectar and a small amount of extremely hard ivy honey which many of the bees were trying to work.
It was however a good time to extract the bees. The farm is surrounded by rape fields and they are about to go into bloom!

A fun day was had by all! :party:
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great pictures.

From the colour of the comb it looks a few years old, did the owner say?
Somerford Steve might know better, but I thought they went in last year. If this is the case, I believe they may have inherited an old colonies comb.

Some of the comb was so old it was green!
Wow just as well you had the 14x12 frames, on a 2nd look was there less bees than you expected did you see the queen.
Looked like fun

Having now had a cup of tea and got my brain in gear I realise the clue is in the title
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Could you post some pics of the BeeVac if you have some? I have not seen one before, and it sounds interesting.
Somerfield / PIW looks like a job well done, thanks for sharing, the original colony looks very impressive. Wld also be interested in seeing the beevac, only reference point I have is the bunnyvac2000 of Wallace & Gromit fame

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