EQUIPMENT NEEDED
For swarm and honeybee hive removals
So you want to remove bees do
you?
 It is a labor intensive, time consuming, and
difficult operation in most cases.
 Rem...
Basic equipment needed for ALL
removals…
 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – when dealing with
unknown bees, recommend...
Not all PPE the same
 Some suits and veils are better suited to removal operations than
others.
 The best veils are atta...
Veils that provide limited
protection
 Some veils are not attached to the suit and
have openings which could expose you t...
Gloves
 Rubber “dishwashing” gloves can be worn but expose you to possible
stings.
 Leather gloves protect from stings b...
Different types of removals…
 There are three basic types of removals, these
have a bearing on the type of equipment need...
Swarm retrieval
 Hives swarm for reproductive purposes – they
split and half the bees fly off with the old queen in
searc...
Swarm on tree limb
Equipment needed for swarm
calls
 Basic beekeeping equipment and PPE, and
something to place the bees in.
 A small swarm...
Cut-outs
 Cut-outs are where the bees have moved in and
have formed a hive in a structure.
 The most common place for a ...
Cut-out from wall of home
Equipment for a cut-out
 A large amount of tools and equipment are needed for cut-out operations.
 In addition to the ba...
Simple bee vacuum
 A simple bee vacuum can be constructed from
a shop vac.
Attaching comb to frames/bars
Heat stress and emergencies
 Cut-out’s are a hot and dirty operation.
 Always have plenty of drinking water on hand.
 T...
After the cut-out
 The area where the feral hive was located
must be cleaned and sealed or other bees will
move in after ...
Tools for sealing a removed feral
hive
Trap-outs
 Sometimes the feral hive is in a location that
cannot be accessed or the owner does not
want the structure dam...
Trap-out on roof
Equipment needed for Trap-out
 Traps outs are very unique.
 A bait hive or nucleus box is needed.
 Framework and wood f...
Administrative stuff…
 Not every tool needed for removals is metal.
We also need a few paper tools too.
 You should have...
Sometimes “Free Bees” are not
free
 We must consider that our time and effort is worth
money.
 On average a trap-out tak...
“Free bees”
 For a cut-out or trap-out for free bees, it is very
easy to cross the line of zero-profit.
 One can purchas...
Removal ethics
 Not all bees should be removed. If you find a tree
in the woods with bees – it is best they are left
alon...
Conclusion
 Be prepared. It is tough when you start a removal
and get halfway into it only to realize a key piece
of equi...
Thank you
 You can contact me at honeybees@lus.com
 I am also on Facebook: Black Mesa
Honeybees
 Paul McCarty 575-682-2...
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Equipment needed for honeybee removals

  1. 1. EQUIPMENT NEEDED For swarm and honeybee hive removals
  2. 2. So you want to remove bees do you?  It is a labor intensive, time consuming, and difficult operation in most cases.  Removing bees requires specialized tools and equipment.  These tools, and the techniques of their use, can reduce some of the labor and time involved in the extraction of honeybees from a structure.
  3. 3. Basic equipment needed for ALL removals…  Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – when dealing with unknown bees, recommend full suit and veil with gloves. An inspector’s jacket can suffice if the pants are loose fitting around the legs and the cuffs are bound to prevent crawling bees from going up the pant leg.  Standard beekeeping gear – smoker, hive tools, scrapers, etc.  Spray bottle of 1/1 sugar water.  Spray bottle of soapy water (in case they are too nasty and mean).  Hive or nucleus hive to put the bees in.  Water for clean-up (and drinking – beekeeping is a hot and tiring business).
  4. 4. Not all PPE the same  Some suits and veils are better suited to removal operations than others.  The best veils are attached to the suit with a zipper.
  5. 5. Veils that provide limited protection  Some veils are not attached to the suit and have openings which could expose you to stings.
  6. 6. Gloves  Rubber “dishwashing” gloves can be worn but expose you to possible stings.  Leather gloves protect from stings but reduce dexterity.  Gauntlet style gloves are best.  All gloves will become slick and covered with honey during a colony removal.
  7. 7. Different types of removals…  There are three basic types of removals, these have a bearing on the type of equipment needed.  Swarm Removal – where a local hive has issued a swarm and you have been called to retrieve them. Typically this is the easiest type.  Trap-out – Where a bait hive is set up near a one way cone, and the bees are basically forced to move into a new hive. Can be difficult to start and time consuming; takes months in some cases.  Cut-out – The feral hive is physically cut-out from the structure and removed, then placed in a new hive box.
  8. 8. Swarm retrieval  Hives swarm for reproductive purposes – they split and half the bees fly off with the old queen in search of a new home, leaving the other half to raise a new queen.  They are most commonly seen hanging from a tree limb as a large mass of bees with a queen in the center. They can hang this way for a few minutes to a few days - until their scouts locate a new home and they fly away.  They have no hive to defend, so they are at their least defensive when in this state. Typically very tame.
  9. 9. Swarm on tree limb
  10. 10. Equipment needed for swarm calls  Basic beekeeping equipment and PPE, and something to place the bees in.  A small swarm can be shaken into something as simple as a cardboard box or burlap bag. You may have to get creative for a larger swarm. Hive boxes work best.  Buckets mounted on poles can be made prior to the season or purchased from beekeeping supply houses. These work fairly well.  Smokers are NOT NEEDED for swarm retrieval.
