March 21st: Cut-Out in the SLV

I went down to Darrel Alexander’s, in the San Luis Valley north of Moffat, at country roads AA and 60, to do a cut-out.  The afternoon was sunny and still, and hit a high of 66 degrees.

I arrived at 12:40 and Darrel started the siding removal about 1:00.  (I had borrowed a bee suit for him from Dave Angelo.)  I started the cut-out about 1:30 and finished about 2:45.  The honeycomb I dropped into a 5 gallon bucket; the brood comb I rubber-banded into foundationless frames.  I ended up with two medium-depth, 8-frame boxes that each had 6 or 7 of the foundationless frames of brood comb in them.

After cutting out all the comb, I added an empty third box on top and set an inner cover on it.  All three boxes were sitting on a screen bottom.  This all got cam-strapped together and set near the old hive.  Each of the three boxes had its own entrance.  I let the new hive sit by the old location while I took a lunch break for a couple of hours.

When I returned, I could see that some of the field bees that were returning were clumping together at the top right of the old hive location.  I misted them with plain water, brushed them into a plastic bucket, and dumped them in the top empty box of the new hive.  I did this twice, but after the first time they seemed to reach critical mass and began nasonov-ing around the hole in the inner cover.  I felt fairly confident that I had the queen at this point.

I waited until almost dusk before closing up the hive and leaving.  As dusk approached, additional bees were finding the new hive and going in.  Again, it seemed a good indication that I had the queen.

Darrel was never stung and I was stung once on the ankle, below where I had rubber-banded the legs of my jeans.

After returning home, I left the hive in the car, overnight, because I thought the bees would be warmer there.  I did add a top screen so that they could ventilate overnight and finish drying out.
I set them on a hive stand the next day (March 22nd).  All of their cut comb was in the bottom two boxes and I added a box of drawn comb and honey, from another hive, to the top.  So, a total of three boxes.

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