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Author Topic: cleaning up old hive  (Read 2037 times)
bill
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« on: March 17, 2005, 06:53:22 PM »

Hi I have a hive that was given to me last winter.It is very active right now as it has warmed up a lot. I have two new queens ordered for april and will make two nuc hives up. the hive is all stuck together inside and I must work it to get some brood to make the nucs up. I have been advised to wait till it is hot to try to get the frames out. so I have only looked down in them so far. it looks like i will have to in some way cut through the burr comb between the hives to move the frames at all. I know it will be a rough job if anyone caan give me some advice on this I would appreciate it. All the videos show guys working nice new frames  but this is not going to be like that. I also was wondering if I can keep building hives in the summer as I want to eventually get about ten hives thanx a lot if you can help me
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billiet
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« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2005, 09:43:07 AM »

Bill,

Without seeing how bad they are, it is hard to give clear advice.  First thing to do is split the supers.  Drive a hive tool between them and try to pry them apart without breaking.  If they are too stuck together,  if you can split them enough to get a wire between them, you can pull the wire across and cut the burr comb like a cheese cutter.

Once you have the supers apart, start with one of the edge frames and try working it out.  Use a bare hacksaw blade to cut bur comb between the frames.  Try and pry frames sideways as much as possible and not up.  By prying up, you will most likely split the top bar from the rest of the frame. Once you get an end frame out,  work  your way one frame at a time across the super.

If they are really badly burred, consider breaking apart the the super and then cutting the frames with the "cheese slicer" wire method.

If they are not salvageble at all, and you just need to get the bees out,  turn the super upside down and but a new supper on top.  There is a good chance the queen will migrate up into the new super  rather than lay eggs in upside-down cells.

There is no easy way about it,  and you will killl some bees.


Good Luck....
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thegolfpsycho
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« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2005, 11:05:38 AM »

Don't forget to put on alot of extra clothes and smoke them good when you start tearing the hive apart.  It's usually a very destructive process and they don't take it well.  Most times, when bees get angry, you can walk away and let them calm down, but once you start pulling things apart, it's probably a good idea to try to finish the job, instead of stressing them repeatedly, unless you are beeing overwhelmed.
I would probably also move them and put an mty box in their place, maybe for a day before starting.  Get all those field bees out of your hair before you start the operation.
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bill
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« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2005, 01:44:11 PM »

here I am again with a couple of questions does the temerature need to be real warm before I start?, ifg I move the hive exactly what does that do? I will try it soon and i will have a good story to tell asw it is my first try although I have read tons of books   thanks a lot
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billiet
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« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2005, 02:20:41 PM »

Move the hive away from the spot it is in a few yards. Place another hive where the original was. The foraging bees will go out foraging and will return to the hive at the old location. This way when you tear into the other hive there are fewer bees and the remainder are usually the ones that won't bother you much.

I prefer to wait until about mid-70 F weather before going into hives and moving stuff out, such as brood. But that is just me. Not real sure what a good temp is to keep from harming the brood.
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bill
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« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2005, 05:58:01 PM »

well the temperature is warm enough now  so when I move the hive can I do it at night or while the forager bees are out. it is to heavy for me to lift and I only have one jacket and veil and no help during the day but if I can move it at night would that still serve the purpose. thanks for your patience
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billiet
Jerrymac
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« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2005, 07:07:13 PM »

Yes. If you move the hive a few yards, or as far as you can, then in the morning the workers will take off to forage and return to where the hive use to be and enter a new hive if placed on that spot.
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rainbow sunflower  Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.   rainbow sunflower

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