  11. 11. Cut-outs  Cut-outs are where the bees have moved in and have formed a hive in a structure.  The most common place for a hive to be found is in the walls or roof soffit of a house, but they can be found almost anywhere.  These removals require the structure to be cut away and the hive exposed for access. They are the most technical type of removal.  Bees with high African traits commonly nest in smaller more exposed areas, such as water meter boxes, buckets, etc.
  12. 12. Cut-out from wall of home
  13. 13. Equipment for a cut-out  A large amount of tools and equipment are needed for cut-out operations.  In addition to the basic tools (smoker, PPE, etc) for beekeeping, you will need saws (Sawz-all), hammers, crow bars, sealable food grade buckets, water and buckets for cleaning, extension cords, drinking water, chopping block, ladder, long sharp knives, saw-horses, queen cage, queen catcher, rubber bands or string, foundationless frames or top bars, and bee vacuum (optional).  I have found an ice chest with a hinged lid to be invaluable, as you can place removed honeycomb in it and close it to prevent robbing. It will also contain honey that drips off the comb for later filtering or feeding back to the bees (most of the time you don’t want to eat honey from a cut-out – it usually has sheetrock, etc. in it)  Another indispensible item for me is a large wooden chopping block to carve comb on.  Plastic sheeting is needed to keep honey and smeared comb off the floor and furnishings.  Medical stethoscopes work well for locating bees in walls.  More items may be needed depending upon the particular hive location.  The above items are simply suggestions, and each beekeeper must figure out what works best for their operation.
  14. 14. Simple bee vacuum  A simple bee vacuum can be constructed from a shop vac.
  15. 15. Attaching comb to frames/bars
  16. 16. Heat stress and emergencies  Cut-out’s are a hot and dirty operation.  Always have plenty of drinking water on hand.  Take plenty of breaks and have snacks available to stave off fatigue.  If you plan on doing lot’s of removals, get a prescription for an Epi-pen in case of allergic reaction to bee stings. Carry it with you!  Always have a phone or someone available to call for help. Working totally alone is very, very dangerous.
  17. 17. After the cut-out  The area where the feral hive was located must be cleaned and sealed or other bees will move in after you leave.  They are attracted by the smell of the old hive and honey.  When a hive is removed, it is like a “Vacancy” light turns on for the local honeybees.  The site of the removed colony must be scrubbed clean and sealed to prevent entry.
  18. 18. Tools for sealing a removed feral hive
  19. 19. Trap-outs  Sometimes the feral hive is in a location that cannot be accessed or the owner does not want the structure damaged.  In this case a trap-out is the only option short of extermination.  A wire cone is placed on the feral hive entrance and a hive baited with brood is set-up near the cone.  Trap-outs are a long term operation, and the trap hive can become very heavy with bees and honey.
  20. 20. Trap-out on roof
  21. 21. Equipment needed for Trap-out  Traps outs are very unique.  A bait hive or nucleus box is needed.  Framework and wood for supports are needed.  Caulk, wire screen, and landscape mesh are needed. Landscape mesh works great for sealing the feral hive entrance.  Wire cone escapes work very well to seal the feral hive entrance. Brushy Mountain Bee Farm sells these for approximately $1.00 each.  Colored flagging or caution tape may be needed to cordon off the hive in a populated area.  All equipment or hive boxes must be weather resistant, as the bait hive must remain in place for over a month to be effective.
  22. 22. Administrative stuff…  Not every tool needed for removals is metal. We also need a few paper tools too.  You should have some sort of written agreement in place with the homeowner prior to performing work, even if it is being done for free.  This agreement should outline what you will be doing, what you are not responsible for, and any other requirements, such as who pays for additional equipment needed.
  23. 23. Sometimes “Free Bees” are not free  We must consider that our time and effort is worth money.  On average a trap-out takes a minimum of three trips for the beekeeper and at least two hours of set-up time. This normally works out to be much more in reality.  It is not uncommon for a simple trap-out to take 6- 8 hours to set-up, as supports for the hive must be built, the feral hive must be sealed, and all openings leading to the feral hive must be located and sealed.  This process can take up to two weeks.  This involves more trips to the feral hive site by the beekeeper, which costs money in time and
  24. 24. “Free bees”  For a cut-out or trap-out for free bees, it is very easy to cross the line of zero-profit.  One can purchase a package of bees for $150 dollars.  A simple trap out can cost much more than that in gasoline and materials – not to mention the time involved.  Do not be afraid to charge for your services.  Do not be afraid to say no.
  25. 25. Removal ethics  Not all bees should be removed. If you find a tree in the woods with bees – it is best they are left alone if not causing problems.  The wild bees need their space too. We get our valuable survivor genetics from their continued evolution.  Domestic bees are not evolving. Their traits are selected by man. These traits do not have survival in mind.  Only bees that are in close proximity to man or causing problems should be removed.
  26. 26. Conclusion  Be prepared. It is tough when you start a removal and get halfway into it only to realize a key piece of equipment is missing.  Proper equipment makes the removal easier.  Shortcuts tend to snowball and make things more difficult later on.  Safety first! Never take PPE for granted. Always wear your gear when dealing with feral bees of unknown temperament.  Keep heat stress in mind. Cut-outs and removals are a hot and dirty business.
  27. 27. Thank you  You can contact me at honeybees@lus.com  I am also on Facebook: Black Mesa Honeybees  Paul McCarty 575-682-2858

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