Beehive removals aka Cutouts


I’ll show you the hives I’ve removed from places they were not welcome.  Notice, I didn’t say where they don’t belong. Bees belong where bees go, but the Man-Bee conflict will almost always be won by Man. Bees in house walls, eves, under sheds, in barns, and in other places will ultimately have to be moved. These are always interesting removals.


What to Take to a Cutout

Taken from Forums-


Here is a posting that all beekeepers should read if they want to do cutouts. Posted by Brendan in Florida

This is the list of tools kathyp and I have used for our cutouts.

  • 1. Sawzall corded , the cordless one will not last long enough.
  • 2. Extension cord for the above item.
  • 3. Bee Vac with Shop Vac.
  • 4. Smoker and fuel for it.
  • 5. Serrated knives, my favorite is a small pumpkin carver because it fits into
  • small spaces.
  • 6. Veil (bee suit if they are mean)
  • 7. Camera, you want pictures
  • 8. Bee brush
  • 9. Screwdriver for prying stucco. Prybar will work also.
  • 10. Big tupperware/rubbermade container.
  • 11. a bucket with water or a hose.
  • 12. Marble / tile cutting blades for sawzall. I recommend you have at least
  • four. you will burn through them. For stucco walls and soffits.
  • 13. Drill with large masonry bit.
  • 14. Flashlight to look into dark corners.
  • 15. Queen cage just in case. Or empty jar with holes in the lid (clean the jar)
  • 16. Safety goggles and breathing mask
  • 17. Paint scraper for removing comb remnants.
  • 18. Tarp, having two is even better.
  • 19. Baby Wipes (you will be a sticky mess)
  • 20. Duct tape
  • 21. Window screening.
  • 22. Plumbing straps and screws or Hive staples.
  • 23. Hammer
  • 24. Staple gun.
  • 25. Sprayer
  • 26. 8 foot ladder
  • 27. Keyhole saw, razor knife, linoleum knife

The Key to each…

    1. The sawzall will cut into walls, ceiling and soffits. Have the right type of blade. I love cordless sawzalls but cutting stucco drains them quickly. So I recommended corded.
    2. Extension cord for sawzall, drills, and shopvacs.
    3. Bee Vac to get those bees in the tight corners.
    4. Smoker because getting stung sucks. Running out of smoker fuel sucks also.
    5. Serrated knives so you can cut the comb out. Small knives fit into tight places better.
    6. Veil and bee suit for when the bees don’t like you. At the minimum a veil and long sleeve shirt. After you have done it for a while you can do it in your shorts if you want. But go in protected first.
    7. Camera, No cut out happens unless you have proof. Wink
    8. Bee Brush to brush bees into box or out of the way.
    9. Screwdriver, pry bar Because when you have cut that opening you actually need to remove the piece.
    10. Big container for extra comb.
    11. a bucket with water or hose. For clean up of honey on walls and your self. The hose is better because if the bees get way to nasty you can use it to make it rain and calm down the situation.
    12. Sawzall tile blades because Stucco is concrete and hard to cut. Even these blades  burn out quickly.
    13. Drill (may be cordless) with a large masonry bit or whatever bit is appropriate for the material you are drilling. a hole saw blade can be used on drywall. This gives you the ability to see where the comb is. Also the drill bit should be large enough to allow the sawzall blade in so you can cut the material.
    14. Because being in the dark with bees is a bad thing.
    15. If you do spot the queen you do want to save her. a queen cage or jar with holes in the lid will work great. Make sure the jar is clean.
    16. Googles and mask because going to the hospital because you got concrete in your eye is far more embarrassing than going in with a few hundred stings.
    17. a paint scraper removes those small comb remnants. You don’t want to leave comb in the wall.
    18. Tarp because this is going to be messy.
    19. Baby Wipes because your hands are going to stick to everything.
    20. Duct tape to seal up small openings in the hive or secure hive parts. It’s duct tape  you always need it.
    21. Window screening because it keeps the bees in the box. I use this with duck boxes  and cover the entrance. And drive with the bees in the truck.
    22. Hive staples , plumbing straps because if you have a cut out that fills three boxes and you stop suddenly you want the hive bodies to not slide off each other.
    23. Hammer for those small but needed adjustments.
    24. Staple gun for screening and anything else you can think of.
    25. Sprayer small one and exterminator types filled with cold sugar water. To catch swarms. Spray the swarm down and put bees in box. Warning bees don’t like showers and may express their displeasure.
    26. 8 foot ladder because not all of us are basketball stars
    27. Something to cut drywall with.

    Thanks to kathyp for her contributions. Suggestions welcome.


    The first is my How to do a Cutout video


    You may need to build your own Bee Vacuum first


    Bee Removal in Plainview Texas


    One of my favorite hives I’ve encountered  – the MASSIVE hive.
    Part 1 –


    Part 2


    3 Responses to “Beehive removals aka Cutouts”

    1. HAve you read of Aebis’ structural harvesting chapters? I haven’t tried it, but it sounds pretty slick….

    2. yeah… i have read… not cut out or captured. As I watch, whoa diggity!

    3. Phoenix Asher Featherstone says:

      Life saver, thank you! I will be sure to send you a copy of the video, cause like you said if you don’t have proof it never happened. I have caught swarms, extracted bee’s from small spaces. Now for the first time I will be doing a cut out!! These bee’s have been in the wall for years and the home owner wants them now in hives, I am so excited.

      By the way my company Bee Whirled TM. makes custom bee hives out of wine, whiskey and beer barrels. Yes we sell them. If you are interested let me know. 415 515 9999.

      Thank you again for the wonderful advise.


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